On UFOs and Season Three: 6 Big Things Fargo Creator Noah Hawley Wants Fans to Know

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Here at Paste, we’ve talked quite a bit about our love for Fargo. You can read my review of the excellent finale here. And check out its ranking on our Best TV Shows of 2015 list.

Yesterday, Fargo executive producer and creator Noah Hawley participated in conference call to talk about the second season of the critically acclaimed FX series, and to give hints about season three.

Here are the six big things we learned.

1. Season three of Fargo will take place in 2010.

It will be “a more contemporary story,” Hawley said. “We are now living in a very selfie-oriented culture where people photograph what they’re eating and put it up for other people to see, and it feels like a social dynamic that is very antithetical to the sort of Lutheran pragmatism of the region. I liked the idea of setting these very pragmatic and humble people against a culture of narcissism, and seeing what that generates for us story wise.”

2. Hawley isn’t ready to name the main character of the third season.

It may be a character we know, but it won’t be one of the first season leads. “We’re always looking for ways to connect,” Hawley says. “There are certainly characters out there who have been left open-ended. “None of the main characters from season one will be back. That’s not to say that one of our stories might not intersect with characters we’ve seen before, but I don’t think we can say two years later Molly gets a phone call and you won’t believe it—here we go again.”

3. Don’t expect the third season anytime soon.

Hawley thinks it won’t air until the spring of 2017. They are going through the writing process now, and he has written the first episode, with shooting most likely beginning in November 2016.

4. First season actors had to glimpse season two before filming cameos.

Hawley had Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks and Keith Carradine watch the first episode of the second season before they filmed their cameos in the second season finale. “It is so different [from the first season], and I wanted them to see the palate that we were working with and the tone of voice.” Hawley had great fun “putting the band back together.” He went on to say, “the sequence was deceptively simple. You wanted to feel that old dynamic between them. They fell back into their old rhythms really quickly. There was a nostalgia for all of us.”

5. Season three will definitely have connections to past seasons.

You can expect more connections, like the finale reveal that Hanzee becomes the Mr. Tripoli of the first season. “The idea that we will connect each story to the other story in the cannon. I liked the idea that Hanzee emerges from the story as a winner and that this is an origin story for him,” Hawley said.

6. Why aliens?

(You know I had to ask!) “The violence and the chaos of our story and the period became both so deadly and absurd on a real level, that the UFO kind of manifests that sense of absurdity in our story,” Hawley explained. Two things, he said, gave him permission to give the show a close encounter of the third kind—the Coens had used UFOs as a conceit in the movie The Man Who Wasn’t There, and aliens and UFOs were very much in the zeitgeist of the time. “That sense of paranoia was so heightened, it literally felt like you couldn’t trust anything. Even the skies.”

Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.

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