Fargo’s latest, The Myth of Sisyphus, was another excellent episode that is slowly bringing all of our characters together. I wasn’t expecting Lou to have already come face to face with the Gerhardt’s and the Kansas City goons but I’m glad that our story is progressing considering the fact that we already know what happened to Rye Gerhardt. The episode title is in itself a metaphor for Fargo’s second season. We are presented with a number of characters going on a pointless search for Rye…they just don’t realize how pointless it is yet.
Some general background about the myth: Sisyphus was a mortal man in Greek mythology who defied the gods by playing tricks on them and even put Death himself in chains so that no human could die. Death eventually escaped these chains, however, and when Sisyphus finally perished, the gods had him push a boulder up a mountain where, upon reaching the top, the boulder would roll down again, leaving Sisyphus to start over. Now you might be wondering what in the hell this has to do with Fargo but upon further observation it becomes apparent. The Gerhardt’s, the KC Mafia and our detectives are all spending time trying to discover what happened to Rye but it appears to be a pointless endeavor as we know Rye committed these heinous acts at the Waffle Hut for his own self interest and nothing more. Sisyphus’s task of pushing the boulder up the mountain can be seen as a metaphor for our own reality in that we spend our lives working pointless jobs that involve the same monotonous tasks but this only becomes tragic when we become conscious of this fact. And much like this episode of Fargo, none of our characters are conscious of the fact that Rye is indeed dead and that his crimes were pointless in the sense that they had nothing to do with anything else that is currently going on. Until our characters become conscious of this fact, they will be forced to continue running around, trying to find answers and this is obviously going to lead to more tragedy in the end. Pretty fucking cool.
While this episode was a little on the slow side, it did have a ton of great moments and I can’t say enough good things about the amazing videography, the zany characters and the dark, comedic dialogue. So let’s jump right into the case and see if our characters have gotten any closer to solving the mystery. Enjoy the review.
Pluses And Minuses
The opening intro of Fargo was once again done to perfection, this time with Yamasuki’s Yama Yama playing in the background. I am also very intrigued by Zahn McClarnon’s character and the opening shot with him petting a white rabbit with flashbacks to a magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat, which were super mysterious. Zahn’s character, the native American who goes by the name Hanzee Dent, is one of the more interesting persons we have seen so far and I’m pretty sure this is the same native American who was waiting for Reagan to put the arrows in back in the premiere. Be sure to hit play below to relive that opening scene:
I don’t really know what to make of Hanzee in the woods petting a white rabbit but it certainly grabbed my attention. Hanzee hasn’t been around much yet but when the writers have him in scenes like this, you just know his story is going to be important going forward.
It also looks as though it’s going to be the KC Mafia versus Fargo which could provide us with a lot of action…and murder. The Gerhardt’s are still debating on whether or not to make a deal with Kansas City and they have consulted with some of their muscle to scope whether this is a good idea or not.
Dodd is very adamant that he doesn’t want to make this deal with Kansas City and would rather go out guns blazin’ but Floyd explains that the Gerhardt’s are a peacetime family and they’re small time. It seems pretty obvious to me at this point that Dodd is going to be the one to start a war with Kansas City. The question is how long can Floyd keep him in line before he snaps. The Gerhardt’s are not going to make the first move but they are definitely getting ready for a war.
Meanwhile, Mike Milligan and Joe Bulo are chatting about whether to kill all of the Gerhardt’s or offer them more money. They clearly mean business but not before having a discussion about shampoo. And I am in agreement, hotel shampoo totally fucking sucks.
We also catch up with Bear Gerhardt and his son Charlie and this scene was probably indicative of things to come. I just have this hunch that the Gerhardt’s are going to become their own worst enemy with the two remaining sons and Floyd going head-to-head for the family business…just like the Baratheon’s from Game of Thrones. So far, if I had to take sides, I much prefer Bear who seems to be more like his mom when it comes to running the family business. Plus, I also enjoy a good chicken drum from time to time:
I think Bear and Floyd will remain on the same side of the fence for now but this could change as Dodd attempts to rise in rank up the Gerhardt family tree.
Hop, Skip and a Jump
Our detectives, Lou and Hank (who is also Betsy’s father), are still on the Sioux City Massacre case and it appears they have a pretty good lead when Hank informs Solverson that they found a print on the murder weapon belonging to one Rye Gerhardt.
