Fargo: ‘Fear And Trembling’ Review

Fargo 'The Placebo Effect'

I got a case of the Monday’s but luckily Fargo is on to make it all better. Fear and Trembling was bringing the heat and things are getting sizzly (is that a word?) in Laverne, Minnesota where murder was on the menu at the old Waffle Hut. Things were rolling right along as our story has finally progressed with everyone finding out who was responsible for Rye’s disappearance and our two crime families heading for war.

I’m still surprised that Lou and Hanzee have already discovered that the Blomquist’s were responsible for Rye’s death but I’m all for it because things are moving right along now. Further, the Gerhardt’s are going to war with Kansas City after Dodd and Milligan both make moves against each other. Having spent a lot of time with the Gerhardt’s, I’m starting to fall in love with their zany family and they better end up on top at the end of all of this. It would be fairly surprising if Kansas City ends up getting a victory over Fargo on a show called Fargo.

This episode worked so well at further developing the characters and there are so many good ones on this show that it’s impossible to pick a favorite. We learned more about Dodd’s childhood and the entire doughnut shop scene just made me love the guy even more if only because of his taser. Hanzee is pure fucking awesomeness as well and it’s literally impossible to look away when he’s on the screen. I really hope Hanzee survives the entire season even if this might seem unlikely. And Lou and the Blomquist’s provide the small town charm that we have become accustomed to throughout this series. There is so much good on this show and I can’t wait to see how this all plays out. And so should you. Let’s get ready for WAR!

So grab a chocolate glaze doughnut, or old-fashioned if you prefer, and enjoy the review!

War Of The Worlds

One again, the opening scene used the perfect jam to set us up for the episode. The jazz track at the beginning, Topsy by Count Basie, really set us up for the flashback to 1951.

We meet up with Otto Gerhardt and his son Dodd at the movie theater and obviously the movie playing featured aliens because this is totally a thing on Fargo now. Otto is meeting with someone who is making a power play to get to the top of the Gerhardt family business. His goon ends up pulling a gun on Otto but this was the plan all along because Dodd is getting an early start on learning the family business:

Ya gotta start 'em young

I don’t think I expected the little kid to stab this guy in the back but it was a pretty awesome plan. It appears that Dodd got an early start when it comes to murder and you just know this is going to be important down the road, especially when the Gerhardt’s go to war with Kansas City.

We skip back to present time in 1979 where Dodd and his nephew Charlie are bonding over target practice. They head over to one of the local doughnut shops but not before Too Much Paranoias by Devo starts playing.

The entire scene in the doughnut shop was perfection. Joe Bulo sent some thugs over from K.C. but Dodd is having none of it. He also has the greatest weapon ever. At first I thought it was a giant metal pipe but boy was I ever wrong.

The Shocker

Yup, it was a fucking taser and this is officially my new favorite weapon. Dodd also lets his nephew Charlie get in on the action by having him punch one of these goons in the face repeatedly. Go Team Gerhardt! After taking care of the competition, Dodd decides that it’s time for some doughnuts. NOMS!

Chocolate Glaze and Old Fashioned

There was something about Dodd and Charlie walking nonchalantly into a doughnut shop, tasing the fuck out of those thugs and than ordering doughnuts that really makes you cheer for them. And that was what this episode was about because the Gerhardt’s are going to war and this show isn’t called Kansas City for a reason.

The Gerhardt’s meet up with Joe Bulo and his Kansas City squad and this whole scene really moved things in the right direction. Floyd decides that they are not going to be accepting their offer and makes a counteroffer instead.

This Means War

Floyd believes her counteroffer is more than fair but Kansas City is still pissed off about the fact that Dodd tasered some of their goons in the doughnut shop earlier. Floyd believes that a deal is always better than war, but she also emphasizes that they will fight to keep what is theirs until the last man falls. Bulo says that if it was up to him, he would take the counteroffer but it’s definitely not up to him. Bulo is also concerned that Floyd can’t keep her sons in line but Dodd wasn’t lying when he said he was provoked at the doughnut shop.

