TV

What Fargo Season 5 Is Really About


The excellent fifth season of Fargo wants to keep track of what we owe to each other.

"FARGO" -- "The Tragedy of the Commons" -- Year 5, Episode 1 (Airs November 21) Pictured (L-R): Juno Temple as Dorothy “Dot” Lyon, Sienna King as Scotty Lyon.
Photo: Michelle Faye | FX

This article contains spoilers for Fargo season 5 episodes 1 and 2.

Fargo season 5 opens in as immediate fashion as possible. As the curtains rise on episode 1 “The Tragedy of the Commons,” punches are already being thrown. It’s a chaotic, yet familiar scene in the U.S. in which a community meeting at a high school auditorium has devolved into desultory violence.

Our protagonist Dorothy “Dot” Lyon (Ted Lasso‘s Juno Temple) shields her daughter from the melee as adults act a fool at the Fall Festival Planning Committee. Dot is drawn into the fray when her daughter’s math teacher comes barreling down the aisle screaming “No one’s listening to me!” Dot tases him in self defense and is booked at the local police station, kickstarting the real events of the season.

Fargo, both the classic 1996 Coen Brothers film and the FX series inspired by it, has a distinct knack for capturing the surreal intricacies of the Midwest and its genteel, yet flawed citizens. Still, no moment in any iteration of Fargo has better articulated the climate of our modern era quite like the Scandia High School fracas. What is the world right now if not a grown man crying “no one’s listening to me!” while expressing directionless anger? We get it, pal. No one’s listening to us either.

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