Fargo: Did You Do This? No, You Did It!
November 23, 2015 11:40 PM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

“This family deserves the ground.” The death toll rises as the Gerhardts continue to react to threats upon their territory, family members, and way of life.

Scott Tobias, The New York Times:

"The awkwardly titled 'Did You Do This? No, You Did It!' plows through a lot of narrative business, but it coheres around the theme of family values, with Simone’s demise at the heart of it. For much of the season, the soft-spoken Bear has seemed like the one redeemable figure in the Gerhardt family, quietly steering his son away from violence while submitting to his mother’s plan to compromise with Kansas City. But this episode reveals him as someone who’s more interested in closing ranks and protecting the Gerhardt family than questioning its mission or its values."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (54 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
"You're a shit cop. You know that right?"
posted by Gary at 12:57 AM on November 24, 2015 [20 favorites]


I'm going to try to explain how much I loved the ending to this episode. When Kobe Bryant is happy on the court he puts his arms out and runs around, doing an "airplane." I ran around my tiny apartment doing the "magic carpet ride" when "Just Dropped In" started playing.

I can't figure out how to access CC with this new remote so I need a rewatch to catch what I missed, but whoo-boy!
posted by Room 641-A at 1:02 AM on November 24, 2015


While Angus Sampson and Rachel Keller are no Gabriel Byrne and John Turturro (and who could be?) they did a fantastic job during that homage to the “look into your heart” scene from Miller’s Crossing. Double Coen bonus on the choice to use Danny Boy for the end of that scene.

[my girlfriend commented: “Until I hear the shot I won’t believe it happened” which would line up pretty well with Miller’s Crossing. I, however, believe Bear did it.]

Another wonderful scene with another Coen callback: Milligan getting ready for the Undertaker while a haunting version of ‘O Death’ plays.

I also couldn’t help but notice the wonderful fx work in the elevator scenes - mirrored walls but no camera in sight. During the scene with Simone and the useless cop I thought they took the easier way out with having the camera not move, but in the later scene with the Undertaker they made it a point to show motion (but still no camera, obviously).

Also just how in the hell did Ed Blomquist get Mike Milligan’s phone number? Surely Bear is not that cold, and I don’t think the putz from Buffalo would step up and volunteer that info without approval from Bear. I mean I don’t really care, I think the meetup will be fascinating regardless.

Nick Offerman remains a national treasure, and Cristin Milioti was finally given some substantial lines and totally delivered.

In conclusion: damn, Mike Milligan. I was really hoping to see you through to the end of the series. Way to deliver (so far, at least).
posted by komara at 5:25 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


WTF, Hank? Now I want a whole series about whatever is going on. I haven't seen a definite ID on the symbols yet online, but my first thought was those ESP tests but no. (I HATE that OnDemand doesn't let you fast forward. At least Hulu lets you FF and they drop the ads in at that point.)

Okay, so I slept through the entire Simone scene the first time around. Yeah, Miller's Crossing, and also The Sopranos Pine Barrens episode, but I think Bear did it. He's circling the wagons, and I'm not sure the guy from Buffalo is going to get off without a scratch for telling Floyd about Dodd. I have enough faith though, that if she dies show up in the future they will make it work. I hope she's dead, though; the character seems to have served her purpose.

I'd love some back story on Bear. Was he always like this? Who the hell would marry him?! I've always assumed that Charlie got his gentler nature from his mother's side.

I'd expect a few more people at the funeral, no?

It must have been humiliating for Mike to have to take that from Hamish (one of the "good ones" -- ugh) but now that he's killed the undertaker, where does he go? The Gerhardts to cross KC? I also like the double fake-out in the elevator: That's The Undertaker? No, wait, that's The Undertaker? Oh. Yep. That's an undertaker, alright.

I love that Floyd seems to be setting up the cops, but I wish we hadn't seen the smirk. We could have speculated, but it would be more of a surprise. Unless there's a twist, which of course there could be.

Karl hugging Betsy.

Great lines:

"It hurts when I sleep on the floor."
"Don't quote the thesaurus at me!"

I'm so sad already that there are only three episodes left. I'm not ready to let go of this yet.

More Coen callbacks: the toilet bowl drowning, "Just Dropped In" (obvs)

Bear = Torgo
posted by Room 641-A at 6:13 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, and did Ed say that he was the butcher, from Luverne, or that he was The Butcher From Luverne. He seemed to have a little more life in him. Is he this season's Lester/Heisenberg?

