Fargo, “Did you do this? No you did it!” (2.7) - TV Review


F table

11/23/15, 10 PM, FX

In terms of what the title of this episode refers to, I got nothing. The best that I can come up with is that it sounds like something a scolding parent would say to two children after coming across an accident they caused. Or it’s just a generally accusatory thing someone says to another person when they’re in the shit. Which is exactly where we’re at right now. The war between the Gerhardt’s and Kansas City is now in full swing with bodies dropping like flies. And this is still in the lead-up to the now mythical Sioux Falls that all our characters are heading towards. But more importantly, this is the episode in which both the Gerhardt’s and Kansas City are finally breaking apart. And even if somehow anyone outside of Lou and young Molly is still standing after all this, there’s nothing for them to go back to at this point.

F Memorium

Over Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath” over the soundtrack, we begin our episode with the Gerhardt’s burying Otto and erecting his tombstone as well as one for Rye and the family paying last respects as Bear and Ricky, a guy from Buffalo brought in to help, use a window washing platform to shoot up an office in Kansas City. This kicks off more killing as each of the 3 gang leaders we saw in “The Myth of Sisyphus” get bumped off in retaliation as Mike Milligan stares into the swirling vortex in his coffee. After the funeral, Bear informs Floyd of the Kansas City hit and that Dodd is still missing. After Simone talks back (“This family deserves the ground.”) and dismisses Dodd, Floyd slaps her, telling her she’s no better than him and that they’re both porcupines looking for a fight. As Simone drives off in anger, Lou and Ben arrive with the sirens on to bring Floyd in for questioning. Lou tersely informs Bear that Charlie is currently in the state penitentiary, currently awaiting trial. As they take off, Ricky says that there’s a guy calling about Dodd’s whereabouts, to which Bear says to take a message.

F Window

At the Fargo police station, Floyd sits in an interrogation room as Lou, Hank, Ben and the chief of Fargo PD commiserate on how to approach Floyd. Hank and the chief decide to go in as Lou and Ben go to check on Mike. In the room, Floyd takes out a kit and begins to smoke from a pipe as the two men try to get her to cooperate. The conversation takes a turn into No Country for Old Men territory as the old timers debate whether their elders had it harder than they do or not. As Simone heads to the Pearl Hotel, we see Mike on the phone with Hamish Broker (Adam Arkin), the bald man in the shadows we saw in “Waiting for Dutch” as Hamish chews him out for the hit they’ve taken. From the language and the tone, we find out that Mike was a conditional hire and that if he doesn’t clear everything up in 2 days, Hamish will send in The Undertaker to clean up his mess. When Simone arrives to chew Mike out over the shooting and Otto getting killed and not Dodd, Mike starts quoting Louis XVI in French and musing about the meaning of the word “revolutionary” in astronomy. He then realizes that Simone would be better used as a kidnapped grandchild. But this idea is interrupted when Lou and Ben break into the room after hearing Simone’s call for help. With Mike now in the presence of law enforcement, Lou asks Ben to escort Simone off the premises.

F reflection

After the commercial, we see Simone puts the moves on Ben to make sure he doesn’t tell Floyd about what just happened. And as Ben acquiesces, she knees him in the balls and leaves him there as she’s done lying down for men. But when she gets to her car in the parking lot, Bear and Ricky are there in Bear’s truck. Simone covers by saying she’s there to score weed, but Dodd tells her to get in the truck and for Ricky to take her vehicle. Back in the hotel room, Lou and Mike get into a conversation about manifest destiny and greed. As Lou says that no one deserves more than they can handle at any point, Ben tells a story about a man who works at a factory who’s boss suspects him of stealing. At the end of every day, the guards search the man’s wheelbarrow and pat him down/ The man obliges, going so far as to strip naked to show he has nothing to hide. But in fact, it’s the wheelbarrow itself he keeps stealing. “Sometimes the answer is so obvious, you can’t see it because you’re looking too hard.” Mike then says that they’re the future. With Simone gone, Lou and an injured Ben leave. Back at the Solversens, Betsy comes home and sees a pair of cowboy boots at the front entrance. She quietly grabs the shotgun and creeps into the kitchen, ready to shoot her intruder. Which turns out to be Sonny and Karl, who calls himself the Breakfast King of Loyola, making eggs and pancakes for them. They’re there at Lou’s behest to guard Betsy, Molly and Noreen, even though Betsy clearly doesn’t need them.