We also find out just how bad ass the Gerhardt’s really are when Lou has a conversation with his new Fargo cop friend, Ben Schmidt, who mentions that it would have been better if they had found his own fingerprints on the gun. I guess that probably means that it’s not a good idea to fuck with the Gerhardt’s. Obviously Ben has had some previous encounters with the Gerhardt family and we learn a lot about them from this conversation. It becomes apparent that Schmidt wants nothing to do with this case.
Luckily though, Lou doesn’t really care what Ben has to say about the Gerhardt’s because he’s not from Fargo and his only concern is finding Rye and solving the triple murder that happened on his home turf in Laverne.
While at the courthouse, Skip Spring (the typewriter dude) is doing some super suspicious shit and Lou immediately notices this so him and his new cop friend go to question him. I found it interesting that Skip referred to his typewriters as “spaceships”, yet another reference to extraterrestrial life on Fargo. There has to be something more to this obviously as this is now the third episode in a row that has referenced UFO’s. As to how this is going to tie in with our story, I literally have no clue but I’m really enjoying the mystery.
With the late judge’s heavy case load, the two coppers decide to let Mr. Spring go and it’s obviously a mistake. That could have been a big ass lead to the case considering it was Skip that told Rye to take care of the judge in the first place.
And how awesome is the name Skip Spring? Awesomeness all around. So Skippy heads over to find Rye and we know he’s not going to be able to locate him since Rye is super dead. Skip ends up meeting with Dodd Gerhardt’s daughter, Simone, instead but since Skip can’t pay the Gerhardt’s what he owes, Simone and Hanzee end up literally taking him by the tie to go for a ride.
Skip is in hot water once Dodd shows up to question him. Hanzee has dug a nice, empty grave for our typewriter friend and Dodd asks him to get in and make himself comfortable. This was easily one of the best scenes of the episode and Dodd calls over a dump truck full of gravel but Skip finally blurts out that Milligan was looking for Rye. This obviously doesn’t stop Dodd and Hanzee from burying Skip alive. Dodd also sends Hanzee to Laverne to find his little brother so we know something is going down and I am looking forward to seeing more of Hanzee in future episodes.
Now that the Gerhardt’s know Kansas City is looking for Rye, things will likely heat up between Dodd and Milligan. I just wish they would all realize how pointless this is considering the fact that Rye’s crimes really had nothing to do with anything except typewriters. Sisyphus would be proud.
Meanwhile, Lou and his new partner in crime Ben Schmidt, head over to the Gerhardt residence to get some answers regarding Judge Munt’s murder. They are not greeted with open arms and are asked to remove their firearms but Lou questions whether these small townies know how law enforcement works around here. Go get ’em Lou. They ask Floyd if they can talk to Rye but she refuses to cooperate even though the entire family has no clue what happened to the youngest Gerhardt.
Dodd eventually shows up and is not too happy about seeing the police since I imagine the Gerhardt’s usually pay the cops off, like Ben. But Lou won’t back down…he’s from Laverne, Minnesota after all, and this doesn’t sit well with Dodd and the rest of the Gerhardt’s. I loved the intensity of this scene and I love that Lou isn’t scared of these big wigs. The Gerhardt’s did, however, probably realize that Rye had something to do with Judge Munt’s murder. Lou also mentions that he’s looking for Mike Milligan as well, and it’s revealed to the Gerhardt’s that Milligan is looking for Rye too. With everyone looking for Rye, it’s only a matter of time before something bat shit crazy happens so let’s hope for a Mike vs. Dodd encounter very soon.
Lou heads over to Carriage Typewriters to get more info from Skip Spring since that is their only lead and because Skip was a little squirrelly when they first met him at the courthouse. He finds Mike Milligan and the Kitchen brothers inside and he’s once again not greeted with open arms with everyone getting their guns out.
Lou makes a joke and tells Mike he last saw Skip at Mike’s mom’s house sneaking in through the backdoor. Those jokes will never get old and Mike appreciates the thoughtful diss. They have a chat with their guns pointed at each other but nothing really comes from this conversation since neither of them know where Skip is.
So Skip and Rye are dead and no one is any closer to finding out what happens…that is, until they find the only remaining piece of evidence that is the Blomquist car with the hole in the windshield.
Covering Up Your Crimes
Back at the hair salon, Betsy is getting her hair done and enjoying the sounds of Wayne Chance’s Send Her To Me, which you can check out below:
Is there anything better than the music in Fargo? The answer is a definite nope because this soundtrack is fucking awesome. Hell, I’ve been listening to Reunion all week because of the opening scene from the last episode and it just keeps getting better.
