Fargo is back for season 5 — and it has 95% on Rotten Tomatoes

Juno Temple in Fargo season 5
(Image credit: FX)

FX is home to several critically acclaimed series. From It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to Justified and everything in between, there's always something new on FX that ends up a veritable must-watch. The same can be said of FX's TV adaptation of the 1996 film Fargo. The fifth season recently arrived after a three-year hiatus and it's already captured the hearts of critics. 

The newest batch of episodes just started airing on FX (and streaming next day on Hulu) but season 5 has already amassed a respectable 95% on Rotten Tomatoes from 44 reviewers. What's surprising is that, since the show doesn't pick up directly where the previous season left off, it managed to amass such a great score with a brand new cast of characters and a new plot. 

This season debuted on Nov. 21 and spans 10 episodes, with a new installment dropping every week. But does this new season live up to the quality and story we've come to expect from the Fargo franchise? Here's what you need to know before you invest some time in this top-rated series on Rotten Tomatoes. 

What is Fargo season 5 about?

Each Fargo season is a self-contained, standalone story. Season 5 is set in both Minnesota and North Dakota in 2019. Dorothy "Dot" Lyon (Juno Temple) has been on the run from her troubled past for some time. Though she seems to be just your average, everyday Midwestern housewife to most, she's in big trouble with the authorities, even though she made important strides toward leaving her old life behind. But sometimes you can't shake old habits, even if you grow out of them. 

North Dakota sheriff Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm) has been on Dot's tail for some time. He believes he operates outside of the law, but that won't stop him from tracking Dot down and bringing her to justice. He enlists the help of his son Gator (Joe Keery) to find her, alongside the mysterious drifter Ole Munch (Sam Spruell). 

Meanwhile, Dot fruitlessly searches for a way out of her predicament while her husband Wayne (David Rysdahl) desperately tries to find ways to assist, including going to his mother Lorraine Lyon (Jennifer Jason Leigh) for support. Dot grapples with her old ways with Lorraine's primary counsel on her side, but it might mean nothing as long as Roy, Gator, and Ole Munch are out looking for her. 

What the critics are saying 

Critics from outlets like The Hollywood Reporter, TV Guide, Time, and TV Line have lavished Fargo season 5 with praise for its all-star cast, particularly Temple, great pace, humor, and thrills.

Time's Judy Berman called it a "return to form" that "brings gender and class to bear on the war of good vs. evil." The Hollywood Reporter's Dan Fienberg pronounced it "wonderfully acted, swiftly paced, nasty fun."

TV Guide's Kyle Fowle loved its "killer cast and dark heart" that make for a "worthwhile" trip back to Minnesota. 

TV Line's Dave Nemetz concluded that it's a "back-to-basics thrill ride" that "helps us remember why we love television so much." 

Has Fargo season 5 been renewed for season 6?

Given that Fargo season 5 is still airing, it's a bit too early to say whether we can expect another one just yet. Season 6 will likely happen, but there's been no official confirmation as of now. 

Since it took three years for season 5 to arrive after the previous episode drop, it's clear that there's no real hurry for FX to push out new Fargo anthologies. It took about two years for FX to move forward and greenlight season 5 after season 4 concluded. 

Series creator Noah Hawley has made several remarks about how far he could go (get it?) with the series in the past. Speaking to Deadline, he once remarked that he "hasn't run out of ways to tell these stories," asking, "Why wouldn't I keep going?" when referring to making new seasons.

There's also the idea that there are other decades and subjects to explore with additional seasons, so there's no real reason to stop here. And with all the fantastic critic reviews thus far, we'd be hard-pressed to think of a reason why the show can't or shouldn't continue on. For now, however, it's all up to FX. 

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Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.