Fargo: The Law of Inevitability
June 2, 2017 6:11 AM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Gloria tries to work around the system, Nikki finds herself in a familiar place, Varga comes up with an alternative plan and Emmit goes to dinner.
posted by LizBoBiz (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Mr. Wrench has aged well!
posted by thelonius at 6:25 AM on June 2, 2017 [2 favorites]


Ah wait, Season 1 was set 4 years before this one, not 20....never mind!
posted by thelonius at 6:40 AM on June 2, 2017 [1 favorite]


(The Sepinwall link is to last week's review; here's this week's, which touches also on Landgraf's "there may never be another Fargo" comment.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:15 AM on June 2, 2017


Sorry for the wrong link! Thanks Kyle!
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:49 AM on June 2, 2017


Loved seeing Wrench and hearing his theme again! Scared for Nikki, is this her end?

Emmit is falling apart as he is sucked into Varga's world. And poor Sy! Still trying to remain in control, but finally losing it - “The world. The world is wrong.”
posted by jazon at 9:06 AM on June 2, 2017


I'm glad the season is starting to go somewhere, but boy were there some serious logical leaps demanded of the viewer in this episode. I'm not sure what we're supposed to think about the syringe scene in the jail area, for instance. How did the dude dressed as a cop escape so easily? How did he get IN there so easily? How did Burgle? Why are Varga and Yuri doing such crazy shit and basically sticking their necks out so far (to capture/kill Swango after already framing her, and to investigate Burgle by breaking into a police station and showing Yuri's face)? While we're at it, if you want somebody dead or captured, and you have the drop on them, why not do it BEFORE they are under police protection? ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'VE LITERALLY GOT A DUDE IN THEIR HOTEL ROOM (who has to escape out the bathroom window at the last moment in order to then tip off the police)?? How many things can go wrong with trying to force a prison bus to crash? Quite a lot, I'm guessing.

Maybe this stuff will be explained better in the coming episodes, but dang. I don't think it can be.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:29 AM on June 2, 2017 [5 favorites]


Why are Varga and Yuri doing such crazy shit and basically sticking their necks out so far (to capture/kill Swango after already framing her

Only thing I can come up with is, Varga doesn't think the frame job will hold up in a trial, but that the cops will be inclined to close the case if she dies first. So the jail murder was supposed to look like an accidental overdose. But then, yes, how will the crash-the-bus-then-cut-into-the-cage-and-murder-one-inmate incline the cops to go "Well, these things happen with the lowlife types, case closed!"?
posted by thelonius at 1:18 PM on June 2, 2017


I don't think this was ever supposed to be a hit on Nikki. I don't think she's dead. I think the syringe will prove to be filled with a sedative or some such, and this was always a kidnapping. I think keeping Nikki out of the hands of the cops is intended to keep the cops from being able to eliminate her as a suspect, but keeping her alive gives Varga and Yuri additional leverage over Emmit and Sy.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:22 PM on June 2, 2017 [4 favorites]


I think keeping Nikki out of the hands of the cops is intended to keep the cops from being able to eliminate her as a suspect, but keeping her alive gives Varga and Yuri additional leverage over Emmit and Sy.

Sure, that might've made sense if the guy who snuck into her hotel room had stuck around and actually abducted her, instead of alerting the cops of where to find her and watching her get arrested.
posted by destructive cactus at 2:04 AM on June 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


I think that was a timing issue, although I agree that it wasn't edited very clearly, and took a while for me to put together.

1) Ray goes back to his place to get the money he forgot to take when they went on the run, leaving Nikki alone at the motel. Meemo watches Ray leave, but stays behind at the motel.
2) Emmit kills Ray and calls Varga.
3) Nikki goes out for ice, leaving her room open. Meemo enters, waiting for her.
4) Varga calls Meemo and tells him to hurry over to Ray's, even though he hasn't picked up Nikki, yet. We know this because Meemo is the one who shows up to help Varga fix the crime scene at Ray's.
5) Meemo then goes back to get Nikki, but before he can, the cops show up and pick her up.
6) How did the cops know where to find her? This is undetermined at this point, but we do know that the shitty male asshole cop, Moe, has Nikki in his crosshairs as the one guilty party.

