‘Fargo’ Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: Fear and Trembling

Fargo Season 2 Kirsten Dunst Jesse Plemons
Kirsten Dunst as Peggy and Jesse Plemons as Ed in ‘Fargo’ season two (Photo by Chris Large / FX)

FX’s Fargo‘s second season continues on the path of bringing together different key characters and storylines, heightening the tension with each episode. Episode four was no exception as Sheriff Lou Solverson came much closer to putting two and two together to learn what really happened to Rye Gerhardt after he murdered three people in the Waffle Hut. Episode four also found Dodd Gerhardt’s right-hand man, Hanzee, discovering clues as to Rye’s whereabouts, all while the Fargo crime family continues to deal with the unwanted proposed takeover of their illegal businesses by the Kansas City mafia.

Recap of Fargo titled “Fear and Trembling:”

Fargo, 1951 – A Ronald Reagan movie is playing at the local cinema and in walks Gerhardt family patriarch, Otto. A young Dodd’s with him, but he just sits down quietly and watches the film. Otto is talking to the man who killed his father, and the guy asks him if he came to get his revenge. Otto says it’s just about getting a seat at the table, and the new head of the gang says there isn’t a table. A man walks up and puts a gun to Otto’s head and just then young Dodd acts – killing the leader while his dad takes out all of his henchmen. Unfortunately, Dodd doesn’t get to see the end of the movie.

Flash-forward and Dodd (Jeffrey Donovan) is on the road with his nephew, Charlie (Allan Dobrescu). They’re chatting about his ambition. His dad wants him to be a lawyer but he wants to bust heads like Dodd. Dodd wonders how that would work with one arm and they pull over so he can show Dodd how he reloads. Dodd’s actually impressed and calls him a tough guy.

They pull up to a donut shop where they tase (and punch) the KC mobsters before ordering up some donuts.


Dr. Emilous is talking to Lou (Patrick Wilson) and Betsy (Cristin Milioti) about her cancer. Lou thought the chemo would handle it but this doctor says the results aren’t good and the cancer is spreading. He says there’s a new drug that’s in the trial phase, but it could possibly help Betsy. The doctor calls it Xanadu and she’ll get that or a placebo during the trial. He explains the trial and Betsy wants to know if she’ll be getting the real drug or the fake drug but he won’t tell her.

Hanzee (Zahn McClarnon) heads to Luverne to look for the still-missing Rye (Kieran Culkin).

Meanwhile over at the Blomquist house, Ed (Jesse Plemons) thinks they’re trying to have a baby. He’s all about practicing and he’s even planning for a bigger house. Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) heads to the bathroom where she takes her birth control pill without Ed knowing. Ed thinks they can’t afford the seminar right now because they should be planning for the future and taking care of their finances, but Peggy’s set on it because she wants to reach her full potential. Ed tells her he couldn’t handle it if she got any better.

Out at the Waffle Hut Hanzee looks through the restaurant hoping for some kind of clue as to what happened with Rye. He evens goes to the parking lot where he sees the waitress’ blood and finds the tire tracks as well as a piece of glass from a headlight. And then what appears to be lights from the aliens catch his attention. He heads back to town where he spots Ed’s car at the auto body shop. The glass he picked up matches the headlight and when Sonny the mechanic comes in, he just continues his inspection completely ignoring the guy’s instructions to not enter the car. Without thinking, Sonny tells him the car belongs to Ed the butcher. Hanzee pulls a knife and Sonny warns him he was in Vietnam, and Hanzee proceeds to freak him out by reminiscing about cutting off ears in ‘Nam.

Karl Weathers (Nick Offerman) interrupts their conversation and asks if there’s a problem, showing his sidearm. Hanzee drives away without hurting anyone, but Karl wants Sonny to call the sheriff anyway.

The Kitchen brothers are playing cards at a hotel while in another room Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) is having sex with Dodd Gerhardt’s daughter, Simone (Rachel Keller). She thinks Floyd (Jean Smart) will take the money but they’ll probably have to kill her dad. Simone’s fine with that and changes the subject to how much she misses the ‘60s. She thinks she would have been free and had fun, but Mike tries to paint a more realistic picture. The conversation shifts to Hanzee’s hunt for Rye, and Mike thinks he’s probably hiding out or gone for good. Simone says Floyd will probably compromise. Mike asks if that’s Otto’s idea but Simone says he’s a “legume” and they’re taking him to the doctor to see if they can stop the drooling. Mike asks which doctor.

Lou and Betsy talk about Molly and ice fishing, and Betsy says he needs to learn stuff about raising girls. It’s a somber scene and Lou attempts to be as helpful and thoughtful as possible until the police radio interrupts them.

