205 - "Gift of the Magi"

A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
Director: Jeffrey Reiner
Writer: Matt Wolpert & Ben Nedivi


  • So I finally got around to checking out Fargo this season after being repeatedly told by a friend that it was awesome, and boy am I glad I did. I've been absolutely loving it. If there are two things that reel me into a show its grinding dudes up like hamburger meat and the possibility of alien abductions
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Was that Lorne Michaels as Reagan's assistant whole boarding the bus in the intro?
  • edited November 2015
    This is nerve wracking!
    For quite by chance and the will of a wizard...
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    First ever split decision?
  • This show is so god damn good
  • This episode brought me around a little bit regarding Peggy.

    I'm nervous about Checkov's trial drug bottle with the cap not securely fashioned.
  • This show is really good, but I'm really skeptical about the coincidences in this show. The fight in the butcher shop being the prime example. So the kid walks into the back and the girl just happens to be walking out of the bathroom at the time. He shoots and just happens to hit an electrical box that sparks a fire because there was trash can underneath. The next bullet jams (?) and the kid's partner walks through the door, but it was a windy day and that added fuel to the fire. The partner shoots at Fat Damon, but the bullet ricochets and hits the kid. I know this is a show that is built on coincidences, but this scene felt to me like Fishnado probably felt to A_Ron. 

    That nitpick aside, things that I love about the episode:
    • I want Bruce Campbell to play Ronald Reagan in every show/movie that has Reagan in it
    • Every acting performance was absolutely wonderful, but I particularly love Danson's " I don't really know how to do feelings, but I love you so very much and want to help in any way I can" talk he had with his daughter
    • Kitchen bros may be a man down, but they definitely didn't go down quitely
    • I love when a show doesn't insult me and feel they have to show me Brad Garret being murdered to let me know he's dead. All you have to do is give me a "Oh shit" look and show me the top of a head in a box, and we all know what happened.   
  • Well that was quite an episode! I was on pins and needles the whole time.

    Talk about rearranging the chess board. I have no idea where things go from here. The massacre at Sioux Falls must really be something as the battle in the woods was quite epic in its own right and we are only on episode 5.
  • DaveyMacDaveyMac Tokyo
    edited November 2015
    Now that I've had a bit of distance, I just have a couple questions:

    1.) Why did Hanzee not kill the second Kitchen Brother? I saw on Sepinwall's forum that maybe it was so that he could deliver the head. I'm not so sure about that one, but it's plausible I suppose.

    2.) How did Hanzee manage to kill the head of Kansas City? The did had a rifle and there was considerable distance between them. Though I suppose it's a long distance rifle and maybe difficult to use that range? I know very little of firearms.
  • @DaveyMac, my thinking is Hanzee had a gun (or knife) on him, drew on the "head" of the KC faction, then took care of the "message" after he was mortally wounded.

    I was shocked that he lied about the butcher being a KC guy. But very interested to see where the dualing brothers go from here. Great episode. Especially liked the UFO sun on little Molly's drawing - nice touch.
  • Any concerns about a sophomore slump should be jettisoned like a faulty warp core. Holy fucking Christ, I am swooning right now, gushing over the pure quality Fargo brings to the table.
    I especially enjoyed the scene with Lou and Reagan in the bathroom, speculating the man was losing his mind well before taking office. Also, Is it double agent time for Dodds daughter, and speaking of Dodd I'm just clamoring for Hanzee to see the fucking light and realize that Dodd has no business running a criminal enterprise. Seriously sending your cripple nephew to whack somebody whom you believe is a KC hit man, with a babysitter who was too incompetent himself to finish the job.
    The Peggy and Ed story is fascinating yet mostly confounding. Neither of them have any business trying to outsmart this situation.
    On another subject, anyone notice the commercials? When did Clooney start pimping himself for Nespresso?
  • NikkiP said:

    @DaveyMac, my thinking is Hanzee had a gun (or knife) on him, drew on the "head" of the KC faction, then took care of the "message" after he was mortally wounded.