And has someone figured out what the hangman game on the phone booth wall is? I haven't seen it mentioned.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:20 AM on November 24, 2015


I loved the big, ominous build-up for the arrival of The Undertaker, only to have the guy taken-out immediately. I knew that's how it would play out (especially after the scene of him and his men entering the elevator) but the pay-off was still a treat.

So, Mike has now, basically, declared war on his Kansas City boss, as well? Nothing like having two enemies, I guess.

I'm also hoping Bear didn't kill Simone, but I think that's a lost cause. What was on Bear's hand when he was pounding on the hood of his truck? It looked like a furry mitten or something.

I kind of got lost at the end...whose study was that, that had all the bizarre symbols posted everywhere?

Also...Whose version of Just Dropped In was that at the end? I scoured iTunes last night and couldn't find any version that sounded remotely like it.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:23 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


"You're a shit cop. You know that right?"


"Gettin' a promotion next month, so...can't be all that bad?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:30 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thorzdad, the study was Hank's (hence my WTF comment) and the version of Just Dropped In is by White Denim. (Sepinwall has been including song lists; I added the link in the sidebar.)

I had to keep checking to make sure it wasn't Karl's study.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:41 AM on November 24, 2015


What was on Bear's hand when he was pounding on the hood of his truck? It looked like a furry mitten or something.

Looked like a cast.
posted by onya at 7:10 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah did they ever show us why he was wearing the cast or has he always been wearing it?
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:36 AM on November 24, 2015


He's always been wearing the cast.

I took his removal of said cast as: doesn't matter if it's still broken or if it still hurts, we're done with healing.
posted by komara at 7:43 AM on November 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


So much good stuff in this episode, but the MVP for me was Cristin Milioti. Her finally taking off the "Doncha worry about me, don't want to be a burden" facade and asking Karl to look after Lou and Molly after she dies was gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking without ever descending into schmaltz.

As a P&R fan, of course I enjoyed that Karl Weathers too is a huge fan of breakfast food.
posted by The Gooch at 10:15 AM on November 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


As a P&R fan, of course I enjoyed that Karl Weathers too is a huge fan of breakfast food.

There are worse ways to be typecast.

I am glad that between this and the police station talk with Bear they've shown a real depth to his character. "Drunk Ron Swanson" is fine for comic relief but it's better if he is written like a real person.
posted by Gary at 12:01 PM on November 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Reluctantly: I found this episode a little too long and ponderous. Usually the episode flies by; this one I did find myself glancing at the clock in the last 15 minutes wondering how much more there was.

But: such economy in the transition from Betsy's "he'll need lookin' after too, before too long" to her discovery in the next scene of Hank's obsession room.

I also couldn’t help but notice the wonderful fx work in the elevator scenes - mirrored walls but no camera in sight.

Yes, How did they do that? One-way mirror, with the camera on the dark side?

I liked also the framing of the shot of Lou watching the interview of Floyd through the mirror as if it were a movie screen: us, watching Lou, watching Floyd.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:35 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, Mike has now, basically, declared war on his Kansas City boss, as well? Nothing like having two enemies, I guess.

He told the Kitchen brother to dump the body and blame in on the Gerhardts. I guess if he can clean up the situation with the Gerhardts quickly no one will investigate.

I was completely terrified while Betsy was walking in her dad's empty house. I'm so worried they told Molly the cancer killed her to cover up something you wouldn't tell a child.
posted by Gary at 1:33 PM on November 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, while I remember: we heard the Kitchen brother speak in this episode! From off-screen he tells Mike "Undertaker's on his way up."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:27 PM on November 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


As the camera pans over Hanks symbol full study there's a brief shot of a book called 'Palaces of the Gods' that looks not a million miles away from 'Chariots of the Gods'... so I'm guessing, yep, ALIENS! (Though some of them look kinda runic to me)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:53 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Man, how much do I love this show... on no the phone's ringing, it's gonna be the real Undertaker and you are screwed! But no it's Butcher Ed doing a deal. Of course it would be.

And the King Of Breakfast's hug... wow this beer is make is making me all emotional all of a sudden
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:03 PM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Two things I didn't understand at the funeral:

Why was a grave dug for Rye? There is no body. And except for the cops deducing that Ed and Peggy killed Rye, I don't think either have confessed, nor is there any evidence of Ed becoming sausage. For all anyone knows, he could still be alive, right?

