In the film Fargo, each previous event works as a ripple effect on the next event; each scene builds from the previous by taking the current issue and stretching it out to include more issues/problems which thicken the plot. The plot is driven by causality: Jerry brings the Ciera to Fargo for the kidnappers, the kidnappers go grab Jean, get pulled over because of the dealer plates, shoot suspicious trooper cause Jean is in the back, single homicide turns into triple, and the plot just goes on and on.
As these ripples unfold, we can see the characters transform through the actions that they take to handle these ripples. Margi goes through a transformation once she widens her scope of suspects after an awkward visit from an old friend. This scene allowed Margi to have a realization, gaining knowledge which she did not have before. The ripples eventually cause the father-in-law to transform, going from an individual who wouldn’t even invest in a business opportunity without financial fund security to wanting to meet with a kidnapper face-to-face armed with a ton of cash.
This arrangement of ripples taking place one after another represent a tragic plot as we have laid out before us an arrangement of incidents which inspire fear in the characters and in our audience once we realize this plan Jerry put in place has derailed.