Shaun Munro reviews the season finale of Fargo season 3…
The riveting and occasionally frustrating capper to Fargo‘s divisive third season broached its overarching theme of perception vs. reality (or perhaps more currently, “fake news”) in perfectly ambiguous, Coens-esque fashion, even if in many aspects “Somebody to Love” was a relatively predictable, foregone conclusion to the Stussy story.
Things at least surged right out of the gate with Gloria having her faith restored thanks to Nikki’s correspondence to Agent Dollard, while Nikki and Wrench got tooled up for the fight ahead, and Emmit felt lucky and tried pulling a gun on Varga.
The episode’s first big, seismic moment came during the immensely suspenseful confrontation between Varga and Nikki, which was slow-bled for maximum, delicious atmosphere. Varga finally revealed his truest colours, by leaving his men to die as he escaped in the elevator, and in a weirdly sad moment, even Meemo, whose bloody corpse was later seen being wheeled out. Nikki going full badass perhaps wasn’t that plausible, but the moment was cathartic enough to make it work.
Emmit didn’t have a fun time, did he? The long-standing fan theory was finally confirmed that Mrs. Goldfarb was indeed behind it all, forcing Emmit out of his own company and insisting he file for Chapter 11. Things got even worse when he was eventually confronted by Nikki, who dropped the immortal one-liner, “He’s a kitten now, Ray, case you were wonderin'”. However, her overzealous desire to make a theatrical Moment out of the occasion scuppered her plans, leaving both a cop and herself dead.
It was certainly an unexpected turn and, really, the most Fargo thing ever, to see Emmit as the last man standing. It’s easy to see how some might find that unsatisfying, but three seasons into the show, viewers should be trained to expect this sort of intentionally obtuse, willfully confounding storytelling.
Following poor ‘ol Nikki’s demise, an epilogue sequence takes place five years later, revealing that Sy did in fact survive Varga’s poisoning, though is sadly a mere shadow of his former self. Let’s give Michael Stuhlbarg a hand for his terrific work this season. Narwhal, meanwhile, survives with Goldfarb in control, while Wrench decides to kill Emmit.
It’s a bizarre move on Wrench’s part considering that it’s not easy to believe he’d harbour a grudge for so long and take that amount of time to act on it. Some fans have suggested that Wrench had romantic feelings for Nikki, but it just seems a bit much, to be honest.
And finally, the episode concludes with Gloria now sporting a lovely new haircut and working for the DHS, who have captured Varga. What follows is a fantastically witty back-and-forth between the two, ending on a cliffhanger which leaves the viewer to conclude whether or not Varga did indeed bend the wills of the universe and escape. It’s a very No Country for Old Men-esque non-committal ending, where optimists will believe that Gloria eventually won, while pessimists will assert that with his wide reach and high-up connections, Varga once again slunk out.
For the most part this was a tidy, satisfying finale that nevertheless ended in a fashion likely to infuriate as many as it pleased. Now one question remains; is this it for Fargo? It’d be fine for the show to end its run with two excellent seasons and one great one, though this world is so damn compelling that fans will no doubt be keeping their fingers crossed for a fourth go-around.
Shaun Munro – Follow me on Twitter for more TV rambling.