What was the satin dress-like thing that Floyd put on Otto's casket? Her wedding dress? Is this a common custom I'm unaware of, or is their some significance to this?
posted by QuakerMel at 4:16 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]




I also want to know how Ed got Mike's number, and how he knew Mike would be looking for Dodd. And didn't Hanzee just call the house to say he found Dodd? Did Ed make a deal with Hanzee?

This was by far the most intense episode of the season. So much gorgeous photography and editing (so good it's like an additional character), so much excellent dialogue. And everyone's acting is just relentlessly on point.

(As an aside, while I appreciate the occasional tip of the hat to the Coen Bros., I think they went a little overboard on this episode. I don't need or want to be reminded all the time that this show has their official stamp; it's too good, and it completely stands on its own.)
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:08 PM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


And didn't Hanzee just call the house to say he found Dodd?

I believe Buffalo said "he know's where Dodd is." It would make sense if he was on Ed's trail -- he knew Dodd was in Ed's trunk even if he didn't physically find him -- but also I think maybe just deliberately ambiguous enough to cause a little confusion for fun.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:24 PM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


As in, throwing suspicion on Hanzee when we knew Ed had the body.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:25 PM on November 24, 2015


I figure the grave for Rye was mostly dug for ceremony. Considering that his mortal remains were pretty much ground up and put...somewhere, that belt buckle is all they really have left of him.

The white satin thing that Floyd put on Otto's coffin was her wedding dress.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:34 PM on November 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


How many Lebowski references were in this episode? So many! I have no idea what it means though.
posted by soplerfo at 8:03 PM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ed's also driving a different car at the end of the episide. I have a feeling the next one is going to be a parallel story telling of Ed, Peggy, Dodd, Hanzee, and the shooting of the troopers.
posted by maxsparber at 8:26 PM on November 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


I figure the grave for Rye was mostly dug for ceremony.

They're pretty certain he's dead and that they ain't going to find the body/any remains at all soon, probably ever not least because they've kinda go experience in the body disappearing department themselves. So an empty casket funeral
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:10 AM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


They "know" Rye is dead because of everything Hanzee reported back after tracking down Ed and Peggy, including finding Rye's belt buckle in the fireplace and the damage to Peggy's car.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:46 AM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I loved when Simone punched the sleazy cop after being seductive. I hope she's not dead, but I suspect she is.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:18 AM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I changed the channel at 11, assuming the show was over. After reading some of these comments I was...uh wtf was I really that tuned out? I don't remember symbols at Hanks, or The Undertaker showing up. Thanks to you guys I got to watch another half hour of Fargo so it's all good. I ended up looking at the show times list and every episode is a different length, which I had never noticed before.

I don't want it to be over. I'm more invested in it this season, for some reason.
posted by the webmistress at 7:53 AM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's so tragic that one of her last lines is, "I'm done lying down for men."
posted by tracicle at 7:53 AM on November 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


One thing I like about the show overall is that the cops that we're rooting for are actually pretty good at being cops. I'm almost positive that, aside from sending Karl out under false pretenses to defuse the standoff, they've respecting civilian rights and not doing grim-dark Jack Bauer type stuff. I think that's what makes Lou's "You're a shit cop" line land so perfectly.
posted by codacorolla at 8:07 AM on November 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think Bear decided to kill Simone in the truck, when he asked why she hadn't visited her cousin. That was her chance to show, to him, that she was family. If she had displayed familial concern--if she had shown herself, in feeling and motivation, to be interwoven with the rest of the family--then she would have been redeemed in his eyes. But she didn't. Her concern was insincere, the well-being of her own family member clearly sits somewhere far from her moral center.

I believe that Bear would move heaven and hell and everything in between to protect and care for his family. And I believe that he has a deep understanding of family as an emotional positioning, rather than just a collection of blood relationships. He feels where family is. And in that truck, on the ride to the woods, he could feel that she wasn't it. He could feel that she didn't feel it, and family only exists if that feeling goes both ways.

I don't know if he actually killed her or not. But this is how he understands killing her to be justified. She's not family. Family would care that his baby boy is in jail. Family would bite and scrape and kill for Bear's only child, just as Bear bites and scrapes and kills for them. Family is oriented towards itself, the individual members joined emotionally and morally together as a collective, but Simone was not oriented towards her family. She opted out of that collective by giving up sentiment and care for Charlie.

