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South Dakota State Police

    Jeb Cheney 

Capt. Jeb Cheney

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s02e09_284.jpg
Portrayed By: Wayne Duvall

A Captain in the South Dakota State Police, his intransigence proves instrumental in setting up the Sioux Falls Massacre.


  • Asshole Victim: If he'd listened to anyone but himself for even a second, he would probably still be alive.
  • Fat Bastard: He can charitably be described as well-fed, in addition to being a colossal prick.
  • A Father to His Men: His only redeemable aspect (although not by much) is standing by his men in the line of fire and being supportive of them. This being Fargo, this is what gets him killed.
  • General Failure: His entire plan is doomed from the start because it relies entirely on the Blumquists' competence; they might have been doing well, but as Lou points out, their luck is bound to run out. He refuses to listen to reason when others try to point this out.
  • Glory Hound: The main reason why he decides to make the setup for the Kansas City players. At least, he's happy to include his men in the action.
  • Hate Sink: In the span of a single episode, Cheney manages to be one of the season's biggest assholes; he's not even a Corrupt Cop or a villain, he's just a dick. Even Dodd's assholery led to a number of funny moments, while Cheney's just unpleasant.
  • Jerkass: Good God, is he ever. He's willfully ignorant, stupid, aggressive, and lethally arrogant. He might be in the running for the most unpleasant character in Season 2, a season with Dodd Gerhardt.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While he wants to use the Blumquists as bait, his reasons for not having them taken in do make sense. The Kansas City Mob has friends in high places, and it's very likely that wherever they're taken won't be safe. A few episodes ago, the Gerhardts were willing to storm a police station and kill everyone; the much larger and better-armed Kansas City boys could do a lot worse damage.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: He talks down to anyone outside his own police force, outright insulting Lou and Hank.
  • Police are Useless: Cheney is rude, short-sighted, and has great confidence in his rather unimpressive abilities.
  • Smug Snake: Cheney swaggers into the middle of an investigation and takes command despite having no prior knowledge of the case whatsoever, all while maintaining complete confidence that he will come out on top as a hero.
  • Step Three: Profit: His plan is suicidal at worst and ill-conceived at best, and it's not even well-established, with its entirety being more of a rough draft than a fully-realized plan. Not that what ended up happening would have different anyway, but still..
  • Tragic Mistake: Turning the PD radio off, which prevents Lou from warning them of the arrival of the Gerhardts.
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Minnesota County Police

Rock County

    Hank Larsson 

Sheriff Hank Larsson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/larsson_hank11.jpg
Portrayed By: Ted Danson

"The things I've seen, you know, in the war and at home, on the job— so— so much senselessness, violence, you know? And I got— I got— I got to thinkin' about— about miscommunication. Like, how— isn't that the root of it? Conflict, war— does— doesn't it all come down to— to language? Right? The— the words we say and the words we hear, which aren't always the same thing."

Hank is the Rock County Sheriff and Lou’s father-in-law. He’s an unflappable WWII veteran who’s never too busy to spend time with his granddaughter, Molly. After years of relative peace, Hank is seeing the country (and his county) turn in a more troubling and violent direction, and it forces him to ask – is he up to the task of keeping the peace now that the war has come home?


