‘Fargo’ Season 2, Episode 6: Defending the Common Man

The turf war between the Gerhardts and the Kansas City syndicate continued to escalate on Monday.

Comments: 35

  1. Yes, but whose 1970s cover of "Man of Constant Sorrow" was it??

  2. According to Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix.com, it was Blitzen Trapper. You can find other performances by them on youtube, but not Man of Constant Sorrow.

  3. And how about that opening credits shout out to classic 70's films like Peckinpah's The Getaway, and the adaptation by John Flynn of Richard Stark's The Outfilt, with the grainy paused action effect as the fellows are being placed into stir. That actually got my pulse pounding and heart all a-twitter. Love that kind of stylized homage in the right place! I dig Fargo and the folks behind it!

  4. Alas, it seems Simone will find her role less Juliet than Ophelia. Hank surviving was a welcome outcome, but whither Peggy, who has done quite the number on the Gerhardts - I may never again look at hoarding askance; and my money is on Ed somehow besting his deadly stalker. The best exchange of the night (Offerman's hilarious Daniel Webster meets Clarence Darrow aside) was Hank asking Peggy why she simply hadn't taken Rye to the hospital or flagged down some help. And if we're invoking John Wayne Westerns, I expect the returning Bear will find a burned out homestead, a la The Searchers.

  5. Best sequences:
    When Simone complains to Mike Milligan that her father, Dodd, called her a whore, Mike’s deadpan response: “Well, technically…”

    And when Peggy goes all stream of consciousness about her hopes and dreams, Hank channels Seinfeld (remarkable, given this scene occurs in 1979, a full 10 years before Seinfeld began airing): “You’re a little touched aren’t you? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

    Overall, a great episode. And while Offerman is wonderful, special kudos to Ted Danson and Kirstin Dunst on great performances.

    Finally, the Emmys need to consider adding an additional category...Dialect Coach...which Fargo will win and Kirstin Dunst (along with the coach) should accept.

  6. Well....As a Minnesotan I wouldn't necessarily agree. Kirsten Dunst is doing alright. Not bad enough to jar Minnesotan ears, anyway, but maybe not Emmy-worthy. I think Ted Danson is doing a great job, accent-wise, too, as Bob Odenkirk did last season.

    Accents aside, the show is fantastic and this season is even better than the last.

  7. The Dialect Coach is an awesome man named David Lerigny and he'll be tickled by your comment. He played the man in the mail office from season one when Malvo comes looking for a package from Duluth.

  8. Well, lucky for Peggy she apparently knows what a cattle prod is and how to use it.

  9. Blitzen Trapper - "Man of Cpnstant Sorrow."

  10. Thanks. I was wondering whose cover that was, and SoundHound was no help.

  11. "Whores have five good years, five bad years..."

  12. Absorbing episode, though I find it hard to believe the Gerhardts would leave the homestead so vulnerable to attack. Am loving to hate Dodd--Donovan's portrayal is very entertaining & a far cry from his Burn Notice role.

  13. This is a fabulous show if only because it's quite differen t than anything on TV today...I'm not that skilled to dwell on all the so-called 'homage' with all the music and references to past movies...not relevant...also not fair to compare it to "Fargo" of last year...let it stand on its own merits and it will thoroughly entertain..

  14. Why is the episode called "Rhinoceros"? I kept waiting for an Ionesco reference.

  15. The only thing i can think of are Hank and Lou watching the people of their quiet, ordinary place in the world turn into rhinos, i.e., animals with animal instincts. Ionesco was focused on the idea of conformity versus nonconformity and in "Fargo" we have the ultimate "small town America conformity" turning into a war zone ... where everyone gets involved in the war. A stretch perhaps but I also wondered about the title.

  16. Kudos to my man Hanzee for saving Hank's life!

  17. A scene I wouldn't mind seeing:

    Mike Milligan has Dodd cornered and is about to fire the fatal shot. He says to him, in his inimitable tone: "You probably don't know this, but your lovely daughter and I have kept some company together. In fact, I asked her if she had any message for me to give you before I killed you. She thought about it for a moment and said 'Kiss my grits.' That's it. That's all she could come up with, a cheesy line from a middling sitcom. It has to be sad, a man getting ready to leave this world, knowing that he raised a daughter who couldn't come up with anything better than that."

    Then, having made his point, he dispatches Dodd. I think that would be a very Fargoesque way for it to happen.

    As an aside, I really hope Mike Milligan survives the season, though I realize my hoping this probably does not say anything too good about me.

  18. That's just excellent, SRY. I could totally see that. Well done.

    Personally, I think the lawyer overplays his schtick to the point it's boring and irritating. I don't agree he is taking over the show in any respect.

    Anybody but me think the whole "jabberwocky" bit was totally Samuel Jackson from Pulp Fiction? I like it, but, very derivative as most things on this show are. That's not a criticism, just an observation.

    Peggy sticking Dodd with his own cattle prod is probably the best visualization of "karma" I have seen in awhile.

