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Will the Blumquists ever learn on ‘Fargo’?


/ Courtesy of FX The Spectrum

Show: Fargo

Network: FX

Rating: A

Earlier in the season, I criticized “Fargo”for focusing too much on the Blumquists early on. They seemed boring to me, like just another folksy Minnesota couple. Maybe it was their accents that threw me off.

By now, the Blumquists are the uncontrollable factor that keeps the gang war fresh and unpredictable. No one understands the Blumquists because, like me, they underestimate them and mistake them for what Ed (Jesse Plemons) desperately wants them to be – that folksy Minnesota couple.

But if we’ve learned anything about Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) this season, it’s that she’s probably at least a little insane.

Yes, it probably should’ve been obvious when she drove home with a man sticking out of her windshield. And yes, it should’ve been even more obvious when she told Ed about like it was just another little thing that happened that day.

The moment when it becomes unavoidably apparent is when Peggy talks to an imaginary councilor or self-help guru in the basement.

With Dodd (Jeffery Donovan) tied up, she talks to her hallucination about becoming the “best version” of herself. This obsession with self-actualization and inability to cope with living in Laverne, the epitome of middle-of-nowhere towns, has perhaps driven her to the point of insanity.

Dodd, at first, sees it as an opportunity to escape, telling Ed that his “woman is crazy.”

After a legitimately disturbing scene where Peggy stabs Dodd way too casually, as if she was just putting soap in his mouth or not letting him watch television, Dodd is terrified of being left alone with Peggy.

Meanwhile, Hanzee (Zahn McClarnon) confronts racists at a bar as he firmly establishes himself as the resident badass of the show. He’s the only character who you actually think will get whatever job needs doing done and without all the monologues that doomed Dodd.

The show uses his reputation to pull one of the more shocking scenes of the season.

You think Hanzee is coming to save Dodd. The rest of the Gerhardts seem like they’re done with Dodd, but Hanzee was Dodd’s man.

As Dodd starts spewing out racial slurs in Hanzee’s direction, it becomes apparent that Hanzee has had enough.

The killing of Dodd is quick and satisfying. For all of Dodd’s work for the family, his misdeeds and “loose cannon” motif doom him to die at the hands of his own man.

As a side note to that whole scene, Dodd pulling his own foot through the blade of a knife was gruesome. The overall unpredictable nature, including scenes like this, make it an amazing if not stressful show to watch.

Overall, “Loplop” is almost comical. Between the scene of Ed helping Dodd pee, Peggy talking to a non-existent councilor and Hanzee wanting a haircut, there’s a deeply dark sense of humor that is native to the Fargo franchise.

But as the plot continues to rush toward a climactic meeting between the Gerhardts, the police and the Kansas City Gang, there isn’t much time for humor. Perhaps that was this episode’s purpose, to give the viewer one last side plot before returning to the inevitable climax.

Dan McKeon is a contributing writer. Arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.


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