And how about Betsy Solverson, eh? That woman is the real detective so far. Not only did she find the murder weapon but she was able to put all of the puzzle pieces together when she figures out that Rye Gerhardt was more than likely hit by a car after shooting the waitress in the parking lot. Of course, Peggy freaks out and is forced to interrupt this conversation before her lesbian boss mentions the hole in her windshield so she says that Betsy’s story makes no sense since how could someone just hit a person and take off. Oh, I love the irony. Hank is playing the dumb cop perfectly and agrees with Peggy because it’s “not like you’re just gonna drive home with a Gerhardt in your windshield and start supper.” Man, is he ever wrong about that. Okay then.
Peggy immediately freaks out about Betsy’s “theory”, runs over to Bud’s Meats to get her husband and they take off to deal with the car. Their plan is actually hilarious but makes sense. Peggy had an uncle that would always get drunk and damage his car so he’d hide out until he sobered up and then fake a new accident to cover up the damage he did while drinking. Oh, the ’70s…where drinking and driving was totally chill. Don’t drink and drive, folks…you’ll go to jail…this isn’t the ’70s.
Ed ends up doing a 180 into a tree, on purpose of course, to cover up the previous damage caused by Rye’s body. They call a tow truck to get rid of the vehicle and their cover is solid, considering how much snow has covered up the streets of Laverne, Minnesota. It just sucks that they gotta take the bus to work now.
Meanwhile, Lou pays a visit to Alec’s Auto Service to fill up the tank with gas and we have yet another reference to extraterrestrials. The guy in front of him starts rambling on about alien “visitors” hovering in the sky. He also mentions that they only come in the odd months and in sets of three. Yet another reference to these alien lifeforms and I am literally losing my shit over this because I want to know why they keep bringing this up every single episode.
So let’s just talk about this for a minute. I am very intrigued about all of this alien talk and once again a random guy at the gas station starts rambling on about UFO’s and probes. Here’s what he said:
“Rapid fire. Some round, some oval. Circular patterns, unnatural, hovering in the sky. You know, they come only in the odd months. The visitors. Always in sets of three. Such a night was two nights past. Reports from Mankato to Vermillion. Some say they take you to their ship and probe ya in places you don’t want to mention. I believe their purposes are more benevolent, as the caretaker to the zoo. Strange happenings occur, they are near.”
So what in the fuck could all of this mean. We have already seen a UFO (allegedly) which led to Rye getting hit by Peggy’s car. We also had that random excerpt from Jeff Wayne’s ‘The Eve of the War’ and now this small town dude be talking crazy. I mean, aliens aren’t going to show in Fargo, right? That would be insanity. That said, who are these so-called visitors? Maybe this is obvious but he mentions that they are always in sets of three, and Rye committed three murders on the night of the massacre, so is this a clue? Also, there are three Gerhardt sons (Dodd, Bear and Rye) and Milligan and the Kitchen Brothers from K.C. make three as well. Again, I’m not sure if these are supposed to be clues but hopefully it will all make sense soon. I will admit that these alien references have been a perfect ode to the Midwestern United States and it’s been fun trying to figure out what it all means. What do you think? Is the truth out there?
Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT
The Myth of Sisyphus was everything Fargo should be. I love the fact that they compared the case to the myth of Sisyphus given the fact that there is no point to any of this like rolling a boulder up a mountain over and over again. Rye committed those murders for his own personal interests in typewriters and everyone else has literally nothing to do with it. Kansas City and the Gerhardt clan are all looking for Rye but they are never going to find him. Same with our detectives. This case is already closed and yet I feel like this is going to end badly for everyone involved (except Lou).
So what’s not to like about this series? Well, nothing. The story is super entertaining which is pretty impressive considering us viewers already know what happened at the Waffle Hut. They have included this bizarre alien mystery, which I wasn’t too thrilled about at first but am thoroughly enjoying now. And we also know that shit is definitely going to hit the fan when things come to a head between Kansas City and the Gerhardt’s.
There is only one piece of evidence left to find, that being the Blomquist family vehicle, and I think it’s only a matter of time before all of these individuals end up knocking at Ed and Peggy’s door to get some answers. I cannot wait to watch their reactions because those two are the epitome of small town life.
So what did you think of The Myth of Sisyphus? Did it make your hair feel like you just washed it with hotel shampoo? Or was it as delicious as Bear’s chicken leg? Let us know in the comments and we definitely want to hear your theories regarding this whole alien business. Thanks for reading, fellow Fargoites!