Two women went up against Varga on Fargo Season 3 Episode 9, but only one definitively triumphed over him in the end.
"Aporia" saw the return of Nikki and Mr. Wrench post time-jump. Meanwhile, the confession that Emmit was set to make at the end of Fargo Season 3 Episode 8 unfortunately became null and void rather quickly.
I'll start with where we left off on Fargo Season 3 Episode 8, which is the not-so-small matter of Emmit's confession to Ray's murder.
Carrie Coon and Ewan McGregor are both enormously talented actors, so it's no surprise that their scenes at the police station were my favorite parts of the hour. They were so understated but strong.
The police station scenes also gave both characters the opportunity for introspection.
Emmit discussed his father's death. Gloria, in turn, told Emmit about her relationship with her gay ex-husband and how he'd come out to her.
McGregor gave a fittingly heartbreaking performance as Emmit detailed the ways he had wronged Ray throughout his life.
As usual, the dialogue was incredibly powerful and so precise.
I especially loved the fact that, while Emmit was detailing the ways he had hurt Ray, he was still almost subconsciously throwing jabs at his dead brother.
I'm thinking, in particular, of that crack about 15-year-old Ray being chubby and the line about Ray's "shithole" apartment.
Still, you can tell that Emmit was genuinely feeling guilty about his brother's demise.
Significantly, Emmit also finally admitted that he had tricked Ray into swapping the stamps for the Corvette after their father died. Or not "tricked" exactly, if you ask Emmit...
A lie's not a lie if you believe it's true.Emmit
Elsewhere, Varga and Meemo quickly realized that Emmit giving himself over to police custody spelled trouble for them. They snapped into action with a very crafty plan.
Varga's plan involved even more murder (because why not!) – specifically, he hired a convict to confess to the murders of two additional men named Stussy, to make it look like the murders of Ennis and Ray were the work of a Stussy-hating serial killer.
Of course, in reality, it was Meemo who did the deeds.
Ever precise, Varga was even sure to have Meemo commit the crimes in the same ways that Ennis and Ray were killed. Varga's plan easily tricked the Chief and the rest of the cops who weren't Gloria.
It's not hard to see why – Varga's concocted serial killer is a nice, simple solution to the seemingly unconnected murders. He connected the dots for the Chief, and the Chief was all too happy to accept those connected dots.
All that spelled begrudging freedom for Emmit – how tense and uncomfortable was the scene where Varga and a creepily smiling Meemo picked him up from the police station?! – and a sad day for Gloria.
On the bright side, Gloria's sad day led to a sweet scene with Winnie at the bar, where they commiserated about evil (aka, Varga) triumphing over good.
I also loved the fact that Gloria brought it all back to The Planet Wyh and the story of the little android that was first introduced on Fargo Season 3 Episode 3.
Gloria felt like the robot, in the sense that he seemed to accomplish nothing during his lifetime.
Of course, Gloria is forgetting about the part where the robot eventually deactivates having accomplished more than he could have ever imagined in aiding the human race with his collected data.
Hopefully that parallel doesn't mean that Gloria will "deactivate" (aka, die) in taking down Varga!
Elsewhere, Nikki made her triumphant return with Mr. Wrench. It was nothing short of epic.
The entire sequence where Nikki and Wrench attack Meemo and manage to break into Varga's truck hideout was incredibly filmed.
The two work together like a well-oiled machine, and there's no doubt in my mind that the pair were planning this quietly and in secret for the months they remained on the downlow.
Nikki's faceoff with Varga was another highlight of the season. Finally getting facetime with Varga, Nikki quickly proved herself his most worthy opponent.
She saw through all of his posturing and successfully predicted the fact that he would have Meemo acting as an assassin to take her out.
And can we just talk about the hottest TV couple of 2017?
Not even "couple" in a romantic sense – there is no indication that Nikki and Wrench are together in that way. I'm just so, so into these two working together.
I want to know more about how Nikki and Wrench decided to continue working together and what their lives were like during the months after their near death experiences and the bowling alley.
I'm sure, though, that we won't have a chance to find out about all that. There's only one more episode this season, after all.
In the end, Nikki and Varga's standoff didn't really matter.
The books and a USB stick (presumably with some of the sensitive information that Nikki and Wrench stole) wound up in the hands of Larue Dollard, the IRS agent who wound up at Stussy Lots earlier in the season and was promptly scared away by Meemo posing as a lawyer.
How will this all shake out for Varga, Nikki, Gloria, and Emmit in the finale? I'm sure we're in for an explosive season ender – fake grenades or not.
- I don't think I've ever hated a Fargo character as much as I hate the Chief this season. Good god, what a pompous ass.
- Are we going to see Sy again before the season ends? I'd be so sad if the last we see or hear of him is that he's still in his coma!
- Nikki, like a boss, doesn't even blink at Varga when he offers her some of his mother's tea – the same tea he poisoned Sy with. Nice try, Varga.
- Anybody got any ideas why Mr. Wrench left Meemo alive after sneaking up on him during Nikki's standoff with Varga? Why not just take out Varga's last remaining henchman while he had the chance?
- Leave it to Carrie Coon to make Gloria successfully using an automatic sink and automatic soap dispenser a legitimately emotional moment.
- What on earth is Ruby Goldfarb's deal? If she in with Varga, somehow?
What did you think of "Aporia"? Share your thoughts by commenting below, and remember that you can watch Fargo online anytime here at TV Fanatic!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.