‘Fargo’ Review: How Good Manners Cause Major Trouble In Every Season of Noah Hawley’s Minnesota Mystery

Posted 2017/04/27 11114

Let’s look at that title: “The Principle of Restricted Choice” refers to what happens in the game of bridge every time a card is played. When you play a particular card, that act decreases the probability you hold anything equivalent to it. In other words, your first card is likely your best, and the odds of improving after you make your first move are less and less as the game continues.

That’s bad news for our card players, Ray Stussey (Ewan McGregor) and Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). While the title could refer back to their original plan of stealing the stamp, its lesson in Episode 2 applies to what Nikki did when Plan A didn’t go so well. When she couldn’t find the stamp, she took the donkey photo as a “fuck you” to Ray and gave a decidedly more emphatic message back. That was the final straw for Emmit (McGregor), as he cut Ray out of his life entirely, leaving his brother and his fiance on their own.

But we’ve seen this kind of internal family conflict before. Season 2 had it in droves, between the Gerhardt mob and the Blumquist butcher and butcher’s wife. It never ends well, and the only hope any of these characters have has been the good-hearted police officers. So even though Ray’s fear of the police has thrown off his chi, the sooner these two get involved with former chief Gloria Burgle, the better it will be for everyone.

Not only is it her job to save lives, Gloria isn’t afraid to be disrespectful if someone earns that disrespect. Unlike her fellow Minnesotans, she’s not going to be pushed around. She proved as much with the new chief, and it’s a trait that will serve her well when facing bad men in the coming weeks. I won’t pretend to know how her attitude will shake out in Ray, Nikki, and Emmit’s favors, but Episode 2 made it perfectly clear that everyone other than Gloria and V.M. Varga (David Thewlis) have misplayed their first card.