While we may have an excruciatingly long wait until FX’s Fargo returns for its new season, a key detail about the next volume in what is easily one of TV’s best dramas has emerged, courtesy of FX’s presentation at the Television Critics Association this week. Season 2 of Fargo took us even further back in time to tell the story of the Sioux Falls Massacre. Season 3 will bring us much closer to the present day... at least, within the last decade.
According to what EW reports, FX’s John Landgraf revealed that Fargo Season 3 will be set in 2010. That timeframe jumps back to modern day, and then passes the Season 1 setting by four years. The debut season of the small screen followup to the Coen Brothers’ film took place in 2006.
2010 does bring the series as close to present day as it's gotten, but it’s still six years ago — closer to Season 1’s timeframe than it is to right now — and it’ll be seven years ago, by the time Season 3 actually premieres.
What will Season 3 of Fargo be about? That is the question. It doesn't sound like FX offered any major details, beyond the time period, but Landgraf did vaguely confirm that at least one character is expected to return. And then he went on to admit that there’s always the chance series showrunner Noah Hawley will change his mind on that. As for who that character might be, we can only guess. It might not even be safe to assume the returner will be from Season 1, despite the much closer proximity Season 3 will have to the first season, time-wise.
EW speculates that it could be Season 1's Allison Tolman, or perhaps Martin Freeman or Keith Carradine who might come back. It would be great of any of them were going to return, whether in cameo form or in a more involved way, particularly Carradine, considering we spent the second season getting to know Lou Solverson a lot better. The second season of Fargo went back to 1979 and focused on Lou Solverson — played by Patrick Wilson this time around — and his investigation of a waffle house shooting that turns out to be tied into an organized crime syndicate and a whole lot of drama.
But perhaps the returner is from Season 2 (Season 2 spoilers ahead!). Charlie Gerhardt (Bear’s son) survived Season 2, and that's a pretty major loose end when we consider that his entire family ended up dead by season’s end. If Karl Weathers’ legal counsel proved sound, Charlie would’ve been out of prison in his early twenties. He would be in his late 40's in 2010.
The story and character tie-ins are one of the great things about Fargo, but so are the rotating cast of characters and semi-reset each season. So as exciting as it is to know we might see at least one familiar face in the third season, there’s even more to anticipate from the unfamiliar names and faces. We’ll have to wait and see what other details about the third season emerge, but at the very least, we know it’ll take place in 2010, and it’s a safe bet that there will be snow on the ground. Production is reportedly not set to begin on the third season until November of 2016. And if all goes as planned, Fargo will be back on the air with new episodes in 2017.