The new FX drama Fargo doesn’t simply borrow themes, setting, and mood from its namesake 1996 film — it lovingly, sometimes quite obviously, pays homage to the entire Coen brothers oeuvre.
Here are the Coen Easter eggs that we picked up on in episode 2, The Rooster Prince:
The ransom note
From the cut-paper lettering to the sheer ridiculousness of the request, the ransom note Stavros Milos, the Supermarket King of Minnesota, receives is quite similar to the one sent to Mr. Lebowski in The Big Lebowski.
The demands from Milos: “I know about the money pay me 43,613 or I tell the world.”
The threat toward Lebowski: “We have Bunnie. Gather one million dollars in non-consecutive twenties. Await instructions. No funny stuff.”
Why is Lorne Malvo so attached to his briefcase? Does it contain “the money” — or dirty underwear? It’s another detail that appears to be a nod to The Big Lebowski.
The exchange between Malvo and the mail clerk
A reader of our recap pointed out this one. Malvo has a tense interaction with the clerk at a shipping store, not unlike that terrifying coin-flip scene between Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh and the gas station attendant in No Country for Old Men.
“Am I gonna need to come back there and find [my package] myself?” Malvo threatens the clerk, who is simply trying to follow procedure.
“This is highly irregular,” the man says when he finds the package, which was addressed simply to “Duluth.”
“No,” Malvo corrects him. “Highly irregular is the time I found a human foot in a toaster oven. This is just odd.”
Possible coincidence: Both hit men sport some pretty terrible haircuts.
Fargo airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
Did you find any Coen brothers references that we missed? Let us know!