In 1988 East Berlin, Jacob Ungerleider is questioned in the death of a woman, which he claims is a case of mistaken identity. In 2010 Minnesota, St. Cloud parole officer Ray Stussy (Ewan McGregor) wants to marry his parolee girlfriend Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and asks to borrow some money from his brother Emmit (also McGregor) to pay for a ring. Emmit refuses, and the brothers argue over their father's inheritance that they traded each other; in which, Emmit got a valuable stamp collection and Ray got a Corvette. Ray later blackmails another parolee, Maurice LeFay (Scoot McNairy), who has a failed drug test and coerces him into stealing the last stamp from Emmit. However, Maurice loses the address, and only partially remembers it. So instead of visiting Emmit Stussy in Eden Prairie, he goes to Ennis Stussy in Eden Valley. Meanwhile, Emmit seeks to repay a business loan from two years ago, only to be informed by a shady businessman named V. M. Varga (David Thewlis) that the loan was actually a partnership agreement from a shady corporation. In Eden Valley, police chief Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) and her teenage son leave her stepfather Ennis's (Scott Hylands) house but return for a forgotten gift to find him dead and the house ransacked. Because of the name/address mix-up, Maurice has mistakenly killed the wrong Stussy. He later goes to blackmail Ray, but Nikki and Ray kill him by dropping a window air conditioner on him as he leaves.