Fargo: ‘Rhinoceros’ Review

Fargo 'Kiss My Grits'

Oh boy! There was a lot of shooting going on in the latest episode of Fargo and yet somehow all of our main characters remained safe. You would think with all of these confrontations that someone was bound to take a bullet to the head. It just wasn’t meant to be though thanks to the quick thinking of Lou Solverson and Karl Weathers.

Rhinoceros, the latest from Fargo, had plenty of intense, action-packed sequences but it appears that nothing was resolved at the end of the day. Dodd is now being held by Peggy in her cluttered basement, Ed is literally in the middle of nowhere after running away from the cops with Hanzee hot on his trail and questions abound with Floyd and Simone at the Gerhardt residence. Bear, surprisingly, was the only smart one and rather than shoot his way through a police station to take his son Charlie back, he decided that cool heads will prevail on this night.

This certainly wasn’t the finest episode that Fargo has had to offer this season but there was plenty of action throughout. The one amazing thing about this series is how on edge it makes the viewer feel and Rhinoceros was no exception. You just never know what is going to happen next and that is the beauty of Fargo. So quick, grab some fruit from the fruit bowl before it gets blown to smithereens and enjoy the review!

Jabberwocky

The Gerhardt’s and Kansas City are in the middle of a war and, after their failed attempt at killing Ed the Butcher, Dodd returns to the Gerhardt residence and is greeted by his brother Bear, who is really pissed off that Dodd sent his son Charlie to do the deed. Bear immediately attacks Dodd and a fight ensues but it’s quickly broken up by the greatest Indian to ever grace our TV screens, Hanzee Dent. Dodd decides the only way to handle this situation is with his belt buckle, just like their father used to use on them when they were young’ns. This is, once again, broken up only this time it’s their mom Floyd. She’s furious about Dodd’s bullshit and it’s a good thing too because the last thing this family needs is a family feud.

Boys Will Be Boys

I have a feeling that Bear and Dodd are going to end up at each other’s throats for the rest of the season and things might not end well for one, or both, of the Gerhardt siblings. It also doesn’t help that Dodd’s own daughter is a snitch. Simone is clearly treading in traitorous waters and she’s really pissed off at her father because he called her a whore. I don’t know how I feel about Simone. She’s clearly up to no good by providing inside information to Kansas City and she may be the one solely responsible for the Gerhardt’s downfall. That said, it probably doesn’t help that her father continuously keeps lecturing her about whore life.

"Do you know what a whore's life is?"

This doesn’t sit well with Simone so she gives Milligan a call and lets him know that her father and uncle are on the way to Luverne to take care of the Butcher. Simone has some really deep-rooted daddy issues and she totally wants her daddy to kiss her grits! You go, girl!

I still don’t understand how one of the Kitchen brothers survived Hanzee’s knife in the forest but we’ll roll with it. Besides, Milligan is going to need all the firepower he can get his hands on. Bokeem Woodbine has definitely been a gem this season and he once again shined in Rhinceros, especially with his recital of Lewis Carroll’s famous nonsense poem, Jabberwocky. It was a very appropriate poem, especially that last line spoken by Milligan, “He left it dead, and with its head, He went galumphing back.” Could this be a foreshadowing of what is about to happen to Dodd? The answer is clearly no because this show is too unpredictable.

Jabberwocky

Meanwhile, Hank pays Peggy a visit after Ed’s arrest. She lets him know that she has a seminar to attend in Sioux Falls but Hank doesn’t think it’s a good idea for her to go considering there have been five murders and her husband is currently in a prison cell. The body count is piling up and Peggy is in complete denial about the fact that the Gerhardt’s are coming after her husband.

“I’m just going to hide behind my coffee cup.”

I love Kirsten Dunst as the naive Peggy Blomquist. She is easily one of my favorite characters but I’m thinking her denial is going to be her downfall soon. Hank finally gets straight to the point and tells Peggy that he has a forensic team coming down to check her vehicle for blood. Hank wants to know why Peggy didn’t drive to the hospital or wave down a passing motorist to call the police. She explains that it’s not as simple as checking off ‘A’ or ‘B’ and we obviously know it was a decision made in the heat of the moment. This is Fargo after all, and Peggy is living in a museum of the past. It’s hard to say what any of us would have done in Peggy’s situation but she has certainly made things a lot worse for her and Ed by driving away on that fateful night at the Waffle Hut.

