In a season so intense and entertaining we don’t want it to ever end, FX’s Fargo‘s season two episode eight was yet another brilliant episode. Ed, Peggy, and Dodd were the main focus of “Loplop” airing on November 30, 2015, and if anyone doubted Peggy isn’t playing with a full deck, this episode confirmed she’s off her rocker. It also confirmed Ed will do anything and everything to protect her and that Peggy fully realizes how Ed feels about her. The writing, acting, and direction of episode eight were first-rate, as usual, and while the episode didn’t include many of the key players, the limited focus of the story allowed Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Jeffrey Donovan, and Zahn McClarnon to shine.
Recap of Fargo Season 2 Episode 8:
Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) hallucinates a conversation with an instructor from the seminar she’s obsessed with attending while Dodd (Jeffrey Donovan) is tied up in a chair in her basement, surrounded by stacks of magazines. Ed (Jesse Plemons) races home after escaping police custody to find Peggy watching over Dodd, with Dodd claiming Peggy’s lost her mind. He tells Ed he was just walking past the house and Peggy attacked him, but Ed knows he’s a Gerhardt. Ed shuts him up by punching him in the face. Ed stuffs the unconscious Dodd in the trunk of his car and drives away with Peggy.
Shortly thereafter, Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) and Hank Larsson (Ted Danson) arrive and quickly find one dead Gerhardt gang member on the basement floor. Lou maneuvers around the magazine stacks and finds another, but no sign of Ed or Peggy. Hank’s looking bad so Lou calls the medics who take him away in an ambulance. Lou is going to tell Betsy about her dad, even though Hank doesn’t want him to.
Hank and Lou leave, and Hanzee (Zahn McClarnon) enters the house. He finds Dodd’s jacket and knows Ed and Peggy have him. Hanzee then searches through the house and finds a hotel room confirmation.
Peggy and Ed carry on different conversations in the car with neither actually listening to the other. Peggy’s still going on about the seminar and Ed thinks they can go to a hunting cabin and hide out, and then make a deal for Dodd. “See it, then be it,” says Peggy. Peggy’s excited they’re actualized…and Ed is just happy they’re still alive.
Ed and Peggy arrive at the cabin and as Ed opens the trunk Dodd kicks him in the stomach. Peggy knocks Dodd out with a taser, protecting her husband. Tied to a chair in the cabin, Dodd tells Ed he’s dead and so is Peggy. Even tied up he can’t stop threatening people. Ed heads out to a convenience store to call from an untraceable phone. Ed’s going to offer to give Dodd back in exchange for their freedom and if that doesn’t work, “Well, then I’ll show them which part is the flank steak,” explains Ed.
Hanzee enters Sioux Falls as Ed makes his call from the convenience store pay phone. He calls the Gerhardt headquarters asking for whoever is in charge, introducing himself as The Butcher. He tells them he has Dodd just as an officer pulls up at the pumps. The person on the other end of the line wants to take a message, but Ed says he’ll call back.
Back at the cabin, Dodd struggles with his ropes. Peggy warns him Ed will be back soon and Dodd says he has four daughters and isn’t a bad guy. Peggy’s not buying it because he called her a whore. He continues to struggle and won’t be civil so she stabs him. He cusses, so she stabs him again. Then, she offers him beans and he, reluctantly, politely declines. Peggy apologizes about his brother but says she wants to stay positive. She also says Ed is much more delicate than she is. She tells Dodd she’s the one who hit Rye because he was in the road. Ed cleaned it up and now the whole thing has escalated. All this is explained as she feeds Dodd the beans he didn’t want.
Ed arrives home and she offers him beans. Ed notices Dodd is bleeding but Peggy doesn’t want to talk about it. Ed whispers to Peggy, asking if she stabbed him. Dodd whispers back that she did and that she’s crazy. Ed tries to explain to Peggy that if she cuts him up, the Gerhardts won’t want him back. He then explains the phone call and can’t understand why the Gerhardts didn’t immediately want Dodd back.
Hanzee heads into a redneck bar where Indians aren’t welcome. He orders a water and wonders if the bartender spit in it. He then orders a tequila and asks about Ed and Peggy. The bartender makes some disparaging remarks about Indians and Hanzee says he did three tours in Vietnam and has a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. He leaves but is followed out by three of the bar’s patrons. Hanzee shoots the middle one in the leg, then shoots another one. He heads back inside and shoots the bartender as he’s calling the cops. Two officers pull up and he shoots both of them before taking off.