  19. Thanks very much.

    Nice point about Jabberwocky. I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it, I think it suggests a contrast between Mike Milligan and Jules Winfield from Pulp Fiction. Whereas the latter, prior to "the miracle" of the bullets missing him and Vega, regarded his work and his role in the criminal world with a palpable gravity and seriousness, Milligan, professional and capable though he is, has a sense of ironic detachment from it all. He does the job well and kills without remorse, but I get the sense he realizes the futility of it all, and does it anyway because something in him regards life in general as pointless.

    Which, now that I think about it, brings us to the Camus theme running throughout the show. Whereas Lou, limited sense of history though he has (in that man has always been inhumane to man, despite Lou's tendency to lapse into nostalgia), creates meaning in his life by being a stand up guy and a good person, Milligan, his intellect notwithstanding, has long given up on anything of the sort.

    A final scene with Solverson driving his trooper car and Milligan in the back seat, cuffed and on his way to life in prison or the gas chamber, and the two engaging in a dialogue touching on the foregoing, would be a good and meaningful nod to the Marge/Gaer scene in Marge's cop car at the end of the movie.

  20. Dodd's comment on the life of whore and how it ends coupled with Mike Milligan's agreement with that characterization came full circle when Milligan used the information Simone gave him, not to pursue Dodd, but rather to hit the Gerhardt home, which Milligan knew was unguarded due to Simone's betrayal. Milligan treated Simone like a whore and would have killed her (crushed her like a cigarette butt) without giving it a second thought.
    As to the Emmys, i don't think any actors on the show will win, because all of them will be nominated, and the votes for Fargo actors will be split.

  21. what a great show!

  22. My money's on Karl "It's possible I soiled myself" Weathers, Esq. to steal the series.

  23. It's just a super show is all.

  24. You mention so much extraneous stuff [rio bravo, assault on 13, the coens, the coens the coens ad nauseum ...] that it's almost impossible to follow your summaries. Please just stick to the story of this great show.

  25. Thank you! I thought, how much more pontificating can you do. Get to the meat of the story & that is that the show is incredible.

  26. The 'extraneous' stuff is why I read -- to catch the references I might have missed. If all you want is a simple recap, there are other sites that can provide that.

  27. Thank you, MockingbirdGirl, for voicing my thoughts regarding the "extraneous stuff." I do not want a straight summary; I want more. Thank you, Scott Tobias.

  28. Were we asleep at the switch in watching this episode?:

    Did we miss the UFO and/or alien reference in this episode?

    And did Hank really just leave Ed and Peggy's house without finding out what happened to Peggy in the basement?

    (Keep up the "extraneous stuff.")

  29. I'm a little late but great catch, rsb56, regarding Hank not even bothering you check if Peggy was in the house when he regained consciousness. What a huge plot hole! Why has no one else addressed this?

  30. The massacre in Sioux Falls looms. Next Monday we get to see what has been haunting Lou all these years.

    Since the retreat that will allow Peggy to be the best Peggy that she can be is in Sioux Falls, it seems likely that Peggy and Ed will go there so that Peggy can attend the retreat and they can give the slip to the Gearhearts. Of course, this is an absurd move for them to make, but it would hardly be out of character. Hanzee and the Gearhearts who are still at large will turn up, as will Milligan and his Kitchen appliance, the former seeking revenge on Ed the Butcher, and the latter seeking to kill off the remaining obstacles to the business acquisition their Kansas City bosses seek.

    And thus, Peggy's clueless and narcissistic pursuit of "actualization," which I think we can take as symbolic of much of what went wrong in the 70's (sixties ideals perverted and commodified, the cultural equivalent of Milligan's hypothetical flower girl turning tricks for methadone and breakfast meat), will end up getting a whole bunch of other would be self-actualizers killed in the crossfire. Which, of course, in no way makes Peggy the moral equivalent of the Gearhearts or the KC folks, but rather illustrates the perils of self-absorption in a world that is heartless, and that demands solidarity and connectedness among people precisely to ward off said heartlessness.

  31. I love the characters, but fear that the shootouts have reached over the top Frank Miller Sin City territory.

  32. Peggy is quite the "bad girl" as Constance pointed out earlier this season. She's larcenous (toilet paper), hasn't any human empathy for the injured pedestrian embedded in her windshield, she's immoral for not taking him to a hospital after he comes round in her garage, she helps her husband kill the man and dump him in the freezer --- she has no idea who he is or that he is a criminal. He could be the nicest man in the world for all she knows.

    She's narcissistic -- taking the $500 her husband was counting on to buy the butcher shop so she could be the best Peggy she can be. Piles of beauty magazines. She's pretty handy at killing or at least grievously injuring the men in her basement. She's not very level headed, though. Ed's the level headed member of that partnership.

    They are both getting really good at hurting and killing people. Look out Gerhardts. The Blomquists have a fast learning curve and they are piling up the bodies. Maybe they'll partner up with Kansas City and make the Gerhardt compound their new home. Perhaps it's the Blomquists' morning in America.

  33. Why does Doud know Peggy?

  34. I think I enjoy the show more without the cross-references from a junior college padder course on the History of American Pop Culture. All you need to add is a 10 minute quiz.