    I was shocked that he lied about the butcher being a KC guy. But very interested to see where the dualing brothers go from here. Great episode. Especially liked the UFO sun on little Molly's drawing - nice touch.

    I'm Dont think he lied, I think he actually believes he was a KC hit man. Molly's drawing of the UFO was a nice touch, keeping that angle of the story in play if only marginally.

  • First ever split decision?

    hmmmmmmm, not sure about a split decision, with Hanzee on the gearhardts side, they got themselves a stone cold killer a la Jack Bauer. Hanzee reminds of Lorne malvo, minus the amorality, but with all of cunning and ruthlessness.
  • Delivering to your enemies the head of their leader, this round has to go the Gearhardts, if only slightly. Got a feeling we're about to see Mike Miligan go scorched earth next episode. Anyone else pining for a Millian/Hanzee standoff?
  • steph_bsteph_b Austin
    edited November 2015
    I think Dodd intentionally left one Kitchen and Milligan alive. Dodd was just too pumped when he reported back to Floyd and gleefully said "they're gonna hit back hard".

    Dodd definitely knows the butcher isn't a KC hit man. He slipped up and said something to Floyd about "when they found out he was dead" then quickly corrected it to "killed him". Also when Dodd first told Floyd he was a hit man he had cut off Hanzee and gave Hanzee a knowing look. Like an "are we on the same page? This is our story" look.

    Side note: I love Noreen and Charlie so much. That scene between them totally made my day. What a delight to watch.
  • Are the Kitchen Bros now a Kitchenette?

    I'll see myself out...
  • I had the biggest smile during the last scene. I think I could watch a series with Mr. and Mrs. Butcher. I was surprised by how much I wanted him to live. Parts of this episode were pretty flat for me but I enjoyed it overall. I'm still loving the music.
  • Im starting to like Peggy and Ed more and more.Peggy had her bags packed and ready to go and in her mind had a clear choice between California and life with Ed. You can see even after she sold her car and is on her way back shes happy shes going to make it up to Ed but is still weary of the thought trying to make it work Ed again. Ed was still determined to get the money for the shop so for that breif moment they were finally on the same page. With the butcher shop gone, Ed is finally starting look at the big picture and realizes it's time to run. Speaking of looking at the big picture why does a painting of cows in a feild calm a butcher? Anyways, it's funny how they both desperately wanted to give eachother what they wanted in the end. Let this serve as a warning for the dangers of passive aggression.

    Fargo movie connection- "Lets find eachother tonight" by Jeff Tweedy was playing while Peggy was packing in the show. In the movie Jose Feliciano is plays it while preforming at the dinner theater where Carl takes the call girl.
  • adobo1148 said:

    NikkiP said:

    @DaveyMac, my thinking is Hanzee had a gun (or knife) on him, drew on the "head" of the KC faction, then took care of the "message" after he was mortally wounded.

    I was shocked that he lied about the butcher being a KC guy. But very interested to see where the dualing brothers go from here. Great episode. Especially liked the UFO sun on little Molly's drawing - nice touch.

    I'm Dont think he lied, I think he actually believes he was a KC hit man. Molly's drawing of the UFO was a nice touch, keeping that angle of the story in play if only marginally.

    I think he definitely lied, quite clearly seemed to change gears when Dodd started improvising a story at the briefing with Floyd.
  • Pretty sure the season is going to strongly hint that Lorne Malvo is an alien.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    The ending of this episode had a very "Crawl Space" from Breaking Bad feel.
  • I also definitely think he lied. There were enough looks between him and Dodd and I think he spent enough time in the house last episode to get that Ed is not a KC hit man.
  • @Dummy As you say, Fargo is a show that likes to string together unlikely events to explain simple things having a "butterfly effect" snowballing into chaos. 

    That said, the only one I really had a problem with in the scene you spoke of is instant fire from the electrical box being shot, that seemed far fetched to me, though I suppose not impossible, just too fast maybe? I dunno. 