So I don't think Meemo alerted the cops, since he was busy cleaning up after Ray, and since it wouldn't have served any purpose.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:43 PM on June 3, 2017 [5 favorites]


I've only just got past the dinner, but I'm guessing at this point that not only is IRS guy FBI guy, but that Ruby Goldfarb is heavily into organised crime.
posted by Grangousier at 1:33 PM on June 4, 2017


Who was Ruby Goldfarb talking to on the phone? Is she running Varga, or working with him?
posted by Marky at 2:12 PM on June 4, 2017


I think that is technically right: Emmit called Varga and Varga recalled his guy to deal with that situation, ongoing operations temporarily suspended. But it is not just that this scene was edited unclearly, it was super freakin' hacky and full of stupid movie logic.

Varga's guy found Nikki at the hotel and he casually but menacingly waits in the shadows (just show him cleaning his nails with a switchblade or chewing on a matchstick ffs) by the ice machine ("what?! where did he come from? what's he doing there?"), Nikki happens to needs some ice ("oh no!") so she ambles painfully, slowly down the hall to get some ("oh my god, the tension is killing me!"), but when she gets there the guy is gone ("what the fuck is going on!?"), we see the guy is in her room ("oh fuck, Nikki watch out!!"), when she gets back to the room, she is super suspicious and careful but.... (twist!!!) the guy is magically gone and a different threat awaits.

I mean, this kind of suspense can be well done and effective in a horror movie or thriller, but this was terrible and a real showcase of how far this show has fallen from its previous standards. I don't know if it was the directing or the editing or the writing, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say, sadly, it is the whole damn show.

I haven't seen season 2 yet, but thinking a little bit about season 1, one of the things that worked was that while Billy Bob Thornton's character was practically superhuman in his ability to menace standard-issue humans and in his ultra-competence as an assassin, the rest of the world was quirky but pretty mundane (ie, "Fargo"). He was like a symbol of evil in the world, something that is hard to fathom defeating or even standing up to, but the rest of the characters were people muddling through that world, some making a mess of it, some with rather more grace, some looking to do the right thing, some scheming to get ahead, some just trying not to get dragged down...

In season 3, Varga is like the Billy Bob character (I loved that he opened all of Emmit's Christmas presents and perfectly rewrapped them before he got home), but his helpers are also magical super-ninjas. Witness the guy in the varsity jacket intimidating the cop at the library and practically forcing the bus off the road with a menacing glare or some Magneto mind control over metal, turning the cameras in the police station on and off at will, having a fake cop who can dematerialize when a bunch of real cops are running down the hall toward him with guns drawn, etc.

There are some intriguing things about the show, mostly just Varga though. With his bad teeth and sticking his dick in Emmit's cup, he makes for a compelling villain, and I am still optimistic that we will find out something interesting about his sojourn in East Berlin. The Chief should be a much better character, but she hasn't been given hardly enough screen time. In effect all of the other main characters (Ray, Emmit, Sy, Nikki), despite their seeming differences, serve the same purpose: they thought they could work the system to their advantage but they were in way over their heads. In effect, they are all rubes, marks for Varga's con. Perhaps Nikki will be the exception?

I think there is enough craft among those who made the show to put together an enjoyable or even somewhat satisfactory ending, but I'll be very surprised if they can recover from the mistakes that have been made and make the season feel like more than the sum of its parts.
posted by nequalsone at 9:01 AM on June 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


6) How did the cops know where to find her? This is undetermined at this point, but we do know that the shitty male asshole cop, Moe, has Nikki in his crosshairs as the one guilty party.
When I saw the show, I assumed that Varga had worked with Meemo to tip off the cops so that they would arrest Nikki. Varga wanted to frame Nikki as Ray's killer in the previous episode: his story is that Ray beat Nikki and she killed him as an act of vengeance. We see Moe mention Nikkis' injuries when he interrogates her - he is either in on Varga's plan or is being fed a story by a "witness".

That does not mean to say that Varga necessarily wanted Nikki to live - perhaps he just needed her to be with the police for just long enough for them to think of her - rather than Emmet - as the most plausible killer - but not so long as for her to be able to bring in a lawyer (who would help identify Sy - in his not very fucking stealthy Humvee - as an important witness as to the real cause of Nikki's injuries). Hence death in custody via an overdose would be convenient.
posted by rongorongo at 4:42 AM on July 10, 2017


Wrong ep!
posted by elsietheeel at 7:04 PM on February 19, 2018


6) How did the cops know where to find her? This is undetermined at this point, but we do know that the shitty male asshole cop, Moe, has Nikki in his crosshairs as the one guilty party.

This wasn't shown, but I think I know how the police knew where to find Nikki. I believe Ray had the motel room key, and the police must have found it on him after his death. Nikki had to leave the motel room door open ajar when she went to the ice machine, and that must have been because she didn't have the room key.
posted by Stan Spadowski at 9:44 AM on February 19, 2020


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