Fargo Ted Danson Nick Offerman Daniel Beirne
Ted Danson, Nick Offerman and Daniel Beirne in ‘Gotham’ (Photo by Chris Large / FX)

Hank (Ted Danson) is already taking a report when Lou shows up at the auto body shop. Hank fills him in on Hanzee, and Sonny tells him the stranger had been looking over Ed’s car. Lou checks it out and wonders if the damage was from running over a gunman who shot up three people at the Waffle Hut, but Hank says it’s from running into a tree. Lou wants to know if he hit the tree coming and going, and the whole thing is becoming more and more suspicious. Lou thinks back to that night after business hours at the butcher shop and how sketchy Ed was acting.

Otto’s being examined at the clinic, but there’s really not much that can be done.

The Gerhardt family arrive at the Pearl Hotel for their meeting with Joe Bulo (Brad Garrett) and the KC mafia. Floyd thanks Joe for agreeing to the sit-down and gives them a counteroffer. She wants to pay them $1 million cash plus 20% of their territory in Minnesota. In exchange, the Gerhardt family will still run North Dakota but with Kansas City. She’s looking for a partnership – not a sale. She talks about her looks, her age, and her sons, and tells him not to assume she’s weak. The deal is offered to avoid a war and she warns him they will fight to the end if necessary. Joe would take the counteroffer if it was up to him, but he wants to know if her boys will abide by the deal. Joe points out the two men who were assaulted by Dodd at the donut shop, and he doesn’t believe her sons will remain under control. Joe says family businesses have a problem with the leadership not acting against their own. Dodd is outraged – which proves Joe’s point – and Floyd apologizes for him after he’s taken from the room. Joe doesn’t think Dodd will ever behave.

Otto’s leaving the medical center when one of his men becomes suspicious of a car parked next to theirs that’s blocking their driver-side door. One of the men slides in from the passenger side and tries to start the car. Just then another car pulls up slowly…but it’s just another patient. The Gerhardt car finally starts but a Kitchen brother takes out the driver before taking out Otto’s lead henchman. Mike then shoots the nurse who accompanied Otto to the car before telling Otto that Joe Bulo says hi. He removes Otto’s hat and leaves him sitting in his wheelchair, blood spattered on his face and surrounded by dead men.

The news of the deaths is whispered in Joe’s ear and he lowers his offer by $2 million. He gives them one more night to think it over. If they don’t surrender, they’ll all be killed.

Ed’s back at the butcher shop apologizing to his boss for leaving early the day before. His boss, Bud, tells him his check for the down payment bounced. There’s another buyer and Bud will sell the shop to him on Friday if Ed doesn’t come through with the payment. And by the way, the grinder is making a funny noise (probably too much Rye in the mix).

Ed confronts Peggy at the beauty parlor and tells her about the check bouncing. It bounced because she spent the money on the seminar, and now the other buyer will probably get the shop. As they argue, Hanzee passes by in his truck. Peggy says the course is important and Ed asks if it’s more important than the shop. Ed says she has to get the money back or else they can’t have the shop.

Peggy runs into the beauty shop and asks her boss for the money back, but she’s already sent it in. She tells Peggy not to surrender her needs to the needs of men, even to her husband.

Dodd and Floyd comfort each other in the back seat of a car as they drive home from the meeting.

Hanzee shows up at the Blomquist house and checks out the garage. He inspects all over, looking for signs of blood, and smells bleach on the floor. He enters the house and looks around. Investigating the fireplace he finds the belt buckle from the clothing Ed burned after cleaning up the garage. He knows it’s Rye’s buckle and he pockets it. Just then a car pulls up and it’s the sheriff. Hanzee leaves and Lou makes himself comfortable on the porch, in the cold night air.

Finally, Ed and Peggy return home in Ed’s truck. Lou tells them to invite him in and Peggy offers him coffee. Lou says he saw their car and they stick with the ‘crashing into a tree’ story. But, Ed’s distracted when he sees the fireplace looks different. Lou asks if he’ll find blood in the car when he looks through it. Lou tells them they have the look of people who are already dead but just don’t know it.  (He tells a longer story about his experiences in the war as a way of getting to that observation.) They still stick with their story, but Lou tells them the man they hit was Rye Gerhardt. “Rye Gerhardt…and his family hurts people for money and they’re coming. They may be here already,” says Lou. If they covered it up, they need to come clean right now. The window’s closing and they may already be dead. Peggy says he’s out of line and asks him to leave. Ed reluctantly backs her up.

Floyd hugs Otto in bed, crying. Bear (Angus Sampson) comes in and tells her they’ve all gathered to find out what she wants to do. She kisses Otto and tells Bear and Dodd, “It’s war.”

Betsy sits at the kitchen table, staring at the pill bottle labeled Trial Drug. Outside Lou ties knots in a rope just to pass the time and ease his mind. He can’t sleep. Lou says he thinks she got the real pill. He also says the whole world is out of balance. It used to have a moral center, now not so much. He’s going to stay outside a while and make sure they’re safe. Betsy gives him a kiss and goes back inside.

More on Fargo Season 2: Episode 1 Recap / Episode 2 Recap / Episode 3 Recap / Episode 5 Recap / Episode 6 Recap / Episode 7 Recap / Episode 8 Recap / Episode 9 Recap