“All the ships may be at sea,” but there’s one lighthouse that kept me on the edge of my boat in tonight’s nail-biting epic series finale of FX’s ensemble-stuffed “Fargo” season 2. And that eternal sunshine I’m talking about is Kirsten Dunst, as the ditz-turned-badass Peggy Blumquist.
All of Kiki’s (impressive) fellow Golden Globe nominees can wave their chances at taking the trophy home goodbye because Dunst just nailed the coffin on the competition.
But I can honestly say as a “fully actualized” fan that after last night’s episode, this is Dunst’s best work to date. She’s funny, she’s crazy, and she’s terrifyingly good.
The theme of this episode (and the series as a whole, really) was protecting your kin: no matter what cost or stakes may present. After an entire season arch of Ed taking care of Peggy (and her growing mental illness), the tables turn when they are in the meat locker and Ed questions everything. Hanzee wants blood on the butcher and the beautician and you can feel the building anxiety between the couple as they hideout in the supermarket.
You really feel for Ed because he doesn’t want to be with someone who always wants to fix things “when they don’t need fix in’,” but you also feel for Peggy because she’s been fighting to keep their big secret under control – and later in the officer’s car – that she’s been fighting her whole life to “have it all.”
As Hanzee follows Ed’s trail of blood, you start to root for them. Yes, they did a bad thing, but in the final episode you see Dunst less as a cartoon, and more as a desperate woman in a desperate situation trying to handle her shit (and get out alive.) Dunst and Plemmons are brilliant in the climax leading up to Hanzee and Peggy’s face-off.
As Ed is dying (sorry, SPOILER ALERT), Peggy has a hallucination that she is being “gassed out” like the movie she was watching about the Holocaust. Rather than being fearful in her vain turmoil, she spins it as if she’s an actress in her real-life distress. When she fearlessly (and freakishly) kicks the door open to stab Hanzee (it’s the two officers instead), and has a self-actualized realization that he was never there we witness her full-on meltdown. And it’s pretty heartbreaking to watch. Up until this moment, we kind of wonder where Peggy’s hysteria comes from but when you realize she’s doing it to protect Ed and her, you can’t help but wish she made it out on the other side to California.
Later in the sheriff’s car, she explains how she “didn’t mean for any of it to happen.” And that it’s all a lie: being a housewife and a career woman. Real themes that women faced during the seventies. (Of course, she’s totally disregarded that her husband died, not to mention A LOT of people died during her battle to “be her best me.”)
I’m sad to see Fargo end – mainly because I want Peggy to get a spin-off show:
But also because I don’t think there’s anything as original (in terms of storytelling) on television right now. Luckily for us, Fargo’s already been renewed for a third season and hopefully my #KirstenKampaign continues to whisper to the Golden Globes and Emmy’s gods.