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Recap / Fargo S 03 E 04 The Narrow Escape Problem

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In an effort to steal the stamp, Ray disguises himself as his brother, and convinces Emmit's banker to withdraw $10,000 from Emmit's account and to open Emmit's safety deposit box, where only cremated remains are found.

Varga arrives unannounced on Emmit's doorstep and invites himself to dinner. Varga manipulates Emmit into officially signing him on as a partner, promising to make Emmit a billionaire. Meanwhile, Gloria looks further into Maurice's case, discovers that Ray is his parole officer, and goes to question him. She makes the connection that Ennis and Ray share the surname Stussy.

After Sy tips off Ray's superiors about the latter's relationship with Nikki, Ray is fired. St. Cloud policewoman Winnie Lopez (Olivia Sandoval), who is investigating the hit-and-run committed by Sy, goes to question him, as the car was registered to Emmit's firm. Sy acts very suspiciously, unnerved as Varga's men are watching. Lopez then encounters Gloria and reveals to her, emphasizing the slight difference in addresses, that Emmit lives in Eden Prairie, the similarities in the two names, and the fact that Emmit and Ray are brothers. Gloria is convinced further investigation is needed.



  • Affably Evil: Varga is a genuinely pleasant dinner guest while sitting down with Emmit's family.
  • Ashes to Crashes: When Ray finds the ashes of Emmit's dog in his safety deposit box, he accidentally defiles them trying to figure out what they are.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: It's in this episode that Varga reveals to Emmit how thoroughly he's been watching him. Monitoring phone calls, reading emails, and looking up pictures online just covers what the audience knows so far.
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment: When Ray gets fired he is seen carrying two boxes out.
  • Continuity Nod: Buck's new secretary Milly is said to be from Bemidji, where season 1's events took place.
  • Deal with the Devil: Varga makes a deal with the Minnesota National Trust to increase Emmit's line of credit by $25 million in exchange for him signing partnership papers.
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  • Death Glare: Yuri and Meemo give this to Sy the entire time he's being interviewed by Winnie, making him look all the more like he's hiding something.
  • Debut Queue: Winnie Lopez first appears in this, the fourth episode of the season, and stays by Gloria's side up through the finale.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After being fired and seeing his car booted, Ray goes to have a drink in a pub.
  • Foreshadowing: Before Ray makes the withdrawal, Olander tries to warn him that taking $10,000 out of his account will set off an alarm with the IRS. Guess who shows up in the very next episode?
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Varga states he's been all around the world before saying that he'd like to broaden his and Emmit's partnership. He then playfully refers to it as "abroadening" their partnership, granting himself some amusement.
  • Leitmotif: This episode utilizes the score of Peter and the Wolf and assigns each person a character from the story and a musical instrument.
    • Emmit, the bird, is represented by the flute.
    • Ray, the duck, is represented by the oboe.
    • Nikki, the cat, is represented by the clarinet.
    • Sy, grandfather, is represented by the bassoon.
    • Yuri and Meemo, the shotgun blasts from the hunter, are represented by the kettle drums.
    • Varga, the wolf, is represented by the French horn.
    • Gloria, Peter, is represented by the strings.
  • Running Gag: Gloria still can't get the automatic doors to open for her, and now the sinks, soap dispensers, and hand dryers are joining in.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: Ray tasting the ashes.
  • Too Much Information: Winnie doesn't hesitate to tell Gloria how she and her husband have been trying to conceive for months. They're doing mostly missionary now because she thinks it's important to look someone in the eyes when making babies.
  • Twin Switch: Ray manages to imitate Emmit to get into his bank vault, taking $10,000.
  • Villainous Glutton: Varga is shown at the beginning of the episode eating numerous plates of breakfast foods. After this comes the reveal that he's bulimic.
  • Villain Over for Dinner: Varga invites himself to Emmit's family dinner.


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