  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Due to Betsy's disease, Hank finds it hard to talk normally with her, only doing so sporadically and briefly.
  • Badass Beard: Has an impressive white beard and is a solid badass well into his sixties.
  • Best Friends-in-Law: He and Lou are on friendly terms and talk on more personal levels than with other people, showing great understanding due to their shared career and dealing with Betsy's illness.
  • Can't Catch Up: While still able to be a professional sheriff and do a competent job, Hank has felt more and more overwhelmed by the horrid underbelly of the world and how much has it leaked into everyday life, all while becoming more jaded, tired, and incapable of keeping up with the road society is traveling and evolving in.
  • Close to Home: Lou's constant agitation and troubles often remind him of his own problems after returning from the war.
  • Crazy Sane: The doodles in his house, as detailed below, are shown to be an attempt to decipher and fix the challenges and obstacles he and everyone faces day after day. Also, although his plan to create a universal language sounds well-meaning but ridiculous, once you take into account all the damage caused by a few misunderstandings, it comes off as more rational.
  • Crusading Widower: His deceased wife is the reason behind the apparently crazy drawings in Hank's house. See below.
  • Curse of Babel: Hank expresses his belief that miscommunication and misunderstandings have led to some of the most horrible things he and Lou have seen, as well as his wife's death, which have led him to try to create a universal language for everyone.
  • Cool Old Guy: Oh, yes. Hank might be in his golden years, but he maintains the joviality, strength, and loving nature he's had since his younger days. Also, he's played by Ted Danson, making him this by default.
  • Da Chief: He's sheriff of Rock County, and his age and experience goes hand in hand with Authority Equals Asskicking.
  • Dad the Veteran: He's Betsy Solverson's father and fought in WWII.
  • Danger Deadpan: A variation. He is no pilot, but his background has taught him not to give into emotions, and as such, he never once loses his cool during dangerous situations. Even when Dodd comes to get Ed, Hank remains impasible, calm, firm, and cool, dishing out polite warnings towards Dodd, even if he's outnumbered.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments:
    Hank: (To Dodd) "Son, I can fill a steamer trunk with the amount of stupid I think you are, but no, that's where he went."
  • Elephant in the Living Room: He feels uneasy when talking about Betsy and her disease. Not that Lou is completely better.
  • Expy: Hank's inability to understand a changing world that has given rise to forms of directionless, seemingly endless evil he can't comprehend means he has more than a few things in common with Sheriff Ed Tom Bell of No Country for Old Men. Unlike Bell, however, he shows no indications of simply giving up after all the horrors he's witnessed.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Being a good man in his very core, Hank despairs that he can't understand the motivations behind the evil people his job forces him to deal with.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Not as bad as Lou, but Hank clearly has his hands tied in "The Castle" due to Sioux Falls PD's intervention.
  • Large and in Charge: He's the Sheriff and stands at an imposing 6"3.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: He owns cats and asks Betsy to feed them when he can't.
  • Made of Iron: He takes the butt of a rifle to the head at his age, and still manages to reach his car and drive to Lou when he wakes up.
  • Meaningful Echo: His Good Cannot Comprehend Evil speech is very similar to Marge's at the end of the movie — specifically, they both express disbelief that anyone would cause so much death over "a little (bit of) money".
  • The Mentor: Older, more experienced, and a mentor towards a younger character? Yes, Hank checks all the necessary boxes to qualify for this trope.
  • Minnesota Nice: He most definitely is. Discussed and Deconstructed by Mike when they both encounter each other, as he mentions that Lou and Hank are not really nice, but rather passive-aggressive hostile.
  • Nerves of Steel: So you're surrounded by armed men, led by an unstable idiot, who are telling you to stand aside or they'll put you in the ground. What do you do? If you're Hank, you just stand there, making quips and letting them know you're not afraid of them.
  • Nice Guy: Hank is kind, polite, respectful, loving and affectionate to his family, and generally a good man.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Averted. Hank is quite a Cool Old Guy and on good terms with Lou.
  • Older and Wiser: As an older version of Lou, he's had more time to reflect and come to terms with the horrors he saw in the war, developing coping mechanisms and adopting a philosophy that allows him to deal with the day-to-day of life.
  • Old Master: He's Lou's superior, and having a better grasp of what he must be dealing with, offers guidance and advice hat's reciprocated whenever he needs it.
  • Old Soldier: Aside from being an WWII veteran, he stands up to criminals even when he's outnumbered and outgunned without a hint of fear. His demeanor and his sweetness when talking to young Molly only underscore this.
  • Only Sane Man: Shares this role with Lou. Moreso in "The Castle", compared to Jeb Cheney.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Judging by his reluctant way to talk about Betsy and her sickness, he probably fears this.
  • Politeness Judo: What Mike argues the Minnesota Nice act is: Hank uses his friendliness to disarm anyone he encounters and as such, he can attack better through persuasion and a positive demeanor rather than outright confrontation and violence.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He tries to give Peggy a chance to explain herself before he searches her car.
  • The Remnant: Hank comes from a forgotten time, seeing himself as one of the last proofs of a more simple time, wrecked by the loss of innocence and the Korean War. The petty struggles of today are just the aftermath of everything that preceded.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Betsy discovered one in his house. It may or may not be his.
  • Sergeant Rock: He is quite resilient, strong-willed, a Veteran, and a Cultured Badass to boot.
  • A Shared Suffering: He knows where Lou's anxieties in work come from, since he also fought in a previous war. The knowledge of this hints as to why these two understand each other so much. They also have a more personal one in the form of poor Betsy.
  • The Sheriff: Of Rock County.
  • Silver Fox: He has aged quite well. Helps that Ted Danson is playing him.
  • Starfish Language: What Betsy discovers turns out to be a language based on images. As to why he's doing it, see above.
  • Tap on the Head: He ends up being knocked out by Hanzee with the butt of a rifle when he tries to stop the Gerhardts from entering the Blumquists' home.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Tries to pull this off when Dodd and a cavalry show up at the Blumquists' house to kill Ed. He ends getting knocked out by Hanzee through a surprise attack, but kudos for trying.
  • What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: He muses about the events of the Waffle Hut Massacre, citing them as an example of the eventual decay and violent spiral the world is spinning onto.
  • Zen Survivor: He is a WWII veteran and often reflects on the cruelty and horror of unfettered human nature in his line of work.

