James Garcia reviews the fourth episode of Fargo season 2…
It’s hard to believe that, despite everything that happened in this week’s episode of Fargo, titled “Fear and Trembling,” there are still six episodes left in the anthology series’ second season. After the first three episodes introduced us to Fargo‘s new colorful band of characters and did some table setting for the larger, deadlier plots on the horizon, “Fear and Trembling” made the surprising move of kicking several of those plot lines into high gear.
Lester Nygaard had the entire first season to get his story straight, but Fargo isn’t being so kind to Peggy and Ed Blomquist, whose home was visited not only by Hanzee, the Native American henchman of the Gerhardt family, but by sheriff Lou Solverson as well. Both parties are privy to what happened to Rye and how the Blomquists are responsible. Hanzee has yet to make his knowledge known, but Lou invited himself right into the Blomquist house and tried to get ahead of the situation before it gets out of hand.
Last episode did a great job of showing us Lou’s ability to assert his authority and the fact that he won’t back down to violence if necessary. “Fear and Trembling” further endeared his character by showing us his intelligent, human side – he doesn’t come into the Blomquist house with his gun out. He comes not just as an authoritative figure asking for a confession but a neighbor hoping to warn and protect them. Ed clearly would have given in had Peggy not interrupted and asked Lou to leave, showing that there’s still a difference of opinion in the Blomquist household.
Tensions are only going to worsen for Peggy and Ed, not just because of these converging outside forces, but because of the impending self help summit that Peggy is attending, to Ed’s chagrin. Peggy has long shown signs that she wants nothing to do with a boring midwestern life as a housewife, and took big strides this week to go behind Ed’s back and move forward with her own dreams. I still think that she’ll be the Lester Nygaard of the season, letting those close to her fall so that she can get what she wants. I won’t be too surprised if she pins all of Rye’s death on Ed in the coming weeks.
Things are also quickly moving toward bloody conflict on the Gerhardt front. The meeting between the local crime family and the Kansas City crew didn’t go as planned, and now the two sides are prepping for war. Dodd may have made the first move of aggression that morning in the donut shop (displaying Noah Hawley’s brilliant ability to capture Coen-esque moments of sudden violence and comedy), but Joe Bulo’s men flexed their muscles by displaying just how vulnerable the Gerhardts can be, by attacking Otto after a doctor’s appointment and killing his bodyguards.
The ace in the hole for Joe Bulo and Mike Milligan will likely be Simone Gerhardt, Dodd’s daughter. We’ve already seen that she has a toxic relationship with her father, and now that she’s in bed with Milligan, I wonder if she’ll find a way to betray him.
We got two additional nuggets of information this episode: The first is that Dodd was primed to become a ruthless killer from the start, as evidenced by the episode’s cold-open, which saw a young Dodd kill a man in a movie theater who was threatening Otto.
Second, we learn that Peggy’s self-help seminar, Lifespring, will take place at Sioux Falls. Viewers of the first season know that the massacre at Sioux Falls is what haunts Lou Solverson into his old age – I’m guessing that the seminar is where all of these storylines come to a head.