‘Fargo’ Season Three, Episode Eight: Who Rules the Land of Denial?

What the (REDACTED) was that?

This episode of “Fargo” brought us David Lynch levels of surrealism, even down to having “Twin Peaks” alumnus Ray Wise as the source of divine intervention halfway through the episode. I have read people were wondering when we were going to get the UFO/falling fish moment this season, well here it was folks.

On to the recap. The episode starts a little bit prior to the bus crash with Nikki and good old Mr. Wrench at the hands of Yuri and some thugs sporting animal masks. They set up a ramp for the bus to fly over, so no, Yuri was not in a lot of danger walking into the bus’ lights, it seems. The the other two here are Meemo and DJ Qualls’ character from the previous episode whose name is Golem. Which, I see it.

Well, the bus crashes and Yuri and Golem uses a torch to get to where Nikki is at.

We see Wrench seeing them breaking in, sees he is tied to Nikki and begins his heroes effort at knocking the (REDACTED) out of Golemwith one fricken arm.

This was what I was hoping for: Mr. Wrench to save Nikki, whom I might add STILL NEEDS A DOCTOR!

Well, this very “The Fugitive”-feeling scene is followed by a manhunt by Yuri and Golem, as I assume Meemo was taking care of the witnesses who saw the mess they left with the bus.

Well, this manhunt, which I want to add reminded me a lot of the “Pine Barrens” episode of “The Sopranos,” is pretty intense and Nikki learns right away the man who rescued her is a deaf mute. A very deadly deaf mute, I should add.

Which makes for a nice moment when Wrench scrawls into the snow “After U?” to which Nikki replies “Sorry.” How Midwester is that?

Things are not going well for Yuri and Golem as they track their prey, especially when Yuri’s bear hat gets shot off by a couple of hunters. To be fair, those hunters probably had an even worse day when Yuri and Golem more than likely killed them for their crossbows.

As Nikki and Wrench travel all day trying to escape this Easter European maniac, Nikki goes through the chain of events that have transpired that lead up to the murder of poor old Ray Stussy. They come about the hunters camp, with a scarecrow of some sort riddled with arrows for target practice I presume, and they find an ax they can use to chop the chain binding them together.

Well, they sure try, but Wrench gets hit with an arrows from either Yuri or Golem, then attacked from behind and stabbed by one of them.

This is probably one of the worst days in Mr. Wrench’s life.

Then Nikki herself gets an arrow in the leg, and these poor two are just a big, bloody mess.

Well, Wrench saw the general direction of the arrow that hit Nikki and throws the ax into the woods, where we later see actually hit Yuri, taking out his ear. Mr. Wrench is not one to screw around with.

Golem, on the other hand, tries to take Wrench out but finds himself GETTING DECAPITATED via the chain that is binding Wrench and Nikki together. It was pretty gruesome.

I also wrote down that this is, by far, the most violent episode of “Fargo” that I have seen.

FARGO — “Who Rules the Land of Denial?” – Year 3, Episode 8 (Airs June 7, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured (l-r): Goran Bogdan as Yuri Gurka, Andy Yu as Meemo, DJ Qualls as Golem. CR: Chris Large/FX

Well, Wrench has Nikki bite down on a stick as he pulls the arrow out of her leg, which just looked excruciating, and then he rips the chain apart, freeing them from one another.

What comes next is when the Lynchian surrealism comes in, with a bit of “Big Lebowski” thrown in. They finds themselves at a bowling alley, bleeding and looking like they have seen better days.

Wise’s character, Paul Marrane who we met in the Los Angeles episode, like the narrator from “Big Lebowski,” just suddenly appears as Nikki orders a drink.

Paul begins talking about really heavy, esoteric stuff with Nikki, producing a kitten named Ray and talking about reincarnation. It is heavily implied that Paul, sent from Heaven or something like that (hey, I am all for this sort of stuff. I also didn’t have a problem with the UFO last season and as I mentioned, I am a huge fan of David Lynch and “Twin Peaks”), is there as a divine intervention in saving Nikki and Wrench, in letting them know they still have a purpose, and that purpose being to take out some evil.

I also loved how at peace Nikki was knowing Ray is now an innocent kitten, being looked after by this spiritual agent of some sort. Of all the darkness of this season, this little bit of lightness really added an impact, especially what we had just seen leading up to this moment of salvation.

I also liked how Paul alludes to the fact “they” wanted Mr. Wrench to stay behind.