After an overhead shot of a truck driving down the same dirt road cutting through the frozen plain that we saw in “Waiting for Dutch”, we cut to Simone trying to get information out of a non-responsive Bear. As she begins to panic, Bear asks why she doesn’t ask about Charlie. She gets upset when Dodd corrects her when she says “Dodd” and not “Dad” and then Bear pulls over. He pulls her out of the truck, tells her about the women after WW2 who after they had slept with the German soldiers had their heads shaved and were then banished and then makes her start walking. After they march through the forest to a random spot, Bear blames her for Otto’s death and Charlie in prison and makes her kneel in the snow. She kneels and then pleads to her uncle to spare her since they’re still family. “None of us are family anymore.” And when she offers to just leave and never come back and that he doesn’t have to do this, he grumbles “It’s already done.” And instead of a gunshot, we hear “Danny Boy” over the soundtrack as we go from overhead shots of the forest to Bear returning to his truck and breaking the cast he’s had on his arm off on the hood. As he drives back, we have a split screen montage of all of the Gerhardt’s over the course of the season so far, their isolation driving home the fact that the family that put itself ahead of everything else is gone. This is further confirmed when Bear returns to the ranch and Ricky tells him about the guy calling again with information on where Dodd is. But Bear has had enough and tells Ricky to tell him to sell that shit someplace else.

F stripe

Back at the Solversons, as Noreen tells Sonny about Camus, Betsy gets a call from Lou whose checking in. After chatting about Karl and John McCain’s thumbscrews and Hank chimes in to tell Betsy to feed his cat, Betsy tells Lou to come home soon. After he hangs up, Lou hears from Hank that Floyd is ready to cooperate. After making sure that the remaining Gerhardt’s won’t be arrested for their past crimes and that the record states that her cooperating is a last resort, Floyd begins spilling details about what she knows about the Kansas City operations. As she does so, we get superimposed shots of Mike’s hotel room filled with men slowly disappearing until all that’s left is a dishevelled Mike getting a call from Hamish telling him that he’s done and that The Undertaker is on his way.

F coat

Back at the police station, Bear and his men pick up Floyd. As they head off, Hank informs Lou and Ben that Ohanzee has been spotted in Sioux Falls having shot up a bar looking for Ed and Peggy as well as two state troopers with one dead and another on life support. As Lou and Hank figure out that Dodd must be there as well, Ben hems and haws and says that they just told Floyd they wouldn’t go after them and that they should at least run it by the chief. Lou and Hank decide to head down to South Dakota after telling Ben “You’re a shit cop, you know that?” Back at the Solverson’s, Karl and Betsy have a moment where she tells him that she’s find, that Lou worries too much, that Lou was actually supposed to marry her older sister but Vietnam happened and he ended up with her. And after shooting down Karl’s McCain anecdote, she asks him to look after Lou after she’s gone and for him to quit drinking. After Karl hugs her, Betsy heads over to Hanks to feed his cat Snowball. After looking at the framed pictures on the wall of their family, Betsy opens the door to her father’s study. What she discovers are alien hieroglyphics and symbols all over the room, which actually makes her stumble.

F dude

Back at the Gerhardt’s, Floyd tells Bear that she wants to talk to Simone. After Bear deflects, Ricky arrives to try to tell Bear sensitive information. Floyd tells him to spit it out and he informs both of them that Ohanzee is on the phone and that he’s found Dodd. As they go inside, The Undertaker and his two Pilipino henchmen arrive to take over for Mike. But Mike and the remaining Kitchen get the drop on them and kills them on the spot in the hotel room. After Mike tells the Kitchen to get rid of the bodies and pin it on the Gerhardt’s, Mike’s phone rings. He picks up and a voice tells him it’s his lucky day. We then cut to and finish on Ed at a rest stop payphone (with someone playing hangman on the glass booth with the answer being Sioux Falls) telling Mike that he has Dodd in the trunk of his car and is willing to meet.

