Fargo “The Law of Inevitability”

Fargo S3E7 “The Law of Inevitability”

While this season of Fargo hasn’t had the largest cast we’ve seen in the series, the cast was still separated from each other enough to create several distinct plot lines. The death of Ray Stussy, however, seems to be the first step in bringing this whole thing together as “The Law of Inevitability” proves to be the most focused episode featuring the whole cast to date this season. In “The Law of Inevitability”, Nikki is blamed for Ray’s death and has less than a pleasant time in her return to jail life, Gloria meets more systematic resistance the closer she comes to solving the case, and Emmit cracks under the pressure. Let’s get right to it.

The action picks up right where it left off last time when Gloria was driving back over to Ray’s house. Gloria was looking for some answers but she’s not going to get them from Ray as what she hoped would be her interrogation scene is actually a murder scene. Whatever Varga did to frame Nikki, it clearly worked well because our next scene is over at the motel. A significant amount of time has seemed to pass as we find Nikki in the hotel room and she seems a bit antsy, even contemplating calling Ray over the phone. She quickly realizes something is fishy and tries to make her escape through the bathroom window. She only gets about halfway through before Chief Moe busts the room door open and drags Nikki into his car before she can make her escape. Over at the other end of the parking lot, Meemo watches the car drive away as Moe takes Nikki to the police station.

If Chief Moe wasn’t suppressing Gloria’s work on the case enough, the suppression level gets really raised in this episode. The death of Ray took place at his house in St Cloud, so the investigation is in the hands of the St Cloud police department. That doesn’t stop Gloria from trying to tell her side of the story but unfortunately for her, the chief of St Cloud is just as incredulous to the story as Moe is. At least when the case was Eden Valley’s, Gloria had gotten a little bit of leeway, only having to ignore orders from Moe. Here however, Gloria is ruled completely off the case since it isn’t even her district. She’s going to have to work some other angles. Always the quick thinker, Gloria decides to proceed in two ways. She tells Winnie to go talk to Emmit about his brother’s death and to gauge his reaction to the news, while Gloria herself will go talk to Nikki to see if she has anything useful to say. Let’s start with the first of the two.

Before Winnie figures out Emmit’s location, we join him for the dinner he mentioned he had to go to in “The Lord of No Mercy”. Running a bit late, Emmit joins Sy and Ruby Goldfarb who were already discussing the possible selling of Stussy Lots to Ruby. Emmit is clearly shook from his accidental killing of his brother as he can’t seem to keep the conversation on track, no matter how hard Sy tries to lead the conversation back to business. What’s also worth noting is that Varga slowly seems to be taking control of Emmit as for the first time, we really see Emmit actively adopt the mindset that Varga has. Emmit can’t stop talking about how the poor people are out to get the rich, which is what Varga’s biggest fear is. Before Emmit can derail the business dinner any further, he has to turn his attention to another manner as Winnie has succesfully tracked Emmit’s location down to the restaurant. Emmit breaks down even worse than he did in front of Ruby, saying that he’s been at the restaurant since six and has been drinking the whole time, before Winnie even says a word. Winnie then comes out with the not so new to Emmit news that Ray is dead and he again speaks like someone who is mighty suspicious by blaming Nikki for Ray’s death, all before Winnie mentions what the cause of death is. Sy tries to damage control the situation as much as possible, getting Winnie to leave and telling her to speak to their lawyer for any further comment. With that settled, Sy tells Ruby they’ll talk later and then drives Emmit home.

On the way home, we really see just how much Varga in getting into Emmit’s mind. A few episodes back, Varga suggests that to Emmit that Sy may be in on Ray’s attempts to get his money. Emmit seems to have bought into this idea and confronts Sy with this conspiracy of sorts. Sy quickly deduces that this is really Varga’s thinking and quickly shoots down why it’s a stupid line of thinking. Emmit then admits that the pressure of everything is getting to him and that it’s getting hard to know who to trust. Sy pulls up to Emmit’s house and tells Emmit to put his trust in him, as Emmit exits the car. That’s going to prove to be a tough ask, Varga’s influence on Emmit is definitely growing larger and if Varga wants Sy out of the picture, he’s likely going to get his way. Varga stares at Sy from the upstairs window (is anyone really surprised he can get into Emmit’s house) and Sy nervously drives home.