Paul keeps mentioning a stand against evil, and has Nikki recite a message when the time comes when she confronts the wicked. I did not have time to write it all down, but to paraphrase Jules from “Pulp Fiction,” it was along the lines of some cold hearted thing to say before he killed people.

And Paul offers Nikki and Wrench a getaway car. Before she leaves, she asks Paul to put a little beer in a saucer in front of the TV when the Gophers are playing. I love that moment.

Now, Yuri is on their trail and heads into the bowling alley with his head all jacked up from his ear being sliced off.

Paul has a different message for Yuri. A message from Helga and a rabbi. We then see a woman and a sea of people, in black and white. Yuri, an evil force, probably got what was coming to him.

Following this slice of strange, Gloria is celebrating Christmas with her son and her ex and his boyfriend. She gets a call that Nikki’s bus has crashed.

She shows up and finds out there are no women on the bus, which means Nikki is still out there.

Poor Sy shows up at Emmitt’s place, what with the murder of Ray and the business being taken over by Varga and whatnot. Meemo, dancing like a weirdo, and Varga tell him Emmitt is still sleeping and that Sy can’t see him now.

Varga also tells Sy he is $5 million richer than he was yesterday. Varga offers Sy some breakfast, probably part of Varga’s binge and purge way of life. Sy isn’t hungry but, like the cup scene a few episodes back, Varga and Meemo force Sy to drink some tea.

Poisoned tea. Sys vomits at the office and passes out. I pretty much figured that was what was happening.

What I didn’t think was going to happen was a three month time jump to March 15, 2011 with a bearded Sy in a coma being pumped with pain killers. Emmitt is visiting his old friend, probably aware Varga did this to him, because who the (REDACTED) else would? Poor Sy is in toxic shock.

We then get a nice scene of Gloria and Winnie badgering Emmitt on their “lunch break.” I am glad Gloria still has a job with the Eden Valley PD, despite the clashing of egos with Dammik.

This is not the last of Emmitt’s problems. When he gets to the roof of the parking ramp, he doesn’t see his car, but Ray’s beat up corvette. This really seems to spook him.

It gets worse. The photos in his office have been all replaced with images of the stamp that caused all the problems with his brother. It is intense and kind of trippy all at the same time.

Someone is messing with him, and I don’t think it is Varga. My money says it is Nikki and Wrench torturing the guy with memories of the brother he murdered.

We get Varga in his truck, picking his gross teeth with that metal thing, when Meemo answers the phone and we find that Emmitt thinks Ray is alive.

We also learn that Nikki and Wrench have not been seen since the accident, neither has Yurim who I imagine is in some sort of personal hell after his encounter with Paul at the bowling alley.

Emmitt seems to be losing his mind. He sits in the dark, haunted by the memories of Ray, and when he goes to the bathroom he finds a mustache on his face.

When Meemo tells this to Varga, he doesn’t seem to take the news well. There are things now happening that he doesn’t know about, and I am sure he hates that.

Varga shows up to calm Emmitt and to get him to sign some papers for a new venture. He also gives Emmitt some pills to calm him down.

After Meemo throws Emmitt into bed, even taking off his shoes which was odd, we see that Emmitt didn’t take the pills. It was weird, almost like the pills just appeared next to him on the bed.

Gloria is going about the end of her shift, putting off signing her divorce papers. She finally decides to just sign them. Then, Emmitt shows up and says he wants to confess.


  • This was not only the most violent episode of “Fargo” I have seen, it is also the weirdest as well.
  • How about Wrench just beating the living hell out of Golem with one arm.
  • “You’re speaking sign language? You got to be kidding me!”
  • Golem’s death scene was pretty disgusting. On the other hand, the little weasel had it coming.
  • Wrench is really good at throwing an ax.
  • At the bowling alley, Nikki is asked if she wants bowling shoes.
  • Nice “Big Lebowski” nod with the bowling alley.
  • “We all end up here eventually, to be weighed and judged.”
  • “When the Gophers play, put a little beer in a bowl and put it in front of the game.”
  • It is somewhat a relief that poor Ray is reincarnated as a kitten.
  • Gloria got to say “Aw, jeez.”
  • Poor Sy. Poisoned and in a toxic shock.
  • “What the (REDACTED) is this?” Emmitt yells when he sees his newly redesigned office art.
  • I really think Varga is troubled by all this weirdness that is happening to Emmitt.
  • “I own a shopping mall?”
  • Was that mustache glued on? I couldn’t tell.
  • “Sy’s not dead,” Emmitt says. Varga responds “yet.”
  • Gloria is now a deputy.
  • “My name is Emmitt Stussy. I want to confess.”

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