In a show chockablock full of symbolism this week’s episode may be the most symboliest of symbolics that ever symbolized symbolism. Seriously, if you said the Coen Brothers wrote and directed this episode I ‘d believe you. But why would you lie to me like that?
We’re Gloria-centric this week with nary a Stussy in sight. See you next week, Parking Lot King of Minnesota.
The Law of Non-Contradiction states that if you have two contradictory statements then both cannot be true at the same time. It’s like when my dad told us he had two families at the same time. Only one of us could be his real family.
I wonder whatever happened to him and his real family!
Hope you’re ready for peak aerodynamic performance because we’ve got SPOILERS:
1) “True” Hollywood Story
This episode is all about the bigger picture, both for the characters and for the story arc of this season.
Going to Hollywood may not have uncovered anything about Thaddeus’s murder but it did give Gloria some insight into human nature. How two people could manipulate someone else in order to prop up their own lives.
Howard and Vivian use Thaddeus and then discard him. Sounds a lot like what Ray and Nikki did to Maurice!
2) Planet Wyh
The book is a parallel to Gloria’s own journey, a helpful face traveling in search of answers only to find the world at large not interested in anything more than mere survival.
It’s also symbolic of how, as one’s scope expands, the world fights to make an individual less so. Thaddeus sees the world as “wyh” but the world says “no, it’s why.” Once he acquiesces, as seen on the cover of the screenplay, his stature in the world diminishes because he’s voluntarily tossed away that which made him unique.
Looking back now it’s incredibly sad that he carved these characters and gave them to his step-grandson in the season premiere, dismissive even as he was handing it to him.
I mean, come on though. It’s “why.”
3) Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?
We needed a chance to get to know Gloria - up until now the majority of the focus in the show has been on Ray Stussy and The Parking Lot King of Minnesota, Emmit Stussy.
Carrie Coon really CARRIES this episode with her stoic, quiet performance. She’s a powerful actor, able to convey a lot with very little.
Gloria does what Thaddeus could not, owning her individuality and refusing to let others hold sway over how she operates.
The world works hard to make Gloria think her efforts are fruitless until she returns home and discovers some new insights into Maurice and his death.
Now that Gloria understands the lengths to which a man will go to take what he wants that ticking clock on Ray and Nikki just got a whole lot faster.
4) Is This A Thing, Pt. 1
Whereupon I read too far into things
I haven’t had a Whatchamacallit in years! I remembered their commercial from the early 90s - the jingle never left my skull. So I looked it up and…
There! At :05…DID YOU SEE IT?
IS THIS A THING?
5) OFFICER MAC!
It’s Officer Mac! Or rather, Officer Oscar Hunt, here to give an ocular patdown and threat assessment to any bozo that wants to start some shit in his city.
He is a hilarious polar opposite to Gloria, all teasing and aggression and technology obsessed.
Hunt is also a modern version of Howard Zimmerman, trying to lure Gloria into his orbit for personal gain. Did you know he has 352 Facebook friends? So is he getting laid or what?
6) No, there’s a smell.
If “sometimes there’s a smell” is the main selling point of a motel, you are in the wrong motel. I don’t care how many Santas are staying there.
7) Howard The Dick
I think the lesson from this episode is never trust anyone who wants to help you for any reason unless they’re from a small town because they’re probably just going to take your money, call you cheddar and then try to choke you out.
And then you’re gonna be forced to wallop them in the skull with their own cane.
And then they’re gonna be forced to spend the rest of their lives wallowing in the muck of avarice.
8) The Useless Box
That’s what this thing is called.
It’s symbollic of Gloria’s lock box. She thinks there’s something to be found inside but what is inside doesn’t really want to be uncovered. In fact, once you do, you realize there’s nothing really in there at all.
If that is the case can I have the copy of “Toronto Cain - Psychic Ranger?”
9) Is This A Thing, Pt. 2
When Thaddeus walks to the bar, a man dressed as a space traveller, and an alien, both appear in the background as if guiding the young writer to his fate.
Then, as they exit the clerrb, the same alien/space traveller scoots away as if to imply his nudge of Thaddeus’s fate is complete.
SO IS THIS A THING??
10) The Wisest Man In Hollywood
There is absolutely no symbolism in Ray Wise’s appearance because Ray Wise transcends symbolism.
He is wisdom. Come on, it’s right there in his name.
11) (D)Ennis Stussy and Sons
“Fargo” tells us every week that lives are stories. Here we get the origin of Ennis, coinciding with the symbolic death of Thaddeus.
And thinking bigger picture - if the D wasn’t rubbed off, Ennis would have been listed as “D. Stussy” in the phone book and Maurice probably would have glanced right past him.
I guess we find inspiration in the most unlikely of places but starting your new story in the rim of the toilet sounds like a bad start Thaddeus. Oh wait it definitely is because you’re dead now.
12) Vivian is on a lot of walls
Vivian, like Thaddeus, started a new story with her life and tried hard to dismiss her previous story. Unlike Thaddeus she tried to do it in the same place.
Frances Fisher makes what was a shitty character quite tragic until she strikes one last time, justifying her own actions by passing blame to Thaddeus.
Just like Hollywood - why create a new story when you can just do a remake or a sequel?
13) The Animated Sequences
Here’s the animated version of “Planet Wyh” in three shots:
14) Christmas In LA Looks Terrible
Orisa - Moncho Y Su Wawanko Gitano
Liar - Three Dog Night
Jingo - Santana
Blue Shadows On The Trail - Riders In The Sky
Silver Bells - Gene Autry
Dolce Far Niente - Charlie Steinmann
We’ll be back next week in our old stomping grounds. Until then, grab some milkshakes and curly fries, and ponder all future moves.