Fargo: Rhinoceros
November 16, 2015 9:34 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Lou and Hank try to prevent an altercation; Peggy and Ed defend their choices; and the Gerhardts attempt to get back one of their own.
posted by JimBennett (35 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
this is one of the best episodes of television i have ever seen. fargo is up there with the greats.
posted by JimBennett at 9:35 PM on November 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


The moment "'Twas brillig" came out of Mike Milligan's mouth I said "OH. SHIT." out loud.

Also, nice Coen callback reference with the Man of Constant Sorrow cover playing over the end credits.

This episode about turned my hair white. I loved it.
posted by komara at 9:58 PM on November 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


When Simone Gerhardt told Mike that "they all left" I knew what Mike was going to do. But it didn't diminish the episode at all. If anything, it was nice to see Mike do the smart thing instead of throwing us a curve for the sake of plot twists.

As the AV club review points out, it did seem out of character that Hank didn't check on Peggy before he left. Maybe he thought it was too late? Maybe he wanted to call for backup first when he found out what was going on at the station?
posted by Gary at 1:19 AM on November 17, 2015


I'm sure Rhinosorus is a Camus reference, because, well, Sisyphus. But while the latter is about the futility of living at all, Rhinosorus is about the futility of remaining human when everyone else is turning into mindless animals.

Although at least humanity, in this episode, had its hurrah, especially in the form of the drunken, bufoonish. terrified, and unexpectedly heroic Nick Offerman. He may have saved nobody in the long run, but, god damn it, I respect the attempt.
posted by maxsparber at 2:19 AM on November 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm not entirely sure of the sequence of events between Peggy tasing Dodd, and Hank meeting up with Lou. Did the Gerhardt men leave? Were there just the three of them left at the house? Did Hank leave without checking the situation? Maybe we'll get a flashback.

I hate when previews for next week's episode spoil deliberate cliffhangers.

Something occurred to me last night about this season compared to last. There is a lot less... sympathy for the devil? Despite doing awful things it was hard not to root for Lester at times. Even Malvo was a fun bad guy that made me vacillate between wanting to see him walk out of the season and be ripped slowly to shreds by that wolf.

Here we have Mike Milligan, who is also awesome, but sort of Malvo-lite and much less developed. He is more hired hand than mysterious force of evil. The Gerhardts are clear cut bad guys. While I want a royal comeuppance for Dodd, they haven't succeeded in making me root for anyone else yet.

Lou and Hank are so morally good as to almost be unbelievable.

Then there are some characters stuck in unfortunate situations - Simone, Charlie, even Peggy and Ed. None of them have taken a Lester-like turn... yet. I'm still banking on Charlie becoming the real force of nature in the family.
posted by 2ht at 5:07 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


The obvious, enormous question of what happened after Peggy zapped Dodd must have some sort of resolution next week. It's too big of an open hole in what has otherwise been a pretty tightly-written show. I'll be very disappointed if Dodd's back at the family compound as if nothing happened.

On the other hand, if Dodd is either incapacitated or in-custody, that might leave Bear in charge (depending on what sort of shape Floyd is in after Mike's attack) In either case, Dodd's men would have to take their orders from Bear, right?

Was it ever established that the diner where all this began is on the road Peggy drives between home and work? When Hank was questioning Peggy about the accident, it seemed as if she was avoiding something big that we haven't become privy to as yet. Maybe I'm just reading what isn't there?

Also loved the Man of Constant Sorrow callback at the end. The soundtrack this season is really killing it.

I've loved the split-screen stuff and this episode was a real tour de force.

Mike reciting Jabberwocky. So nice. And that crazy long phone cord in his apartment! Yes, people had extra-long cords back then, but I can't recall ever seeing one that long.

There were so many points in the episode where I was really, really afraid someone vital was going to be killed off, especially Hank and/or Peggy. I suppose Ed's the obvious one to meet his end now, seeing that he's off on his own, not knowing he now has Hanzee on his trail. To be honest, Ed's probably the only one of the main "good guy" characters that I'd be willing to give up.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:53 AM on November 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Maybe this is giving the writers too much credit or filling in too many gaps, but here's what I think happened with Hank: he woke up hearing his car's radio calling him. He knew the bad guys had gone into the house, and knew that there was no way Peggy could have defended herself (which of course we the viewers know is dead wrong). He probably got to the car, answered the radio, and sat there looking at the scene from outside thinking it was a lost cause, and headed out to the greater crisis at the station. Prioritizing, I guess - like how he told Lou to let Ed run since they had bigger problems.

