This article contains SPOILERS for Season 3 of Fargo. You have been warned.
Admittedly, this is a difficult review to write. The season three finale of Fargo, “Somebody to Love,” was an ambiguous and uneven end to a year that didn’t really come close to living up to season one or season two. A lot happened in the episode, putting an end to the season, but it wasn’t all that satisfying. Being overly critical is not something I want to do, but the majority of people agree this was a disappointing way to end things (just check Fargo’s Twitter replies since last night’s finale).
The first half or so of the episode was rather good. It was a fine intro that introduced Fargo as a (true) story, as Gloria was about to resign from her position as a police officer before getting a call from the IRS accountant, Larue Dollard, about the book and drives sent by her (or so Dollard thought). It got Gloria to take back her resignation paper, but the IRS part of the story was almost forgotten after that.
Emmit, although stupid to try it, wanted to regain control of things after months of being under Varga’s thumb. Emmit’s control didn’t last long once Veemo knocked him out from behind. Varga and the crew wiped the house and left, like leeches leaving Emmit with nothing. When Emmit wakes up, it’s not clear who put the stamp on his forehead. It could’ve been one of Varga’s henchmen before they left for the meeting with Nikki, but that seems unlikely. And weren’t Nikki and Mr. Wrench waiting at the location for Varga? It’s almost like they decided putting the stamp on Emmit’s idea would be funny, with no explanation necessary.
To the meeting between Varga and Nikki—Varga looked genuinely uncomfortable for the first time in the entire season. He almost looked like he was scared because of the uncertainty of the situation. What a fake thug.
Anyway, for having all that man power, it seemed like a terrible strategy—whatever it was they were doing. It turned out to be a set-up, with Varga getting notified via text message from an unkown number just in time (for him at least; sorry, Veemo). Who sent the text to Varga? Does he have someone inside the IRS? Was it Ruby Goldfarb? We don’t know.
As we do know from season one, Mr. Wrench is a skilled killer. But it’s a little hard to believe—while he probably had help from Nikki with the outside guards—that he had the prowess to take out every person, including Veemo, single-handedly.
Varga then pulls an Obi-Wan Kenobi (if anyone was able to pull that off this season, it should’ve been Ewan McGregor) to escape the wrath of Nikki. (So Nikki was just OK with him getting away, apparently.)
Getting past Mr. Wrench’s ability to take everyone out himself, it was a scene reminiscent of some of the best moments from season one and two of Fargo. It was a lot like when Lorne Malvo took out an entire FBI office In both instances, we didn’t need to see it actually happen, but they were strong moments.
Then we get back to Emmit waking up and about to head over to his now-former company office. And in one of the finest moments of the season, Emmit throws away the final of his stamps—the thing that killed his brother and the thing that will eventually get him killed by Mr. Wrench. It showed that Emmit really doesn’t care about the stupid stamp anymore and that the entire situation with he and his brother was easily avoidable. This would have been a fitting end to the entire season, and better writing easily could have incorporated it to make it the final shot.
When Emmit gets to his former office and sees it being re-branded and taken over, we come to know that Ruby was working with/for Varga. It’s pretty deep and why she continued to cover for Emmit on the night of Ray’s death. And it sends Emmit even lower than he already was—he has nothing.
Things get even worse for Emmit when his car breaks down, he smashed his phone in frustration after it received no signal, and Nikki shows up with a shotgun. Nikki tells him that Ray is a cat now, and saw in his eyes what Emmit did, watching him die. Emmit confesses, when asked if he’s at his low point by Nikki, that he thought it was yesterday, but it’s now. He wanted to call his wife, but with his phone broken, he tells Nikki to just pull the trigger. Luckily, a cop shows up, and he and Nikki each exchange fatal shots to one another.
It cannot be overstated how the musical score from the original Fargo movie perfectly accompanies the scene. “Somebody to Love” was looking like a great end to the third season.
Then it all went downhill from there.
Why did Emmit leave the scene of the crime? He didn’t do anything wrong in this instance, and it was clear the cop and Nikki killed each other. Yes, he had no phone signal, but he could’ve went in the cop car and radio in like, “hey, there was just a shootout in front of me and two people, including an officer, are dead.”
OK, so maybe Emmit wanted to just get away from the entire situation and go to his wife. But how in the world was he able to get back in his car, immediately start it, and leave? This is just a mind-boggling error that isn’t easily missed by viewers.
Using his suddenly-functioning car, Emmit drives to his wife and simply cries in her arms. She accepted him back, as we fast-forward five years later to them—Emmit received two years of probation for his tax crimes—eating dinner with friends (including Sy, who is out of the coma but not 100%). The season already fast-forwarded a few months, and then they went ahead and did it again? It’s almost like they didn’t know how to end this season.
Emmit goes into the kitchen to get the salad and looks at his fridge to see the pictures of the good times from the past; with his wife, with Sy, but with Ray noticeably missing. It was the last thing Emmit will see before he opens the fridge and takes a shot to the back of the head from Mr. Wrench. Five years later, Mr. Wrench decided it was time to kill Emmit—a bit of a head-scratcher.
A positive of moving five years later was seeing Gloria as an agent in the Department of Homeland Security. It’s nice to see one of the only good characters in the entire season overcome and attain high success.
However, the final scene continued the confusing second half of the finale, with Gloria crossing paths with Varga five years later. They debate over whether he’ll be walking away a free man or going to Rikers Island.
Varga tells her that he’s not going to argue, saying, “Any further debate would be simply wasting our breath. And if there’s one thing I can’t abide, it’s waste.” This, coming from the guy that eats globs of food before forcing himself to throw it back up.
The Sopranos-like cliffhanger wasn’t all that inspiring and was almost like a cop-out, putting the period on a disappointing season finale of a great season.
Season three of Fargo had some awesome episodes and moments. But it was inconsistent and below-par compared to the first two seasons. The excellent cast delivered on their acting, but the writing left something to be desired. Season four would be nice, because no one should want to see Fargo end the way it did; but improvements must be made if there is another season so Fargo doesn’t turn from great television series (like it was for two years) to being known as overrated or mediocre and staining the first two seasons.