Fargo’s third season is just finished! It was hell of a season as always! The soundtracks were very interesting – it almost competed with the plot.
Peter and The Wolf
We hear the Prokofiev’s Peter and The Wolf with Billy Bob Thornton’s narrative at the fourth episode The Narrow Escape Problem. You will remember Thornton from the first season; it was our villain; Lorne Malvo. We know how Fargo connects the seasons to each other In small references, and this may be the link of this season. The piece is a symphonic narrative for children, where the conductor narrates the story. In the story each character is associated with an instrument where the conductor introduces in the beginning. When this piece is used in a series, and especially in the opening credits, it implies that each character in the series corresponds to the character in the story. Let’s look at that!
When the conductor introduces the ‘bird’(flute), we see Emmit Stussy on the screen. Right after, we see Ray on the screen, along with the introduction of the ‘duck’(oboe). ‘Cat’(clarinet) introduction starts when Nikki Swango enters the scene. The grandfather (bassoon) is implied to be Sy Feltz. The shotguns (blast/kettle drum) is Yuri. The wolf is VM Varga represented by the French horns and Peter is Gloria Burgle represented by the strings. At this point, we are introduced to the characters. The piece’s initial purpose is to introduce the instruments and their sound character to the children. When the conductor signals the beginning of the story, we switched to the Fargo’s soundtrack and the opening credits. This is done very beautifully that audiences recognize the the tune and feels the familiar story is about to continue.
After this, piece will advance a story; Peter lives in the forest with his grandfather. One day, he goes out for hunting the wolf and the duck & cat tries to help him even though his grandfathers warns him. Bird appears and bird & duck despise each other since they have different definition of success (swimming vs flying). Later, wolf appears and eats the duck. While Peter tries to find a way to capture the wolf, and the bird helps him. Hunters appear but Peter convinces them to take wolf to the zoo. And the music implies that duck is alive inside the wolf. The grandfather represents the old, conservative generation in Soviet Unions and Peter is a young pioneer in Russia. The story has strong Russian roots, that is appropriate also for the plot of Fargo.
Now, let’s examine the plot and the usage of the piece. To begin with, I must say that I was surprised at the first encounter that the main characters chosen are Varga and Gloria since Gloria is not aware of the Varga yet. With the information we had until this episode, I think Peter is Emmit Stussy. However, thinking retrospectively, we may have the signals of the ending here, let’s remember the wonderful end where Gloria and Varga had a conversation. When we got the signal, let’s review the whole season by the story of the piece. Earlier in the season, Nikki (cat) tries to take down the Emmit (bird) just as in the story. But when the wolf (Varga) reveals itself by eating duck (Ray) – this is not the exact story but Nikki followed the Varga thinking he killed Ray -, the bird (Emmit) tried to help Peter (Gloria) by confessing. If we think the end, Gloria finally convinced otorities for the guilts of Varga that resembles the Peter convincing hunters to take the wolf to the zoo. In the end of the piece, we hear duck quacking inside the wolf, which may be referencing that Ray coming back as a cat in Nikki’s (also represented with a cat) believing. So this piece was a wonderful summary of the whole season.