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‘Fargo’ Review: Carrie Coon and Ewan McGregor Bring Season 3 to an Emotional Peak in Penultimate Episode

"Fargo" delivered its richest episode of Season 3 in an hour built on one-on-one confrontations that let the performers shine.

Fargo Season 3 Episode 9 Ewan McGregor

Chris Large/FX

[Editor’s Note: The review below contains spoilers for “Fargo” Season 3, Episode 9, “Aporia”]

Immediate Reaction

If this is as close as we get to resolving The Great Carrie Coon Technology Debate of 2017, we’ll take it. Not only did “Fargo” provide a happy ending to Gloria Burgle’s rage against the machines, but the symbolic message of humanity’s warmth trumping the cold nature of technology helped close out the penultimate episode of Season 3 on a graceful note. The world may not be what we thought, but there’s still good in it.

That being said, next week remains as big a question mark as ever — the dark may very well still overwhelm the light. Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Mr. Wrench (Russell Harvard) were in control this week, but how long can a broke duo stay in front of a rich crime boss? What will Gloria’s reinvigorated resolve get her mixed up in, and, abiding by the Peter and the Wolf analogy, can Peter (Gloria) capture the wolf (Varga) and lead a victory parade through town to end the story?

READ MORE: ‘Fargo’ Creator Noah Hawley On Whether There Will Be a Season 4

Somehow, we doubt it. The ongoing theme of Season 3 has been injustice: facts aren’t treated as facts, or at least lack consequence; the innocent are imprisoned, and the guilty walk free; fools are in charge, and the smart cookies are kept in the jar.

Noah Hawley’s subtle style doesn’t equate with laying out a roadmap to the finale in the fourth episode. That’s too much of a heads up, and too much attention paid to “Peter and the Wolf” for everything in “Fargo” to line up with the story. Moreover, the Season 3 opening — set in Germany and focusing on an innocent citizen being unjustly convicted — eludes to a betrayal on the horizon. One could argue it’s happened a few times already, such as Emmit (Ewan McGregor) being set free this week despite confessing, but that doesn’t feel like enough.

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Fargo’ Review: A Brutal Episode 8 Brings a Character Back From the Dead for Two Very Different Goodbyes

With only an hour left, Season 3 remains a tad predictable and a touch redundant overall, but Episode 9 was a particularly stirring, enlightening, and rewarding hour of television. On its own, this one’s hard to beat, so we’re going to bathe in the Burgle/Lopez Happy Hour for a just a bit longer…before addressing the dread to come.

Continue reading for the performance highlight, best quotes, and episode grade.

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Comments

PhilBurk

This is lousy writing and crummy reasoning. The format is crummy too. It’s a touch too predictable and a tad too clever. Aww jeeze! I was in a good mood too.

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