Much like the movie that inspired it, Fargo has become one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows of the past 25 years. Indeed, the small-screen adaptation of the Coen Brothers' classic seems to get better with each season. Credit goes to writer and showrunner Noah Hawley, who's gone to great lengths to adapt Fargo as faithfully as possible.
While the anthology series features a different storyline and cast of characters each season, they all bear resemblance to the original film. Avid fans of the film may be able to spot several easter eggs in the show. Here are 10 hidden details you may have missed in the Fargo TV show.
10 Unguent In Mike Zoss Pharmacy
Eagle-eyed fans of Season 1 may have noticed that Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) enters Mike Zoss Pharmacy, the same establishment featured in the Coen's No Country For Old Men. He even orders a special item from Fargo the movie.
Lester asks the pharmacist for a bottle of "unguent," the very ointment tight-lipped Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) seeks in the 1996 film. You know, right after Jean Lundegaard leaps from behind the bathroom curtain and bites his hand. "I Need Unguent!" The hidden details cross-reference two seminal Coen Brothers works in one scene.
9 Arby's & "Go Bears!"
Here's another twofer. A memorable scene in Fargo the movie features a very-pregnant Marge Gunderson bringing lunch to her husband Norm at work. Remember what they eat? That's right, Arby's.
In Season 1 of Fargo, you might notice that Arby's is also the lunch of choice for Lester's insurance colleagues. But that isn't the only direct reference to the film. During another episode, Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) utters the same cheery line as one of the prostitutes Marge interviews in the film. That's right, both characters say "Go Bears!"
8 Multiple Coen Collaborators
Did you notice that all three seasons of Fargo feature at least one actor from a Coen Brothers' film?
In season 1, Billy Bob Thornton plays Lorne Malvo. Thornton also starred in the Coen's The Man Who Wasn't There. In season 2, Adam Arkin plays Hamish Broker. Arkin also starred in A Serious Man. In season 3, David Thewlis plays V.M. Varga. He also appeared in The Big Lebowski. Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays Sy Feltz in season 3, headlined A Serious Man as well.
7 Recurring Building
Attentive fans may have noticed that the same building is featured in all three seasons of Fargo, but used differently each time. Can you guess which one?
In season 1, the building in question is made up to resemble Lester's insurance work office. In season 2, the same building is redressed as Ed Blumquist's (Jesse Plemmons) grisly butcher shop. In season 3, the same set is rearranged as the apartment building that Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) resides in. While hard to spot, the hidden detail links all three seasons together.
6 Season 2 Soundtrack
Ardent Coen Brothers fans won't miss the fact that several songs from their movies are featured in season 2. Parts of Carter Burwell's original film score are not only reused in the show, but various tracks from other Coen movies can be heard as well.
Listen closely to hear a familiar theme from Raising Arizona, as well as the siren song from O Brother, Where Art Thou.
5 Little Red Riding Hood Symbolism
During the first season, fans may not have paid too much attention to Lester's red hooded parka. But upon closer inspection, it's clear that the red costume is a direct metaphor for the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale.
When Lester first wears the red-parka, he is in a vulnerable position of being preyed upon. Later, when Lester loses the parka, he becomes the hunter rather than the hunted. When Lester puts the red jacket back on in the season finale, he is once again tracked by Malvo's Big Bad Wolf.
4 Bruce Campbell Connection
In season 2, Bruce Campbell portrays President Ronald Reagan. But how many of you knew that Campbell also made a hidden cameo in the film version of Fargo as well?
It's true. During the scene where Gaear Grimsrud watches a blurry TV show inside the kidnapper's cabin, Campbell quickly appears onscreen. The static makes him hard to spot, but he's there. The footage was lifted from a 1980s soap opera called Generations that Campbell participated in early in his career. What's more, Joel Coen edited Campbell's breakout hit, Evil Dead.
3 Number 613
A strange numerological motif can be found in the first four episodes of season 1. According to the Torah, there are 613 Commandments or Mitzvahs.
In addition to Lester's house addressed as 613, the ransom note sent to Stavros also ends in the number 613. Later, when Gus discusses his arrest of Malvo with Molly, he explains that he was responding to police code 613. The kicker though? The "Mitzvah Tank" gas station next to Gus' apartment (where he received the "613" call) solidifies the numerical connection. But what does it all mean?
2 Stavros Finds A Briefcase
While more overt than covert, Stavros finding the briefcase of money in season 1 is one of the most important details of the series.
The discovery confirms that the show takes place in the same universe as the film. Remember, in the film, Carl Showalter stashed a briefcase full of 1 million dollars in the snow. He used a windshield scraper to mark the spot of the buried treasure. It's the same loot Stavros stumbles upon after his car breaks down in Season 1. Stavros uses the fortune to fund his supermarket chain.
1 The Wood Chipper
The most iconic image of the movie has to be the shot of Gaear cramming Carl's foot in a wood-chipper. But did you ever notice the wood chipper appears in the background of the first two episodes of the series?
True story. Showrunner Noah Hawley has confirmed publicly that he placed the infamous wood-chipper in the background of the pilot episode and its follow up. He did so as a hidden homage to the film. We'll leave it up to you to discover where it can be spotted. Hint: no, it's not Ed's meat grinder from Season 2.