This Fargo review contains spoilers.
Fargo Season 2 Episode 8
Those last 20 minutes. Oh man, those last 20 minutes. Just when I was about to check this off as an amusing, yet inessential episode of Fargo, more of a time killer than a table setter, Fargo turned the dial up to eleven and delivered the goods. A major player is dead, the tables have turned once again on the Blumquists, and Mike Milligan will be waiting for a package that will never come in Sioux Falls. As I said, not much else happens outside of the last 20 minutes in terms of plot, but boy, do things finally look like they’re heading full steam ahead into the last two episodes.
However, I could take or leave the first 40 minutes. It’s not that anything was particularly bad. Actually, there were a lot of laughs and many tense moments, basically exactly what you’re looking for from an episode of Fargo, it’s just that I felt the episode covered a bit of ground that was better off assumed. I didn’t love how last week glazed over exactly what happened with the Blumquists and Dodd, and I don’t understand why we needed to wait until this week to find out. Filling in the holes was nice, but we’re just covering treaded ground. I don’t need to see Lou and Hank investigate the Blumquist home, because I know they’re not going to find anything, you know?
I suppose that the episode’s true intent was to give more characterization to Peggy and Hanzee. Kirsten Dunst practically uses the episode as her own personal Emmy reel, showing true delusional optimism and a bit of a sadist streak. Peggy hallucinates a New Age-y pep talk in which she learns to “be,” not “think” then tries to smile and spin her and Ed’s situation, while Ed can barely calm himself to make a move. Dunst has always been a talented actress, but she’s been shining on Fargo, all sweet, scary, stupid, and strong at the same time. Her explaining the Blumquists innocence after repeatedly stabbing Dodd is perhaps the funniest scene of the season.
Hanzee spends the episode tracking Ed and Peggy, but it’s weird how far behind he is considering when we last left him, he was hot in pursuit of Ed. Anyway, on his travels Hanzee stops at a bar and encounters blatant disrespect and racism, even after he touts his military background. After taking one too many hateful remarks, Hanzee goes postal and wipes out the ignorant men and a couple of cops. The mental state of a Vietnam-vet coupled with the realities of a racist country and the daily abuse at the hands of Dodd causes Hanzee to snap, and when he finally locates the Blumquists holding his boss, after a couple No Country For Old Men-esuqe encounters with Peggy’s friend Constance and a local, Hanzee decides he cannot take anymore and shoots Dodd in the head.
It’s a shocking death, made even more shocking considering the events that directly precede it. Dodd had escaped his holding and surprised Ed, who had just returned from calling Mike Milligan, with a noose. Dodd hanged Ed while spouting off some misogynistic rhetoric, only to be attacked by a reawakened Peggy. When Hanzee arrives to find the Blumquists back in control, it spells certain death for the ne’er-do-wells, but the minute that I noticed that Hanzee didn’t immediately shoot, I knew it was Dodd who was on trouble.
After capping Dodd, Hanzee calmly asks Peggy for a haircut, saying that he wants to look professional and that he’s done with “this life.” Then, Lou and Hank arrive on the scene, and after popping off a couple shots and staving off an attack by scissors from Peggy, Hanzee flees the scene, leaving the Blumquists back in the possession of the authorities. However, I wouldn’t count on there safety. Ed promised Mike a gift he can’t deliver, and I know that won’t bode well, no matter how much Mike “digs” Ed’s work.
If those action packed final moments are any indication, we’re in for a real wild ride these last two episodes. The Massacre at Sioux Falls that was alluded to last season is bound to happen, and we may know that Lou will make it out alive, but will anyone else?