Fargo: ‘The Castle’ Review

Fargo 'It Came From Outer Space'

“It’s just a flying saucer, Ed.” -Peggy

So that totally just happened on Fargo and I can’t even believe what I just witnessed. A complete and total massacre at the Motor Motel and it wasn’t complete without an appearance from a fucking flying saucer. No I did not just make that up. Fargo just went total X-Files on us. I still don’t even know what to think about everything that happened. The entire Gerhardt clan ended up saying good night and they certainly went out with a bang but it appears that some extraterrestrials have decided to intervene in order to course correct our story. If it wasn’t for them showing up, I don’t know if Lou, Peggy and Ed make it out alive. And yet, I’m totally cool with this insane plot twist.

This was one epic confrontation, all of which was set up by our favorite Sioux Indian Hanzee Dent. While his motivations will remain a mystery, as our narrator points out, you can’t help but cheer for Hanzee who has come full circle. I was quite surprised that the series has placed a lot of the focus on Hanzee but I’m all for it. So will he finally catch up with Ed and Peggy in the finale? Your guess is as good as mine but I have a feeling that the Blumquist’s luck is never going to run out. ALIENS saved them after all.

The Castle was one of those episodes that you never forget. Every great series produces these moments that will literally linger in our heads for the rest of our lives and it’s safe to say that we just experienced this in Fargo’s penultimate episode of season two. I have no problem saying that this was THE best episode of Fargo to date and that is saying a lot since every episode seems to outdo the next. Enjoy the review!

The Book of Fargo

The History of True Crime in the Mid West

Let me first start things off with that narration. I absolutely loved the opening with the book of stories revolving around the Midwest. I should also mention that these stories date all the way back to 1825 and I’m already salivating over the possibility of an entire season taking place in that decade. I’m not sure that we’re going there for the third season but I’d be absolutely thrilled about our story going way back to the 1800s. The possibilities are now officially endless. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota round out the states that were mentioned during the opening narration so all of these states could be the backdrop for future seasons.

Also, it was pretty fucking awesome that Martin Freeman, aka Lester Nygaard from season one, was our narrator. They really could not have picked a better person for the part given the connection to the first season. Once again, brilliance. The Castle was easily one of my favorite episodes of the entire series so far and that’s saying a lot since almost every episode has been sheer brilliance. Way to go, show! 🙂

Everything started off with a literal bang when Hanzee makes his way back to the Rushmore Grocery Store and things certainly did not end well for our hockey-obsessed store clerk:

Hanzee shoots store clerk

Poor guy didn’t even do anything wrong. Also, Hanzee is a killing machine. This guy places no value on life whatsoever and I’m not even sure if I blame him for this after hearing our narrator tell his story.

Meanwhile, Ed and Peggy are in heaps of trouble now that the Dakota State Police have arrived. And these cops are total douchebags. Lou is obviously the only smart officer in the cabin but people tend to enjoy power trippin’ and these cops were the absolute worst. You just knew it wasn’t going to end well for any of them. So Ed and Peggy explain the entire situation and let the cops in on their meeting with Milligan and Kansas City at the Motor Motel.

Douche Cops

The plan is to have Ed and Peggy wear a wire since they are now in these douche cops jurisdiction. Lou thinks this is a terrible idea, even if Hank thinks the Blumquist’s are doing better then them so far, but just like Lou we all know this has been blind luck. Lou does his darndest to convince them this is a terrible idea but he’s unsuccessful and essentially told to go back to Minnesota. I said it before and I’ll say it again: These Dakota cops are the worst.

Lou makes his way back to the Rushmore Grocery Store where he finds the clerk who is now super dead after being shot in the head by Hanzee. But there isn’t much Lou can do at this point since the Dakota cops want him out of the state. Luckily, Hank lets Lou know they are going to be at the Motor Motel and it’s a good thing because had they never had this conversation, Lou may have never made his way back across state lines to help out. And once again, perfect use of the split screens. This show knows what it’s doing when it comes to video editing and I love how they utilized this technique throughout, especially considering how much is going on.

It’s also worth mentioning that Betsy’s cancer appears to be getting much worse. Those pills shes been taking are probably the placebo’s and you can’t help but feel bad for Lou and little Molly.

