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    Peggy Blumquist 

Margaret "Peggy" Blumquist
Played By: Kirsten Dunst

"I'll tell you what, if it was me, and we had to run, I wouldn't look back. For what? The Dazzle? This house? This is Ed's house. He grew up here. His mom washing his undies, his father taking his paper to the commode. You ask me how come I buy all these magazines? I'm livin' in a museum of the past."

Peggy is a small town beautician in Luverne, Minnesota, but inside she knows she could be so much more. She’s on a quest, really, to become the best Peggy Blumquist she can be, which means not just being a wife and one day mother. Her husband, Ed, is a traditional man with timeless goals (buy the shop, raise a family), but Peggy can’t help but think there’s more to life than just Luverne, Minnesota.

  • Ambiguous Disorder: Peggy is practically a compulsive liar, is narcissistic, has trouble with feeling empathy for others, and is incapable of basic planning or even seemingly fully comprehending the consequences of her actions unless it's right in front of her. One theory is that she's a fairly realistic representation of somebody with anti-social personality disorder who is not necessarily violent or sadistic. Hank is the first to notice that she has trouble grasping reality, stating that she's "touched". She hallucinates the leader of her seminar, and has a creepy conversation with him about self-actualization. She also has a vivid one about being smoked out by Hanzee. She increasingly confuses reality and fiction to the point where she might even be considered schizophrenic.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Downplayed. Peggy isn't evil and it's not hard to sympathize with Peggy's yearning to be more than a small-town beautician married to a butcher's assistant, but she's also a self-centered loon with very narrow consideration to anyone who isn't herself, and her ambitions drive these more selfish impulses and cause a ton of damage in the process.
  • Blatant Lies: She's a compulsive liar, even when it's obvious that she's not telling the truth or when there's evidence in plain sight that contradicts what she's saying.
  • Character Development: A hallucination of her motivational speaker after taking out Dodd makes her "fully actualised". From then on, Peggy is considerably more decisive, brave, and violent, as well as supportive and loving to Ed.
  • Consummate Liar: Despite being bad at keeping it, Peggy is shown to be able to trick everyone with her lies, especially herself, since she uses Half-Truths, Exact Words, and Plausible Deniability to justify herself and her actions.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: As Dodd finds out, Peggy can be at her most dangerous when she's surrounded and cornered.
  • The Ditz: She's so wrapped up in herself that she doesn't really seem to think things through. Note that her running over Rye in the first place wasn't actually a crime, as he was wandering about on the road in poor visibility, and that if she'd called the police as soon as possible, she wouldn't be in all this trouble.
  • Expy: Peggy shares several similarites to Linda Litzke, from the Coen Brothers film Burn After Reading, in both looks and selfishness derived from a desire to better herself.
    • For Lester Nygaard. Both seem like harmless, fairly amiable nonentities on the surface, but underneath, they're both incredibly self-centred and don't care who they hurt as long as they themselves are all right. However, as the series progresses, it becomes clear that she's more of a...
  • Foil: To Lester Nygaard. Both start in a similar place, trapped in relationships they find stifling, Lester to a woman who despises and belittles him and Peggy to a man who loves and supports her. Lester just accepts his lot, but Peggy actively tries to improve her situation and status in life. The difference is most tellingly shown, however, by their character development in their respective seasons. Lester starts off as a sympathetic character but loses that trait through his actions throughout the first season, while Peggy starts off unsympathetic but gains audience sympathy as her character develops. Lester killed Pearl and was prepared to abandon Linda, while Peggy stands by Ed throughout and at the moment when she's about to go on the run, changes her mind and goes back to support him. The single biggest difference, though, is their actions in the final episodes. Lester sends Linda to her death at the hands of his season's Big Bad to save himself and dies fleeing his just rewards, while Peggy goes to fight her season's Big Bad to defend Ed and ends up living and accepting her punishment.
  • Irony: Peggy is pretty selfish and self-centered, but truth is, she’d be in trouble if it weren’t for Ed.
  • It's All About Me: Runs over a man in her car, drives back home with him stuck in the windscreen and parks both the car and him in the garage, calmly makes dinner, exchanges small talk with her husband Ed about going to a self-actualization seminar, and never once thinks of telling the cops or even Ed that there's a dead guy in the garage. Once it turns out Rye was only Not Quite Dead and Ed kills him, she convinces Ed to cover up the events because if it came out, things would be all over for her. Even when she's caught by Lou, she never accepts responsibility, blaming the person she ran over as the cause for her misfortune and never accepting any responsibility.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is quite clearly not a model citizen, but she does love her husband.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When she tasers Dodd.
  • Lady Macbeth: To Ed. She convinces him to cover up Rye's death and try to forget the whole incident.
  • Motive Rant: She gives one to Lou after she's finally caught. Lou doesn't buy it.
  • Never My Fault: Her motive rant is full of this, blaming Rye, sexism, and anyone but herself.
  • Not So Harmless: She smashes a sink over one of Dodd's men, and then repeatedly electrocutes Dodd with his own cattle-prod.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Her main motivation seems to be boredom at the routine and simpleness of small-town living.
  • Pet the Dog: As unhappy as she was in their marriage, Peggy still clearly cared about Ed, her plans to go on the lam always included taking Ed with her, and the one time she considered leaving him behind, she instantly changed her mind. Following her character development, she becomes much more protective, loving, and supportive of Ed, to the point that she's willing to try and fight off Hanzee with an ice pick to protect him and breaks down in tears when he dies.
  • The Sociopath: She seems to be this, the biggest indicator being not that she ran a man over with her car and tried to cover it up, but that she ran a man over with her car and continued on with her day like absolutely nothing had happened. She made dinner while he was still stuck in the windshield! However, it becomes progressively clear through the season that while Peggy is far from a good person and has a host of mental issues, she's not a sociopath. She does love Ed and most certainly feels emotion.
  • Sexless Marriage: With Ed. She's reluctant to sleep with him or start a family.
  • Skewed Priorities: In "Rhinoceros", she casually asks Sherrif Larssen if he thinks she'll be able to attend her "Lifesprings" self-help seminar the next day. This, in spite of the fact that her husband was just arrested for murder, his butcher's shop was burned to a cinder after an attempted assassination by the Gerhardts, and being warned that an armed posse may be on its way to kill her and Ed.
  • Small Town Boredom: The main reason for her hare-brained scheme.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: She looks excited at the prospect of turbid business entering her life just for a thrill.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When she encounters Dodd, who she repeatedly tasers and ties up. She's still out of her depth, but not as much. By "The Castle," she's become observant enough to realize what an awful idea sticking around at the Motor Motel is, capable of getting the drop on Lt. Schmidt, and even able to temporarily fend off Hanzee Dent.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: "It's just a Flying Saucer Ed, we gotta go."
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her actions behind the wheel trigger the eventful events of Season 2.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Considering the "atmosphere" of their marriage, you kinda wondered why.

