Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TV Show Review: Fargo (Season 3)

One of the most interesting shows on television tells a new story for the third season that reflects the themes of the other seasons and the brilliant movie that shares its name. Ray and Emmit Stussy (Ewan McGregor in both roles) are brothers living out a childhood rivalry through adulthood primarily over a rare stamp. Ray wants money from his more successful brother Emmit so that he can marry his new girlfriend and a parolee Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Ray is a parole officer complicating his relationship with Nikki but they need money to compete in a bridge tournament across the state border. Emmit and his business partner Sy Feltz (Michael Stuhlbarg) are ready to pay off an under-the-table loan but the corrupt leader of the lending company V.M. Varga (David Thewlis) won't let them. Varga insists that Emmit must work with him to launder money. 

Ray ask another parolee Maurice Lefay (Scoot McNairy) to kill his brother but the stoner isn't able to figure out the right address and kills an old man with the same name. The old man happened to be the stepfather of Chief Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) who starts to investigate the murder. Ray and Nikki kill Maurice by dropping an air conditioning unit on his head. Gloria's investigation leads her to Los Angeles where she learns about a young Thaddeus Mobley (Thomas Mann) and his reason for leaving the West coast. Emmit and Sy try to back out of the deal with Varga but find themselves becoming more entrenched as their efforts to investigate their new business partners leads to the death of others. Varga's two henchmen Yuri Gurka (Goran Bodgan) and Meemo (Andy Yu) are especially vicious. 

A traffic incident between Sy and Ray leads Winnie Lopez (Olivia Sandoval) to investigate the Stussy corporation, eventually combining forces with Gloria. As Ray causes more problems for Emmit including impersonating him to take out a hefty withdrawal, Varga retaliates by beating up Nikki. Gloria must contend with a bumbling new chief Moe Dammick (Shea Whigham) set to take over her job who pushes for her to drop the investigation. Ray and Nikki go on the run from the criminals and the police but Ray forgets the getaway money and must return to his home. Emmit confronts Ray at the house but their fight over the stamp leads to Ray's death. 

Varga helps Emmit clean it up as Sy hopes to sell the Stussy corporation to a widowed businesswoman Ruby Goldfarb (Mary McDonnell). Emmit nearly confesses not used to lying about misdeeds but manages to get away as the blame is shifted to Nikki. At the jail, Gloria tries to get the story out of Nikki but she refuses to say anything even after someone attempts to kill her. On a prison bus, she meets a familiar face from the first season the mute Mr. Wrench (Russell Harvard). The bus flips and Varga's henchmen hunt Nikki and Wrench through the woods. They kill Yuri who dies in a strange scene in a bowling alley and come up with a plan to take down Varga. The British man with poor dental hygiene has taken over the Stussy company including poisoning Sy.

Nikki Swango seeks revenge against Varga and Emmit but it leads to her demise. Ruby Goldfarb turns out to be working with Varga to take over Emmit's business which is easy since Emmit signs it over in a state of distress. Varga manages to escape from an attack on his men but Meemo is killed by Mr. Wrench. The show flashes forward five years to Emmit leaving a new life with his family though Mr. Wrench will have his revenge and Gloria confronts Varga in an interrogation cell. This show still has a lot of fun in its episodes though this season felt a bit like a repeat of the last with a slower middle. I'll be curious if Noah Hawley will try for another season in the future or end on this high note to focus on his other shows. 

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