I've Fallen and I can't get up

I don’t think Betsy is going to make it out alive this season and it totally sucks for Lou because he’s such a good husband and father. Poor guy.  Also, Sylvia’s Mother by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show was playing during this scene, yet another perfect song choice. Check it out below:

The Best Places To Piss

Back on the Gerhardt farm, Floyd wants to have a chat with Simone but as we know, Simone has been killed by her Uncle Bear. Bear doesn’t reveal this to his moms though. Hanzee also ends up ringing the Gerhardts to let them know how his mission is going and, once again, the narration for this scene was perfect. Hanzee tells Floyd that Dodd has been captured but he’s breathing, which we know is a lie.

The narrator then explores Hanzee’s actions in further detail because apparently historians of the region have been debating his motivations for decades. We don’t know when Hanzee decided to turn his back on the Gerhardts. The narrator suggests that it may have been spontaneous or it may have been on his mind his whole life…we’ll probably never know and I’m okay with this. I like how mysterious Hanzee’s character is, that’s what makes him so interesting. When Floyd asked him who is holding her son, Hanzee tells her that Kansas City has him, yet another lie. And at this point I just knew something bad was going to happen. It appears as though Hanzee is setting up the Gerhardts big time since he knows Ed and Peggy are with the police. Get ready for some fireworks, folks! And maybe grab a snack while you’re at it:

Thanks!

A majority of the episode was mainly setting things up for the epic showdown at the Motor Motel. Peggy and Ed are going to be wearing a wire and all of the Dakota douche cops are there as well in case anything goes wrong. And things definitely go wrong because this is Fargo! Lou knows that something doesn’t feel right about this and decides to cross back over state lines.

Crossing State Lines

Yup, that’s right…Lou Solverson, a Minnesota cop, just said fuck the police! Go get ’em Lou! Of course, it was for unfortunate circumstances because Constance Heck, Peggy’s boss, has been found strangled at the Southnik Hotel. Obviously, Hanzee didn’t want to leave any witnesses alive while he was looking for Ed and Peggy. Okay then!

So it looks like everything is ready to go for the meet and greet at the Motor Motel but you just know these idiot Dakota cops are in for a big surprise. I did, however, love the conversation they were having during their poker game. Seriously, this was hilarious in every way.

“Best piss I ever took was in a kitchen sink.”

I have no idea how the writers even came up with this dialogue but watching these idiot cops talk about the best places to piss had me on the floor laughing. I mean, drinking six coffees and pissing in your CO’s desk drawer…best poker small talk ever. And I don’t think I’ll ever have answers to that debate about whether pissing in a pool is worse than pissing in a kitchen sink. Why not just use the toilet? Just another awesome aspect of this series is the dark humor and this was the perfect balance of comedy and drama.

These cops, however, are in a much lighter mood than Hank who is obviously worried about the impending meet and greet with Kansas City. And he definitely should be worried because shit is about to hit the fan. A lot of shit.

When you're trying to fall asleep but can't stop thinking about shit

Unfortunately, no one knows the Gerhardt’s are on their way to start off one of the craziest scenes Fargo has ever produced. Get ya popcorn ready!

Fire In The Sky

Everything led up to this moment. After Hanzee’s white lie about Kansas City and Dodd, the Gerhardt’s are bringing an army to the Motor Motel and no one is the wiser, except Lou who has also made his way back to the motel. And this is when all hell breaks loose. The Gerhardts make their move and literally shoot everyone in sight and our Dakota douche cops didn’t have a chance. Especially this guy:

Bear shoots crap out of douche cop

It was a complete massacre of epic proportions and I could not look away. It’s also worth mentioning that Ben makes a comment similar to Lou’s from season one and I have a strange feeling that we may learn about this story in future seasons. You may remember Lou making a reference to the Sioux Falls Massacre in season one, this time it was Ben who says “it’s Rapid City all over again.” So if Fargo continues this trend of going backwards in time, which I really hope they do, we may be spending some time in Rapid City next season. I’m totally curious about this and so should you. If only the book of Fargo was a real thing!

