Fargo Recap: Episode 7, ‘The Law of Inevitability’


The wolf is out tonight with Fargo season 3, episode 7, “Law of Inevitability.”

Going into Fargo episode 7, ‘The Law of Inevitability,’ expecting anything but this season’s darkest hour so far would be foolish. Ray is dead, accidentally killed by his brother, and Varga has pretty much been let off the chain. It doesn’t take long for the police to come knocking at Nikki’s door, and the new chief of Eden Valley has the pleasure of showing her pictures of Ray’s corpse. You can tell the emotional devastation working its way through her face even as she does her best to hide it – and she does very well. So no, this is not going to be a good time. By killing Ray but not Nikki, Fargo expertly subverted our expectations. Perhaps he was better off, all things considered.

The chief is as stupid as ever, but Nikki isn’t having any of it. There’s not really any doubt that Nikki had strong feelings for Ray, though when she is left alone with the pictures she examines them closely, seemingly looking for details. She doesn’t stop to mourn. While that is going on, Gloria does her best to railroad the new chief, which is always a joy to watch.

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‘The Law of Inevitability’ is also season 3’s darkest episode, which finds Varga and his goons haunting Eden Valley and other locales. Their mission is to clean up the growing mess as quickly as possible. Meaning, Sy, and Emmit are trying to go through with a business deal, and for someone who killed his brother (there is a splash of blood on his shirt) Emmit is fairly calm. Even with the odd hiccup here and there, Emmit certainly doesn’t act like a murdered. And yes, even though it was an accident, by backing away and not calling the police, Emmit is indeed a murderer. His demeanor shifts when Winnie comes to the restaurant to tell him that his brother has died. After Sy and Emmit leave, Winnie approaches the woman trying to buy their business.

In a tense conversation in the car, it becomes clear that Varga has slithered his way into Emmit’s mind. Varga was there for him when Ray died, creating a bond that will last a lifetime. Varga has done a lot of good work over the course of the season, though his true power has been in setting off a slew of self-destructions and then being there to pick up whatever is left. In a haunting shot (and then a gorgeously filmed conversation) Varga can be seen in Emmit’s house looking out of the window, looking down at Sy in his car. Emmit is beginning to feel that Varga is the only one he can trust, which is exactly what he wants.

Image Credit: FX

There is no character at this point who isn’t broken in some way. Sy breaks down in front of his wife when he gets home; Emmit cries in front of Varga; Nikki has lost everything. The only character still holding onto some level of sanity is Gloria, who refuses to give up. Even through all of the bureaucratic nonsense, Gloria marches on, convinced that what she is doing is right. This is proven when a mysterious officer tries to inject Nikki with something and Gloria is able to stop him, even though he gets away. Eden Valley’s new chief is none too pleased with this – he’s the kind of guy that can’t stand to be proven wrong. Gloria, however, offers to bring Nikki pie later.

And that’s when it happens – the first familiar face from season 1. On the bus with Nikki after her parol gets revoked is none other than Mr. Wrench. The familiar, excellent music of the Wrench and Numbers theme comes in. Fargo has always known how to handle its callbacks, and that comes from subtlety. Outside of questionable moments in season 2, Fargo’s references are for those in the know and are not in your face. It’s a joy to see Mr. Wrench again. That is, right until the bus crashes, and Varga’s men come for Nikki. What was Mr. Wrench doing in the bus? Who does he work for? These questions are not for us to know just yet, if ever.

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‘The Law of Inevitability’ lives up to its title; it was inevitable that Nikki would get caught in Varga’s jaws. But the shadow over Varga is slowly being removed, and it will be interesting to see what that brings. This is Fargo’s strongest hour this season, which is the second time that we’ve said that. Season 3 so far has weaved a dark fairytale, and it is absolutely essential television.