For three seasons now, showrunner Noah Hawley has used the Coen brothers’ snow-covered crime drama Fargo as a jumping off point for his own anthology. Now set in 2010, this installment took a more scaled-down approach to storytelling, focusing on a sibling rivalry that eventually lands both brothers in way over their heads. Though both season one and season two were filled with obvious callbacks, this season took a more subdued approach when tipping its hat to the Coen brothers’ film that inspired it. Here’s a look at the callbacks to the film in Fargo’s third (and possibly final) season.
The Parking Lot King Of Minnesota
When we first meet Emmit Stussy (Ewan McGregor), he’s the self-described “Parking Lot King of Minnesota,” a business he prides himself on building from the ground up, making him a rich, well-respected man in the town of Eden Prairie. In the Coen brothers’ film, Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is in desperate need for money, so much so that he orchestrates his wife’s kidnapping to extort it from his father-in-law, Wade (Harve Presnell). But before things got that desperate, Jerry thought he had a way out: by using Wade’s money to invest in a parking lot.
While Wade wasn’t keen on loaning Jerry the money, he and his assistant, Stan Grossman (Larry Brandenburg) talk about moving in on the deal themselves. In this season’s second episode, “The Principle of Restricted Choice,” Emmit and his right-hand man, Sy Feltz (Michael Stuhlbarg), mention Stan Grossman by name when talking about the possibility of building condos on one of their parking lots.
Worth noting: the film takes place in 1987, and the show’s third season is set 23 years later in 2010. Despite that lengthy period of time, it seems that Stan Grossman is still actively wheeling and dealing in Minnesota real estate. Also worth noting, Larry Brandenburg’s last billed acting credits were also in 2010, where he had a bit part in an episode in NCIS, as well as voicing a clone trooper in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.