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‘Fargo’ Recap: “The Principle of Restricted Choice”

Cameron Lee 20′ / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for the season 3 episode 2 of Fargo.

This week’s Fargo episode set all of the main characters story lines into motion while also proving it to be one of the darkest yet funniest shows currently airing.

After being visited by the creepy businessman, V.M. Varga (David Thewlis), Emmit (Ewan McGregor) and his business partner Sy (Michael Stuhlbarg) visit their lawyer who is so old he apparently has no idea how to operate his rundown computer. Sy and Emmit ask him to look into Mr. Varga. Unfortunately, this request causes their lawyer to get tagged by some of Mr. Varga’s henchmen, who then throw him off a parking lot rooftop.

Meanwhile, police officer Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) is having a tough day, which is expected, as her stepfather was just murdered even though no one really cared about him (not even the funeral home director). Gloria’s trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened and stumbles upon a couple of old dime novels that her stepfather wrote under the pseudonym name Thaddeus Mobley. That’s probably going to come back in some form, but it’s unclear in what capacity. Gloria and her partner go down to the station where she has trouble getting in through the front door as the security guard cannot see her. Carrie Coon has been having strange problems with doors this month, between this and the Leftovers. The new police chief (Shea Whigham) criticizes her lack of technology innovation regarding the old-fashioned nature of the station, which leads to some very humorous banter between the two of them.

Ray (Ewan McGregor) is having difficulty maintaining his chi-levels after the murder of Maurice, courtesy of a falling air conditioner. While the crime has, for now, been labeled an accident, Ray is starting to feel a little guilty and wants to “bury the hatchet” with his brother, but Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has other plans.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ewan McGregor in 'Fargo'. Photo Credit: FX.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ewan McGregor in ‘Fargo’. Photo Credit: FX.

While Ray tries to work things out with his brother, Nikki sneaks into Emmit’s house to steal the stamp. She finds that the stamp has been moved and replaced with a picture of a donkey. It’s later revealed that it was moved to a safe depositing box and the donkey was put up by the cleaning lady. As payback for this insult against Ray, Nikki leaves a bloody tampon in his desk drawer and writes a message using period blood on the donkey picture. Emmit sees the message and disowns Ray for his betrayal. The next day, Sy goes to see Ray at a dinner and tells him that he’s not allowed to contact his brother and that he is out. Ray gives him the finger, so Sy gets in his truck and smashes into his truck screaming like a madman while he does it; he even totals a waitress’s car as he leaves the dinner. Later that night, Mr. Varga and his henchmen take ownership of part of Emmit’s office. When Emmit goes to confront him about the nature of the deal he made, Mr. Varga says, “The inescapable reality. You’re trapped. Don’t look so sad. By the time we’re done, you’ll be billionaires. On paper, at least”.

Oh my, things are going to get very messy in the coming weeks.
Episode Grade: B+    

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