Fargo Wiki
The Principle of Restricted Choice
Season 3, Episode 2
Fargo-the-principle-of-restricted-choice-photo005-1493059132137 1280w.jpg
Episode Information
Air Date:

April 26, 2017


1.06 million

Written by:

Noah Hawley

Directed by:

Michael Uppendahl

Episode Chronology
Previous Episode:

The Law of Vacant Places

Next Episode:

The Law of Non-Contradiction


The Principle of Restricted Choice is the second of Season 3 of Fargo, as well as the twenty-second episode overall. It premiered on April 26, 2017.


Gloria deals with the aftermath of the crime; Varga makes a move; Ray and Nikki move on to their next plan.


Unable to sleep following the murder of Ennis Stussy, Gloria Burgle stays up looking through the books she found in his house. She examines a 1975 newspaper clipping of author Thaddeus Mobley winning the Golden Planet award for one of his novels, as well as a signed photo of a woman addressed to Mobley. She concludes that Ennis and Mobley were the same person. Her partner Donny Mashman arrives, stating that new chief Moe Dammick has requested her presence. As they drive to the police station, she calls her ex-husband Ron to see how their son Nathan is feeling, but finds that Ron cannot hear her over the phone. She later encounters trouble with an automatic door again.

Emmit Stussy and Sy Feltz meet with lawyer Irv Blumkin, who reprimands them for taking a loan from V.M. Varga without knowing anything about him. He attempts to track down Varga when Emmit and Sy leave by searching for him on Google, but only finds a download link. When he clicks it, his computer freezes and takes a picture of him before shutting itself down. In the car, Emmit muses to Sy that he may have been too hard on Ray when he asked for the stamp, but Sy affirms that Ray is just jealous of Emmit's life and success.

Varga and his henchmen, Yuri Gurka and Meemo, park their truck in one of Emmit's lots. Sy OKs it and nervously tells Emmit, (who is reading the paper about Ennis' murder) and the two discuss Varga's true intentions, both believing them to be illegal. Gloria and Donny meet Dammick, who is appalled at the stations lack of technology and simplistic way of carrying out the law. Gloria and Dammick immediately chafe, and Gloria leaves to go interview Earl, the gas station attendee that Maurice LeFay stole a phone book page from. Earl offers nothing helpful and is unable to offer identifying information, but Gloria notes that the torn page means Maurice was looking for something.

At work, Ray checks the office's database to confirm that Maurice's death is regarded as accidental, and returns to Nikki Swango's place to tell her. She is more concerned with getting the attention of a man named Burt Lurdsman, who may sponsor their bridge career. Confused as to why Ray is so concerned about Maurice's murder, she concludes his stress must be coming from his feud with Emmit and orders him to settle it, one way or another. That night, Yuri tracks Irv to a parking garage and, after comparing himself to the Cossacks that would kill Irv's Jewish ancestors in droves, throws him off the garage with Meemo's help to stage a suicide.

Ray visits Emmit and the two talk, ultimately realizing they want to make peace, and the two agree to leave their issues in the past, shaking hands. This, however, was a bait, as Nikki breaks into Emmit's office while he is distracted, looking for the stamp. She sees that he has replaced it with a picture of a donkey, and, believing this to be an insult to Ray, writes Emmit an insulting message in her own menstrual blood and leaves her tampon in his desk. As Ray expresses regret over tricking Emmit, Nikki affirms that Emmit was insulting him, moving the stamp because he does not trust his brother. Sy and Emmit observe the aftermath of Nikki's failed heist, noting that the only reason he moved the stamp was that his cleaning lady accidentally broke the frame. As Sy promises to take care of it, Emmit gets a call informing him of Irv's death, horrifying them both.

The next day, Gloria and Nathan meet with an undertaker to talk about Ennis' funeral, and find that they are the only ones who will miss him, as he was heavily disliked by the community. Sy and Ray meet in a coffee shop, and Sy gives him twenty dollars, telling him he will never receive money from or speak to Emmit again. He leaves and slams his car into Ray's, accidentally dinging a waitress' car as he drives away. Varga moves into an empty wing of Stussy Lots without telling Emmit, proclaiming them full-on partners and describing his plans to make them all rich. He offers condolences on Irv's death, stating the true tragedy in it came from how avoidable it was.


Main cast

Guest Starring


  • Hardee Lineham as Irv Blumkin
  • Janet Walmsley as Deb
  • John Warkentin as Parking Lot Attendant
  • Daryl Shuttleworth as Earl
  • Ray Thunderchild as Parolee
  • Ivan Sherry as Scotty Pullover
  • Mike Johnson as Janitor
  • Andy Yu as Meemo
  • John Blackwood as Claude Applegate
  • Graham Verchere as Nathan Burgle
  • Jessica Zhang as Waitress
  • Zina Lee as Madeline
  • Steve Belford as Emmit Acting Double



  • First appearance of Yuri Gurka.
  • First appearance of Meemo.
  • First appearance of Moe Dammick.
  • First appearance of Donny Mashman.
  • First (and last) appearance of Irv Blumkin.
Season 3 episodes

01. "The Law of Vacant Places"
02. "The Principle of Restricted Choice"
03. "The Law of Non-Contradiction"
04. "The Narrow Escape Problem"
05. "The House of Special Purpose"

06. "The Lord of No Mercy"
07. "The Law of Inevitability"
08. "Who Rules the Land of Denial?"
09. "Aporia"
10. "Somebody to Love"