That's my guess, anyway. I would have hoped he'd at least walk in the house and call for Peggy, but again - hearing that there's a lynch mob at the station would have his attention in a big way ... even if Dodd's truck was still there in the Blomquist driveway.
posted by komara at 6:57 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do we know for sure that the family business is drugs? They're just middle men, but they don't seem like drug runners. Something about tonight's episode gave me the feel that they might be into something more like smuggling in immigrants, or even human trafficking.
posted by 2ht at 7:16 AM on November 17, 2015


Hank's leaving the scene didn't bother me at all. Firstly, he's concussed. Secondly, a police station was under attack and needed immediate help. Thirdly, the attack could, in the long run, leave his granddaughter an orphan.

Like Peggy, he was making a decision in a fog, and it may not have been the best one, but it was the one that left open the possibility of the future he wanted.
posted by maxsparber at 8:18 AM on November 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Most of this episode, I was doing the same thing as Sonny in the van.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:26 AM on November 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


The occasional cuts to Sonny in the van really made that whole scene.

And Nick Offerman. Obviously.
posted by tracicle at 9:54 AM on November 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


Karl says the same thing to Bear that Bear said to Dodd about Charlie, "He's only seventeen." That was so good.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:09 PM on November 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


More uncomfortable Gerhardt family dynamics in this one: "strap or buckle?" I suspect that at some point soon Hanzee's rigid loyalty to Dodd is going to be tested.

I'm with Sepinwall in his admiration of Ted Danson's performance: "Yeah, that's what I thought." / "Here we go."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:00 PM on November 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


I suspect that at some point soon Hanzee's rigid loyalty to Dodd is going to be tested.

I'm thinking the same thing. I'm hoping it will be when he follows Ed back to his home and finds Dodd hog tied in the basement, being repeatedly tazed by Peggy.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:25 PM on November 17, 2015


Rhinoceros - Theatre of the Absurd Hello Camus connection.

There's also the Wittgenstein / Russell argument re a rhinoceros... but I've had a beer so I'm not going to attempt to discuss how that might be relevant
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:06 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


First ep with no aliens or Ronnie?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:19 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh and Jabberwocky also connects with the absurd/nonsense stuff... has there been any other Carroll references?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:20 PM on November 17, 2015


Reagan featured as a campaign poster in the background of one of the shots.

No aliens, so far as I could tell... the closest anything came were a number of shots of car headlights shining directly into the camera - similar to the lens flair effect that the ETs tend to get.
posted by codacorolla at 9:29 PM on November 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


When the Gerhardts turn up at Ed and Peggy's and Hank meets them on the porch, I thought that was it. Never have I felt so relieved when someone gets smashed in the face with a gun butt. "Oh, phew! Just unconscious."

I really don't want Hank to die. Ed...eh. I think while Peggy loves him, if he stands in the way of her getting to California she would mourn him but only from the drivers seat of his truck as she leaves town. Ed is too naive and, yeah, stupid and shortsighted. He and Peggy are so deeply flawed as human beings. If he survives it will only be because someone else sacrifices him/herself for him.

I also love that instead of Chekov's Gun in this episode we have Chekov's Basement Hoard of Magazines.
posted by tracicle at 10:50 PM on November 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


I love how Fargo plays with your expectations and this episode especially... thought Hank and Peggy were gonnas for sure, but now and it was stupid Dodd who got it.

Also I fully expected it to go Assault on Precinct 13 (aided by seeing a spoilering headline - yeah media news website, you are unfollowed - that implied that) but no... it's gotta be coming though, just in the way we are going to least expect it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:58 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


They've been trailing the seminar so hard, can they not show it?

The dread is a lot less grim than last season, thank goodness.

Also, wouldn't Ed's undeniable talents in the person-vanishing department be more use to the organisation than Rye ever was?
posted by Grangousier at 1:03 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm really excited to see what Dodd has in store for him. I'm assuming he's in lock up? Another option would be that Peggy has him hidden somewhere. I suppose he also could be dead, from all of the shocking. Whichever way that plays out, the Gehrharts will not be happy about losing another son.
posted by codacorolla at 4:32 PM on November 18, 2015


I hope Dodd isn't dead because at the very least I need to see that cattle prod used on him about sixty more times.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:09 PM on November 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


So is Peggy going to wipe out all the Gehrhart menfolk by herself?

Also "Kill the king, become the king", wasn't it?
posted by Grangousier at 12:08 AM on November 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


So is Peggy going to wipe out all the Gehrhart menfolk by herself?

She's just being the best 'me' she can be (though I fear she'll never get to her seminar, may be she won't need it). Fargo being Fargo it would not surprise me if Peggy and Ed bubble their way though it and end up last man and woman standing.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:56 AM on November 19, 2015


In the seventh grade, our Drama class performed Alice in Wonderland so the lines from Jabberwocky were familiar.

Fargo performed them a bit differently however.

(How cutting-edge would our production of Alice in Wonderland have been if we had performed them in the Mike Milligan way...)
“I just spoke with the Dormouse.
Bring the car around, tonight we take out the Mock Turtle...”