This episode was full of surprises but never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted what came nex because this happened and my brain exploded:

Flying Saucer shows up to the party

Yup, that’s a fucking flying saucer on Fargo in the middle of a gun fight which involved almost every character. This was legendary. I’m sure some people may have been disappointed with aliens showing up with front row seats but I was all for this. A completely unexpected twist for the ages.

Lou kills Bear

Not only that but every single member of the Gerhardt clan finally met their end. Even more surprising was the fact that Hanzee was the main reason for this dramatic downfall. I had my suspicions that something was up when Hanzee was told to stay behind with Floyd but I had no idea that Hanzee was going to go bat shit crazy on EVERYBODY!

Goodnight Gerhardts

It literally didn’t matter what side you were on because Hanzee doesn’t discriminate when it comes to murder. Easily the best character of the season and I don’t think there are any doubts after watching this one.

And even with all of this going on, somehow Peggy and Ed were able to survive yet again and are hands down the luckiest people in the world. Plus, Peggy had the line of the night:

"It's just a flying saucer, Ed. We gotta go."

I loved this. As we’re all losing our collective minds over extraterrestrials showing up, Peggy is all nonchalant about the entire situation. Kirsten Dunst has produced one of the more underrated performances of the season and she’s absolutely crushed it as Peggy Blumquist.

Hanzee was obviously the other star of this episode and I can’t say enough good things about the story being told by the narrator. It seems as though no one really knows what Hanzee’s motivations were other than the fact that he is still going after Ed and Peggy. The narrator asks why Hanzee would want these two dead, a question that has also puzzled historians for years. Was it because they witnessed the execution of Dodd and were the only ones that could reveal his treachery? Or was it a deeper meaning, maybe the fact that he had shown his true self to them in a moment of vulnerability. Honestly, we don’t even need an answer to this question because Hanzee is pure fucking awesomeness all around. Plus, his reaction to the UFO…..priceless:

Hanzee's reaction to the UFO

Just wow. This episode had everything and I think it may be at the top of my list as the best episode of the season. We’re probably never going to get an explanation about that flying saucer but I’m totally cool with that. In fact, the flying saucer is probably more of a symbol of fate. It’s as if there is a plan for all of us and we simply cannot escape it. This flying saucer is really what started off our story because it was the main reason Rye Gerhardt paused long enough for Peggy to accidentally run him down in her car. And the same thing happened here, with Bear only getting shot and killed after the flying saucer showed up. Plus, Peggy and Ed would have never gotten away from Hanzee without this interference. That is the beautiful thing about a show like Fargo. It takes a simple story and turns it on its head in the most unpredictable ways. But that is also how life works…every decision and every moment leads us to a specific point in our own story and it’s these ideas of fate, destiny and coincidence that really makes Fargo excel.

Now, time for some CCR (which played during the closing credits), just another awesome track to add to the playlist:

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT

Mikey Likes ItA motel massacre, plenty of murder and a flying saucer in one sentence can only mean one thing: This episode absolutely rocked in every way. I still cannot get over the fact that a FLYING SAUCER showed up, lighting up the sky and causing chaos for everyone involved. This was the last thing I could have expected from a show like Fargo, but I am thrilled that the writers went there. While we obviously know nothing about why this flying saucer showed up, or even what it is or where it came from, I simply loved the fact that they included this in the story.

And how about them Gerhardts? We still have the finale left and every single member of the Gerhardt family is dead. Except Charlie, who is still hanging out in a prison cell. I have a feeling that Charlie will end up surviving as the only remaining Gerhardt member and how do you like that for a plot twist? No one could have ever expected this and I have a hunch that the Gerhardt’s story is not over just yet.

Plus the narration was a great inclusion and having Martin Freeman tell the story was simply perfect. It also tells us that there is a lot more to this story that we haven’t seen yet, dating all the way back to 1825. Every season of Fargo has its own cool vibe and I love the fact that we’ll get to see more of this story play out during different time periods. I also really want to know what happened in Rapid City, I swear that was a big hint 😉

So what did everyone think of The Castle? Are you still freaking out over that flying saucer? Or are you scratching your head and wondering about the best places to piss? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow Fargoites!