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Season two of “Fargo,” Noah Hawley‘s FX limited series, launched its Emmy campaign with a screening and panel discussion Thursday night at the Paramount Studios lot in Los Angeles. The creator joined this season’s cast on stage to shed insight on the dramatic twists in the second season of the anthology series.

Set in the winter of 1979, this season follows a Minnesotan beautician, Peggy Blumquist (Kirsten Dunst), and her husband, butcher Ed (Jesse Plemons), as they attempt to cover up a hit-and-run accident that involves a member of a Fargo crime family.

“Every time we’d open a script up it was full of surprises, in such a wonderful way,” Ted Danson, who played Rock County Sheriff Hank Larsson, told Variety before the event.

It was revealed during the panel that production didn’t commence until Hawley and his writers had penned over half the season, but plot details were still withheld from the cast until they got their hands on the actual script.

Another hot topic at the event was the intense eighth episode of season two. That episode — which Hawley refers to the as the “eighth hour” — even garnered praise from Stephen King, who tweeted that it “may be the best thing on TV in the last three years.”

“Suddenly we were in a cabin and two people had kidnapped another person. There were all these elements that were echoing the movie, and yet the dynamic was totally different,” Hawley said. “You know how it played out in the movie and you can’t help but think it’s going to play out that way, and then something different happens.”

During the panel, the cast and creators also discussed the minimal exchange of dialogue that often pervaded key scenes in season two.

“There’s an interesting role that silence plays,” said Hawley. “You need to cast actors that bring their own world to these roles.”

“You never get that as actors, especially not in TV,” veteran actress Jean Smart added. “To me, pause is sometimes the most important, most effective moment in a film or play or anything.”

“Fargo” cast members Cristin MiliotiPatrick Wilson, Brad Garrett, Bokeem Woodbine, Rachel Keller, Angus Sampson, Zahn McClarnon and Allan Dobrescu were also in attendance at the For Your Consideration event, along with composer Jeff Russo and exec producers Warren Littlefield and John Cameron.