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‘Fargo’ Review: A New Ewan McGregor is Unveiled, As A Voice From the Past Tells a Fairy Tale for the Future

A celebrity narrator gave Episode 4 extra juice as we approach an intense confrontation in "Fargo."

FARGO "The Narrow Escape Problem” – Year 3, Episode 4 (Airs May 10, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured (l-r): Ewan McGregor as Ray Stussy


Chris Large/FX

Aces Quotes for Everyday Use

“Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I’ll begin.”
– Narrator (Billy Bob Thornton), offering a good introduction to any lengthy story 

“Buck, if I wanted an opinion from an asshole, I’d ask my own. Got it?”
– Ray (Ewan McGregor) pretending to be Emmit and giving a solid lesson in tough talk 

“‘Cremains’ is the preferred nomenclature.”
– Sy (Michael Stuhlbarg), providing the proper descriptor for cremated remains

“The truth is whatever he says it is.”
– A Russian mobster not talking about Donald Trump (ya know, because it’s 2010)

READ MORE: Why Do Machines Hate Carrie Coon on ‘Fargo’ and ‘The Leftovers’?

An Important Quote to Think On, Ya Know?

Fargo Season 3 Episode 4 Ewan McGregor David Thewlis

“He’s — honestly — a loser, so what else could she be?”
– Emmit (Ewan McGregor)

We’re guessing the answer to this question is “a lot more than a loser.” Emmit is suffering from a common misunderstanding of the rich (though not wealthy) regarding how love is formed between two people. He sees himself as a handsome success story and his brother as a penniless schlub. How could a woman of any quality be attracted to an ugly, poor man?

Well, there are lots of reasons, not the least of which, in this regard, is a common distaste of pompous men like Emmit. Moreover, we’ve seen how Nikki pushes Ray in the right direction — or, at least, a direction. She has goals, and she’s given him goals. His allegiance to her when facing termination was as sweet and misguided as Ray is overall, and the inequality in their partnership doesn’t bode well for Emmit’s false assumptions.

But we’re far more worried about the inevitable collision between Nikki and Gloria. Their fateful passing outside the parole office was emphasized by each actor’s big glances and their slow-motion presentation. Moreover, they’re both the wild cards of the group. Gloria is a charging bull, and Nikki the matador. The horns are going to stick one of them. Not to mix metaphors, but the “cat” and “Peter” may have a different ending than Prokofiev wrote.

In Prokofiev’s fairy tale, Peter (Gloria) is locked in the backyard by his Grandfather (Sy), and a wolf (Varga) does come. The cat (Nikki) escapes, but the duck (Ray) is eaten. Peter then uses the bird (Emmit) to distract the wolf and captures it. Now, I find it doubtful this is exactly how Season 3 plays out, especially given that this episode cuts the story off at the halfway point.

“Boys like Peter aren’t afraid of wolves,” Billy Bob Thornton says in his final voiceover. The missing subtext? “Maybe they should be.”

Grade: B+

Fargo” Season 3 airs new episodes every Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX. 

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