We are seeing acted out the tragedy of Bear's life. He is realizing that his family is much smaller than he used to think it was. His heart is breaking, as he has to re-orient his understanding of who is there for him and (more importantly) his boy, just as he has been there for them. I think, heartbreakingly, Bear is going to have to discover that his family is extremely small indeed.
posted by meese at 9:32 AM on November 25, 2015 [18 favorites]


She's not family. Family would care that his baby boy is in jail. Family would bite and scrape and kill for Bear's only child

Like Hanzee. Who is family. That comment is so insightful, meese.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:26 PM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I also want to know how Ed got Mike's number, and how he knew Mike would be looking for Dodd. And didn't Hanzee just call the house to say he found Dodd? Did Ed make a deal with Hanzee?

It has to be either from Dodd or from Hanzee, right? If it was Dodd, maybe it was Dodd's idea to get Ed to call them in exchange for a promise that Ed and Peggy wouldn't be hurt and no more blood had to be spilled?

If it was Hanzee (warning: tinfoiliest of tinfoil hats on tinfoil island theory ahead), I think it's because he's a double agent working for the law to take out the mob, who saw an opportunity. Waaaait wait wait hear me out! Mysterious past, detective and tracking skills at a superhuman level, didn't kill Ed for whatever reason at the end of the previous episode or at any other time when he had the opportunity, raised by the Gerhardts but loyal only to Dodd, badassery in Vietnam would have possibly attracted government attention. Do I actually think this is the case? No, because it's not very "Fargo." But it would explain a lot.
posted by moons in june at 3:36 PM on November 25, 2015


It's so tragic that one of her last lines is, "I'm done lying down for men."

Should've stuck with "Kiss my grits."
posted by Sys Rq at 3:49 PM on November 25, 2015


One of the things I found interesting is the use of drone shots for that forest scene. Maybe it's something I'm noticing this year -- especially with BBC America's The Lost Kingdom. There they've used it to great effect for some battle scenes as well as a few forest ones. In this episode of Fargo though it's used really well, and it noticeably wasn't used last episode with the massacre in the woods.

I'm totally loving this show. This season just has to end with a case of money buried in the snow with an ice scraper on top of it.
posted by Catblack at 12:45 AM on November 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't know if it means anything but it's like the scene in the snow-covered parking lot in Fargo, right?
posted by Room 641-A at 1:58 AM on November 26, 2015


If it was Hanzee (warning: tinfoiliest of tinfoil hats on tinfoil island theory ahead), I think it's because he's a double agent working for the law to take out the mob...

If you recall, the cops got a report that Hanzee had shot two state police officers (offscreen). So...probably not a double agent.

I think Hanzee is either going to drop his loyalty to Dodd once he catches-up to Ed and Peggy, or he's going to be the last bad guy standing after the smoke clears and he disappears back into the woods.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:57 AM on November 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Despite being totally different characters, I assume Hanzee will stay loyal because he has the same origin story as Tom Hagen (adopted by a crime family, arguably more capable than the actual brothers, but will never be totally accepted because he's the wrong race).

Comparisons to other mob movies is also why I don't imagine that Bear would ever let Simone go free.
posted by Gary at 1:40 PM on November 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


But for one mob movie, and the one the scene explicitly references: Miller's Crossing.
posted by maxsparber at 2:08 PM on November 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Which is one of the few Cohen Brothers movies I haven't seen yet. I guess I have homework to do.
posted by Gary at 2:30 PM on November 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Err, Coen brothers, without the h. But if Bill Murray can make that mistake then I won't feel guilty.
posted by Gary at 9:55 PM on November 26, 2015


I saw the Pine Barrens episode of the Sopranos referenced upthread- where Paulie and Chris bumble the killing of a Russian mobster out in the woods- he's never seen again, but his ultimate fate is left ambiguous.. he'd be in a bad way, but he may actually have made good his escape. What I don't think I've seen mention of is Long Term Parking- in which a far more competent Silvio murders poor Adriana in a similar setting, in no uncertain terms. Chilling, that one is.
posted by Philby at 1:51 AM on November 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


