Nikki has proven surprisingly resilient, but does that Fargo Season 3 Episode 7 cliffhanger mean she's a sure goner this time? I hope not.
Despite the fact that she's not a terribly sympathetic character, I've somehow found myself rooting for Nikki to survive the season. Even if she winds up in jail at the end of it.
"The Law of Inevitability" dealt with the fallout from Ray's accidental death, which sent ripple effects unbalancing virtually every character on the show.
Chiefly, the discovery of Ray's body (by Winnie and Gloria, who were headed to meet back up at Ray's apartment at the end of Fargo Season 3 Episode 6) spelled bad omens for Emmit and Nikki.
The cover story Varga concocted for Ray's death was easily bought by the authorities, as it turns out. The moment his body was found, cops busted down Nikki's door and dragged her from the window she was half out of, kicking and screaming.
I have to say, I did feel a glimmer of sympathy for Nikki when Chief Dammick unceremoniously plunked the grisly photo of Ray's body down in front of her.
Dammick grossly insinuated that Nikki's relationship with physically inferior Ray was all about convenience and staying out of jail for Nikki, not love.
While it was clear that Nikki didn't love Ray at all the way he loved her, I do think she had at least a soft spot for him. She was visibly rattled when she saw the photo and found out he was dead.
That, paired with the fact that all of Nikki's hopes for a better life (bridge winnings and all) are smashed, is pretty tragic.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead has done a great, nuanced job as Nikki throughout the season, becoming one of the series most quotable characters ever.
But she did a particularly great job on "The Law of Inevitability," as Nikki remained uncharacteristically (but smartly) tight-lipped while in lock-up.
Poor Gloria needed to deal with all kinds of bureaucratic BS (so many forms!) when she was attempting to sneak in and question Nikki about Ray's death. Dammick continued to be a thorn in her side, refusing to consider Gloria's theory (which we know to be largely correct) about how all of this season's killings are interconnected.
Speaking of Dammick – I truly loathe that guy. At this point, I hope that we find out he's in cahoots with Varga. That would be the only reasonable explanation for why he's been so obnoxiously bull-headed when it comes to Gloria's investigation.
Only an intellectual could believe something so stupid.Chief Dammick
What a tool.
Emmit, meanwhile, was doing just as poorly following his accidental murder of Ray.
As Varga suggested, Emmit went straight to the restaurant where he'd been set to meet the Widow Goldfarb and Sy to discuss Goldfarb buying out Stussy Lots.
Emmit was visibly weird and twitchy throughout the dinner, ordering a hard drink to calm his nerves and saying bizarre, morbid things like this:
Sy: What's the saying? "If you love something, let it go"?
Ruby: If it comes back, it's yours.
Emmit: If it doesn't, hunt it down and kill it... is the version I heard.
Sy was uneasy and alarmed. Ruby Goldfarb, to her credit, was unperturbed. Then again, the woman seems basically unflappable, based on her appearances throughout this season.
Despite the situation he's in with Ray's killing, Emmit still appears to be interested in playing Varga's game and making boatloads of money, though Sy still desperately wants them to sell the company to Goldfarb and part ways with Varga forever. In fact, Emmit even suggested they buy out Goldfarb's storage company instead.
Personally, I don't think he's going to make it that far. Even if Winnie hadn't shown up at the restaurant (dispatched by Gloria), Goldfarb had witnessed plenty to make her suspicious – namely the blood stain on Emmit's shirt.
Emmit did not play it cool at all when Winnie informed him of Ray's death. In fact, he did the opposite of what Varga said and immediately made himself seem very, very guilty.
I guarantee that, after Winnie speaks with Goldfarb, Winnie and Gloria will be coming after Emmit. Goldfarb will be able to tell Winnie about Emmit's strange behavior, the fact that she didn't actually see him until well after 6:00pm, and even the apparent blood stain on his shirt.
Emmit's days are numbered.
Someone else whose days are probably numbered: Nikki.
Someone (presumably Varga) had dispatched an assassin to kill her – while she was in jail. That's pretty serious business. Thankfully, that attempt was thwarted by Gloria (not thanks to stupid Dammick).
But just hours later, Yuri ran the bus carting Nikki off to state prison off the road by stepping out in front of it.
Wearing an enormously creepy jacket with the head of a wolf as a hood (a definite link to all of the "Peter and the Wolf" references from Fargo Season 3 Episode 4), we last saw Yuri cutting open the metal door keeping him from an unconscious (and totally vulnerable) Nikki.
Also on that bus: Mr. Wrench (played by Russell Harvard), the deaf hitman from Fargo Season 1!
The moment I saw the arm of that fringed jacket next to Nikki when she sat down, I knew exactly who it was. Seriously.
It's unclear whether this is just a fun, brief Easter egg (did he die in that crash?!) or if this will be more of an extended appearance.
You'll recall that we last saw Mr. Wrench after Mr. Numbers died, when Malvo deigned to allow Wrench to live. Guess he wound up in jail at some point in the interceding four years between Fargo Season 1 (2006) and Fargo Season 3 (2010).
- So much bear imagery in this episode. First Emmit's weird bear statue, then the painting featuring bears above the table at the restaurant during the Goldfarb meeting.
- That opening shot of Varga messily opening up and pawing through Emmit's Christmas gifts was so wonderfully bizarre.
- Did anyone else think that Ray looked significantly dead for only having been found, at most, a few hours after he died?
- The visual of the shot with Emmit and Varga sitting on the opposite staircases was my favorite of the hour.
- It's not even possible for me to hear "There Was a Crooked Man" anymore and not think of The Conjuring 2. Shivers.
- I love how quickly Winnie listened to Gloria when Gloria sent her off to question Emmit, despite her superior's orders. These two make quite a pair.
- Yuri is delightfully menacing, but still seems a bit like a poor man's Malvo. Case in point: His confrontation with Donny at the Eden Valley Library/Police Department reminded me so much of Malvo scaring off Gus Grimly during their first confrontation in Fargo Season 1.
What did you think of "The Law of Inevitability"? Share your thoughts by commenting below, and remember that you can watch Fargo online here at TV Fanatic anytime!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.