'Fargo' Embarks On Another Ambitious Story

by Kayla Hawkins
Chris Large/FX

Even though spring is just beginning, already 2017 has seen some fantastic television, from brand new shows to returning series that have reached new creative heights. I hope Fargo Season 3, which premieres April 19, will be one of the latter. With the long-awaited return of one of FX's most acclaimed series to look forward to, now it's time to wonder — how many episodes is Fargo Season 3?

According to Variety, the third season of Fargo will have 10 episodes, just like the previous two seasons. And even though 10 may seem like a small episode order, the first 20 episodes of Fargo prove that the show can be efficient about managing a large cast and multiple, interconnected storylines while still wrapping things up by the end of the season.

The connection between the first and second seasons of Fargo was pretty evident. In Season 1, which took place in 2006, Molly Solverson's father mentioned the most harrowing experience of his career as a cop, the "Sioux Falls Massacre." Season 2, set 30 years earlier, gives the story behind that offhand anecdote.

According to FX, Fargo Season 3 will be set in 2010, which brings it closer to the setting of the premiere season. When Entertainment Weekly asked creator Noah Hawley to confirm whether an actor from a previous season would appear, the showrunner said, "I wouldn’t look for that right away… but it might be in there somewhere." The timing suggests that mystery character is probably from Season 1, but anything can happen on Fargo.

In an earlier EW interview, Hawley said, "There are going to be connections, the way the first year was connected to the movie and the second year was connected to the first, but I think part of the fun is figuring that stuff out."

Whatever those connections may be, these 10 new episodes feature an entirely new cast made up of actors who have never appeared in a Fargo season before, including Ewan McGregor playing opposite himself as a pair of brothers, Emmit and Ray, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as one of the brothers' canny, lawbreaking girlfriend, and Carrie Coon taking over as the local cop.

And with the new cast comes a new story, and reportedly, this season has a big one. It's so big that the official season longline from FX is a paragraph long. Highlights include, "[A] sibling rivalry follows a twisted path that begins with petty theft but soon leads to murder, mobsters and cutthroat competitive bridge" and "A newly divorced mother, [Coon's character] Gloria is trying to understand the new world around her, where people connect more intimately with their phones than with the people around them." More elements at play include an English investor looking to take over Emmit's successful parking lot business, and, as you can see in the trailer above, a priceless stamp featuring the Myth of Sisyphus.

Chris Large/FX

And that symbol is appropriate, because condensing all of these actors, themes, and plot points into just 10 Fargo episodes sounds like a Sisyphean task.