1) The entire second season of Fargo has been building to the event that took place at the end of last night’s episode. In fact, if we’re being honest, the build toward it started back in season one, before we knew we were going back in time, when an older Lou Solverson explained it to Lorne Malvo in the diner. The Sioux Falls Massacre was legendary before we even knew exactly what took place. So as it started unfolding last night, there was this almost giddy sense of “Ooo, this is it!” floating around. Finally, we would see the event we’ve heard so much about and have been patiently waiting for this season. And then we did. And then things got weird.
But before we get into all that, let’s quickly look at the steps from last night that got us there, including a few left turns we probably didn’t see coming. The first, and most important, of these lefts was Hanzee full-on double-crossing the Gerhardts and sending them into a murder trap from which none of them would escape. Not even Floyd, whom Hanzee gutted personally. We’re now down to zero Gerhardts, give or take an incarcerated Charlie. That is not a lot of Gerhardts.
The second left was the jurisdictional pissing contest that took place at the lake house. In hindsight, this makes sense, because with all the lone wolf John McClane-ing Lou was doing, it’s only right they would eventually introduce the country version of Dennis Franz’s character in Die Hard 2 to stand in his way. God, did I love that guy. Every idea he had worked out terribly. Have Ed keep his meeting and wear a wire? Check. Run Lou out of town? Check. Switch to plain clothes the night before so as to blend in and/or accidentally get mistaken for the KC mob and get massacred? Check. Turn off the radio? Check. And at one point he said he wanted to “squeeze the lemons we got and use the juice to catch the big fish,” which, and I’m admittedly no expert here, is not how you catch fish. Like I’m picturing him squeezing lemons straight into a lake and then standing there holding a net in his boat, just red-faced and shouting at the fish for refusing to be caught. It’s a shame he died before we really got to know him.
Anyway, the result of the two left turns was that the carnage we expected to see between the Gerhardts and the KC mob ended up being carnage between the Gerhardts and undercover law enforcement, with Lou, Ed, Peggy, and Hanzee representing the only definite survivors. So there was that.
2) Oh, also, a huge UFO came down from the cosmos and saved Lou’s life.
3) Somewhat lost amid the chaos of those first two things was… is Betsy dead now, too? It sure looked like it. And given her big dramatic speech to the King of Breakfast about who Lou may or may not shack up with when she’s gone, it’s not like we can’t say we didn’t see it coming. But still, even in an episode and a season stuffed with death, this one hurts, probably because it was the most normal. You were a cool lady, Betsy Solverson. R.I.P. Unless you’re still alive, in which case, continued health and my apologies for talking about you in the past tense just now.