Fargo: “The Law of Inevitability” Season 3 Episode 7 Review

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The difficult job facing “The Law of Inevitability” is telling the aftermath of Ray’s death while keeping the season’s newfound momentum going. It’s a task that, while certainly no easy feat for any old show, is one Noah Hawley would have easily pulled off in seasons one and two. But season three’s predictability resurfaced this week.

Though we did start out with a nice relief, as Nikki was merely arrested rather than killed by one of Varga’s men. Afterward, her storyline finally crossed paths with Gloria’s, the both of which took up the bulk of the episode. Watching what Gloria has to go through to get anywhere in the police force would feel menial if Carrie Coon weren’t so damn captivating as her. But the true star who shined this week was Mary Elizabeth Winstead. From Nikki’s restrained grief in her interrogation to cracking a door open to Gloria at the very end, this character has become more sympathetic than the rest this season. Naturally, Gloria offers her some pie, giving them a chance to talk about Ray once the holidays are over. It’s also Gloria who saves Nikki from a potential assassin. This is a power team I’d love to see get a lot of screentime together in the last three episodes of the season.

On Emmit’s end, meanwhile, the murderous brother seems incapable of holding it together. In a professional dinner meeting, he makes awkward remark after awkward remark. And then the police come in to inform him of Ray’s death, and all he can do is say the most suspicious things possible. But that’s the core of Emmit, a man who’s foulest act going into the season was likely holding onto that freaking stamp. He’s not cut out to cover this murder up. It’s a fun way to subvert standard TV tropes in and oh so Fargo way. All he comes home to now is Varga, after he finished rewrapping the Christmas gifts, who tells a story one might think would be meant to console Emmit, but instead is just kind of dark.

But hey, this show has always taken delight in leaving its characters feeling unfulfilled. Sadly, this episode returns us to a time when season three was doing the same with its audience. Maybe after the season concludes, this brief calm will feel integral to the story’s path. But for now, it’s frustrating to have this already rocky season slip back into its old mistakes after gaining some serious momentum. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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