Fargo Season 3 Episode 7 Varga

Fargo Recap: Strangers on a Bus

Need to catch up? Check out our previous Fargo recap here.

The reverberations from last week’s Fargo fatality spread far and wide this week — and gave us our first tangible connection to previous seasons.

Nikki’s still waiting in that motel room, nursing her bruises with ice, unaware that Ray’s lying dead in a pool of blood. The cops knock down her door and haul her into the station, where Moe coldly drops a photo of Ray’s corpse in front on her. She’s stunned, but maintains her poker face (or maybe her bridge face?) while Moe advises her to turn on the waterworks and say Ray was beating her up if she wants to minimize her sentence. Gloria wants to interview Nikki herself, but Moe is still waving off her conspiracy theories, and her crime-solving partner Winnie gets reassigned back to traffic by her chief from St. Cloud.

Fargo Season 3 Episode 7 MoeGloria’s still technically chief for eight more days (including Christmas), so she tries to go over Moe’s head and talk to Nikki anyway. She gets stuck in bureaucratic hell, though — she needs a yellow form in order to get a blue form — while Nikki’s a sitting duck in her holding cell. A cop played by DJ Qualls comes in and cuffs Nikki so he can sweep her cell for contraband… but then he pulls out a syringe! Luckily, before he can stick her, Gloria rushes in, gun drawn. The fake cop drops the syringe, but he kicks Gloria’s gun away and runs off. Then more cops run in to restrain… Gloria, of course.

She tries to tell them about the fake cop, but Moe thinks the syringe could just as easily be Nikki’s. And when they review the security-cam footage, it conveniently glitches out just before the fake cop enters. Still, Gloria finally convinces Moe to let her talk to Nikki, who remains tight-lipped; “follow the money” is all she’ll tell Gloria. Fed up, Moe revokes Nikki’s parole and sends her to the state penitentiary. But when Gloria offers to bring her some pie after the holidays so they can talk more about Ray, Nikki softens, requesting “coconut cream pie… with chocolate flakes on top.”

On the bus to the state pen, Nikki is seated next to a familiar face: Mr. Wrench, the deaf hitman from Season 1! (This season takes place four years after Season 1, so he must’ve been thrown in jail at some point.) They don’t have long to get acquainted, though: A man walks into the road, forcing the bus to veer off and crash, flipping over a few times. Nikki is knocked out cold… and we see Varga’s deadly henchman Yuri Gurka enter the bus and work on opening the door to the rear cage where she lies unconscious — and helpless.

Fargo Season 3 Episode 7 Emmit Sy GoldfarbO BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? | Emmit isn’t handling Ray’s death — and his hand in it — much better. He meets Sy and the Widow Goldfarb at the steakhouse, nervously ordering a stiff drink and bemoaning the state of his marriage: “She left last week. Sex tape.” (Goldfarb notices a spot of blood on his shirt, too.) To make matters worse, Winnie shows up to question Emmit about his brother’s death. Before she can even say anything, Emmit blurts out, “I’ve been here since 6!” He points the finger at Nikki, labeling her a “black widow,” before Winnie even says how he died. Sy hustles him out of the restaurant… but Winnie sticks around to ask Goldfarb a few questions.

Back in Sy’s Hummer, Sy offers to make the final arrangements for Ray, but Emmit turns on him (“What’s your angle here?”), accusing him of teaming up with Ray against him. Sy says that’s crazy, and reassures Emmit he’s the only person he can trust. He urges Emmit to sell to Goldfarb so they can wash their hands of Varga once and for all. But when Emmit goes back inside his house, Sy looks up and sees Varga in an upstairs window, looming over him menacingly.

Oh Yah, Just a Couple More Things There:

* Yuri also paid a visit to the police station/library, where he had a chilling standoff with a clearly outmatched Donny. He used a Jedi mind trick — and Donny’s paralyzing fear — to convince the cop he was never there: “You think you see me, but your eyes are lying.” Donny left with his tail between his legs… and Yuri left with Emmit’s police file.

* Did Mr. Wrench die in that prison bus crash? Or could he be the one to save Nikki from the clutches of Yuri Gurka?

* Nikki trying to climb out the motel’s bathroom window and getting yanked back kicking and screaming by police is straight from the Fargo film, where William H. Macy’s crooked car salesman Jerry Lundegaard met the same sad fate.

* Loved the opening scene of Varga using a pocketknife to slice open all of the Stussy family gifts on Christmas Eve. He’s a real-life Grinch!

