‘Fargo’ Frozen Five: Nikki Swango Runs, And Fights, And Abides

06.08.17 8 Comments


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. [assorted screaming and panting]

For the first time this season, my decision to structure these posts around notable lines of dialogue bites me in the caboose, as this week’s episode opened with the largely silent adventures of Nikki Swango and Mr. Wrench as they ran through the Minnesota forest, bloody and chained together, in an attempt to escape a crossbow-wielding Yuri and his mask-wearing henchman. I’m okay with it. What a great piece of business it was, just a steady diet of scary and dark and tense. So tense. I thought for half a second that we were gonna lose Nikki Swango. I was not prepared for that. It’s nice to know a guy who is really good at heaving axes. That seems to be the lesson here.

The interesting thing, which we’ll be circling back to in the near-ish future, is that we lost track of the two of them right around the time of our three-month chronological leap, from Christmas 2010 to March 2011. One assumes a chunk of that time was spent healing, as Nikki still had a battered abdomen before she got shot in the shin with an arrow, but the big question here is if the two of them are still together. I hope so. I’m all in on Swango-Wrench. They’re already quite a team. Look at what they did to DJ Qualls.


Shouts to Qualls for landing a role on a big-time prestige drama in which he a) botches a hit on a prisoner, b) botches a second hit on the same prisoner, and c) gets his head torn off his body by a prison chain. Guy was on screen for maybe four minutes. That’s efficient.

4. “Ah, geez”

The focus going forward will be a freshly-demoted Gloria Burgle serving foreclosures and investigating the Stussy Fiasco on her lunch break, or however all that will shake out given Emmit’s appearance in the closing moments, but let’s stop here to note something. Gloria got the call about the bus crash and prisoner escape on Christmas morning, and after listening to the other end of the call for a few seconds, responded, “Ah, geez.”

Yes, fine, “Ah, geez” is a pretty standard Minnesota reply to, well, anything, but think about the information that was conveyed first. A bus carrying prisoners was run off the road by a man in a wolf mask and his cohorts dressed as pigs and lambs, violence erupted on the overturned bus, multiple guards were killed, and innocent passersby were run down and murdered just for driving down the street at the wrong time. It was chaos, a front-page story in any news market, possibly even on a national level, let alone a sleepy Minnesota town during the holidays.

Gloria Burgle: “Ah, geez.”

I love it.

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