Jon Hamm and Juno Temple Join the Cast of ‘Fargo’ Season 5. But Who Will Be the Villain?

For the past four seasons, Fargo has occupied a unique place in the TV landscape–as one of the most prestigious of prestige TV shows and almost an accidental parody of prestige TV simultaneously. The Noah Hawley-created FX drama always seems to have nuanced, carefully sketched, morally ambiguous protagonists alongside villains who seemed like they escaped a Michael Bay movie. And hey, didn’t that one season have a spaceship?

With the fifth season set to air November 21st, FX just released the first batch of production stills, plus an official synopsis. Traditionally an ensemble period piece based on a regional crime story, the twist this time is that the period is 2019. The new story concerns a “seemingly typical Midwestern housewife” named Dot (Juno Temple) with a dark past, and the North Dakota sheriff (Jon Hamm) hot on her tail, alongside his “loyal but feckless son,” played by Stranger Things’ Joe Keery. Rounding out the typically impressive cast is Jennifer Jason Leigh, playing Dot’s mother-in-law, a CEO known as “Queen of Debt” who has the money, power and resources to help Dot, if she cares to.

In a series that’s given us a henchman with ever-present headphones (Meemo, season 3), a pair of leather-clad twin bad guys dressed like ‘70s pimps (the Kitchen Brothers, season 2), Bokeem Woodbine speaking mainly in slam poetry (Mike Milligan, also season 2), David Thewlis with disgusting teeth (VM Varga, season 3), and, uh… a growly Italian bear man (Gaetano Fadda, season 4), among other characters, perhaps the most pressing question for season 5 is, who will the cartoonish villain be, and what will be their gimmick?

It’s tempting to think it’s Jon Hamm, his character being described as “above the law” and all, but for all his work in both drama and comedy, it’s hard to imagine Hamm as a scene chewer or mustache twirler. The more obvious choice for cartoonish villain is Jennifer Jason Leigh. That her character is described as both a disapproving mother and “the Queen of Debt” makes it feel like a layup, plus she’s been doing extreme character transformations since Christian Bale was in a newsboy hat. And yet, right as Leigh emerges as the perfect pick, there’s Dave Foley in an eyepatch playing a character named “Danish Graves.”

Season 4, a crime story in which Black and Italian mafias collided in 1950s Kansas City, was arguably Fargo’s least critically-acclaimed. It would probably be reading too much into things to try to predict which direction Fargo will go in season 5, but at the very least it looks like it will have fun doing it.

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