After being lost in the woods last week “Fargo” returns with a bridge match of an episode that underscores the duality of our cast. Lots of twists and confusing turns here for everyone involved.
Aporia is an irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory. Like when I know I’m not hungry anymore but I also know I’m going to finish the entire pizza by myself.
1) A Stussy By Any Other Name…
We start out in a random house where a guy is headed to the fridge to get his breakfast but stops along the way to get murdered by Meemo.
Listen I’m all for getting your workout in first thing in the morning but this Meemo plan is highly suspect. First, it’s illegal and second, only doing one rep of jagged-glass throat slashes isn’t going to build muscle; you want a minimum four to six reps.
We learn why this came to be when we see…he had a newspaper subscription! And also his last name is Stussy.
2) An Emmit’s Tale
Emmit comes through to confess and we watch as he tells us all about he and Ray’s childhood and how we all got involved in this stamp nonsense, and make no mistake, stamps are nonsense no matter the context.
The Parking Lot King of Minnesota walks us through tricking Ray as a child into wanting a CORVETTE over stamps which Emmit knew had real monetary value and which was how I found out if I were in this situation I’d definitely be the Ray.
Gloria listens intently because you can’t not - Ewan McGregor is electric in this scene. His barely-covered grief and pure shock are real. And we learn the definition of ‘exsanguinate!’
3) Dirtbag, Inc.
Meanwhile Varga and the Miscreant Express prepare to pull up stakes and roll out. Meemo gives us a little sponsored content action as he puts his earbuds in even to drive so we remember that “Baby Driver” is in theaters June 28!
All is quiet on the western front until Nikki shows up like a Sonic waiter from hell.
Meemo beats feet and waits for the big boom but it’s all a ruse - the hand grenade was a fake.
But Wes Wrench’s bullets? Them shit’s all real, ba-bay!
Wes and Nikki embrace the duality of their situation by doing unto Varga what Varga did unto them: jack their transport, break through a cage, and steal things that could lead back to ol’ VM. Except they succeed because Nikki is a better dressed and Wes doesn’t know the sound of defeat (he’s deaf).
4) Hangin’ On The Telephone
Nikki rings up Varga to make a deal - $2 million at a hotel the next day. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is such a badass in this scene, in full control and the first person to shake Varga this season. And she does it all while giving herself a murder-pedi.
5) Something To Chew On
Gloria buzzes Winnie who just happens to be at the scene of the Marvin Stussy homicide. She tries to tell Deputy Burgle the coincidence but Gloria is too fixated on the widow Goldfarb. I mean, I would be too, Mary McDonnell’s presence is magnetic.
Winnie finally gets to tell her about it, which gives Gloria something to chew on. So she heads back to her office to chew on some food with her weiner kid.
The HamBurgler feels great about the prospects of finally closing this case after months. I respect that sort of patience; I almost threw my computer out the window this morning because my Internet connection slowed down and I missed LCD Soundsystem tickets.
6) Moe Murders, Moe Problems
But wait; Chief Dammick is on the scene of ANOTHER murder, this time a George Stussy who’s death looks like Ennis Stussy’s. Meemo is really getting in his workouts for the week.
I haven’t given Shea Whigham enough credit for making Dammick a believably unlikeable bag of hot rotting trash. The near ecstatic joy on his face when he takes Varga’s bait and pulls together the exact murder theory Varga hands him is exasperating.
7) Murder Was The Case
It leads the police to a random dude we haven’t yet met but is definitely homely looking enough to be on the Varga payroll.
8) Lies, Damned Lies
The widow Goldfarb saunters in to the office to speak with Gloria and her alibis are questionable. It’s not the timelines, it’s about herself. Something is off with this woman. She’s a wildcard tossed in this mix and I’m still listing “Is Goldfarb in cahoots with Varga” as a HOLD. Don’t sell your shares just yet!
It doesn’t matter, though, because the rest of the police force, after an exhaustive manhunt that lasted almost THIRTY MINUTES, Dammick returns with his perp, a confession to all the murders, and the smuggest mug in all of Minnesota.
