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Erstwhile on Fargo

From soil to sugar.... washing machines or cocaine, whores or horserachish, hits in a Kansas City high-rise, a garroting in a bar....

Swirly in a bathroom, swirls in a coffee cup.

In the shuffling madness...

Burying the Gerhardt dead - Grandpa and Rye, at least his belt buckle?  Prayers in German.   South Dakota's turned (to Kansas City).

"Not enough of us left to start telling the truth" - Bear

"Where's your brother." - Lou
"Found Jesus, joined a monastery." -  Bear

"Knows where Dodd is..."
"Take a message." - Bear

To snitch or not to snitch, that is Floyd's question.

Erstwhile at the Pearl Hotel.  Two days to the undertaker.

“Are we going to talk? Or are you just gonna quote the thesaurus at me?” Simone to Mike Milligan.

Simone - done lying down for men.  Buckle up!

Capitalism, greed, and a big country.
"The past can no more become the future than the future become the past." - Mike Milligan.

Don't mess with Betsy!  Especially when she has a loaded 12 gauge so easily at hand (echo's last season's opening episode).  But never fear, it's only Karl Weathers, the breakfast king of Loyola!

"Where are we going?" - Simone.
"None of us are family anymore." - Bear

There is no more Dodd.  So there need be no more Simone.

"Come home soon." - Betsy to Lou.  A simple phone-call that elicits such emotion.

And Floyd spills the beans..... (at least some of them) on the Kansas City mob's drug-running.

The undertaker's coming.  Mike Milligan is done.

"You're a shit cop, you know that!" - Lou

Oh damn.... Karl and Betsy.... "just make sure, king of breakfast."

The wall of photos, memories..... Hank's house.   Glyphs.  What is Hank into?

Despite the killing of the last few episodes, tonight's show elicits such emotion all surrounding what we know to be the coming untimely natural death of Betsy Solverson.

Hanzee found Dodd.
The undertaker, gets undertaken.  Mike Milligan, a poet and survivor.

And FARGO waits a whole episode to finally reveal what everyone wanted to know at the beginning.  Yep.... made us watch!  Well, played.

Just checkin' in.....

Ah, Geez!
Every so often a perfect episode of TV comes along.  Tonight that happened on FARGO with Rhinoceras.  From the start with Ed carted off to the Luverne by Lou, to the ending coda interspersing the bar-room wisdom of lawyer Karl Weathers (a joke name if there ever was one - think Rocky) with the near-perfect Bluesy-Rock version of "Man of Constant Sorrow" by Blitzen Trapper (of Portland, Oregon - and dangit I cannot find that version anywhere) this episode was just damn tight.

So much you wanted to see but didn't know it until FARGO told you.

Like Ed paying his respects, despite being handcuffed, to Betsey Solverson.

Dodd putting his daughter, Simone, down, but Bear putting a beating on him.   "Strap or the buckle?"   All leading to Floyd's over-reaction that pulls the Gerhardt troops ('a whole army almost') into Luverne and away from their compound.

And Mike Milligan reciting "Jabberwocky" as he prepares to assault the Gerhardt compound.

Peggy getting iffy with Hank about moving her magazines (living in a museum of the past).  And Ed saying, "this is all crazy."  There are parallels everywhere,  Hank with Peggy, Lou with Ed.  Hank confronting the Gerhardts on the Blomquist porch and Lou telling the Gerhardts that storming the jail didn't work in the westerns either.

And then comes the "best lawyer in town" - or the only lawyer in town - Karl.  At least we know now that Nick Offerman wasn't chosen just to show off his most interesting facial hair (not that there's anything wrong with that!).  Karl shows us he can be drunk, self-righteously zealous about defending his client, terrified ('I think I just soiled myself'), and yet bravely heroic all at the same time.

I almost expected to see Hank meet his maker tonight.  He thought he had his back covered; but this is the 1970s and some country-folk still didn't lock their doors at that time.  So Hanzee slips in the back. "Here, kitty, kitty...."  Gotta love Peggy though.  She got in the licks on Dodd and his crew that Simone wanted Mike Milligan to inflict. "Bitch!"  ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........  I think Peggy enjoyed that.

"Are you with us" - Floyd.  "Sure, Gramma" - Simone.  She might mean it after Milligan and his crew just shot up her house.

"Keep it running, Sonny, I'll be back before the beer goes warm" - Karl.   What a solliloquy that follows.  "I shall defend you until your last breath.  I mean my last breath.  Excuse the obvious death-penalty SNAFU, I'm slightly inebriated."

And then Karl saves the day (with Sonny looking on from the van - and btw, Sonny has been the perfect straight man for Karl).  I think it helped much that he was talking to Bear, who is the saner Gerhardt brother (if not the only one left by now!).

The only thing that seemed to be a hole was why didn't Hank check out the Blomquist house?   I guess he got the call on the radio and that pulled him into Luverne.  Surely, that is where he and Lou (and Ed on foot) are off to, with Hanzee in pursuit.  And so we are left with an unfulfilled expectation!  Well, you want that to fuel your next viewing.  No doubt, FARGO will provide!

Cannot find Blitzen Trapper, but there's always the Soggy Bottom Boys:

FARGO: The Gift of the Magi

The Butcher of Luverne

The juxtaposition of Reagan's speech set against the war between the Kansas City & Fargo mobs.

Any man can fire a gun.  Longbow - that's art.   Hanzee allows the use of Rye's murder to further Dodd's war on the Kansas City mob.  And it comes to good effect with Floyd!  Watch and learn..... nothing like a little bloodshed to start a show off.   A rendevous with destiny - for one of the Kitchin brothers thanks to Hanzee and his blade.  Why didn't he finish off the other one?

