The Gerhardt family is in disarray as the war between them and the Kansas City Mafia is escalating to new, and more deadly, heights. There was also a theme of the old saying “biting off more than you can chew” throughout this episode, which certainly applies to Simone and Mike Milligan here.
The episode starts with folks from the Kansas City Mafia being gunned down during a meeting by machine gun wielding window washers, and the following montage of death shows just far this has gone for both sides. There is no return from this: Neither Kansas City or the Gerhardts will not stop until the other is gone. And after Milligan and the surviving Kitchen brother gunned down the Gerhardt’s compound last episode — killing Otto in the process — things have only gotten more messy.
Lou is back in Fargo with Hank as they have the Gerhardts on their radar for the havoc they caused in Luverne. They bring in Floyd just after she has buried her husband and does not know where either Ohanzee or Dodd are. The family has just been hit at home and the Gerhardts, at this point, no longer even trust each other. But Floyd is pragmatic, she will use the police to her advantage (and from her sly grin toward the end of the episode, I have no reason to doubt this).
Floyd throws Lou and Ben Schmidt onto Milligan’s path during her interrogation. Simone, at this point, is already at Mike’s room and freaking out because he broke his promise to her that he was going to kill her father. What she is not getting (at first) is Mike has no allegiance to her, he has used her against her family. And he seemed to have more plans for her, but is interrupted when Lou and Ben show up. Lou has Ben take her away (“Walk her out.” “What about you?” “I didn’t say don’t come back.” Lou’s look of annoyance toward Ben was priceless), as he has some words with these Kansas City guys. “You don’t have to go home,” he tells them. “This is a big country.” Meaning, get the hell out of this area. Lou even brings up the concept of taking more than one can handle to Milligan. He even tells Mike not to be offended if he doesn’t say hello before he shoots him the next time they cross paths. That’s some Minnesota Nice right there.
Simone escapes, of course, from Ben only to find Bear has found her at the hotel. Bear is no dummy, and from the moment he had Ricky drive her car home for her as Bear will drive her, I had flashbacks of the episode of “The Sopranos” when Silvio drives Adriana out of town, only to kill her for her betrayal to the Soprano crime family (sorry if this was a spoiler, but after almost a decade since that show has gone off the air, I feel it is OK to use this as a comparison).
Same thing happens here, Bear drives Simone to a remote part of North Dakota and walks her to her death. Bear sees Simone’s betrayal to the family as more proof that “none of us are family anymore.” A cold, heartless reminder that these people are sociopaths, they kill on a dime for any transgression. Even family.
Simone begs for her life, putting the blame on everyone in the family but herself (who did she really think she was kidding?) Bear, looking almost on the fence at this point, mutters “it’s already done” and the camera pans to an overhead shot as “Danny Boy” plays over the soundtrack. He is so upset by having to kill his own blood that he breaks the cast on his arm as he punches his truck (Note: Simone might be alive, it wasn’t 100 percent clear if Bear killed her, but I’m going with the narrative that he did).
Simone is not the only one who seems to have bitten off more than one can chew, as it seems Kansas City is not happy with the escalation of the war with the Gerhardt family. Things have gotten out of hand, sloppy and beyond. Kansas City first threatens to bring in the “Undertaker” if Mike doesn’t get things back on track, then sends the guy after things have only gotten worse. Mike, always three steps ahead, takes out the “Undertaker” and seems to have taken this war into his own hands. So now it seems we have a three-sided war between Kansas City, the Gerhardts and Milligan.
Mike is offered his best bargaining chip when he gets a call (right after he and the Kitchen brother take out the “Undertaker” and his henchmen) from Ed (who we have not seen since the end of last week’s episode, but we do not see Peggy), who tells him he has Dodd. “Mike Milligan? Today’s your lucky day — I’ve got Dodd Gerhardt in the trunk of my car. You want him?” But it seems that Ohanzee also knows where Dodd is (he killed two cops in South Dakota, where it seems where the Blumquists have gone).
This episode really ramps up the tension for everyone involved. And we finally see a clue as to what brings everyone to Sioux Falls (Dodd).
- “Fargo” was renewed for a third season!
- The scene when Betsey asks Karl to look after Lou, Molly and Hank because she knows she got the placebo was heartbreaking. I must have gotten some dust in my eye when the two hugged. Also, she doesn’t want Lou to be with one certain woman because she has weird eyes.
- When Simone is driving to see Mike, the radio is playing a cover of “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” which was also used in the Coen Brothers’ “The Big Lebowski.” It also comes back for the end credits.
- Betsey finds a room at her father’s house that contains strange symbols and notes everywhere, including on the walls. It looks like it might be connected to aliens and the UFO stuff (my guess).
- Karl Weathers is the “Breakfast King of Loyola.” Another great performance from Nick Offerman this episode. He also volunteers Sonny to sleep on the floor because he has a bad back.
- Lou to Ben Schmidt: “You’re a shit cop. You know that, right?” So great!
- Floyd is playing the cops to her advantage. She spills the beans on Kansas City’s dope smuggling to them in exchange for a blanket deal for her sons’ crimes.
- “Ask Karl about John McCain’s thumbscrews.”
- “The answer is so obvious you can’t see it because you’re looking too hard.” Ben is not only a bad cop, he doesn’t grasp these tales.
- Mike was a quote machine this episode.
- “I have two pairs of shoes. One for summer. One for winter.” One should not have more than one can handle. Excellent exchange here between Lou and Mike.
- I’m glad we got a little more of Bear in this episode.