Following Fargo S2 E8: Loplop

Kirsten Dunst as Peggy (left) and Jesse Plemons as Ed (right) in Fargo.

Kirsten Dunst as Peggy (left) and Jesse Plemons as Ed (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:

 

We find out what Ed, Peg, and Dodd were up to during last week’s episode.

 

For those who did see it:

 

After two back-to-back explosive episodes, Fargo slowed things down a bit for Loplop to let us catch our breath.

Like Rhinoceros, Loplop was very self contained. Where Rhinoceros took place in one night, Loplop takes place mainly in one location (one of the Blumquist’s relative’s cabin) with a small cast (primarily just Ed, Peg, and Dodd).

Picking up where Rhinoceros ended, Ed runs home to find Peg sitting at the top of their basement steps. She managed to tie Dodd up, then hallucinated a conversation with a motivational speaker. They then pack him into the trunk of their car and head to the cabin to hide out until they can get a ransom for Dodd. It’s very much reminiscent of the second half of the movie Fargo, when Carl and Gaear hid with a tie up mom in a cold cabin.

This could have been a very dark and twisted episode, in the vein of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. But instead it takes a different path and becomes more absurd comedy. In a good way, it’s one of the funniest episodes of the season. Dodd’s such a jerk that’s it is kind of funny to see him tied up and looking like a sad puppy dog. It’s even funnier to listen to him bicker with Ed and Peggy.

 

Peg: I barely scratched him.

Dodd: (In dead monotone) I think she punctured a lung.

Ed: Hon, you gotta stop stabbing him.

 

It’s also funny to see Ed keep making phone calls to the Gerhardt family, none of which take him seriously when he says he has Dodd.

What’s not funny is when the story cuts back to Hanzee, who has almost turned into Anton Chigurh in his quest to find Dodd. He’s descended into an almost unstoppable killer, and one who’s frighteningly good at tracing footsteps. It doesn’t take him too long to track down the Blomquists.

Before he does get to them, he stops at a racist bar, where the bartender spits in his drink and refuses to serve him because he’s Indian. When three more barflies follow him out to mock him, Hanzee has enough and shoots two in the knee, goes inside to shoot the bartender, then kills the two cops that show up. As you can expect, a nationwide hunt for him is launched.

So despite it’s simple setup, Loplop still manages to come to an explosive ending. Dodd escapes his bond while Ed’s out and Peg’s distracted. When Ed comes back Dodd hangs him while explaining how much he hates women (“You know, I think Satan is a woman. Think about it”). Before he can finish off Peg, she stabs him through the foot, basically nailing him to the floor (a clever Blood Simple reference).

I imagine getting stabbed in the foot sucks, but what’s worse is cutting your hands pulling on the knife. And what’s even worse is pulling your foot up the knife to get it off. But it’s Dodd, so it’s not like he didn’t have it coming. He should’ve ran while he had the chance, because Peg knocks him out again and frees Ed before he chokes to death.

They’re not out of the woods yet, though. Hanzee just managed to find their cabin after all of that happened. Yet surprisingly he doesn’t kill Peg and Ed the second he see’s them. Instead he asks Peg for a haircut, saying he’s, “tired of this life”. Maybe he’s a changed man, and after going through everything he’s been through to get there, he’ll see things differently from now on and let them go.

At least, that’s what I thought until Dodd calls him a half breed and Hanzee shoots him in the head. Dodd’s sudden death is shocking, but it shows that some people never change.

And Hanzee never gets his haircut, because Lou and Hank managed to find them all too (a gas station attendant recognized Hanzee from a newspaper and called the police). A brief shootout ensues, Peg stabs Hanzee with the scissors, Hanzee tries to shoot Ed, but runs out of bullets and flees. It was the first time in the show that he actually looked scared, showing that his end is coming soon too. It also shows that Fargo can stage the best action scenes on TV today.

With only two episodes left, everything in Fargo is coming to a head. Ed and Peg seem to have reached the end of their rope, Milligan is coming to Sioux Falls expecting to get Dodd, and almost all of the Gerhardts are dead. I tip my hat to anyone who thinks they know what’s going to happen next, because I haven’t the slightest clue. And you know what, I don’t want to. I just hope Fargo can end just as strongly as it began. But with eight flawless episodes already under their belt, how could they possibly screw up the last two?

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