A shining city on the hill - a rendevous with destiny - Reagan.

Peggy wants to go to California (her shining city on the hill) but cannot figure out which of her extensive collection of reading material in the basement to take with her.  However, Ed is the stay-at-home man (his destiny).  But another kind of rendevous is coming for them.  Figure it out, stay together, make it work - Ed.

Dodd sends off Charlie to take care of the Butcher of Luverne - overseen by Virgil.

Simone runs off to Mike Milligan and finds him to not be in a good mind.  Seems Joe Bulo lost his head.

Fargo PD needs Lou.  But he's on the Reagan detail, doncha know!

Ed isn't going to die.... too soon, or so he thinks.  And that's Charlie's cue!  Pig meat, cow meat, chicken meat, no fish.... - Norene.    Charlie goes for murder, returns with meat.  Ed dodges the bullet - at least Charlies' non-starter.

Peggy is packing, takes her favorite mags.  Gets her now fixed Corvair - "Wait 'till the end of the month to cash that check."   Is Peggy getting a conscious or does she just not want to be seen in that car.  Sells the car for $700.   I suspect the latter.  Wash away her trouble... her pain... her shame..... on the road to Shambala.

Bear has more consideration for Hanzee than Dodd, but suspects his info about the Butcher of Luverne.  I suspect Hanzee does have more respect for Dodd than Bear, though.   In the end we all get what we deserve.

Reagan and Lou in the can.  Every generation has their time.  Seems Reagan is showing up a little bit of his Alzheimer's even now.

Is the sickness of this world inside my wife - Lou.
Not a challenge in this world that can't be overcome by an American - Reagan.
But how - Lou.

Betsy takes her drug, hoping for nausea.... and notices Molly's drawing of a spaceship-like sun over her family - the people of the sun.

Charlie wants to go back to school not back into the Butcher shop.  But he goes in.... fire, Charlie gets shot by a ricochet, Noreen gets in a hit on Charlie's handler, Ed sees his future going up in smoke (a mega-Luverne BBQ!).... and cleaves Charlie's handler in the head.

Where is Ed running off to?  Likely to find Peggy, all concerned.  But does she have that concern for him?   Nothing like multiple homicides while the police sit on their thumbs to further a plot along!

Simone and Dodd.....  and then Floyd.

Meanwhile back at the butcher shop.... Lou drives up to find the carnage.  Ed did come back for Peggy, and surprise - surprise!  Peggy is there, she did sell the car to get the money for the butcher shop.  Not as much the sociopath I thought she was.  But now there is a reversal, Ed wants to leave.  Sirens.....

South of Hell - on WETV.  Either I can binge-watch it on Friday 27 August (aka the US consumerist Black Friday) or tape the 7 episodes for later viewing.  Sounds interesting.  A female demon hunter who is infected with her own demon.  Set in South Carolina... I suspect there will be ante-bellum mansions and lots of moss hanging from live oaks.  Either that or tons of hogs.  Well, maybe....

There is a trailer on EW.com.  Honestly, it looks kinda hokey....

Syfy's 'The Expanse'

The Expanse on Syfy looks richly produced.

Might have to check it out on Monday 14 December.
As a woman!  As the poster says "Resurrection is a Bitch."  Gee, hasn't this been done before?

FARGO: Down in the willow garden....

Down in the willow garden
Where me and my true love did meet,
It was there we were courtin',
My love fell off to sleep.

I had a bottle of burgundy wine,
My true love she did not know.
It was there I murdered that dear little girl
Down on the banks below.

I drew my saber through her,
It was a bloody knife,
I threw her into the river,
It was a horrible sight.

My father oft had told me
That money would set me free
If I would murder that poor little girl
Whose name was Rose Connelly.

Now he stands at his cabin door,
Wiping his tears from his eyes,
Gazing on his own dear son,
Upon the scaffold high.

My race is run beneath the sun,
The Devil is waiting for me,
For I did murder that dear little girl
Whose name was Rose Connelly.

Much to savor in this episode of FARGO.  First, there was Hanzee Dent (Zahn McClarnon) - Dodd's 'shadow' (ohanzee is Lakota for shadow) - being the tracker in ferreting out the Blumquists in Rye's death.  He was almost better than Lou, but then his persistence is what set Lou onto the Blumquists as well.  Hanzee will have the upper hand though, he doesn't have to follow the law.   Floyd (finally) holding Dodd's (Jeffrey Donovan) face in the car after the failed Kansas City negotiation, when Dodd muffed it up in the donut shop (a la his father before him in the theatre). Ed and Peggy arguing over money; then the two standing in their doorway after Lou left. Lou sitting in the cold after his help was spurned by the Blumquists (lack of confession) and lamenting to Betsy how the world no longer has a moral center. These were the most powerful moments of the episode even as it delivered significant plot development, and it's Fargo's focus on those moments that elevates its storytelling.

It was a most somber tone which was woven through the core of this episode. "Fear and Trembling" reminded viewers that, if they didn't realize already, this isn't a story where there's a happy ending. Broken dreams were in abundance, from Betsy Solverson (Cristin Milioti) learning that her potential cure for her cancer might actually be a placebo drug to Ed learning that Peggy spent the money he'd intended to buy the butcher shop on her seminar.

There also was a surprise twist, as it's revealed that Simone Gerhardt (Rachel Keller) is sleeping with Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) and working against her family (if she isn't a plant from her father, Dodd, who is intent on setting up a war). But that is how Mike must have gotten much of his inside intel.   And if this is indeed a betrayal, it almost certainly is going to blow up in Simone's face farther down the road.  Is she Rose Connelly?