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‘Fargo’ Recap: “The Lord of No Mercy”

Cameron Lee ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for the season 3 episode 6 of Fargo

Well that was unexpected: in a surprising turn of events, Ray (Ewan McGregor) is killed by the very thing he wanted to have the most which was Emmit’s (also Ewan McGregor) stamp. Even by Fargo terms, this death was a huge surprise. It also closed the main brother v. brother plot that’s been at the crux of this whole season.

We begin with Varga (David Thewlis) giving his interpretation of world history. We see the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, which began World War 1, and finally the moon landing, which in Varga’s mind, was shot on a soundstage in New Mexico. Varga may have made that last point up I think, but you never know: there was a UFO last season so anything’s possible. Sy (Michael Stuhlbarg) is equally confused by this last point, but Varga isn’t finished yet. He proposes to Emmit that they should invest $50 million in new loans to buy sixteen brand new parking lots, almost doubling the size of the company in just three months, which greatly concerns Sy.

Sy questions Varga about his idea and suggests a softened approach, only to be immediately shut down by Varga with this great line: “Because the shallow end of the pool is where the turds float.” Sy tries to get Emmit on his side, but unfortunately, Emmit agrees with Varga. Varga tells Sy to give the IRS fake books and to hide the funds in a overseas account, which causes Sy to again lose it, prompting Varga to give the funniest line of the night: I’m beginning to think that finance is more of a hobby with you.”

Meanwhile, Ray is out for revenge against Varga’s henchmen for the brutal beating they gave Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). He retrieves his handgun and spies on Emmit’s office, waiting for the henchmen to show up. When he spots them, Nikki convinces Ray to think of a better plan and to try again later.

David Thewlis as Varga in ‘Fargo’. Photo courtesy of FX.

Gloria (Carrie Coon) and Winnie (Oliva Sandoval) pay a visit to Emmit’s office to question him about the murders. Varga is creepily picking at his rotten teeth when the two officers enter Emmit’s office. He goes to confront them about the information while also formulating a plan. Once they leave, he gives his henchmen the go ahead to kill Ray and Nikki. Gloria and Winnie come by Ray’s house, which causes Ray and Nikki to pack all their things and to skip town. Once they are in the clear, they stop for the night at a motel. But Ray forgot to bring all the money they got from Emmit’s bank account. He rushes back home to retrieve it while one of Varga’s henchmen arrives at the motel.

Ray arrives to find Emmit waiting for him with the stamp. He declares a truce and wants the whole feud to be over. Emmit gives him the stamp but Ray continues to argue with Emmit. They tussle over the stamp before the glass smashes on Ray’s head causing a shard of glass to get stuck in his neck. He pulls the shard out and Ray slowly bleeds to death in front of Emmit. Emmit panics and calls Varga and tells him to get here right away. Varga calls off the hit and the henchmen flee the motel just before Nikki gets back from getting ice. Varga and his henchmen arrive and create a new narrative of the events. They frame Nikki for the death of Ray and that the reason she killed Ray was that Ray was abusing her (hence the scars on Nikki’s body).

The episode ends with Gloria making an impromptu call to go back to Ray’s house while driving down a long dark highway. Varga is now the puppet-master for the events that are going to be played out over these last fpur episodes. There’s no way to predict what will happen next but one thing is for sure: it’s bound to be unpleasant.

Episode Grade: B+

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