Following Fargo S2 E7: Did You Do This? No, You Did It!

A bruised Kitchen brother (left) and Mike Milligan (right) in Fargo.

A bruised Kitchen brother (left) and Mike Milligan (right) in Fargo.

James Mason, Staff Writer/Editor/Critic

Warning: this review contains spoilers from this episode, as well as from previous ones.

 

For those who didn’t see it:

 

The Gerhardts hold a funeral on the family farm, where Floyd is arrested shortly afterwards. Hank and Ben hold her in the station, where they try to convince her to make a deal with them and step down.

Lou has Karl look after Betsy while he’s gone, and we learn Betsy isn’t getting any better.

Mike Milligan’s boss tells him he’s run out of time to take of the Gerhardts, and he’s sending “The Undertaker” to replace him.

 

For those who did see it:

 

Fargo has always had a knack for squeezing in references to other Coen Brothers movies, not just from Fargo. So far I’ve caught references to O Brother Where Art Thou, The Big Lebowski, Blood Simple, and maybe A Serious Man. This episode added another, Miller’s Crossing, and if you’ve ever seen it, you know exactly which scene I’m talking about.

In Fargo, the scene was when Bear found out about Simone. Mainly, that she had been talking to Milligan. So Bear all-too-calmly follows Simone to the hotel Milligan is staying at and gives her a ride home. Except he’s not taking her home. Anyone who has been watching this show, or even has the smallest amount of common sense, knows where this is headed. But that’s the point. In the car ride that seems to last forever, Simone slowly grasps what’s going to happen. Bear taking her to the woods and slowly walking her deeper and deeper into them is gut wrenching to watch. Seeing Simone cry and beg for her life is heartbreaking, but as Bear says to her, “Hush now. It’s already done”, sealing her fate.

Bear may be quieter and more likeable than his brother, Dodd, but he still knows he has to keep the family business in line. No matter what.

Before that happened, she almost had a chance of surviving. Lou and Ben managed to track down Milligan, who seemed to be stuck quoting old kings or parables. Lou stuck around, talking to Milligan (who killed Otto in last week’s shooting of the Gerhardt farm) and trying to convince him to go away. Ben tried to detain Simone, but she escaped and ran away (because as Lou says to Ben, “you’re a @#$% cop, you know that”), which is where Bear caught up to her.

Lou’s confrontation with Milligan reminded me of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s coffeeshop scene in Heat. When Pacino and De Niro sat face to face, they made it clear to one another that this would be the last time they would see each other before it became life-and-death. Milligan’s and Lou’s goes the same way, with Lou perfectly summing it up with “Just don’t act surprised when I don’t say ‘Hi’ before I shoot you”.

Lou by now knows everythings going to come down soon, so he asked Karl to watch over Betsy while he’s gone, make sure nothing happens to her. Of all the characters in Fargo, Betsy is simultaneously the only one fully aware of what’s going to happen to themselves’, and the only one fully accepting it. In a very tender scene with Karl, she tells him she knows she has the placebos, and she wants him to take care of her family when she’s gone.

All of this goes down with two plots looming in the background. The first was Floyd being interrogated, and whether or not she’ll sell out her family. In the ends,  she finally breaks down a little, and she agrees to help the police as long as they ignore all of her family’s previous crimes.

The other plot was “The Undertaker”. He’s Milligan’s replacement, which means this guy could mean all kinds of trouble. After all, we’ve seen what Milligan’s capable of, so who could be better than him?

We don’t really know, because in an awesome twist, Milligan shoots him in the head the second they meet. They built up the entire episode around the introduction of this supposedly very tough, and very dangerous, character, only to kill him off the second he steps onto screen. You don’t see that in TV much.

That pretty much ended episode 7, Did You Do This? No You Did It! (a hysterically long-winded title), which left only one question: where were Ed, Peg and Dodd?

Yet before it could end with a shot of Milligan’s blood-soaked hand, his phone rings. The voice on the other end has a simple request: “I’ve got Dodd Gerhardt in the trunk of my car. You want him?” Ed, who’s talking at a payphone at a gas stop somewhere, has somehow managed to gain the upper hand. Which raises an intriguing question for next week: What have the Blomquist’s been up to?

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