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Cold Justice

Jon Hamm and Juno Temple headline the long-awaited fifth season of Fargo

It’s no secret that Alberta is an ideal filming location for a snowy series. And while the cast and crew of Fargo had long since finished filming by the time Calgary received its most recent unseasonable dumping of snow, TV audiences are just now about to witness the magic (and crime — lots of crime) for themselves as the fifth season arrives.

Despite filming in Canada, the current season of the series created by Noah Hawley (Legion) is set primarily in North Dakota (as indicated by its title). Expected to run for 10 episodes, Fargo’s fifth season is set in 2019, making it the series’ most recent timeframe to date. (For those interested, seasons one through four take place in 2006, 1979, 2010 and 1950, respectively.)

Those unfamiliar with Fargo may not know that the critically acclaimed series is based on the 1996 film of the same name by the Coen Brothers, which starred William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi and Frances McDormand, who delivered an Oscar winning performance as police officer Marge Gunderson.


Like the film, FX’s Fargo is a black comedy, but rather than follow the same storyline as the film, the series opted to present its content as an anthology, jumping through timelines and to various locations in order to tell a series of related tales, each as unsettling — yet somehow inviting — as the next.

In the fifth season, Ted Lasso standout Juno Temple plays Dorothy “Dot” Lyon, a Minnesota homemaker who appears to lead a typical, happy lifestyle. But when Dot ends up getting into trouble with the local authorities, her past comes back to haunt her — a past that is far more sinister than anyone would have expected from this seemingly average midwestern woman. As she tries to sort out the best course of action, Dot is pursued by North Dakota Sheriff Roy Tillman (Mad Men alum Jon Hamm), Deputy Witt Farr (Lamorne Morris of New Girl) and a mysterious man named Ole Munch (Sam Spruell, The Martian).

Big names are attached to the project, to be sure, but longtime viewers of the series will have come to expect nothing less from this series, which has previously cast the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Kirsten Dunst and Ewan McGregor, to name just a few.


With that said, Jennifer Jason Leigh joins the main cast as Dot’s well-off mother-in-law, while Stranger Things’ Joe Keery and Never Have I Ever’s Richa Moorjani step into the roles of the sheriff’s son, Gator Tillman, and Deputy Indira Olmstead, respectively.

Meanwhile, David Rysdahl (Oppenheimer), Jessica Pohly (Stalker), Nick Gomez (She-Hulk: Attorney at Law), Lukas Gage (The White Lotus) and Dave Foley (The Kids in the Hall) star in recurring roles throughout the newest season.

Although the producers and casting directors once again managed to snag some serious star power for Fargo, many viewers and critics wondered if the series would be returning at all. Last year, on the day that the season-four finale aired, series creator Hawley was asked about his intentions to continue the anthology.

“The danger is always that you’re going to stay at the dance a little too long,” Hawley replied, “so I have to put a lot of it in place in my head and really make sure that it’s worthy of joining these 41 hours.”


Hawley continued, stating: “I don’t want to try and make another [season] unless I think, ‘Oh, we have to make this one. It’s the best one yet.’ ”

No doubt big words for a brand-new season, but hopes are high for all involved, from Hawley and the actors to those viewing each moment from the comfort and safety of their own sofas. But one element that has consistently kept viewers on their toes with Fargo is the tone of each coming season. When it comes to crime-heavy dramedies, it’s often difficult to balance the grim and grit with a grin. Even Hawley admits that the tone changes from season to season, based on the content and characters.

“It’s always a balance between how dramatic versus comedic it is, and this is the more comedic end of the spectrum,” Hawley said of the fifth season during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I really love it.”

As Hawley hinted, the main theme of the new season is: “When is a kidnapping a kidnapping, and what if your wife isn’t yours?”

Fargo premieres Tuesday, November 21 on FX

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