Right place, wrong time. Laverne, Minnesota, welcome back. Fargo returned for its second season and, once again, I am thoroughly impressed. If your were hooked after the first season, get ready to buckle your seat belts because this is going to be one hell of a ride through the windshield.
The 1979 setting paired with the amazing wardrobes and over-the-top characters has me hooked. The opening scene was an instant classic and I couldn’t help but laugh at the dark humor that makes this series so appealing. The random set of events that led to the Sioux City Massacre, while tragic, were so unpredictable and original that I couldn’t look away. Wait, I lied…because watching Rye pull a steak knife out of his back was cringeworthy to the extreme. The entire premiere was electric in every way and I already want MOAR!
And just in case you’re wondering what the title of this episode even means, it was a reference to the very opening scene where they are waiting for Ronald Reagan, aka Dutch, to put the arrows in. Very subtle but also perfectly perfect. So let’s hit the road and head to Laverne, Minnesota where things are about to get very random. Also, maybe not a good idea to order the waffles this morning. Enjoy the review.
The Sioux Falls Massacre
The intro of season two had me intrigued from the second it started, with an old movie appropriately titled The Sioux Falls Massacre and starring a young Ronald Reagan. The entire scene was classic as we watch a guy from New Jersey playing a native American and one of the set employees have a ridiculous conversation while they wait for Ronald Reagan to ‘put the arrows in’. Plus, that guy in the background asking for a blanket…loved it.
Kieran Culkin was the stand-out in the premiere, playing the shady and clumsy Rye Gerhardt, and we find out at the beginning of the episode that he owes some money. It’s also revealed that there’s a pecking order in their family with Dodd at the top, followed by brother Bear and Rye at the bottom of the totem pole. And this situation is what starts off the entire story. Rye is getting desperate to find the money which leads to a random set of events leading up to the real Sioux Falls Massacre.
Rye heads over to the local typewriter store where he has a conversation with an investment buddy about some new state-of-the-art typewriters. This was the ’70s after all, a time when cellphones, Internet and laptops were non-existent. Rye interrupts his friend by pulling a gun on the only customer in the store and you just get the feeling that Rye doesn’t have a high amount of brain power when it comes to making decisions. His friend lets him know that they will be unable to turn on the money spigot until Rye talks to some judge about unfreezing the accounts. Rye has no idea what a spigot is, which was also hilarious, and as I said earlier, this is probably another hint that he’s not the brightest bulb in the box.
Gotta love Rye’s facial expression during this entire conversation. Clearly, he doesn’t give a shit about typewriters, he’s only concerned with the cash money. Rye ends up tracking down the judge and eventually this leads him to the waffle hut in Laverne, Minnesota as Billy Thorpe’s Childen of the Sun rocks out in the background. Loving the ’70s music!
I knew as soon as Rye pulled up to the waffle house that something bad was going to happen. I have to admit I am quite impressed with the originality of this story as well as the fact that they referenced the Sioux Falls Massacre in the first season. And somehow, even with already knowing that there was a lingering massacre on the horizon, I was on the edge of my seat wondering how this was going to play out. I think that’s what makes the series so amazing. It’s completely unpredictable and random and this entire set of events is exactly what defines Fargo.
So Rye shows up to the waffle hut with the intention to threaten the judge into overturning an order for his investment partner. He’s quite nervous but once the diner empties out, it’s time to get busy. Rye confronts the judge and hilarity ensues because the judge is having none of his bullshit. She basically insults him numerous times and it makes total sense. Rye is not even close to intimidating and barely understands what is going on, so we knew it was only a matter of time before he pulled out his gun but not before he gets sprayed in the face with a can of bug killer by the judge.
As it turns out though, this was a bad decision by our judge friend who proceeds to get shot, leading to an insane series of unfortunate events. First, the cook with the frying pan! Talk about an absolutely terrible decision on his part:
Rye also shoots the waitress who was screaming in the background after watching Rye shoot the judge and the cook. But, unfortunately for Rye, the judge is still alive and ends up stabbing him in the back with a steak knife. Sadly, it’s all she can do before getting completely shot to death in a puddle of blood and milk on the diner table.
Christ! It turns out they are not slowing down on the violent nature of this series and for this, we should all be grateful. This was as real as it gets. Of course, Rye also wasn’t able to kill the waitress on his first shot and she ends up running into the street, only to have Rye chase her down and shoot her one last time in the head. If I ever find myself in Laverne, Minnesota, I won’t be ordering the waffles.
Once again, however, this series is beautifully filmed. Some of the shots at the waffle hut were pure perfection, especially when they simply showed what was transpiring from outside the diner.
I can now understand why they used Dr. John’s Right Place, Wrong Time during the trailer because the victims were certainly not deserving of being killed. They were just in the right place at the wrong time.
This show is brutally violent but I welcome this. In order to tell the story properly, I like my storytelling to be as real as possible and watching that poor waitress get shot in the head in the snow was as brutal and violent and real as it gets. And that wasn’t even the end of the scene because the next thing that happened seriously blew my mind. While Rye is outside in the snow, he looks up into the sky and sees this:
Wait, WHAT. THE. FUCK. Did this show just go all American Horror Story on us? That couldn’t have been an actual UFO, could it? When I saw this, I pretty much had the same reaction as our friend Rye and I assume you did too. So many questions! Was Rye just hallucinating because of the drugs he was on or was this a real UFO? I hope they explore this further because that was messed up.
After seeing this unidentified flying object, Rye is standing out on the road and finds himself getting smoked by a car because this show isn’t messed up enough already. Not only that, but the driver of the car drives away with Rye’s body hanging through the windshield. It was at this exact moment that I knew Fargo’s second season was going to be amazeballs in every way.
We’re introduced to a young Lou Solverson, played by Patrick Wilson, and for those that have seen season one, you’ll remember that he is Molly Solverson’s father. I loved the fact that a 6-year old Molly makes an appearance while Lou reads her a bedtime story. And I also couldn’t stop laughing at this line from the children’s book:
Even Lou had a difficult time reading this line to his daughter and it’s the little things that this show does so right that makes it that much more entertaining. We also find out that Lou’s wife, Betsy, has been diagnosed with cancer and, based on the fact that she wasn’t around in the first season, I can’t imagine she is a survivor. Lou ends up getting a call about the murders at the waffle hut and off he goes to investigate the crime scene.
Once he arrives, we meet his partner Hank Larsson, played by the hilarious Ted Danson who completely stole the show during this scene. It’s this kind of back-and-forth small talk during a grizzly murder investigation that makes these characters so likable. Hank’s reference about the cook illustrates that perfectly:
Our detectives find too many cars in the parking lot and come to the conclusion that the shooter didn’t take his own car but they’re not sure why. Hank also finds a shoe in a tree close to where Rye was struck with the vehicle. That’s a shoe alright.
We also were introduced to the entire Gerhardt clan where we meet Floyd, her husband Otto and their three sons: Dodd, Bear and Rye. We already know that Rye is the one responsible for the triple murder at the waffle house and that the entire Gerhardt family is likely connected to some kind of criminal activity. Unfortunately, the premiere didn’t explore the Gerhardt family in too much detail but we did learn that Otto has a stroke and passes away, leaving Floyd in charge of whatever criminal organization it is they appear to be running.
Of course, we later find out what happened to Rye after he was struck by that vehicle but I’m definitely curious to see the reaction of the Gerhardt family, having now lost two family members in the premiere. Further, that ending was very revealing because after Otto passes away from a stroke, we see another crime boss listening to a presentation about the Gerhardt crime syndicate. With Otto now out of the picture, it is unclear who will now be in charge. I have a feeling that Floyd Gerhardt, played by Jean Smart, is going to take over the family business but I also get the feeling that the two remaining brothers are going to be a major part of the story as well. And just like the crime boss says in the final scene, I approve all of this.
We first meet up with Ed Blomquist, played by Todd from Breaking Bad (aka Jesse Plemons) at his place of employment, the local butcher’s shop and this scene was one of the highlights for me because of two words: ‘Okay then.’ There is so much charm in the rural Midwestern setting that I couldn’t help but to laugh. Of course, we had to make a .gif of this one!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to be saying this for weeks. I remember after watching the original Fargo film, I was obsessed with the whole “oh ya” slang and if you don’t remember this, check out the video below:
It was also later revealed who ended up hitting Rye after the shooting and the way this went down was completely what I have come to expect from this show. While Ed and his wife Peggy (played by Kirsten Dunst) are having dinner and talking about making babies, they are interrupted by some noises coming from the garage. And low and behold, it turns out Peggy was the culprit who smoked Rye with her car. In classic fashion, Kirsten Dunst was hilarious as Peggy as she tried to cover-up the entire incident, saying she had had a close call with a deer.
I can honestly say that I have never seen anyone drive home with a person hanging out of their windshield after a hit and run. That was bat shit crazy, in a good way. You’ll also notice that Rye’s shoe is missing which means the shoe Hank found at the crime scene is definitely his. It’s probably only a matter of time before they put this together but I like this little attention to detail. Of course, Rye was still alive and trying to escape when he is found by Ed, whom he attacks. Ed, however, is much bigger and eventually stabs Rye to death, leaving ourselves with an interesting situation.
Ed and Peggy come to the realization that the best idea might be to cover up the crime, even though it was technically not their fault. This is obviously not the best decision but I can understand where they’re coming from considering Peggy drove home after hitting Rye with her car and Ed killing Rye with a gardening tool after being attacked. The only thing left to do is clean up the mess and hide Rye’s body in the freezer.
So how is this all going to play out? Obviously the Gerhardt’s are going to be involved since Rye is now missing and still owes money for the family business. The Gerhardt’s are heavily involved in running criminal operations so you just know that something is going to go down with the Blomquist’s and the Gerhardt’s. And I can’t wait to find out. That really is the beauty of this series. I can sit here and try to predict what is going to happen next but the writers are so unpredictable and creative when coming up with the random set of events that started off our story. The bottom line is that this show gets a BINGO every time. G-53, anyone?
Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT…OKAY THEN
There is something about this series that pulls you in. The small town, 1979 feel is a character in and of itself and so far, the story is unbelievably interesting, original and creative. I also love how they continue to pretend this is based on real events even though that’s not the case.
It’s funny because I was talking to a friend the other day about the Nancy Kerrigan-Tanya Harding figure skating rivalry from the ’90s and we both came to the conclusion that not one person on this planet would have ever been able to come up with a story like that on their own. Fargo works the same way by creating a random set of events that end up changing innocent people’s lives forever. This is what this series is all about and the premiere did a phenomenal job showing us the randomness that led to the Sioux Falls Massacre.
Points were awarded for so many things: the opening scene with the Indian who is waiting for Dutch, the entire incident at the waffle hut, Kirsten Dunst driving home with a man hanging out of her windshield after a hit and run, UFO’s and “okay then.” If I rated these shows on a scale of 1 – 10, this premiere gets a resounding 10.
So what did everyone think of the premiere of Fargo? Did it have you saying ‘Okay Then’ repeatedly? Do you have any theories on the UFO or what could possibly happen next? Let us know in the comments and, as always, thanks for reading, fellow Fargoites!