'Fargo,' Season 2, Episode 9: It’s just a flying saucer, hon
Okay, then. We finally got to witness the Massacre at Sioux Falls, and Patrick Wilson's Lou Solverson proved, yet again, that he's the smartest cop in the tri-state area. But then things turned extra-terrestrial. And whether you liked the spaceships or not, remember, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Rye getting distracted by the UFOs. The show has always been playing with fact and fiction. (It's based on a true story, says the opener, but it isn't.)
In the penultimate episode, "The Castle," we open with a warm narrator (yep, it was Martin Freeman, who played Lester Nygaard in the first season of Fargo) with a picture history book, The History of True Crime in the Midwest. Throughout the show, his voices weaves in and out, flashing back to moments we've already seen, reminding us just how far we've come in such a short amount of time. He showed us how, even as seasoned Fargo watchers who pay attention to all the details, we can still be surprised by the outcome.
No matter what pushed Hanzee Dent over the edge, he's now gone full Rambo on everyone and he's replaced Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) as the scariest hitman on the show. From background character, to a mysterious main player, Hanzee is a silent force to be reckoned with. He lures the Gerhardts — the family who took him in, yet never fully respected him — to their demise at the Motor Motel in South Dakota. The simple cops and detectives of the Dakotas and Minnesota become casualties even though Lou saw it all coming, a little too late. It turned out to be too big a crime for the small-town police, who were just looking to make headlines with a wire tap and a few arrests.
In the middle of it all, the Blumquists remain in their "realized" bubble. Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) has really come into her own. With a giggle and a potato chip, she's got Fargo detective Ben Schmidt wrapped around her finger in no time. Ed is questioning if they've made the right call going with the other cops half-baked plan instead of listening to Lou. It really is a wonder why no one is listening to the guy. Wilson is great at showing Lou's humble urgency. Everyone knows how smart Lou is, but they want the instant glory. It's these quick decisions that lead to their demise. And yet, the Blumquists are still alive.
Briefly, back at the Solverson house, Betsy (Cristin Milioti) collapses on the kitchen floor. Dr. Hook's Slyvia's Mother playing in the background. Lou tries to call home, but gets distracted when he notices the bullet hole through the shop's window. My heart broke as the lyrics sang out, "I just want to tell her goodbye."
We said goodbye to Floyd (Jean Smart) and Bear Gerhardt. It was creepy to watch Bear get his zombie on as Lou shoots at him. And all the foreshadowing finally pays off. The aliens save Lou's life! Bear gets distracted as he's choking Lou, giving Lou enough time to blow Bear's brains out in such a classic Fargo shot. The UFO also gives Ed and Peggy a chance to get away from Hanzee, who also stares up at the sky. As Lou sees a chance to catch up with Hanzee, Lou hears Hank Larrson shout "Officer down!" He's bleeding out, and probably not going to make it. ALL THE TEARY EMOJIS.
And right on cue, Mike Milligan and a Kitchen brother show up, survey the bloodshed, and drive away. Sirens are heard in the background, and a cover of Run Through the Jungle plays (The Big Lebowski!)
Only one more episode left, and I'm pretty sad about it. I'm mostly sad I don't get one more episode with Floyd. There have been many "GASP!" moments on this show, but none scared my cat more than the one that came out of my mouth when Hanzee killed Floyd. Here you go, Jean, here are all the awards for this season.