The duality of the murders both open and close this case, creating certainty and then breaking it inside Gloria. She is flabbergasted at this turn of events, ending her interview with Goldfarb and contemplating her newly shook worldview. She was a woman who thought a fact was a fact and now here she is saying she has different facts. Another fact: she has to release Emmit on orders from Dammick.
9) Varga is a toilet eater.
10) A Bridge Too Far
Nikki and Varga meet on her terms in a metaphorical game of bridge. Both players brought their partners - Varga brings Meemo with a gun and Nikki brings Wes with a gun. This awesome and tense standoff shows off Stone Cold Nikki Swango at her best, swinging for the fences against a global-level power player. She said she was ready for the big time Bridge stage and she proves it.
Varga keeps offering her a job every time she one-ups him which is how I guess he got Yuri and Meemo on the payroll. Nikki doesn’t want a job, or any of Varga’s shitty tea. What does she want?
11) Dual Natures
These two are characters whose duality we never quite saw but is on full display this episode. Varga is a stress bulimic, gorging himself then purging. Punishing himself for his lack of control.
Nikki was a loving woman in a committed relationship, pulled back to her old ways. Here she is cold, calculating, the Goddamn Bridge Queen of Minnesota.
Nikki ends the worst Tinder date ever by giving Varga another day to come up with the money, and not an attache full of his dirty underwear. To be fair, there are people on Reddit willing to pay good money for an attache full of dirty underwear but probably not Varga’s.
12) Confessions, Pt. 2
Gloria calls Emmit in to the interrogation room but this time talks instead of listens. She tells Emmit all about her own origin story, creating a duality with Emmit’s confession. We learn about how her and Roy were childhood sweethearts and the day he told her he was gay which, kinda lame Roy. A phone call? At least Skype so she can see your face dude.
The story makes sense in this context as she tells Emmit “you think the world is something then it turns out to be something else.” Like when I was certain I had LCD Soundsystem tickets this morning and then the website broke.
Carrie Coon…carries this scene with the same strength that McGregor did earlier. She is just barely holding on right now and it’s sad to watch a character this great fall so hard and doubt so much.
Gloria then releases Emmit. Emmit freaks out because now he has to watch Varga eat all the time again. Meemo and Vargo pick Emmit up from school and as Emmit gets in the car Varga, in a thematic response to Gloria’s statement above, explains how the world works:
— VM Varga
The problem is not that there is evil in the world. The problem is there is good. Otherwise no one would care.
13) Down and Out In Saint Cloud, MN
On the skids, Gloria meets Winnie for a cocktail and a chat. Hey, Winnie’s trying to have a baby! We finally get to see her duality as she is warm and caring about her work but cold and short when it comes to her home life.
Gloria tells Winnie all about the Story of Wyh and confesses, in her lowest moment, that she doesn’t feel like she actually exists. That’s because she’s not on Facebook; Oscar Hunt was right all along!
Winnie does a poke to make sure.
After hugging it out Deputy Burgle heads to the restroom and for the first time the automatic sink sensors recognize her! She’s out here fam! The duality inside Gloria, believing only in her work and not herself, has been reconciled. But does this mean she’s lost her detective superpowers?
14) They Caught Al Capone Because He Didn’t Pay His Taxes
As the police department pats itself on the back for a job well screwed up and Gloria learns to love herself, Larue Dollard comes in to work at the IRS and finds a mysterious package also named Larue Dollard has taken over his job.
Remembering he is a person, Dollard takes the package, opens it up and finds…
Just as Gloria is finally seen by the world at large, so is Varga. Now the stage is set for the final chapter.
Next episode is the finale of “Fargo,” possibly for good. Noah Hawley has been cryptically encouraging fans to soak in this season and FX President John Landgraf has said this may be the last season unless Hawley comes up with another killer idea. If that is the case then literally everything is on the line next week and it looks a little something like this: