‘Fargo’ season 2, episode 2 recap: Girls grow up to be women
As the separate stories close in on each other, Fargo shows us who's really in charge: Jean Smart, Cristin Milioti and Kirsten Dunst. Lou Solverson may be getting closer in the murder investigation, and Ed Blomquist is stuck cleaning up the bloody mess, but we're way more interested in Floyd Gerhardt, Betsy Solverson and Peggy Blomquist.
The Gerhardt boys, minus Rye, plus some other siblings I had no idea existed, gather in the kitchen to talk about who's going to be the new crime boss. Dodd (Jeffrey Donovan) seems to be the only one who doesn't think Floyd is qualified. Jean Smart plays a great firm, yet warm mama bear here. "Your time will come. It will. But this isn't it. And if you stand by me now, I promise you, as soon as this crisis is over, I'll hand you your legacy and I'll turn my thoughts over to the grave." The crisis she's talking about is Joe Bulo's (Brad Garrett) Kansas City group wanting to take over the Gerhardt crime business. You betcha, Floyd's got a plan, and ain't gonna give up too easy. But first, they have to find Rye.
(Props to the show actually using the word "empire" here, winking at us that, yes, this storyline was used on Fox's hit show.)
Later, one of the split screens shows her Yoko Ono-ing a comatose Otto in bed. This woman definitely wants, and deserves the power, but the only life she's known is to serve her man, and then men she raised. And where does she find all that time to bake? Look at the loaves upon loaves upon loaves of bread. Is this Carb Heaven? No, it's just the Midwest.
Over in another kitchen, we first see Betsy (Milioti) asking her dad what he wants for breakfast. She's a true homemaker, even when she's dying. That morning, her husband Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) and and her father Sheriff Hank Larrson (Ted Danson) talk about the investigation, wondering what the North Dakota judge has to do with it. I love how Betsy is just as much involved in the case as the police are — especially when she finds the gun in the snow outside the crime scene. Little Molly is there, too, and it's clear her mother had a hand how she became such a great police officer. Like Floyd said, "Girls grow up to be women. And change boys diapers."
"We gotta keep up appearances, like we said, huh?" Peggy (Dunst) says to her husband after he says he's not going into work so he can clean up her mess. She goes into work, wearing an outfit I could see Joan on Mad Men would have worn, complete with a red beret and big sunglasses I need to have. Her boss asks her about that seminar, but Peggy dances around an excuse. And now we see who's feeding her those feminist thoughts. Peggy is just starting to come out of her shell and demand to get what she wants. And it's obviously not the little life here in Luverne, Minn. She's definitely the bad girl her boss says she is.
It's unclear exactly why Peggy stole all the toilet paper. But we know that TP turns into gold in the zombie apocalypse. Peggy also had random stacks of magazines last episode. She's probably a hoarder, and I can't wait to see all her crazy layers surface this season.
- I'm concerned about that dog feeding on human ears.
- "Never trust anything that came from the sea." "We came from the sea." Yeah, exactly.
- Beauty shop gossip. I want more of it, please.
- I keep thinking this typewriter salesman is Chris O'Donnell with a bad wig.
- Jesse Plemons in tighty-whiteys is something I didn't need, but that scene was captivating. Plemons didn't have much to say this episode because his character keeps all his emotions inside. Will he ever boil over? How far does he need to be pushed to be able to say what he really means? He was much too comfortable grinding up that body. I'd be barfing everywhere. Speaking of that, loose fingers, I can't even.
- They got a terrible child actress to play young Molly. She's trying so hard to adorably blurt out her lines. I expected her to be wise beyond her years, even at the precocious age of 6.
- Bokeem Woodbine is wearing a bolo tie this episode, and yet he is still absolutely threatening. Yours in peace and harmony, dude. But you gotta hand it to his coordinating Bee Gee backups. They both go by the name Kitchen (brothers Gale and Wayne), and now I'm terrified.
- My favorite scene of the night, however, goes to Ted Danson and Patrick Wilson. Hank tells Lou about the three men (Mike Milligan and the Kitchens) he stopped, but the conversation turns to war stories. "After WWII, we went six years without a murder here. Six years. Now these days, sometimes I wonder if you boys didn't bring the war home with you."
- Tonight's music was on point. I especially loved that Burl Ives song as Ed cleaned up the garage. The show ended with Jeff Wayne's The Eve of The War. The song comes from his 1978 album, which was a musical re-telling of the H.G. Wells alien invasion story The War of the Worlds. More aliens! But what does it all mean?
Fargo airs Mondays on FX at 10 p.m.