I know the title isn’t the greatest, but with the news of Fargo Season 4 being a period piece, and Noah Hawley expressing that he wants to explore new avenues for Fargo stories, it got me pondering about what the 4th season could about. Which ultimately lead me to one possibility that I think would be cool for Fargo to explore: The Great Depression. The reason being the source of many of its criminals. A pattern the movie, 1st Season, 2nd Season, and 3rd Season, follow is while the criminals in them are sympathetic, you can’t necessarily justify or agree with their actions. The criminals I’m referring to aren’t Gaear, Carl, Malvo, or Varga. I’m referring to people like Jerry, Lester, Peggy, Hanzee, and either one of the Stussy brothers. While the actions of these people are understandable, and by the end of the story, you come to an understanding of why they did what they did, you can justify their actions. This pattern has been repeated for one movie, and three season. However, with Season 4 being a period piece, by having the Great Depression be the time period, it would fundamentally shake this formula. The characters I’ve mentioned, are very much normal people that let things like greed (Jerry), anger (Lester, Hanzee), health issues (Peggy), or just plain family problems (Stussy Brothers), fuel their actions. However, normal people in the Great Depression were desperate, and any criminal action they would commit would be out of survival, a necessity. As a result, Fargo would be forced to show criminals who have to do it for survival, which is justifiable. Because of this, characters of the law would inevitably be grayed to a degreed that has never been seen before, because how could you arrest someone who’s in that much of need. As such, The Great Depression would add new flavor to Fargo and change its preexisting formula.
Side-note: If Fargo took place in the Great Depression, it could open up the opportunity for Hank to return as a main character and explore his character more, which would be awesome.