    Ed Blumquist 

Edward "Ed" Blumquist
Played By: Jesse Plemons

Ed: This is all just so crazy. And I can't stop thinking about that book. Noreen's book. It's, like, stuck in my head.
Lou: What? What book?
Ed: It's about this guy who, every day, he— he pushes this rock up this hill. Like a boulder. And then every night, it just rolls back down. But he doesn't stop. You know, he just— he keeps goin'. And— and he wakes up every day and starts pushin'. By which I-I-I guess I'm— I'm sayin' it doesn't matter what they throw at me. I'm gonna take care of what's mine.

A butcher's assistant at Bud’s Meats, Ed is a gentle giant. All he ever wanted out of life was to become his parents, and so he married Peggy and they settled into his parents’ old house. Now Ed is working to buy the butcher shop and trying to talk Peggy into starting a family. Ed avoided serving in Vietnam due to a single kidney, so his mettle has never really been tested. But that is about to change.

  • Accidental Murder: He kills Rye Gerhardt in self-defense without meaning to.
  • The Butcher: He works as one and is framed symbolically when he kills Rye Gerhardt in self-defense, the scene reminiscent of a hunter killing a wild, dangerous animal.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He might be a friendly, even somewhat meek butcher's assistant, but he's capable of taking action when it's called for. Rye Gerhardt finds this out to his detriment when Ed kills him in self-defense.
  • Character Death: Ed dies after taking a shot from Hanzee in the series finale.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Ed accidentally hits Peggy with his elbow on impulse.
  • Chekhov's Skill: His strong arm and skill with a butcher knife come in handy when he's forced to fight off a delirious Rye Gerhardt, and later Virgil.
  • Disposing of a Body: He has to get rid of Rye's corpse the day after killing him. Unfortunately, Lou's arrival at the butcher shop causes a little accident.
  • Dumb Muscle: Not particularly bright, but doesn't need a lot of finesse to beat his opponents with his own two hands.
  • The Everyman: Ed is just your average guy, and only wants average things: a middle-class life, kids, a nuclear family. The extent of his ambition is buying the butcher shop from his boss.
  • Final Speech: His last words are an admonition to Peggy, finally realizing that they weren't really going to make a good couple.
  • Foil: To Pearl Nygaard. While Pearl's insufferable and overbearing, Ed is compliant and goes along with his wife's schemes.
  • Good Is Dumb: He's a nice and obedient husband, but really lets his wife do most of the thinking, and she's not the best person to make big decisions.
  • Guilt-Ridden Accomplice: Unlike Peggy, he feels awful about what just happened.
  • Heroic BSoD: After killing Rye.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: His reason to be. He has no great schemes or grand ambitions, he just wants to live a normal life.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted. He takes two bullets from Hanzee while fleeing the site of the Sioux Falls Massacre, and slowly bleeds out and ultimately dies taking shelter in a grocery store freezer with Peggy.
  • Nice Guy: Ed is just a pleasant, genial fellow.
  • The Red Baron: Thanks to Dodd being flexible with the truth, he becomes known to the Gerhardts as The Butcher of Luverne, a deep-cover hitman for the Kansas City mob.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Ed isn't exactly ugly, but there is a pretty clear disconnect between the league he's in and the league Peggy is in.
  • Sexless Marriage: With Peggy, who is reluctant to go to bed with him.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: He's wracked with guilt after killing Rye and it takes some time for him to get used to it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Rye was injured and crazed when Ed killed him, but Virgil was an experienced hitman and Ed still managed to take him down. Mike Milligan even ends up admitting he admires his work as the Butcher of Luverne.
  • What Does He See in Her?: Seriously, though.

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