FX’s Fargo season three episode five ended with Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) curled up in a bathtub after suffering a severe beating at the hands of Meemo and Yuri. Episode six titled ‘The Lord of No Mercy’ begins with Nikki struggling to tell Ray (Ewan McGregor) who attacked her, describing one as Asian and one as Russian. Unfortunately, she didn’t manage to get their names or the license plate of their car. Every part of her body hurts and as she sits in front of a mirror thinking about the attack, Ray – who’s been quietly stewing – leaps into action. He rifles through drawers and cabinets until he finds his bullets and gun, and Nikki asks if he’s ready. “Oh, you betcha,” he replies.
Varga (David Thewlis) tells the story of the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank and the havoc it caused. His next true story lays out how WWI was started by a sandwich. After a failed attempt to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Gavrilo Princip noticed the Archduke’s car outside a deli where he was having lunch. He went outside and shot Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, at point blank range.
Varga’s final true story features footage of the 1969 Moon landing. The camera pulls back to show the landing was shot on a Hollywood sound stage. He’s been telling these stories to Sy (Michael Stuhlbarg) who’s been looking at him like an alien creature. Sy doesn’t believe the Moon landing was fake. “Let each man say what he deems truth and let truth itself be commended onto God,” says Varga, finally getting to the point. Stussy Lots is getting $50 million in new loans to be used to buy 16 more lots. That will double the company’s size in three months, and Sy’s not in the least bit happy about this development.
Emmit agrees with Varga about the expansion, but Sy is concerned about the IRS. Varga reveals the IRS will be going over fake books, something Sy didn’t know and shouldn’t concern himself with. Varga’s not worried because international shell companies hide the real money from sight. It’s all been taken care of and Sy doesn’t need to be involved in the details.
Meemo (Andy Yu) meets with IRS Agent LaRue Dollard (Hamish Linklater), matching Dollard’s carefully laid out folder, notepad, calculator, and pens with his own. Meemo slides paperwork across the table to Dollard, informing him he’s representing Stussy Lots as attorney and is protesting this audit. Meemo demands Agent Dollard give the required 30 day notice and a list of who he wishes to speak with. Meemo also demands Dollard leave immediately.
Following the brief meeting, Meemo gets in the car with Yuri (Goran Bogdan) and they drive off unaware Ray and Nikki are close behind. Yuri and Meemo arrive in the lot where they left the 18-wheeler in episode one and knock on the rear doors. Varga steps out while from a safe distance Nikki and Ray watch this all go down. Ray starts to get out with his gun ready, but Nikki convinces him they need to wait for a better opportunity.
Back at home, Ray’s worried Nikki has internal injuries but she refuses to go to the hospital since the cops and the bad guys are looking for her. Nikki believes Emmit might be doing something illegal against his will, and Ray asks her to explain. Nikki thinks there’s shady dealings going on, and she’s even figured out Emmit probably burrowed cash from a disreputable lender. Nikki wants to know for sure what’s going on before they make their move. (Nikki is definitely the brains of this operation.)
Meanwhile, Chief Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) and Officer Winnie Lopez (Olivia Sandoval) show up at Emmit’s office wanting more details on the car accident. They’re starting to tie all the players together and Varga interrupts to claim this is his area of expertise. He won’t give Gloria and Winnie his name, simply saying he’s an associate of Emmit’s. When Gloria asks about Ray, Varga speaks up and asks what that has to do with an auto accident. They inform the men their investigation could tie into a homicide, and Emmit is obviously unaware of what she’s talking about. He does admit he read about Ennis Stussy in the newspaper, and Gloria fills in the details of how he died and that the house was ransacked. She also reveals Maurice LeFay did the actual killing and that Ray was Maurice’s parole officer. That led them to the car accident and Ray arguing with someone who works for Emmit. Gloria brings the story around to say it’s curious the victim was also a Stussy with the first initial ‘E.’ Plus, the town had a similar name to Emmit’s address.
Gloria asks if there’s a feud going on between Emmit and Ray, and Emmit admits they’ve had their differences. Varga interjects, asking for an explanation as to the connection between Ray and the victim. Varga then goes off on a tangent about there being 24 Hitlers in 1932 in Germany. Gloria calls bullshit on Varga and replies, “24 exactly?” before returning to questioning Emmit.
Gloria asks if Ray wanted something of Emmit’s, and Emmit finally puts two and two together and comes up with Ray was trying to rob him. Varga dismisses the officers, saying he’ll contact Gloria and Winnie if they have anything else to say.