The ensuing scenes of Emmit and Sy in their respective homes offers a stark and fascinating contrast. Varga comes down the stairs to check in on Emmit and Emmit seems completely unsurprised that Varga is there. Varga asks Emmit how he feels now that his brother is gone and Emmit replies “free”.  To Emmit, losing a brother is apparently a load off of his back. Compare that to Sy, who breaks down in front of his wife at the thought of Varga contaminating Emmit. “What’s wrong?”, Sy’s wife asks him. “The world is wrong, it looks like my world but everything is different”, Sy says while sobbing. Ray is gone and Emmit is okay with that, while Sy is breaking down because Emmit may be turning against him. Sy’s cause of stress is a lot less absolute but his and Emmit’s reactions would lead you to believe Sy is the one dealing with the more absolute stressor. Emmit may still turn away from Varga but the thought that he won’t is heartbreaking for Sy. Sy was living in an ideal world and now Varga has come along and is threatening to ruin everything and Sy just can’t handle it. Sy is an example here that season three is doing the best character work that Fargo has ever done.

We check back in at the St. Cloud precinct to see how Gloria’s plan to talk to Nikki is going. It is going not well as being out of town really hurts her here as she has to fill out several forms and needs a signature from the leading cop on the case, and we know that’s not happening. There is a change in her fortune a little bit later, however. A man dressed as a cop swings by Nikki’s holding cell and tells her he has to check for drugs and makes her put her hands outside the bar while he cuffs them in place. The man then proceeds to take a syringe out of his pocket and prepares to inject whatever’s in there into Nikki. Gloria was nearby and heard Nikki struggling so she heads over and points her gun at the intruder only for him to disarm her and escape before the other cops can get there.

With far too many “coincidences” going on, Chief Moe and the St Cloud Chief finally give in and let Gloria talk to Nikki. Gloria tells her side of the story while Moe stands in the back sticking to his story (which is the one Varga has placed). Grateful for Gloria having saved her life (and probably wanting this all to end), Nikki gives in and tells her something. “Follow the money” she says. We know what Nikki is talking about and while Gloria doesn’t right now, she’s far too smart to not figure it out as we hit the homestretch of this season of Fargo. Will she allowed to be right though? Gloria’s superiors have been suppressing her all season long because her story is all “coincidences”. When you throw in Varga and his crew, it’s only going to seem bigger and more outlandish even though it’s true. Will the system let Gloria connect all the dots is the question we should all have in mind with three episodes to go.

Unfortunately for Nikki, as things currently stand, she has broken parole and Moe decides to transfer her to state jail. On the prison bus, she is placed next to a man we’re all familiar with if you’ve watched season one, the deaf hitman Mr. Wrench. That seems to be mighty convenient for Nikki because a few minutes later, Yuri causes the bus to crash by walking onto the road. The bus ends up rolling over and Yuri and two accomplices, all in wolf masks, head inside the bus and get to work breaking the gate between the driver and the prisoners. Will Mr. Wrench come to Nikki’s aid when they get through the gate, will something else happen instead? Looks like we’ll find out next time, and I can hardly wait.

Other Thoughts

Talk about useless cops. The hitman disguised cop ran through the same stairway that the cops went through to fink Nikki and Gloria. Come on now.

Nice bit of foreshadowing in the motel room. Nikki is watching some nature show where an insect is unleashing a lethal venom. At the precinct, she nearly dies via poison.

The entire scene with the bus going down the road, crashing, and Yuri entering and trying to break down the door is one of the best shot scenes in any season of Fargo. And that’s quite impressive.

Earlier in the episode, Yuri went to the Eden Valley library/police department to complete his task that Varga gave him last episode. Officer Donny spots him going through files and tries to get him to leave. I don’t imagine intimidating Donny is the toughest thing to do but even still, Yuri is menacing when he does intimidate him into doing nothing.

Merry Christmas to everyone on Fargo! We’ve reached Christmas Eve in the show. Varga had surprisingly little to do in this episode but the cold open shows him opening all of the presents under Emmit’s tree, only to wrap them again by the time he makes his second and final appearance in the episode, comforting Emmit in his house.

You have to wonder if Varga will have a change of plans if Emmit can’t keep up his part of the frame job. He acted plenty suspicious when Winnie was asking him questions.

Quote of the day comes from Moe, trying to explain that most of the time, the simplest solution is the best one. “You know what you get when you mash a potato? Mashed potatoes”. In a show that can use such odd vocabulary, sometimes the simple talk can be the best.

“The Law of Inevitability” sees Varga’s frame job go into action, with a few hitches from Emmit. Gloria fights the system while the system has put Nikki in a very dangerous situation. 

Grade B+

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