Meanwhile, while this is happening, Mike Milligan and the Kitchen brothers have decided to make an attack on the Gerhardt’s themselves. While taking Otto back from the doctor’s office, Milligan shows up and killing is once again on the menu. They end up murdering everyone except Otto and Milligan lets him know that Joe Bulo says hello. So we know this is obviously the start of a war between Kansas City and Fargo and I’m thrilled. I knew our story was leading up to war between the two factions but I didn’t think it was going to start so early.

Bulo ultimately rejects the counteroffer by Floyd and makes some threats in the process. This is not going to help the situation though since the Gerhardt’s are not just going to give in. It looks like we’re definitely going to war and I’m not talking about the card game. It was also hilarious watching Dodd try to put his head on his mommy’s shoulder in the car. I guess deep down he’s a mama’s boy.

Thugs Need Cuddles Too

I also wanted to mention the scene with Mike Milligan and Dodd’s daughter, Simone since this is obviously going to be important to the story going forward. Simone is sleeping with Mike, possibly so she can get high, but this is not going to end well for someone when Dodd finds out that his daughter is literally sleeping with the enemy.

I loved how this episode finally put an end to the negotiations and moved our story forward with an inevitable showdown between Kansas City and the Gerhardt’s on its way. By the end of the episode, Floyd finally makes a decision that they’re going to war with Kansas City and shit is going to be going down soon. And never have I been this excited for war in my life. Go Gerhardt’s!

Hanzee Scheme

He doesn’t usually have much to say but Hanzee is easily one of my favorite characters this season. The Gerhardt’s sent him to Laverne to try to find out what happened to Rye and watching Hanzee methodically look for evidence at the diner shows us that he is a man who knows what he’s doing. He also seems to be a lot smarter than the cops when it comes to solving mysteries which should surprise no one.

"That's one nice piece of glass."

He ends up finding a piece of glass from the Blomquist car in the snow. What was really bizarre about this whole scene was when Hanzee looked up to the sky and there was some sort of flashing light in the sky. I can only assume that this was yet another reference to the UFO that Rye saw right before he was struck by the car. There is obviously something important about this particular location and I cannot wait until we find out what Rye actually saw the night of the Sioux City Massacre. Hanzee also checked his timepiece, which read 9:06 (or somewhere around that) after seeing these lights and I can only assume this is important for whatever reason.

Fire In The Sky

Honestly, I have no idea what this is or why it’s important so if anyone has any clue what is going on, please share in the comments.

After finding the piece of glass at the Waffle Hut, Hanzee makes his way to the local auto shop and is able to deduce that the piece of glass came from the Blomquist vehicle that is parked inside the shop. Hanzee doesn’t say much even though one of the shop employees is trying to explain to him that he can’t be looking inside their customers vehicles. It also doesn’t help that Sonny is an idiot and basically tells Hanzee that the vehicle belongs to Ed who works at the local butcher shop. Breach of confidentiality was totally cool in the ’70s though. This entire exchange was hilarious and intense, espeically when Hanzee gets all freaky with his words. Sonny tells Hanzee that they used to call him Mad Dog when he was in Nam but Hanzee doesn’t really care and instead says some really fucked up shit in an effort to scare the crap out of Sonny boy.

"Fits like a glass slipper."

They’re interrupted by Karl Weathers (played by Nick Offerman who is unrecognizable without his trademark mustache), the owner of the shop who also happens to be a friend of Lou Solverson’s, and he breaks things up when he shows off his gun. Hanzee leaves quietly without a word because he’s bad ass like that and Karl decides that they should alert the local authorities about this incident which is exactly what they do.

No Problem-O

Lou and Hank make their way over to the garage and Karl fills them in on what happened. Lou immediately realizes that something is wrong with the Blomquist’s story as he recalls the night he stopped at Bud’s Meats for bacon. So it looks like the Gerhardt’s and the police now know that the Blomquist’s were involved in Rye’s disappearance.

Hanzee, who also should have been a detective, breaks into the Blomquist residence and uncovers a number of things. First, he realizes that bleach was used on the garage floor. He also finds Rye’s belt buckle in the fireplace. You just knew it was only a matter of time before this entire cover-up blew up in Ed and Peggy’s faces and now that Hanzee knows they had something to do with Rye’s disappearance, I have no idea how Ed and Peggy are going to get out of this one alive.