Back at the cabin, Dodd has to go pee and Ed tells him just to go ahead and do it in his pants. Peggy says they have to follow the Geneva Convention, and Ed asks if he has to pee or poop or both. Peggy volunteers to help but neither Ed nor Dodd take her up on her offer. Ed holds a bucket so Dodd can pee in it while still tied up to the chair. After the bathroom break, Ed heads back out to make the call.
Peggy’s coworker is at the hotel but it’s Hanzee knocking on her door and not Peggy as she expected.
Ed’s back at the convenience store in the middle of the night. He calls the Gerhardts but no one answers. He goes into the store and picks up some supplies. The clerk is really talkative and tells Ed he’s seen him on the phone, reminding him he can’t hunt this time of year and suggesting a pack of cards to fill his time – he even throws them in for free.
Back at the cabin, Peggy calls the hotel in Sioux Falls looking for Constance Heck. The desk clerk puts her through and Hanzee holds the phone to Constance’s ear. She asks where Peggy is and Peggy says she’s in trouble but she’s dealing with it. She asks about the seminar and Constance tells her she should come because it’s amazing.
Meanwhile, Ed calls the Gerhardts again, still with no answer.
Peggy thanks Constance for paying for the room and Constance continues to try to find out exactly where Peggy is. Peggy says they’re out in the woods but doesn’t give away many clues. Constance says she has workbooks for her and can send them to her, but she needs her address. Peggy says to just hold on to them for her, and Constance says she’ll jump in the car and deliver the books. Peggy sort of describes where they are but doesn’t have the actual address. Constance is doing a great job trying to get the exact location but Peggy hangs up. Hanzee puts down the phone and strokes Constance’s hair.
Peggy and Ed are in bed, and Peggy whispers that Dodd is looking at them. Ed yells at him to stop it, but Dodd says he isn’t tired. Ed places a pillow case over his head so Peggy can sleep.
In the morning Ed heads out again to make the call. Peggy watches a black and white movie and sips coffee while Dodd sleeps. Peggy is so caught up in the WWII drama that she doesn’t notice until it’s too late that Dodd has escaped his ropes. The bed squeaks behind her and Peggy looks up, surprised.
Back at the pay phone, Ed talks to someone who doesn’t seem to care that he’s got Dodd. Then Ed notices an article in the paper and says he’ll call the other side of the gang war to see if they want Dodd. He reaches Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) and makes the offer of a deal for Dodd. Mike says, “If I kiss you when we meet, will that be inappropriate?” He wants Dodd but needs to know what Ed wants. Ed wants the Gerhardts to stop coming after him. They make a plan to meet the next morning at the Motor Motel. Ed heads back to the cabin and minutes later Hanzee arrives at the convenience store asking after a heavy set man with red hair. Hanzee says the guy he’s after is driving a blue Lincoln and the clerk wants him to leave. Hanzee is sure the guy knows him and the clerk admits he’s seen the guy using the pay phone outside. He also says the guy told him he was going crazy down at the lake. Hanzee believes him and leaves, and then the clerk notices Hanzee’s picture is in the paper as a wanted fugitive.
Ed arrives back at the cabin and sees just Peggy’s legs on the floor on the other side of the bed. Dodd is able to get the drop on Ed and hangs him by the neck from the ceiling. Ed’s dying as Dodd lectures him about women. Peggy quietly sneaks up on him as Dodd says he thinks Satan is a woman. Dodd notices Peggy but turns his back on her just long enough for Peggy to stab him through the foot. She pins his foot to the floor and goes to rescue Ed. Dodd’s getting loose so she knocks him out before chopping the rope free from Ed’s neck. He comes to and asks if Dodd is dead. Peggy’s not sure.
Hanzee cruises the lake area looking for Ed’s car. He spots it. Peggy ties up Dodd and Ed says he could almost hear Mike Milligan drooling over the phone. Dodd says there’s something wrong with his neck and just then Hanzee busts in, gun drawn. Dodd can’t feel his legs, but Hanzee talks to Peggy about getting a professional hair cut. Instead of shooting Ed and Peggy, Hanzee shots Dodd in the head, killing him. He really wants that haircut now and Peggy’s willing to do it. Hanzee warns her no funny tricks and Peggy assures him she won’t do anything. She’s grateful Hanzee saved them. As Peggy prepares to cut his hair, Ed sees Lou and Hank sneaking up through the woods. Hanzee shoots at Lou and Peggy stabs him with scissors. Hanzee tries to shoot Ed but he’s out of bullets. Lou and Hank bust through the door just seconds after Hanzee flees.