Fargo: “The Lord of No Mercy” Season 3 Episode 6 Review

Photo Credit:http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/05/25/fargo-the-lord-of-no-mercy-review

Well, well, well, Fargo kicked it up a considerable notch or two this week, didn’t it? “The Lord of No Mercy” was an intense hour that started to show the cracks in everyone’s psyches as certain pieces on the board move closer to others. But the true star of this episode was clearly Varga, who’s arrogance will unquestionably create problems for himself as the season progresses.

But here, it was fun watching him assert his control. Emmit doesn’t have a say of what happens at his business anymore. As he says to Sy, “whether you step off the board with one foot or two, you’re going in.” Emmit may not like being forced to work for Varga, but he’s complying. Between that and the pressure of Sy causing his brother to retaliate, Emmit’s weak right now. No scene in this episode better illustrates that than when Varga hijacks Gloria’s interrogation in Emmit’s office. But this moment could also be the beginning of Varga’s undoing. He’s not exactly subtle about the fact that there’s something to hide. It’s a case of an outsider not knowing the culture of the town he’s in, which is most of what makes him a compelling villain for Fargo specifically. What started as Gloria going to ask some questions turned into a clearer trail of breadcrumbs than she had before, which you can bet influenced her to turn the car around at the close of the episode.

Either way, by episode’s end, Emmit finds himself in a way weaker position than he was before. With Ray and Nikki more than a little frazzled after the latter’s harsh beating at the end of last week’s episode, the slightest noise outside Ray’s house sends them into a panic. On the run at a motel, Ray realizes he forgot their stash of money back at the house. Waiting for him is Emmit, who’s finally willing to give his brother the stamp. With the amount of tension in “The Lord of No Mercy,” the slight signs of a potential reconciliation here are backed by the episode’s momentum rolling toward something big. Boy, does it pay off.

Ray’s accidental murder, at the hands of Emmit with the very glass protecting their precious stamp, changes season three in a way that this season desperately needed a change. Now, Gloria’s on her way to Ray’s while Varga is overseeing the cleanup. He won’t get caught, but Gloria is sure to find Ray’s body, making her trail of breadcrumbs even more apparent. And where does this leave Nikki and Emmit?

I have to commend Ewan McGregor for his work as both Stussey brothers as we say goodbye to one. The only episode where I enjoyed his performance for the novelty of it was the season premiere. Since then, he hasn’t had a moment on screen where I wasn’t convinced I was watching two very different characters. In fact, for a split second after Ray’s death, I had forgotten that we didn’t technically lose a major cast member barely halfway through the season. Even in this slightly duller-than-its-predecessors season of Fargo, the performances are still hitting the gold standard the series first established with the likes of Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thorton.

On top of that, this was a very tense, taut episode of Fargo, two adjectives that had honestly been missing from most of this season so far. But with four episodes left, the show has a bit of a renewed confidence with “The Lord of No Mercy.” That can only lead to great things down the line. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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