This season is so good. I kept comparing the first season to 'Hannibal' and although I enjoyed it didn't quite match up. This season, though. This is sublime television. I'm wondering if the ufo thing will have some kind of resolution but I won't be upset if it doesn't. As an aside, I read Ethan Coen's selection of short stories, 'Gates of Eden' this week so I'm ready for anything.
posted by h00py at 5:49 AM on November 27, 2015


Just reserved a copy of the book at the library, thanks!
posted by Room 641-A at 6:36 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have read my copy and it's one of those books I'm probably going to just end up handing off to someone in the future and not really expecting to have returned, so if that's one of you people in this thread (in the US, at least) send me a MeMail and maybe I can make Christmas come early in your household.
posted by komara at 7:28 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


He is realizing that his family is much smaller than he used to think it was. His heart is breaking, as he has to re-orient his understanding of who is there for him and (more importantly) his boy, just as he has been there for them.

I was rewatching episode three and I thought again of this comment when Floyd is asking her local associates if they were with the family. Floyd laments they are "small time" compared to KC, and Bear says, "Know thyself." (I think he also quotes a bible verse.)

More than ever I really want to know Bear's backstory. I don't think the Bear that married Charlie's mother is this Bear. Like I said earlier, I can't imagine the Bear we know even courting someone. I'd love season three to find a way to address this, maybe as part of a larger story about the Gerhardts.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:26 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dead or not, I predict we have not seen the last of Simone.
posted by Jode at 8:48 AM on November 30, 2015


13 more hours!!
posted by Room 641-A at 8:59 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw Bear's killing of Simone (which I think is most probable) as partly about an eye-for-an-eye with regard to Dodd and Charlie. I really like meese's insight into Bear's character, but I think it's about 50-50 whether Bear is all about family loyalty in the way that meese describes, or all about his love for his son (and possibly his mother) and not loyalty to "family" so much at all. Even his insistence that Simone refer to Dodd as "Dad" can go either way -- he could be reinforcing the idea of family, or he could be reinforcing the idea that she's Simone's child, as Charlie is Bear's child, and in that sense he was depersonalizing her and seeing her only in terms of his anger at Dodd about Charlie.

I'm moderately more inclined to the view that Bear really only cares about Charlie and his mother and that he's not that interested in the idea of familial loyalty. The biggest clue for this is how we was responding to the calls from Hanzee about Dodd. If he was all about family, then he would have put his anger at Dodd aside and followed-up on Dodd's whereabouts. But, instead, it seems like he wanted Dodd to stay gone or be dead.

I haven't yet watched tonight's episode -- I expect these questions will be partly answered.

Anyway, it was hard watching the scene with Bear and Simone. I've really disliked Simone's self-interested actions but have been sympathetic to her because she has every reason to want her father dead and to therefore have distorted thinking about the risks she's taking with the rest of her family. Ultimately, though, the fact that she's betrayed her grandmother, who she loves and who has believed in and defended her, damns her in my eyes. They're all killers, of course, but Simone isn't even consistent with regard to her own choices -- she doesn't want her grandmother killed, or probably Charlie, for that matter -- but she's deluded herself about the consequences of her choices in this regard and so in that very narrow sense, by Simone's ostensive standards her choices have harmed "innocents". That's a particular kind of moral cowardice or blindness that's almost always punished in narratives because we instinctively feel its wrongness. You can be a killer among killers, or a victim among killers, and you can choose your enemies and kill them, and the audience will often be okay with this if they feel that there's a kind of equivalence involved -- but Floyd has treated Simone well and trusted her, while Simone is betraying Floyd.

To some degree, that's also what Bear is responding to. We were given some indications early on that Dodd would be similarly willing to sacrifice his mother or other members of his family to his ambitions. If so, I think that Bear understands this about Dodd and so he is very much seeing Simone's choices as being consistent with her father's. I guess that bolster's meese's view -- that Bear is loyal to family, but that he's decided that in different respects, Dodd and Simone have not been loyal to the family.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:33 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


[Comment deleted. Please be careful only to bring up what has happened in this episode or earlier. Thanks!]
posted by taz at 4:42 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ed's also driving a different car at the end of the episide.

It's one of the Gerhardt cars that was at Peggy's. It's a Lincoln, and Dodd usually drives a different car, but this was definitely from the compound.
posted by Monochrome at 9:02 PM on April 29


Out of many, many choices, my favourite scene here is the opener with the assassin window cleaners shooting straight at us, the audience.
posted by rongorongo at 6:29 AM on June 26


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