At this point in Fargo‘s second season, much of the tension has broken, the threat of violence turned into actual murder. In the war between the Kansas City family and the Gerhardts, So many have died that the deaths have been reduced to a murder montage; the murderers are occasionally recognizable, the victims wholly anonymous.
At the end of last week’s episode, there were several cliffhangers to be resolved. At the Gerhardt compound, we see that Floyd and Simone survived Milligan’s raid, but that Grandpa Gerhardt did not. Once they get done burying him and Rye’s belt buckle and communion gown, Lou Solverson and Ben Schmidt arrive with reinforcements to take Floyd into custody.
At the station, Chief Kinney and Hank Laarson take a crack at interrogating Floyd, hoping she’ll crack and give them a leg up on the Kansas City family. We find out that Hank and Lou never caught up to Ed Blumquist after he escaped custody, and that Hanzee, who was hot on his tail, still hasn’t found him yet. But we still don’t know what happened to Dodd…yet.
After the failed raid on the Gerhardt compound and a hit closer to Kansas City turf, Milligan is on the hot seat with the Kansas City family. We learn that despite his standing with the family, he was only able to overcome considerable discrimination due to his race because he was vouched for by someone within the family, and that if he doesn’t clean up the situation in Fargo, “The Undertaker” is going to arrive, which likely does not bode well for anyone. For some reason, Simone thinks that her ties to Milligan are stronger than those to her family. When she returns to his hotel suite, she learns the gravity of her mistake, as a desperate Milligan wonders if he can’t gain leverage over Floyd with “her favorite.” She’s only saved by the timely arrival of Schmidt and Solverson, at least until Uncle Bear shows up to take her on an ominous drive deep into the woods.
Betsy Solverson has been coming to terms with her own mortality the entire season, but the seriousness of Lou’s investigation has her pondering what life for her daughter will be like after she’s gone. Lou sends Karl Weathers and Sonny to look after her and Molly, but when we see Betsy lock and load her shotgun upon seeing strange boots by her door, it’s clear that she doesn’t seem to need whatever protection they could provide. But in a touching scene, she gets real with Karl, and when she asks him to look after Molly when she’s gone (“Just make sure he feeds her more than jerky”,) it feels like an actual goodbye speech. This season it seems Noah Hawley has been giving one of his actors a scene in each episode for them to chew on, in episode seven, it’s Cristin Milioti’s turn. Her sad eyes communicate a begrudged acceptance that’s absolutely heartbreaking. But the weirdness she finds in her dad’s study? Alien runes? A psychotic break? Who knows.
When Milligan fails yet again to resolve the Gerhardt conflict within his two day deadline, “The Undertaker” is dispatched to his hotel. For a moment, it seems like we’re finally seeing the face of whatever monster could be responsible for the piles of bodies we know will turn up in Sioux Falls, but Mike Milligan ain’t goin’ out like that. He turns a proffered handshake into a bullet in The Undertaker’s brain, and teams up with the remaining Kitchen brother to slash his asian valets’ throats. The chilling efficiency (and uncharacteristic lack of dialogue) is disconcerting; could Milligan be that monster?
The two remaining unresolved mysteries from last week’s episode don’t get resolved until the end of this episode. What happened to Ed and Peggy Blumquist? In the big reveal, we see Jesse calling Mike Milligan’s hotel suite (how did he get the number?) to let him know that he has Dodd in the trunk of his car. He’s also been the one calling the Gerhardt’s in an attempt to tell them the same thing; Bear had stiff-armed his attempts, but now that Floyd knows, he can do so no longer. As the episode fades on a shot of Ed getting into what appears to be Dodd’s car, we finally get the MacGuffin that leads everyone to Sioux Falls. Shit’s about to go down.