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Recap / Fargo S 03 E 05 The House Of Special Purpose

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Ray, again disguised as Emmit, makes a sex tape with Nikki to blackmail his brother for $100,000. However, Emmit's wife Stella sees the video first and angrily leaves him, taking her mother and children with her. Prior to making the video, Ray proposes to Nikki, and she happily accepts.

Back at Stussy Lots, Varga takes Sy's office and punishes Sy for talking to law enforcement by rubbing his dick in a mug Sy got from his wife and then making Sy drink from it at gunpoint. A worried Sy then has dinner with Ruby Goldfarb (Mary McDonnell), a wealthy widow interested in buying Stussy Lots, but is interrupted by a distraught Emmit, who asks Sy to handle the situation with his brother by any means necessary. While purchasing Ray's tuxedo for the wedding, Nikki gets a call from Sy telling her to meet him at one of Emmit's lots. Ray is interrogated by Gloria and Winnie about the situation with Sy and the Ennis Stussy murder. However, Chief Dammik, chalking up the situation to coincidence, forces the pair to release Ray.


Emmit has a meeting with Varga, who voices his distrust of Sy and suggests Sy and Ray may be working together to bring down Emmit. Nikki meets with Sy, but their meeting is interrupted by Yuri and Meemo, who brutally beat Nikki as a traumatized Sy watches before fleeing. Ray returns home to find a badly bruised Nikki collapsed in the bathtub.


  • Ambiguous Situation: Nikki is severely beaten around the end of the episode by Yuri and Meemo, but still manages to drive home and crawl in the bathtub. The episode ends when Ray finds her lying there unresponsive and badly bruised, suggesting that she could have succumbed to internal bleeding. Subverted in that the preview for the next episode showed her alive and well.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Emmit asking Sy "What is the point of you?" after he's failed to keep Ray under control.
  • Blatant Lies
    • When Varga is explaining his partnership's influence on Stussy Lots, he claims that "lives are changing for the better." We don't know the specifics about his shifty dealings yet, but the lives we've seen impacted by them have been far from enhanced.
    • After Ray gets into a heated argument with Emmit on the phone, he brushes it off to the people who overheard by saying he was talking to his mom.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Emmit explains to Sy that Stella left because of the sex tape that Ray sent.
    Sy: Why would your wife want to watch your brother have sex?
  • Cradle of Loneliness: Emmit cradles a gown of his wife after she left.
  • Cut-and-Paste Note: The blackmail note for Emmit.
  • Darkest Hour: Now that his wife has left him, Emmit is not pulling any punches on dealing with Ray.
  • Evil Is Petty: As mentioned above, Varga makes Sy drink from a mug he rubbed his dick all over just because he can. The effects, however, don't seem so petty.
  • The Fixer: Emmit refers to Sy as this, albeit in an accusatory manner since Sy has failed to fix anything.
  • Happily Married: Emmit and Stella were this until she believes he cheated on her.
  • Lady Macbeth: Emmit sees Nikki as the reason why Ray has started making his life a living hell.
  • Male Gaze: We don't need to see Nikki's whole body while she's talking to Sy on the phone, but the camera seems intent on capturing her in those jeans.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Yuri and Meemor deliver one of these to Nikki towards the end of the episode.
  • Precision F-Strike: Emmit delivers the first one of these in the series to Ray over the phone when chewing him out for causing Stella to leave him.
  • Reason Why You Suck Speech: Emmit gives a small one to Sy while he's despairing.
    Emmit: What is the point of you? You're supposed to be a fixer. Well, nothing's fixed. Everything's broken.
  • Shout-Out: Emmit yells "STELLAAA!!" as his wife drives away.
  • Take Our Word for It: All we hear while Nikki's taken into the field by Varga's men and beaten is her cries of pain and the sounds of the impacts. All we see is Sy's horrified reaction.
  • Twin Switch: A variation. Ray poses as Emmit in a sex tape that he and Nikki send him as blackmail.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Yuri and Meemo do not hesitate to kick the shit out of Nikki.


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