* Couldn’t help but feel bad for Sy when he sobbed on his wife’s shoulder after she asked him what’s wrong: “The world. The world is wrong. It looks like my world… but everything’s different.”

* Did Nikki notice something in that photo of Ray’s dead body that told her who killed him? Maybe a fragment of the shattered frame that held the vaunted stamp?

Got thoughts on tonight’s Fargo? Drop ’em in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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18 Comments
  1. I literally screamed when I saw Mr. Wrench. One of my favorite characters from the whole series. Hope to see more of him this season, but I would guess also that he saves Nikki!

    • Big Ed's Gas Farm says:

      I literally screamed when I saw Mary McDonnell. She’s made up to look like a cross between June Carter Cash and Wayne Newton. I’m having a nightmare right now while wide awake.

  2. Jason says:

    I hope Mr. Wrench comes to Nikki’s rescue. It would be cool to see him get pulled into this story, and maybe even have a redemptive arc.

  3. MISTER WRENCH!!!

    I thought Nikki’s gaze at the photo might be money related. Maybe the drawer in the dresser behind him is where the money was and she noticed it untouched. That’s what i initially thought at least.

  4. Dave says:

    Writing is getting a little thin here. We have a repeat of season 1 wimpy cop scenario. The cop with the syringe that nobody sees even though the other cops are in the cells before her bullet stops ricocheting. A full prison transfer bus on Xmas eve? This show is still good, just lazy writing on some fronts.

  5. Hopefully Mr. Wrench makes up for weaknesses in the story line. DJ Qualls playing the fake cop/assassin was a great idea, but how he got away was ridiculous. What a waste of a great talent and superb idea! Also, it’s Christmas Eve and there’s a bus full of prisoners ready to take her away.The suspension of disbelief has been broken by terribly improbable events (ie: poor writing). I would like to see Mr. Wrench save Nikki, but indirectly. Since Mr. Wrench is deaf Yuri will not be able to communicate that they only want her, so a hellish fight will occur and Nikki will escape somehow. Unfortunately I don’t trust the writing anymore and think I’ll be disappointed with the rest of the story. Wish it wasn’t so.

  6. Christian says:

    Not enjoying this season at all. It has become a parody of itself.

  7. blackbrown says:

    So after they take the time showing Varga carefully weigh the decision to kill Nikki, then further illustrating how measured Varga is by calling off her murder at the last second, we’re now supposed to believe he’s taking out police buses?

    I really like this show, but I have a distaste for writing that portrays characters as above consequence simply because the rest of us are too stupid to realize there’s no consequences. Varga’s a supervillain just because he decided to be – yet he’s seemingly terrified of Nikki who has virtually nothing with which to harm him.

  8. sunshine says:

    This season is truly awful. I hope they find the writers of seasons l & 2 and try again. Whoever is coming up with this stuff shouldn’t be writing, the storyline is weak, the episodes slow and boring, and the plot never advances to anything satisfying.

  9. Dave says:

    Wow – great synopsis! I was just trying to remember the name of the guy on the bus next to Nikki (knew he was from a prior Season with the the deer 🦌 skin fringe 😉), but was reminded about S1 being before S3… Such a great series #Fargo! #YouBetcha

  10. Tom says:

    Who says that Yuri is there to get Nikki? Why not Mr. Wrench? This would tie the Varga mob back to Fargo. Or maybe the Varga mob (British/East German?) is taking on what’s left of the Fargo Mob by getting/killing Mr. Wrench? I think the second possibly makes more sense.

    Also, why assume that DJ Qualls’ character is with Varga? They had their chance to kill Nikki. Also, we are left to assume he’s wearing a St. Cloud police uniform (the arm decal is the correct shape and other police have more hoops to jump through to get to Nikk’s holding cell). It also makes more sense that he’s on the Fargo mob’s take – especially since Varga is new to town.

    Also, follow what money? The $1M? Emmit’s money? Or the Widow Goldfarb’s money? Clearly Nikki is someone other than what she has appeared. I cannot see anything in the picture, however…

    Also, the widow Goldfarb – what’s her angle?

    Also, what was Yuri’s friend looking for at Ray’s house with that light? Blood? Please no paranormal!

    To me, this was a great episode

  11. Thomas Moore says:

    Whoever is on the bus has a clear shot at Nikki, so why are they cutting through the gate?

  12. David Velez says:

    This show so incredible, so smart.

  13. And “Chief Wiggam” is seen no more.