‘Fargo’ Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: The Myth of Sisyphus

Fargo Patrick Wilson Jeffrey Donovan
Patrick Wilson as Lou Solverson, Jeffrey Donovan as Dodd Gerhardt, and Keir O’Donnell as Ben Schmidt in ‘Fargo’ (Photo by Chris Large / FX)

FX’s critically acclaimed drama Fargo continues season two with a third episode that finds the Gerhardts, the Kansas City mafia, and the police attempting to track down Rye. There’s also the issue of the KC mafia taking over the Gerhardt family business, plus Peggy and Ed need to deal with the broken windshield on their car before the police put two and two together.

Here’s a recap of what went down on “The Myth of Sisyphus” episode airing on October 26, 2015:

Floyd (Jean Smart) meets with associates of the Gerhardts to let them in on the news that the Kansas City mafia wants to buy out their operation. Dodd (Jeffrey Donovan) is still against any kind of deal with the outsiders while Bear (Angus Sampson) is willing to go along with whatever his mother believes is best, now that she’s temporarily in charge of the family’s business. “We’re talking about the Kansas City mafia. They’re like all the sharks in the sea. And we’re – let’s be honest – we’re small time,” says Floyd. She concedes that maybe one day they will have to fight, but it will be on her terms. She asks the three business associates if they’re with her and they agree they won’t make the first move but if the KC people are looking to rumble, they’re ready to fight back with guns blazing.

Joe Bulo (Brad Garrett) and Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) sit down for breakfast and after discussing the North’s soft water and what it does to your hair, they get down to the business of talking about the Gerhardt deal. Joe thinks they’ll stall and then pass, so Mike wonders if that means they’ll have to kill them. Joe says it really depends on what the market dictates – either kill them or offer them more money. He’s all about the bottom line. Mike says he’s learned the missing Gerhardt son, Rye (Kieran Culkin), gunned down a judge and split. Joe tells him to find Rye and use him for leverage.

Hank Larsson (Ted Danson) lets Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) know that a fingerprint on the gun at the Waffle Hut killing matches Rye. Neither know Rye but Hank says he’s learned Rye’s the youngest heir to the Gerhardt syndicate out of Fargo. Lou says he’ll pass that info on to the Fargo police.

At the Fargo PD headquarters (or maybe it’s city hall?), Lou meets up with Fargo Detective Ben Schmidt (Keir O’Donnell) who’ll be helping him follow up leads on the case. They discuss the crime scene and Ben knows who the Gerhardts are. “I’m not saying your life would be easier if it was your own prints on the gun, but that’s what you should be thinking,” says Ben. He gives Lou a brief rundown on the family. Lou asks if he’s familiar with KC mob guys Mike Milligan or the Kitchen brothers, but Ben doesn’t recognize those names. After comparing their military service, Ben thinks the whole Waffle Hut thing is FUBAR.

Peggy’s cutting hair and Lou’s wife, Betsy (Cristin Milioti), is talking about how she’ll be losing her hair soon, thanks to the chemo. Peggy’s decided she’s going to the Lifespring seminar because she wants to be the “best me” she can be. In comes Hank delivering the message that Lou will be late and posting flyers in the window alerted everyone to be on the lookout for Rye Gerhardt. Hank says he must have been raised without the proper moral fiber or else he couldn’t have killed the three out at the Waffle Hut. And then Betsy shocks everyone by suggesting that the shoe in the tree has something to do with the murders. She thinks Rye was hit while walking out on the road and that’s why his car is still in the parking lot. She actually nails it, but Peggy immediately attempts to shoot her theory down, wondering why someone would hit the guy and not stop. And if he was hit, did the person just drive off with him on the car? (Yes, Peggy, you know that’s exactly what the driver did.) Hank agrees with Peggy but Betsy says, “Maybe rather than looking for a man, you should be looking for a car.”

Peggy zooms over to the butcher shop and tells her hubby, Ed (Jesse Plemons), that the police are looking for the car that hit Rye. Peggy says they absolutely have to deal with the car today.

Lou and Ben follow the typewriter store owner, Skip Spring (Mike Bradecich), out of the station because he’s acting really sketchy. Outside the station he’s sitting in his car and they knock on the window, asking for his ID. He tells them about his store and how it’ll soon have new models that will be in any day. “They’re not just for women anymore, you know?” He tells them he’s there for a hearing but nothing scandalous, but it is time-sensitive. They want to know why he was by the dead judge’s office, and he offers condolences but insists he needs to get the money to get the new typewriters – and then he says, “Spaceships, really” for no reason.