Better Call Karl

Ed, the new Butcher of Luverne, is on his way to the local jail after being arrested after putting a cleaver in Virgil’s head during the fire at Bud’s Meats. He also has a cellmate and it just so happens that Charlie Gerhardt, the guy who was sent to kill him, is going to be his bunk mate for the time being. Lou is busy questioning Ed about the whole ‘cleaver in the head’ thing but Ed can’t stop thinking about Noreen’s book, the one with the Myth of Sisyphus and the boulder, and decides he is going to take care of his own shit and nothing more. He finally demands a lawyer because he’s seen Ironside enough times and away we go.

Karl and Sonny are busy having beers when they are interrupted by one of the local police. Apparently, Karl is one of the only lawyers in Luverne and he’s been tasked with defending Ed. I was wondering how Karl was going to come into the story and this is obviously how:

That moment when you get up too quickly after a few too many

It’s a good thing Ed demanded a lawyer too because Karl just so happened to be the one to diffuse the entire hostile situation at the police station.

Back at the Blomquist house, where Ed’s mom used to wash his undies, Hank and Peggy are interrupted when some visitors arrive at the front door. Of course, it’s the Gerhardt’s and shit is about to get real. Dodd, taser in hand, strolls up to the front where he’s greeted by Hank.

A Shocking Development

Dodd wants to know where Ed is and Hank tells him that he’s in jail. Obviously. Dodd doesn’t believe Hank and Hanzee is already making his way inside while they are having this little chat. It was all very intense because you just didn’t know what was going to happen next. Hanzee eventually sneaks up on Hank from behind after going through the house and ends up knocking him out cold. Hanzee…you da man!

Hanzee smokes Hank in the face with his gun

Dodd and his crew search the house and it’s revealed that Peggy is quite the hoarder. She has a massive collection of old magazines and there’s a lot of clutter. She would definitely make for a great candiate on TLC’s reality TV show Hoarding: Buried Alive.

Hoarders

In fact, there is so much crap in their basement that one of Dodd’s henchmen ends up injuring himself after running into a bunch of stuff. Dodd, being Dodd, shoots the guy to shut him up. And all I’m thinking is thank god Dodd is not my boss.

You just knew it was only a matter of time before they found Peggy but what I didn’t expect was for her to come out of her hiding spot with a taser of her own and shock the shit out of Dodd.

A Taste Of Your Own Medicine

Didn’t see THAT coming! I guess Peggy can be a total bad ass when she puts her mind to it. Shocking, ain’t it? I wish we got to see more of what happened here. Hank was knocked out on the Blomquist front porch but the next time we see him, he’s with Lou in the boonies. So where does this leave Peggy and Dodd? I assume Dodd wasn’t arrested but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that Hank would just leave Peggy’s without checking on her first. I’m hoping they fill in the gaps here and maybe we’ll more scenes with Dodd and Peggy are in our future.

The Man Of Constant Sorrow

Back at the Gerhardt farm, Floyd is questioning Simone about her loyalty to the family. Floyd tells her she needs to step up and be a leader. Of course, they’re interrupted by gun fire and the fun is only just beginning. Milligan and his thugs arrive at the farm and literally blast the shit out of everything in their sight. Nothing was safe, not even this delectable bowl of fruit:

Fruit Ninja

So did Floyd and Simone survive? It looked like Floyd knew what was coming just in the nick of time but this was the last we saw of the Gerhardt residence. And where does this leave Simone? Did Milligan know she was inside? I think it’s pretty obvious that Simone has made a big mistake by getting into bed with Kansas City. Does anyone really think Milligan gives a shit whether she lives or dies? This is a turf war and I’m prety sure he wants to end up on the winning side. Hopefully Simone wakes the fuck up after this incident and finally realizes that home is where the heart is. Ride or die with family to the very end.

Hey Man, Nice Shot

Meanwhile, Karl finally takes his drunk ass to the police station so he can meet his new client. It becomes very apparent that Karl is one of the worst lawyers ever but he’s also hammered so maybe he’ll be decent once he sobers up. But probably not. His meeting takes about four minutes and I could have went without his drunken rants although it was pretty humorous, especially his talk about rights and freedom. What I was not expecting was to have the Gerhardt’s waiting outside the police station with guns.

