ByAlexandra Ekstein-Kon, writer at Creators.co
Editor at MP. Twin Peaks, Fargo, a bit of this, a bit of that. Tweet me at @alexa_ekon
Alexandra Ekstein-Kon

Spoilers ahead for Fargo Season 3, "The Law of Vacant Places."

Zip up your parkas, folks, because Fargo is back! Season 3 shook off the icicles with a rowdy episode full of complex characters, murky intentions, and one iconic splat involving an AC unit that is sure to go down in Fargo history.

Just as on the show the secrets and subterfuge are teeming just below the small-town surface, so too are there nuggets hidden in the production that we viewers can discover if we just scratch the veneer. Check out five of these nuggets below, and be sure to add your own to the comments!

1. There Was A 'Big Lebowski' Easter Egg

[Credit: Gramercy Pictures]
[Credit: Gramercy Pictures]

More than one, actually:

  • The air conditioner POV shot was a great callback to when the Dude is sucked into a bowling ball in his dizzy dream after getting clocked on the head by Maud and her crew in The Big Lebowski.
[Credit: FX]
[Credit: FX]
  • While Maurice is driving to his victim's home, he tries to put out his joint but fails and it falls in his lap, causing him to veer off the road. This is another great callback to The Big Lebowski when the Dude does the same thing while listening to Credence.
  • Serious name mixups seem to be a theme in this episode. While the East German man being accused of murder in the first scene seems to be a case of knowledgeable mistaken identity, Maurice's Stussy mix-up is much more Lebowski-esque — although with far more fatal results. Since Maurice lost the address in the joint debacle described above, he ends up mixing up towns and Stussys, robbing Ennis Stussy in Eden Valley instead of Emmit Stussy in Eden Prairie. The same thing happens in The Big Lebowski when then nihilists mix up the Dude and the rich Mr. Lebowski.

2. The Aliens From Season 2 Are Back

The model Ennis made for Nathan (above left), hidden books Gloria finds (above right), Season 2 alien encounter (lower left), shot of Ennis's TV screen (lower right) [Credit: FX]
The model Ennis made for Nathan (above left), hidden books Gloria finds (above right), Season 2 alien encounter (lower left), shot of Ennis's TV screen (lower right) [Credit: FX]

Right before his murder, Ennis is watching something on TV, which we can see is actually a shot from the alien encounter in Fargo Season 2 (shown in the above image). If we add in the Hugo Award seen in his house (point 5) and the fact that the model he made for Nathan looks exactly like the cover from those hidden books, it looks like we haven't seen the last of our extraterrestrial friends on Fargo.

Fore a more in-depth look at this point, head over here:

3. Cell Phones In The Tub

[Credit: FX]
[Credit: FX]

Show creator Noah Hawley has stated on multiple occasions that this season will tackle our "selfie-oriented culture." Our first direct taste of this came as Ray and Nikki sit in what should be an intimate situation in the bathtub, with dimmed lighting and candles all around — yet they're both looking at their phones, only half listening to each other. Here's what Hawley had to say in an associated conference call back in 2015 about this season's theme:

"I like the idea what we're now living in a very selfie-oriented culture... it feels like a social dynamic that is very antithetical to the Lutheran pragmatism of the region. So many of our crime stories are based on the difficulty that people have expressing themselves and communicating... I like the idea of setting up these pragmatic and humble people against the culture of narcissism and [seeing] what that generates for us, story-wise."

4. Ray & Nikki Are Basically H.I. & Ed From 'Raising Arizona'

[Credit: FX, 20th Century Fox]
[Credit: FX, 20th Century Fox]

In another Coen brothers cult hit, Raising Arizona, protagonists H.I. and Ed meet while H.I. is taking Ed's mugshots. Although the genders are switched — Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is clearly the criminal brains of the operation on Fargo — the core plot point remains intact, as Ray is Nikki's parole officer.

5. Sheriff Burgle Picked Up A Hugo Award In Ennis's House

[Credit: FX, Michael Benveniste]
[Credit: FX, Michael Benveniste]

When the sheriff drives back to her step-dad's house to get the statue he'd made for her son, Nathan, she discovers the door ajar and the place a mess. Before heading up the stairs to investigate, she grabs something that looks very much like a Hugo Award, in case she needs to defend herself.

A Hugo trophy is awarded to the best sci-fi and fantasy writer of the year, meaning Ennis Stussy might have at one point won the award. Could he have been a witness to the alien encounter all the way back in 1979, inspiring him to write sci-fi?

What other cool Easter Eggs did you notice in the first episode of Fargo Season 3?

(Sources: The Verge, Reddit)

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