Noah Hawley continued to demonstrate his literary and cinematic genius with his superb writing and picturesque directing with the latest installment of FX's critical darling. This episode mimicked a Western theme with the numerous showdowns throughout the episode with so many characters receiving his or her opportunity to stand out from his or her opposite. Although the plot remained sedentary with little actually occurring, viewers received revealing scenes for each character that exhibited new and intriguing traits. Also, Hawley dropped another hint at aliens with the light beam above the butcher shop at the conclusion of the episode with Orson Wells' voice over of the War of the Worlds. The trajectory of this part of the storyline remains unclear, but viewers most likely will go along for the ride with Hawley's terrific writing.
First, the Gerhardt clan faced the problem teased in the premiere with the incoming Kansas City crime syndicate. The problem has exploded in terms of the family's leadership with patriarch Otto suffering a stroke in the premiere, so Dodd and his mother Floyd have a war on their hands against the other. Dodd plotted find Rye in order to gain Rye's support for Dodd as head of the family business while mother Floyd wanted Rye found because he represented a potential loose end for the Gerhardt's operations. These selfish interests of the different family members set up a major conflict in the story that will likely result in death. All members of the family sided with Floyd, but Dodd insisted that his time has arrived to run the operation. In typical Fargo fashion, subtle humor dominated the showdown between Dodd and Floyd at the dinner table as Dodd emphatically claimed that he should be the head of the operations, yet his mother commanded him to eat his food and to remain quiet as she essentially scolded him. Thinly veiled sequence such as this makes Fargo such a great show.
Moving on to everyone's favorite murderous couple, Peggy and Ed handled the aftermath of Rye's death in which Peggy routinely attended the salon to work while Ed stayed put in order to erase the mess of his struggle with Rye in the garage as well as dispose of his body. Peggy's encounter at the salon really yielded no significant moments aside from the obvious tension with her boss. Her interaction later in the episode with her boss substantiated theories of her homosexuality as several critics and fans noticed last episode through her aloofness at dinner with Ed. Of course, this tension may have resulted from running over Rye and bringing his shattered body home, but Ed mentions throughout dinner that he wants to be closer to Peggy and have kids and actually have sex. Peggy seemed to be against his ideal life of tranquility with her; therefore, the idea of Peggy perhaps being a lesbian arose, an idea which this episode has added more evidence. Before discussing Ed, the direction of Hawley with his juxtaposition of Peggy and Ed with their reactions to the aftermath of Rye's murder created a striking portrait of their minds. The abrupt insertions of Peggy hitting Rye and Ed fighting Rye demonstrated how these traumatic events are still very much in the minds of the characters. Therefore, at the end of the episode, the tense showdown between Lou and Ed created such great tension as Ed frantically attempted to hide the fact that he was chopping Rye's body in the back of the butcher shop.
Finally, due to the late date of this review, the showdown between Mike Milligan and Hank will be the last item of discussion. This riveting standoff provided such a great criticism of the world today where so many ridiculous events occur on a daily basis. Milligan says that this encounter is truly an anomaly because both men were able to have a tense but rational conversation without anyone performing an rash actions. Milligan looks to be an intimidating force this season and hopefully lasts the whole season in a fashion similar to Lorne Malvo from last season.
Thanks for reading. Apologies for the late review, but our reviews for this week's epsiodes for Fargo and The Leftovers should be up before the next installments of each series on Monday and Sunday. Come back for more content. Follow me on Twitter @mlozano2 and have a great day.