    I see no problem with him returning to the shop when she's in the bathroom, the gun jamming, or a ricochet hitting but not killing the kid. I find it much less acceptable that 'real' Gearhardt hitman would be so bad as to miss Fat Damon at basically point blank range, though that's still not super implausible. 

    A note on the gun jamming, this is perhaps more realistic than you may think. Inexperienced shooters sometimes create misfires due to what's called 'limp wristing' where they do not hold the gun properly while firing which prevents the gun from cycling properly. 


    @DaveyMac The KC guy was a suit, clearly not a muscle guy like the Kitchen brothers, who Hanzee could've easily killed both of as well. 

    For a while now law enforcement has had something called the 21 foot rule, a philosphy that someone unarmed or armed with a knife (basically nothing ballistic) can still be dangerous to someone with a firearm if they are within 21 feet of them. 

    Cheesey demonstration video:

    Granted that assumes a holstered sidearm, but between KC guy being a scared suit that clearly isn't used to handling guns and Hanzee being a super assassin, the outcome seems pretty clear, even to KC guy based on the look on his face when he sees Hanzee.


  • Dodd and Hamzee definitely did not think Rye was killed by the KC mafia, and they do not think "The Butcher of Luverne" is KC muscle. They know he's a soft target, and that's the only reason Dodd agreed to let Charlie get the kill.

    My wife can't watch this show because it's too intense, but kinda follows it by doing housework or computer work while I'm watching it. She did pop her head up at one point to say, "is that Wilco? That music wasn't around in the late seventies." Didn't put together the connection to the movie with the song selection. Very clever.

    Peggy did surprise me in a most pleasant way! A little too little too late, but now I actually have a reason to hope she and Ed don't end up dead. (if this was GoT, that would mean she's definitely dead soon)

    Dodd's daughter is so dead. I thought Mike Milligan was going to send her head in a box back to Dodd. Then I thought Dodd was going to kill her when she got home. She may actually survive all this, but she was incredibly stupid to get in the middle of this.

  • @Zinzan Since Simone survived the beginning of the war and given her abusive relationships with Dodd and Mike, you've got to think she gives some crucial misinformation to both of them to either drop them in the lap of Lou or just generally fuck them both over somehow and peace out to Mexico. I look forward to it.
  • @bizmarkiefader, that could happen. I haven't seen a ton of cleverness coming from Simone yet, so I still think it's more likely that bad things are coming her way.

  • Two very intriguing Barton Fink references in this one. You had Ed finding solace in the cows in the pasture painting similar to Barton looking into his beach painting.

    Then there was the head in the box. In BF, they never really revealed it was Audrey's head, but everyone knows it has to be.
    All the nightmares came today, and it looks as though they're here to stay...
  • JamesJames southern California
    Just listened to the podcast. The most common type of home smoke detectors use a radioactive source such as americium-241 to ionize air molecules -- smoke particles reduce the amount of ionization and reduce the detectable current across an electrode, triggering the alarm. These have been around since the 50's, but the Atomic Energy Commission only approved detectors using radioactive sources for home use in the early 60's. They weren't broadly used until solid-state electronics and improved batteries made them smaller and cheaper in the 70's.

    Early, non-ionizing detectors worked by detecting temperature changes optically, but these were shown to be much less sensitive than the ionizing chambers. All that said, I can't imagine any device not seeing that fire sooner than it did in the show...

    ...unless the actual detector was in another room in the building and couldn't "see" the smoke until it leaked out of the back room of the butcher shop.

    Aside from that, if Lorne Malvo turns out to be an alien, I'm out!
  • @Zinzan She's hid being a double agent from Dodd for this long so she has some sneakiness to her. Dodd doesn't strike me as a particularly hard guy to fool if you tell him something he wants to hear and Mike has an ego (well, they both have gigantic egos which is usually a bad sign in this universe) and puts his own ambition before the strength of his organization. She probably wont draw up a master plan from scratch but if an opportunity presents itself I think she'll take it.
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