The Fargo Frozen Five is a weekly countdown of five notable things from FX’s Minnesota murder show, meant to serve as a supplement to our standard recap coverage. It will probably get weird at times. In a way, that’s kind of appropriate.
5. “For Pete’s sake, I’m wearing a hooker wig.”
It’s fun to track how Nikki and Ray got here. Or, at least, how they got to the point they got before the stuff at the end happened, which we’ll get to. The short version goes like this: They tried to steal a stamp, but that went left in a case of mistaken identity and ended with their accomplice getting murdered with a falling air conditioner. They decided to pivot by using disguises to getting the stamp from a safe deposit box, but that failed too because the box contained only the ashes of a beloved family pet, which Ray tasted before realizing what they were. So they pivoted again and dressed up in costumes to make a sex tape with the goal of blackmailing Emmit, but that failed because Emmit’s wife found it first and left Emmit. So they — she, technically — pivoted again and doubled the price to tell Emmit’s wife the truth, but that resulted in her getting beaten half to death because she didn’t realize what deep poo Emmit and Sy are in. They’ve had an eventful few weeks. I didn’t even get to the part about them losing out on a big bridge sponsor because Ray was drinking alone in a bar after getting fired for sleeping with his parolee.
And now they’re getting married. Congrats to the happy couple.
4. “There’s a girl in England…”
Three notes on Gloria Burgle’s investigation:
- She and Lopez already have the whole thing — short of VM Varga — figured out, basically. That’s some good hustle. Their biggest roadblock right now is the new chief, played by Shea Wigham, who really does appear to be playing a more modern-day version of the belligerent cop he played on Boardwalk Empire. I keep expecting Steve Buscemi to show up and rip into him. Which, now that I think about, given Buscemi’s role in the original Fargo movie, and the fact this show seems to live in that same universe, wouldn’t work. Never mind. Shout out to Laura Buxton.
- “Think of Jesus. His actions.” Oh, Ray. Oh buddy. You know your defense is weak when you’re calling on the police to compare your actions — you, a parole officer who was recently fired for sleeping with a parolee, with whom you just made a sex tape in costume as your brother in the hopes of blackmailing him out of six figures and a stamp — in forgiving a yellow Hummer hit-and-run to the events in the Bible. Shoot your shot, I guess.
- I would watch a TNT show titled Burgle & Lopez.
Like Rizzoli & Isles, but in Minnesota. Yeah. Would watch.
3. “We are making a soufflé here.”
Varga is very clearly trying to push Sy out, based on the parking lot conversation with Emmit. There are probably other things worth discussing here, but I can’t stop watching this GIF. Let’s circle back later.
2. “You don’t want a Goldfarb as an enemy.”
Well hello there mortuary and self-storage tycoon Ruby Goldfarb, aka the widow Goldfarb, aka heeeyy it’s Mary McDonnell. Pleasure to meet you.
This is an interesting development. She wants to buy the Stussy family business and Sy would love to sell it to her and rid himself of Varga and his lackies. The problem is, Sy is a mostly incompetent boob who fashions himself as a cross between John Wick and Bobby Axelrod from Billions (neither of whom exist in 2010, but still) and everything he has touched so far this season has turned into horse manure. He’s so dead. I can’t believe he’s survived this long. The man has cockroach DNA.
1. “Enemies are at the gates. Inside the gates. Fornicating with the cookware.”
The truth is, though, Sy is probably my favorite character so far this season. Something about his impotent posture in that huge yellow Hummer cracks me up. He and Nikki are 1a and 1b, at least. I love grifting and mustaches.
So anyway, I was very excited to see the two of them headed out for a face-to-face meeting — which Nikki described as “a girl thing” as her excuse to leave Ray — to settle this blackmail/stamp business. I wanted to see Nikki wipe the floor with him and leave him sad and confused, staring off into the distance. And I got that second part, but only because that’s the face he made after Varga’s goons beat her within an inch of her life, as retribution for Sy continuing to make moves after the whole cup incident was supposed to humble him. This was… not what I was expecting. Although I guess that part is on me. Fargo gotta Fargo at some point.
The question now is how Nikki and Ray react. Nikki and Varga are the smartest people in play here, by a lot, so one imagines they’ll dance a bit at some point. Between this and the IRS investigation and the murder investigation, there are a few irons out there getting really hot. The question now is who gets burned.
(Sy. It will be Sy. I’ll be heartbroken.)