Insufficient Funds

Peggy and Ed seem to be moving on from their recent murder of Rye Gerhardt. Financially, they aren’t doing so well which leads to an argument between the two. Peggy really wants to take some course so she can advance her career while Ed needs the money so he can buy the meat shop.

We later find out that Ed’s check bounced due to insufficient funds and things get more difficult for the Blomquist’s when Bud tells Ed that there is another buyer from Sleepy Eye who has offered him more money. Ed later finds out that Peggy didn’t return the money from her course because she ignored everything that Ed said during their previous conversation. Isn’t marriage just awesome?

Insufficient Brains

I love these two brain dead idiots. It was only a matter of time before Hanzee and the police figured out that they were involved with Rye’s disappearance and now they can’t even get enough money together to buy the meat shop. Peggy’s boss is putting a lot of pressure on her to take this course in Sioux Falls, possibly to break up her marriage and convert her to lesbianism. I still think Peggy’s boss has a crush on her and she’s trying to break up the Blomquist’s, which will likely lead to her murder.

After confirming that the Blomquist vehicle was indeed at the Waffle Hut the night of the murders, Lou decides to pay Ed and Peggy a visit and it was hands down the most awkward conversation ever. Lou asks the couple if he’ll find any blood if he checks out their vehicle but Ed and Peggy deny everything. Lou knows the Blomquist’s are in big trouble…they still think it’s Tuesday and have no idea what’s coming…so Lou just comes right out and tells them that the man they hit was Rye Gerhardt and his family hurts people for money. I just wanted to slap Ed and Peggy in the face here. Lou gave them a great opportunity to come clean about what happened and they still refuse to admit to their mistakes. And the worst part about all of this is that they didn’t even do anything in the first place, it was all an accident.

Denial Ain't Just A River In Egypt

"You should probably start locking your doors."

Okay then! So Peggy and Ed are in big trouble now that everyone knows they were involved with Rye’s disappearance. And how about Detective Hanzee? The guy literally solved this entire crime in a couple of hours.

It’s also worth mentioning that Betsy’s cancer is spreading so the doctor suggests she signs up for a trial to test new medication. The only problem with this is that it’s actually a study to see if the medication truly works and she has a 50/50 chance of getting smarties instead. Talk about shitty treatment. If she ends up getting the placebo, she is likely screwed even if sometimes taking a placebo can improve the patient’s condition simply because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful.

So far, I am absolutely loving this season even if it’s been slow goings for the last couple of episodes. Luckily, Fear and Trembling stepped up the story big time with K.C. and the Gerhardt’s getting ready for war and the Blomquist’s getting ready for prison (or murder).

Lastly, every song choice on this series has been perfect and the song that played during the closing credits, Down In The Willow Garden, was another gem. Hit play and enjoy!

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT (but I much prefer a Honey Cruller over the Chocolate Glaze)

Mikey Likes It
Fear and Trembling got things rolling in the right direction and I’m ecstatic about going to war with K.C. and the Gerhardt’s. I wasn’t expecting this to happen so quickly after the last couple of episodes but thanks to Dodd and his taser it looks like things are about to get wild in the Midwest. There were so many good scenes in this episode it’s simply impossible to pick a favorite. From the Gerhardt’s meeting with Joe Bulo to Hanzee’s investiation to Lou’s late night chat with the Blomquist’s, I simply cannot pick one over the other.

And with Hanzee, the greatest character of the season so far, solving the entire Waffle Hut crime in a day, it also looks like the Blomquist’s are going to be in big time trouble. Not only do the cops know what happened to Rye now, but the Gerhardt clan is also about to find out as well once Hanzee reports back to them and if I’m Ed and Peggy, I’m taking Lou’s advice and locking the doors.

Clearly the second season of Fargo has been a pleasure to watch. The videography and scenery has been phenomenal so far and I can only wonder what things would look like if they hadn’t used the snow-covered fields of the Midwest. And just throwing this out there, but I would actually love to see a completely different setting for the third season…maybe go to small town New Mexico or something along those lines. That would really add a whole new vibe to the show and make it super fresh, not that it even needs it.

So what did everyone think of Fear and Trembling? Did it make you want to eat doughnuts and taser people? Do you want to slap some sense into the Blomquist’s for being so dumb? And who do you think is going to win this inevitable war? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow Fargoites! Until next week…okay then 🙂