Cameron Lee ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for the season 3 episode 9 of Fargo
All the pieces are set for what will probably be the most violent finale Fargo has ever seen. This penultimate episode concluded some thematic elements that the season has been playing with since the premiere while also delivering the best performances that Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have given this season.
The episode begins with one of Varga’s (David Thewlis) henchmen brutally stabbing a dentist in the throat who happens to be named Marvin Stussy. Emmit (Ewan McGregor) admits to Gloria (Carrie Coon) that he killed Ray. Emmit tells Gloria about the feud the two had in a heartbreaking monologue that is perfectly executed by McGregor. Varga instructs his henchman Meemo to infiltrate the police station where Emmit is being held and to get him out. While driving the trailer to the station, he and his men are ambushed by Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who throws a fake grenade into the truck which Meemo believes is a live grenade. He runs out only to be greeted by Mr. Numbers (Adam Goldberg) who peppers the car with the rest of the henchmen behind him with bullets. Nikki and Mr. Numbers quickly take control of the truck and drive off to an undisclosed location where they break into the home office in the back of the truck and blackmail Varga for $2 million.
Meanwhile, Winnie (Olivia Sandoval) calls Gloria to inform her of another murder this time the victim named George Stussy, who happened to die the same way Gloria’s stepfather did. Chief Dammick (Shea Whigham) connects the murder with the Marvin Stussy murder earlier in the day. A witness conveniently saw a man drive off after the murder and was able to identify the plate number. The police catch up to the ex-con who, because he was hired by Varga, admits to the killings, thus closing the case, much to Gloria’s shock and dismay.
Varga meets Nikki in a crowded hotel to negotiate a way out of the blackmail. Nikki monologues about her skill in bridge and tells Varga he has to play ball with her. Varga shows Nikki how much power he has when he shows all the people dressed exactly like him, meaning no one would be able to identify him if he kills Nikki right here. But Nikki is one step ahead of Varga telling him that she knows exactly how he’s going to take her out. We see Meemo with a suppressed sniper rifle a few stories above the lobby ready to take Nikki out but is stopped when Mr. Numbers sneaks into the room and points a gun at his head. Varga, now annoyed with Nikki (Varga’s facial expressions throughout this whole episode are just priceless), tells her, “You know, I didn’t have any feeling about you before, but now I’m starting to really dislike you.” Nikki gives Varga until the next day to pay the ransom or she will send all the information she has stolen to the IRS. Nikki and Mr. Numbers leave the hotel together (what a pair these two have become, and in only 2 episodes no less).
Gloria delivers the news to a very shocked Emmit. Gloria, now feeling completely hopeless and depressed, tells Emmit her story. She says to Emmit, “Got married straight out of high school to a guy I knew since fifth grade summer camp. Summer wedding. Guests were mostly mosquitoes. We had a baby boy, then a toddler, now a teen. Last year, my husband phones me at work, tells me he’s got a boyfriend named Dale. Says they’re moving in together. Says he’s sorry. He loves me, but not like that. ‘What else is there?’ I say. You think the world is something, then it turns out to be something else”. If that doesn’t perfectly sum up the viewpoint of this show then nothing ever will.
Emmit is released and picked up by Varga and Gloria cries her sorrows out to Winnie, but at least Winnie cheers her up and the soap dispenser machine recognizes her at last. A package arrives at the IRS with all the account files from Emmit’s company and is left on the desk of Agent Dolland (Hamish Linklater).
Everything comes down to the finale. Whether it will conclude the season on a high note or be a letdown, we shall see.
Episode Grade: A-