“There was a crooked man…”
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.
“The Law of Inevitability” took place during the hours following Ray’s untimely demise, giving us sort of a strange condensed Fargo chapter in the process. It was an episode that felt a bit constrained and strangled as it attempted to dole out the immediate aftermath of last week’s big shock.
Firstly though, let’s talk about the appearance of Mr. (Wes) Wrench there at the end, on the prison bus, as a huge callout to Season 1 and the Fargo mob who Lorne Malvo tore through during his path of chaos and murder. Yes, Wes Wrench, who apparently met Hanzee Dent as a child – the man who later morphed into mob boss Moses Tripoli.
So what does Wrench’s appearance mean for Season 3? Is an entirely new outside force about to intervene in the story, perhaps on Nikki’s behalf, or was he just there as an Easter egg to get squashed during the bus crash? Either way, something has to give with this latest Nikki cliffhanger. The series, despite its affection for random offings, has to be careful now when it comes to Nikki given all that she’s survived. Was Yuri sawing away at that bus gate the show’s way of telling us that she was done for? That she simply couldn’t survive the night given all the forces out to kill her? Or was the pause button used here so that she could somehow skin-of-her-teeth out of yet another perilous predicament?
Nikki’s terse clue about following the money, as well as the nice couple lines about Gloria visiting her one day with coconut creme pie, may have been her send off. Hell, it’s more of a send off than most folks get on Fargo, so I can see this being the end for her. Her death might even galvanize Gloria even more. But – dammit! – I feel like she needs to scape by somehow. Again, I think I’ve mentioned this, but there are very few Fargo characters I actively root for. She’s one of them.
Because Gloria will indeed now start sniffing around Sy, “following that money” and uncovering more of the conspiracy involving Varga. Because that’s who Nikki thinks is behind Emmit’s criminal dealings. At least, he’s the one she was seeing when she almost got killed by Yuri. Though that’s not to say Emmit’s off the hook. He failed miserably at the “playing it cool” game when Winnie told him Ray was dead, blurting out “I’ve been here since six” before she even had the chance to relay the news.
Overall, coupled with Emmit’s emotional collapse (complete with Varga’s apropos Mother Goose rhyme) and Nikki’s hanging fate, this episode was about Gloria’s persistence and absolute refusal to bend to Moe’s obtuse will. She’s in business for herself at this point, seeking the truth no matter what her actual job title will be by the end of it. Hell, she may not even be a cop anymore by the time things get sorted out, but she’s determined to not let other people’s stories obscure, or replace, what actually happened.
I’m not sure what DJ Qualls’ character is all about, or if he’ll ever turn out to be more than a sleazy hitman, but it was a nice surprise to see him pop up here as the “cop” trying to kill Nikki. Was it a real cop or an imposter? Does Varga have a man on the inside? A third goon that we didn’t know about? I’m assuming that when Meemo saw Nikki being taken into custody (caught in a motel window like Jerry Lundegaard!) he contacted someone who could take her out while she was behind bars.
Odds and ends:
- Depending on what goes down next week, Moe still might chalk the open road attempt on Nikki’s life up as another accident. At that point, should it occur, Moe would basically completely shift from being a character to being a cosmic force of absurd opposition. I’m hoping after the bus crash he’ll start to rethink things.
- Fargo: Season 1 took place in 2006, so this Mr. Wrench is one years later, after his life was spared by Lorne Malvo. Seems he’s gotten himself into trouble again.
- Sy and Emmit both broke down in tears this week, and after Varga’s attempt to turn Emmit against Sy almost worked. It was Sy sobbing in front of his wife that held the most impact though. Sy’s a yellow hummer-driving fool, but of the two he’s the least corruptible. He wept for a world gone wrong. I may even feel sorry for the guy now if he goes.
- Just learned today that Season 3 had another Season 1 Easter egg a few episodes ago when Billy Bob Thornton acted as the Peter and the Wolf narrator. Pretty cool!