So a lot to unpack there, huh. Let’s start off with that final moment. From the way the episode was structured, it’s clear that the next episode will be filling in the blanks from this episode, mainly what happened to Ed, Peggy, Dodd and Ohanzee in Sioux Falls as all of what we’ve seen has gone down. And with that final moment, it’s clear that Ed has finally accepted all that has happened to them and that he’s now willing to throw himself into this gang war and get his hands dirty. After standing back from the Coen Bros references in the last two episodes, this time around they go full out with not only the music they have in this episode, but with some of the more overt recreations of famous moments in their films. And again, Hawley and Co. are able to give those moments enough of a tweak or twist to them to not feel like bad parody or cheap imitation. After the previous episodes that zeroed in on one main setting and set of characters, here we get the sense of expansion and explosion. Everything is finally starting to come to a head. From both the Gerhardt’s and Kansas City coming apart to even the peaceful Solverson home with Betsy preparing herself and her family for her demise and for a deteriorating Hank, who brings the alien presence we’ve seen throughout the season front and center and into the home. With all these elements in play, we’re getting into the beginning of the end here. And if this is what we’ve seen so far, then I can’t imagine what Sioux Falls has in store for us. Really, the only people who might’ve been disappointed with this episode are WWF fans who were hoping for a cameo from The Undertaker.

  • Stray Observations:
  • Coen Bros References/Music of the Week: I’m combining these two categories since in this episode, they were pretty much hand in hand. Along with the aformentioned Jethro Tull, we had White Denim’s cover of “I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” both when Simone was driving in her car and during the end credits, which is an obvious nod to The Big Lebowski. Bear taking Simone out to the woods to execute her is straight out of Miller’s Crossing, right down to “Danny Boy” on the soundtrack, this time covered by Irish folk singer Lisa Hannigan. It only would have gone too far is Simone had asked Bear to look into his heart. And when The Undertaker arrives, “Oh Death” by Shakey Graves with Minoca from Phox plays, which is an obvious nod to O Brother, Where Art Thou. Aside from that, Hank mentioned the passing of his wife the year before up in Brainerd (Fargo). He also says that if Ed is in fact connected to Kansas City, he’ll cut off his left toe (Big Lebowski) and Mike says that sometimes, there’s a man (Lebowski again).
  • We also got some nods to non-Coen Bros films. Simone says that Dodd isn’t like the shark in that movie “We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat”. And twice, we saw two character heading out to meet their deaths in an elevator that had two mirrors in them doubling their reflection for eternity. This I see as a potential nod to Citizen Kane, since the last time we see Kane in the film, he’s walking past a mirror that creates the same optical effect. Nice to see the creepiness of the hotel extend into the elevators.
  • Karl refers to Lou as “your lesser half” to Betsy. I’d like for this to catch on. Also, between Karl saying that if he had to choose a human couple to go on the Ark, Lou and Betsy would be them as well as the hug he gives her, it’s clear that Karl wishes that he could have wife like her.
  • As a minor correction for last week’s recap, the “Man of Constant Sorrow” cover that ended last week’s episode was in fact by Blitzen Trapper. This is part of Hawley and the music supervisor Maggie Phillips (who helped me on Twitter with what the music was) and their decision to use cover songs of famous songs used by the Coens done by lesser known bands from Austin. Gives these bands a big break as well as pay homage to the Coens without ripping them off wholesale.
  • On a metatextual level, I like to see the scene of Betsy in Hank’s study as Hawley giving all the people who obsess over every detail of a cable show to decipher the symbolism behind it enough red herrings to choke a bear. And in a nod that is clearly a private joke, one of the gang leaders that got killed in the opening montage is named Roost Bolton as a wink to Game of Thrones. I’m surprised no one has made a Game of Thrones/Fargo Tumblr page yet.
  • And to no one’s surprise, it was announced recently that Fargo is now getting a 10 episode 3rd season. And since there hasn’t been any oblique mentions of another infamous Mid-West crime, I have no idea what the next season could possibly be, which makes it all the more tantalizing.
  • 9.3 AMAZING

    "Did you do this? No you did it!" begins the season long story coming to a head as the Gerhardt's splinter apart, Mike defies Kansas City, the alien presence infects the Solverson home and Ed picks a side in the gang war Peggy got them into.

    • AMAZING 9.3

    About Author

    Film geek, podcaster and newly minted IATSE member from Regina, Saskatchewan. I met Don McKellar once, and he told me that Quentin Tarantino is exactly like me.