Fargo Season 2 Episode 3
Keir O’Donnell as Ben Schmidt, Mike Bradecich as Skip Sprang, and Patrick Wilson as Lou Solverson in ‘Fargo’ (Photo by Chris Large / FX)

Lou and Ben turn their backs and discuss Skip, who Lou calls a squirrelly fellow. They don’t think they need to bring him in and ultimately decide to let him go. “Spaceships? Really?” says Ben, and now they’re off to the Gerhardts.

Skip goes to Rye’s apartment and of course he’s not there. Rye’s niece Simone (Rachel Keller) is, and she doesn’t know who Skip is. Dodd’s right-hand man, Hanzee Dent (Zahn McClarnon), is there but Skip doesn’t see him until it’s too late. Simone thinks Skip’s the guy Rye was working with on a side deal before he disappeared, but Skip says he was actually just looking for Rye to tell him he’d have the money soon. Simone uses Skip’s tie as a leash and pulls him out of the apartment.

In the middle of nowhere, Ed and Peggy have set their plan to drive their car into a tree in motion. They figure this way the insurance agency will pay for the damage and the police won’t see the damage Rye did to their car. “Once the car’s fixed, we’re free,” says Peggy.

Peggy leaves Ed alone in the car to slide on the black ice into a tree. It’s snowing and his first attempt at crashing the car results in it spinning around and hitting the car’s back bumper. He gets it right the second time and damages the front end, giving himself whiplash in the process. A tow truck hauls the car away.

Ben and Lou visit the Gerhardt property where armed guards allow them through the gates to the house. Lou won’t give up his gun so he’s not allowed inside, which prompts him to ask, “Am I the only one here who’s clear on the concept of law enforcement?” Floyd comes out to meet with them on the porch and she immediately recognizes Ben, who expresses his sympathy for her husband. Lou tells her about the three dead, including a state judge, at the Waffle Hut, but she has no idea what that has to do with her family. Lou tells her about the murder weapon and the prints belonging to Rye. She won’t let them talk to Rye, and her men come closer to Lou and Ben in a threatening manner. Lou tells her Rye’s wanted for three murders and she needs to handle it now or it will get handled for her. Up drives Dodd, just to make the situation even worse. Dodd says they own the judges, why would they kill one? Dodd threatens them and instantly gets on Lou’s wrong side. Lou apologizes that he’s not terrified by meeting Dodd, if he should be, but he wants answers. He asks about Mike Milligan and the Kitchen brothers but they don’t know where they are. Floyd won’t say any more and tells them to leave.

On the drive back Lou and Ben discuss getting a warrant but that won’t work because the Gerhardts own the town. Ben pulls over and leaves Lou at the typewriter place because Lou still wants to check on the squirrelly dude. Lou goes to the door and finds the lock’s been broken. He hears people going through drawers and out come the Kitchen brothers and Mike Milligan. One Kitchen draws on Lou so he draws back. Lou wants to know what they’re doing there and he knows Mike definitely isn’t the owner. Speaking of the owner, that’s who Mike and the Kitchens are trying to find. Lou asks if they are Mike Milligan and the Kitchen brothers, and Mike jokes that makes them sound like a rock band. Mike wants to know what a Minnesota cop is doing in North Dakota and he wants to know where Lou saw Skip. Cheekily, Lou answers, “At your mother’s house…I think going in the back door.” With guns drawn, the ‘rock band’ leaves the store.

Lou pulls up to wait in line at a gas station, gets out to stretch his legs, and the guy in the car in front of him starts discussing UFOs. He says the visitors always comes in sets of threes and, “Such a night was two nights past.” They’re visitors from above and they take you up in their ships. How random.

Peggy and Ed head home on the bus, and Ed has a neck brace. Peggy thinks their plan worked.

Lou makes it home and Hank’s there visiting with Betsy. Lou tells Hank about his encounter with Mike Milligan and the Kitchen brothers.

Dodd shows up at the quarry to meet with his daughter Simone and immediately treats her like trash, even though she’s the one who captured Skip. He questions Skip about where Rye is and asks if he talked to the cops. Dodd and Hanzee make him get in the hole they’ve dug, and Skip begs for a few more days to find Rye. Instead, they back up a truck and are about to dump a load to cover him when he says Milligan must have Rye. They don’t believe he knows anything and so they finish burying him alive. Bye bye Skip.

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