[parents in the cafeteria/auditorium nervously start looking through the play’s program]
posted by blueberry at 5:56 AM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh my god this show. This show. It is so good.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:44 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's just amazingly good. What I love about how good it is is that it's amazingly good in a related-but-different way to how the first season was so amazingly good.

I think that overall this season is better. Notably better. This is near-perfect television, some of the very best television of this whole new golden age.

But it doesn't have last season's Thornton's Lorne Malvo and it doesn't have Tolman's Molly Solverson and it doesn't have Freeman's Lester Nygaard. Or, for that matter, Carradine's Lou Solverson or Odenkirk's Chief Oswalt. Those were some of the best performances ever on television and while all of the acting in this season is really, really, really good ... none of it is as stupefying as what we saw last year.

And yet ... I think this season is better. It's not that the writing last season was weak. It was some of the best TV writing of all time, too. I'd say that the writing this season is just about the same, really. The production design, direction, photography, and editing is arguably even better this season than last season, but I don't think it's a big increase.

And yet there's something about this season that is a tour a de force in a sense that last season only hinted at. Maybe it's the flashy stuff -- the 70s photography and editing. The music. I do think those things are playing a large role, but my sense is that they're important in that they exemplify just how sure-footed Noah Hawley is this season. He's got a very, very strong handle on what he's doing here -- even more than he did last season -- and he's realizing it flawlessly. I think this is the difference -- Hawley was quite confident and consistent last year, but this year he truly and deeply knows what he's about and he doesn't need the acting by Thornton or Freeman to make it work. It's not that he needed them last season, he didn't do anything wrong, but that he's at the top of his game in every way and the actors can do their jobs in a little bit more of a low-key fashion and achieve the same jaw-dropping result. Last season some of the writing and a lot of the acting called attention to themselves in ways that weren't bad -- because it was amazing stuff -- but this season the whole machine is working in a way where every part is just perfect and the whole is beautiful.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:42 PM on November 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


just how sure-footed Noah Hawley is this season

"Sure-footed" is the descriptor I keep coming up with too; especially comparing this to S2 of True Detective which basically blundered its way through its 10 episodes.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:27 PM on November 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's just amazingly good. What I love about how good it is is that it's amazingly good in a related-but-different way to how the first season was so amazingly good.

I think that overall this season is better. Notably better. This is near-perfect television, some of the very best television of this whole new golden age.

But it doesn't have last season's


BRB going to binge-watch season one!
posted by Room 641-A at 1:15 PM on November 21, 2015


I'd say that the writing this season is just about the same, really.

The good parts are just as good, but the difference this season to me (and I guess this pertains to the "sure-footedness" you talk about) is that it's notably less encumbered by real misfires. I really liked season one, but it had some moments that were honestly just really bad. I'm thinking of Malvo's line with the post office worker, when he says "highly irregular is when I found a human foot in a toaster -- this is merely odd," or Lester's ridiculously heavy-handed flashbacks to murdering his wife: those moments, most of them in the first three episodes, I think, almost kept me from seeing it through. This season is much improved in that regard, and from my perspective without any loss in the wonderfully odd cadences of its characterizations -- they're just distributed more evenly among more characters, and I think it works just as well in a different way.
posted by invitapriore at 4:21 PM on November 21, 2015


how sure-footed Noah Hawley is this season. He's got a very, very strong handle on what he's doing here -- even more than he did last season -- and he's realizing it flawlessly.

After watching S1, I'm seeing a parallel to Vince Gilligan's transition from Breaking Bad to Better Call Saul. (I have not seen True Detective, and by now I don't care much.)

Malvo's line with the post office worker, when he says "highly irregular is when I found a human foot in a toaster -- this is merely odd,"

Oh, I don't think it was mentioned, but there's a call back to that line when Lester calls something irregular. I don't recall what now, just adding it to the pile. But I agree, that line is not the best thing about this show.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:30 AM on November 22, 2015


FX Renews Fargo for season 3. (Article contains speculation about what the season should be about but no spoilers beyond this episode).

"We’re on the UFO," he joked. "It’s going to be, this space station 'Fargo' in the year 2555.
posted by Gary at 1:12 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


We’re on the UFO," he joked. "It’s going to be, this space station 'Fargo' in the year 2555.

I'm sure that's a joke but I would watch the heck out of that show.
posted by mmoncur at 1:47 AM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


The pedant in me cannot forbear to point out that Mulligan mispronounced some of the words in "Jabberwocky." In his prologue to the 1896 edition of Through the Looking Glass, Carroll says to 'pronounce “slithy” as if it were the two words “sly, the"', but Mulligan pronounced it was a short i, as in "slit." Is this meant to point out that Mulligan is a proud auto-didact, or a man with no time for prologues, or am I overthinking it?
posted by ubiquity at 5:50 AM on December 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


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