Fargo review 2

We all know by now Fargo is a show in which a lot of mistakes occur. Characters rarely take the higher path on Noah Hawley‘s FX series, which returned this week with some dramatic repercussions following the fantastic premiere. “The Principle of Restricted Choice” shows characters questioning the uneasy choices they’ve already made.

One character whose chi is rock solid in director Michael Uppendahl‘s episode? The enigma, V.M. Varga (David Thewlis). Good luck google searching him.

Why So Glum, Killer?

Ray Stussy (Ewan McGregor) is beating himself up, already undergoing the Coen Brothers’ classic sense of guilt. He’s not torturing himself so much over him and his fiancé Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) dropping an air conditioner on Maurice LeFay’s (Scoot McNairy) head. He feels guilty about that, and about the stoner killing Gloria Burgle’s (Carrie Coon) stepdad, but funnily enough, he seems more torn up about how he left things with his successful older brother, Emmitt (McGregor).

The Parking Lot King of Minnesota isn’t happy about their last meeting, either. In a great one shot of McGregor, Uppendahlh lets Emmitt’s guilt seep in. He’s not arguing too much with his attorney, Sy Feltz (Michael Stuhlbarg), but the character’s face says it all as his lawyer is out of focus. It’s a great moment of regret McGregor sells. In this scene, Emmitt reveals he has a soul to go along with his pearly white teeth. His guilt isn’t quite we’d expect from his introduction in the premiere, but Fargo is consistently excellent when it comes to revealing, episode by episode, the humanity in its characters.

Emmitt’s decision is already haunting him – having played a hand in two deaths – but his possible greed, the green monster, will probably lead to worse. His guilt is something not all characters on Fargo can relate with. Nikki Swango, for example, is mostly peachy after killing a guy. She lets Ray know he’s the one who needs to work on his chi, which is sending off negative vibes. The murderer also hilariously takes offense to being called a “con” on this week’s episode.

When Emmitt and Ray’s relationship does finally find hope, Hawley quickly squashes it. It’s a remarkable scene between McGregor and himself. Whenever Ray and Emmitt are in a room together, our attention is on Ray and Emmitt. We’re not in awe of the seamless effect.

Outside of Emmitt’s house, he brothers share what’s probably one of their last sweet moments in the series. When Ray tells Emmitt he’s proud of him, the smile that lights up his face is heartwarming. The two still have a love for each other, but the brothers and fate continue to keep each other apart.

Thewlis Fargo pic

Who’s Feeling All Right?

“Let me tell you what it is that attracts me to the parking lot business,” V.M. Varga says, solidifying himself as one of my new favorite Fargo characters.

V.M. Varga is not the kind of man you add on Facebook. He’s the kind of man who hisses “yes” like a snake. He’s also cultured, has a wealth of knowledge and an excellent vocabulary, but his motivation, who he works for, and what he wants remains a mystery. The villain knows what he wants, though, and he’s pulling the strings with little trouble to get it.

The memorable characters receives a memorable entrance in this week’s episode. How terrific is the piece of music that plays as Vargus and the boys take over one Emmitt’s lots? Right now, Varga and his men act untouchable. The music is perfect for their confidence and oddness. It also makes Varga’s charming interaction between himself and Stussy’s employee all the cooler and funnier.

Gloria isn’t as happy as Varga, but she isn’t as guilt-ridden as Ray and Emmitt. The character makes a potentially huge discovery on this week’s episode. Her stepdad, Ennis Stussy, might’ve been a science-fiction author from Los Angeles named Thaddeus Mobley (Thomas Mann) – a potential connection to season two of Fargo. At the funeral home, Gloria mentions her stepdad moved to Minnesota in 1980 – a year after the events of season 2. A year after the UFO visited Minnesota.

Fargo stuhlbarg

Hail, Michael Stulhlbarg!

If you mess with the Parking Lot King of Minnesota, then prepare for the wrath of attorney at law, Sy Feltz. Mess with the lawyer, you’ll get what’s coming to ya. He doesn’t take kindly to feminine hygiene deployed as a weapon, especially if directed towards someone he’s always there for. Literally, he’s always there for Emmitt, hardly ever not around. The two characters are inseparable. How deeply involved Sy is in Emmitt’s personal life is equally comical and puzzling.

Watching Stuhlbarg unleash a lot of anger, act immature, and threaten Ray is quite a treat. How the actor sharply furrows his eyebrows when he says “there’s a problem,” the battle cry he lets out as he slams into Ray’s Corvette, and his “oh jeez” delivery are only a few of his few wonderful moments in “The Principle of Restricted Choice.” Hawley treated us with a plethora of Stuhlbarg goodness this week.

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