A damning confession, an existential revelation, and a face-off between the cat and the wolf made for an exceptional episode in the possible series penultimate of Fargo, “Aporia.”
Earlier this week, Entertainment Weekly broke the news that our beloved midwestern crime drama may not be returning for a fourth season according to creator Noah Hawley.
I wasn’t sure if there would be a second season. I wasn’t sure if there would be a third season. At end of season 1, [FX] said, ‘If you want to leave it there [that would be fine],’” Hawley said. “There’s only a certain amount of storytelling you can tell in that vein. And I love telling stories in this vein, but I don’t have another one yet. So watch the 10th hour [of season 3] because it might be the last.
While I’d love nothing more than another season, the wait between the previous season and the current was well worth it. If this indeed is the last season then I agree with FX. The third season is, in my opinion, the best yet and really emanates the essence of Fargo’s dark, comedic true crime story which would be a magnificent note to end on. Plus, with the recent success of Legion, Hawley currently has his hands full.
We open “Aporia” with the image of spilled milk intertwining with blood shed by a new Stussy victim in the most Fargo-esque opening so far. With Ray dead and Emmit about to confess, this new death has wolf marks all over it.
Aporia defined as “an irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory” is the perfect depiction of our character’s current state on both sides of the table. Emmit’s devastating inner turmoil in the form of pent up guilt towards his brother spills out of him like the opening montage. It’s emotionally relieving but like spilled milk, there’s no point in Emmit crying over it. The wolf already cleaned it all up by transferring the blame to a hired Stussy serial killer to mimic the first two crimes and take all the blame therefore absolving Emmitt of Ray’s murder.
Emmitt confesses that he knowingly tricked his brother out of the stamp and killed him on Christmas Eve. He names the murder weapon that convinces Gloria she’s finally solved her case… until she gets the news of the hired killer’s confession putting her in a state of “aporia” as well.
“Thirty years I’d been killin’ him, that was just when he fell.” – Emmitt (about Ray)
Ewan McGregor’s confession is heartbreaking and confirms all Ray said about his brother. His true self is evident yet rewarded as he’s freed simply because he has the funds and resources. He’s ultimately worse than the criminals Ray paroled and now someone else knows it too.
The next scene is absolutely the most clever car jacking I’ve ever seen and was the third time my jaw dropped during this season’s Fargo. The fake grenade is genius on Nikki’s part but ultimately on the writer’s part (Noah Hawley and Bob DeLaurentis co-wrote the episode). The cat ran up the tree, escaped the wolf, and stole from him in the process. Has she truly outsmarted Varga?
Gloria heads to another Stussy victim crime scene after a call from Officer Winnie Lopez (Olivia Sandoval) that leads her to doubt once more. The victim died the same way as her step-father and left a finger print behind via glue. He’s obtained and Chief Dammik (Shea Whigham) shuts Gloria down yet again with an overwhelming amount of planted evidence and a testimony that raises Gloria’s skepticism to skyscraper levels.
Varga closes himself off in a bathroom stall devouring an entire carton of ice cream before meeting Nikki to hear her demands. The cat has the wolf scared. He even made his mum’s infamous cup of tea (that Sy was unfortunate enough to drink) in an effort to take her out unnoticed. She revels in her past strategic moments playing bridge and its many applications before calling Varga out as “the boss.”
He tries to bribe her into working for him but Nikki is far too confident and proud to stoop to that. Wrench disarms the shooter Varga has in place and Nikki gets the confirmation she’s won this round by playing her cards close.
He offers a larger bribe which she again refuses by saying she wants to hurt him. Varga demeans her revenge scheme by gloating that he didn’t kill Ray yet remains on edge from the moment she mentions involving the police. She demands her money again and walks off with Wrench like a boss as Mary Elizabeth Winstead ensured herself an Emmy nomination.
The entire confrontation was both riveting and unsettling. The wolf and cat both have their claws out and teeth bared and we know one of them isn’t going to make it out alive.
We get another confession as the seemingly defeated Gloria relives her ex-husband’s separation before telling Emmit he’s free to go. She senses his disbelief and finally asks about Varga.
“Who is he? The master pulling the strings?” I have a feeling she’s going to find out real soon.
Varga leaves us on a bleak note about the problem of evil as the car pulls away from the station.
We end with perhaps the most touching and heartfelt moment on Fargo yet when Winnie proves to Gloria that she exists and it is…well, glorious. She recounts her step-father’s story of the robot that “can help” and her relation with automatic sensors and cell phones leaving her to feel nonexistent. She heads to the ladies room to wash up when the sensors finally work for her!
I never thought I’d be emotional while watching someone wash their hands but Fargo’s excellent character development of Gloria makes this monumental. If Carrie Coon doesn’t get an Emmy for The Leftovers, she’s sure as hell getting one for Fargo. It’s been the season of Carrie Coon and I’m not sure I’m ready for it to end.
Revisiting the IRS agent Larue Dollard (Legion’s Hamish Linklater) shows us the cat’s next move and it looks fatal for the wolf. Will they get to him before Gloria does?
The season (series?) finale of Fargo airs next Wednesday 6/21 at 10 p.m. EST on FX!