After the officers leave, Varga sounds impressed Ray actually has a backbone.
Later that night, Varga searches for Gloria Burgle on the internet but finds nothing. He tries multiple searches and discovers Eden Valley’s police station doesn’t have any computers.
Varga gives Yuri instructions to go to the police station and quietly gather info on Ennis Stussy. He also tells Meemo to find Ray and Nikki and kill them.
At home, Ray is tending to Nikki when there’s a knock on the door. He grabs his gun and makes his way to the front door. The knocking continues but now Nikki sees another person’s shadow outside the bedroom window. It’s Gloria and Winnie and they leave when no one answers. Ray says, “Heat’s on. We better blow.”
A while later they sneak out the back with their suitcases. As they pull away, a car follows them. Nikki and Ray arrive at the Ambassador Motor Inn and Ray gets a room while Nikki keeps watch. The motel is nearly empty and once in their room, Ray helps Nikki into bed before grabbing their suitcases. Nikki needs aspirin and cold compresses, reminding him to pay with cash. He’s out of cash and can’t believe he left the money they stole from the bank back at his place. He volunteers to head back to the house to get the money.
Meemo waits around the corner from their hotel room and watches as Ray’s car pulls away.
Nikki slips out of the room and walks right by where Meemo was hiding while on her way to the ice machine. She failed to close her door and Meemo must be in the room as the door squeaks and almost shuts.
Ray makes it to the house but Emmit’s already there, sitting alone in the dark. “You win. I’m done. Whatever you want, just tell me,” says Emmit who sounds resigned. He reveals the ashes at the bank that Ray poured into the trash were his dog’s, Laverne. Ray admits he was looking for his stamp, and Emmit’s confused why Ray is the one person who doesn’t like him. Emmit says he’s a fair man who helps people when they’re down, but Ray still feels like his brother doesn’t help him. Ray also feels lessor than his sibling, and Emmit’s had it up to here with that argument.
Emmit hands his brother the framed stamp, telling him their beef is now over. He doesn’t want their relationship to continue this way so he’s giving Ray the stamp, but Ray can’t just accept it. He claims it was his from the start and when Emmit agrees, Ray’s still not willing to stop this nonsense. They shove the framed stamp back and forth at each other until it hits Ray in the face and the glass shatters. He has a few minor cuts on his face, but they aren’t the problem. When the glass shattered, a large piece wedged in his neck. Emmit tells him not to pull it out but Ray does anyway, with blood immediately spurting from the wound.
Ray grabs his throat, looks at the blood on his hand, and reaches for his brother. He sinks to his knees and then falls facedown on the floor, dead in a pool of blood. Emmit calls Varga and after Varga finishes talking about symphonies, Ray confesses there’s been an accident and asks Varga to meet him at Ray’s.
Back at the hotel, Meemo waits for Nikki to return. He gets a call as Nikki notices the door’s open and she looks around quickly before entering the room. She kicks open the bathroom door and no one is there.
Varga arrives with Meemo and Emmit points out every place he might have left fingerprints. Varga tells Meemo to grab the stamp and the frame but leave the glass. Varga then asks Emmit where he’s supposed to be, and it appears he should be at a restaurant having dinner with Sy. Varga instructs Emmit to go through the restaurant’s back door, use the restroom, and put cold water on his face. Varga then reveals the plan is to frame Nikki for Ray’s murder. The cover story is that Nikki was being abused and so she cut Ray’s throat. Varga also warns him to be upset and say he hasn’t seen his brother in days. Whatever he says to the cops, he needs to be vague.
Emmit quietly says, “I didn’t mean to,” and Varga replies, “No one ever does.”
Gloria’s driving home after work but changes her mind and pulls a U-turn. She radios in asking for Officer Lopez to be informed she’s returning to Ray’s house. She wants Winnie to meet her there.
More on Fargo:
– Fargo Season 3 Episode 1 ‘The Law of Vacant Places’ Recap
– Fargo Season 3 Episode 2 ‘The Principle of Restricted Choice’ Recap
– Fargo Season 3 Episode 3 ‘The Law of Non-Contradiction’ Recap
– Fargo Season 3 Episode 4 ‘The Narrow Escape’ Recap
– Fargo Season 3 Episode 5 ‘The House of Special Purpose’ Recap
– Fargo Season 3 Episode 7 ‘The Law of Inevitability’ Recap