Bear is locked and loaded with Lou and Karl inside

I loved the use of the split screens throughout this episode, they were pretty much a necessity considering how much was going on and it would have been difficult to follow each character around one by one. Having Lou and Karl inside talking while also showing what was happening outside illustrates just how miles ahead this series is when it comes to videography. Especially when Hanzee is always creeping around in the back.

Luckily, Lou is on the scene and knows exactly what to do. I loved his resolve during this intense moment and Patrick Wilson has been a sight to see in his role as Lou. So Hanzee is once again sneaking around like a white rabbit in the snow and he makes his way around back while Bear demands they release his son from jail.

Lou quickly comes up with a plan to place smashed light bulbs by the doors and windows so they will hear any intruder if they decide to sneak in. It appears that Lou Solverson is ahead of the times and may have also been involved in writing the script for Home Alone years later. Kevin McAllister would be proud.

This entire scene had me on the edge of my seat. Lou sends Karl out the front door to distract Bear and the rest of his thugs so he can sneak Ed out the back. But what they don’t realize, however, is that Hanzee is already around back and he immediately hears them upon exiting out one of the windows. Karl pulls some of his lawyer bullshit on Bear regarding the release of his son Charlie. Basically, Karl tells Bear that if he breaks out his son, he’s probably going to end up a fugitive for the rest of his life. Bear can’t be that smart because he falls for this hook, line and sinker. The reality is that Charlie had nothing to do with anything that is going on here and none of the things Karl is telling him would likely happen. Somehow, though, the plan works and Bear and his goons retreat back to their vehicles. Crisis averted.

You Just Got Lawyered

Without Lou saving the day, I’m pretty sure things would have gone a lot worse for everyone involved. After the situation is finally diffused, Lou meets up with Hank on a lonely road in winter and he brought Ed with him. But Ed decides his next best move is to run the fuck away and that was exactly what he does. It was a really bad idea though because Hanzee has tailed Lou from the police station and is now hunting Blomquist.

Ed running away

Yup, Ed is fucked. Somehow this guy is like a cat because he’s got nine lives and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is somehow able to escape Hanzee’s knife but at some point you just know his luck is going to run out.

With only four episodes remaining in season two, our story is moving along quickly with many of our characters finally coming into contact with each other for the first time. For me, Rhinoceros was a great episode but clearly not the best we’ve seen from Fargo. Still though, is there a series that can set things up with as much entertainment? The answer is nope. Okay then!

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT

Mikey Likes ItRhinoceros was not nearly as good as some of the previous episodes of Fargo, but it was still an intensely enjoyable ride. We were treated to a variety of different confrontations throughout the episode and, at this point, I have no idea how Ed is going to survive this. Surprisingly, this was more of an episode to set things up for the final four episodes. Dodd is now stuck in the Blomquist basement after being shocked out of consciousness by Peggy, Floyd and Simone may have been shot dead after Milligan and his crew decided to redecorate the Gerhardt home with bullets and Ed is on the run in the middle of nowhere with Hanzee on his trail.

One of the highlights for me was when Milligan was reciting the Jabberwocky nonsense poem before he took off to take care of business. It’s these minor details that give me so much more appreciation for the show. Milligan has had some awesome lines throughout the second season and now that he’s the only remaining recognizable face for Team Kansas City, I think he’s going to have a bigger role to play in tying up our story.

And no alien talk this time? Maybe there was and I didn’t catch it but it seemed to me like there was no mention of aliens. Maybe the inclusion of the Jabberwocky was to tell us that all of this alien business is nonsense. Or maybe Peggy is an alien? Who knows but they better not just drop this for the rest of the season or else I’ll have to send Kansas City after the writers.

So what did you think of Rhinoceros? Is there any meaning to that bizarre title? The only thing I could find that might be relevant is a 1959 play written by Eugene Ionesco but I’ve never heard of it before so I’ll leave it to others to figure out this mystery. Also, who do you think is going to survive this story (besides Lou given that we already know he survives)? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow Fargoites!