    Lou Solverson 

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Local Police Departments, Minnesota

Bemidji

    Vern Thurman 

Sheriff Vernon "Vern" Thurman

Portrayed By: Shawn Doyle

The Police Chief of Bemidji.


  • Da Chief: He's the Sheriff of Bemidji, meaning he's both in charge and takes a pretty active role.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Vern gets a fair amount of characterization in "The Crocodile's Dilemena" before being abruptly killed, thus setting up the real hero, Molly.
  • Distaff Counterpart: He's presented as one to Marge Gunderson from the original film; a smart, capable, and fundamentally decent police chief with a child on the way. Sadly, unlike Marge, he doesn't survive very long.
  • A Father to His Men: Vern is well-loved by the cops under his command; everybody feels the impact of his death. He's generally kind and supportive with a good understanding of his people's capabilities. He's particularly fond of Molly, of whom he appears very proud.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted. His wife makes recurring appearances, he's talked about frequently, and there's no doubting that Molly's motivation stems from his untimely death.
  • Happily Married: To his loving, very pregnant wife.
  • The Mentor: For Molly, whom he was grooming to become the next Chief.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: He's killed by Lorne Malvo, spurring his pupil Molly on to solve the case.
  • Nice Guy: Vern is just an all-round pleasant man.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Vern only appears in one episode, but his ghost looms large. His senseless death is an impetus for much of the storyline, moreso than even Pearl's death.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The entire community is devastated by the death of such a genuinely good man who was universally loved.

    Bill Oswalt 

Sheriff Bill Oswalt

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/oswalt_bill.jpg
"I never wanted to be the type to think big thoughts about the nature of things and...All I ever wanted was a stack of pancakes and a V8."
Portrayed By: Bob Odenkirk

"Look, you can't... that's just how it is, sometimes. Life. You know, you go to bed unsatisfied. They're calling the lottery numbers on the tv and you get the first few and already in your mind you're buying a jet or a fjord or whatever, but it's just not meant to be. It's just not meant to be."

Despite being the Deputy Police Chief in Bemidji, Bill Oswalt never had the chops to be a police officer. After being put on the case of a series of gruesome murders in town, Bill will have to work with Molly to try and solve the case...if he doesn't somehow screw it up first.


  • Clueless Deputy: More like Clueless Chief. In an interview with a highly suspicious murderer, he frequently takes him on his word, helps him add detail to his alibi, and goes on unrelated tangents, all while showing no interest in solving the actual murder.
  • The Ditz: Sees no inconsistency in Lester avoiding questions by invoking his fuzzy memory since the concussion and Lester's ability to remember the brand of gum they liked when they were kids.
  • Expy: By the end of the series, he's one for Ed Tom Bell from No Country for Old Men — a good-hearted man who sees how evil people can be and retires rather than continue to deal with it.
  • Good Is Dumb: Bill is a super-nice guy and a fun friend to have, but his unwavering refusal to believe in anything that might upset him renders him ineffective at best.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • It becomes fairly evident later on that the reason he doesn't want to believe Lester is a murderer is because he just wants everything to be normal again, and doesn't want to admit that an old friend is capable of anything so horrible. He honestly seems to be taking the current situation worse than anyone else involved. It's telling that in the finale, he gives up the position of chief for Molly.
    • "The Heap" also reveals that he has a very caring, sensitive side, taking in a Sudanese refugee and, apparently, weeping with joy upon accidentally finding the lad after he got robbed and lost on the way to Bemidji.
  • Innocently Insensitive: He does not seem to realize how condescending he is to Molly.
  • The Load: Is even described as this in his character description. He can't deal with crime scenes and is generally incompetent. Thurman even knows this, and suggests Molly for Chief instead of Bill, who has seniority.
  • The Millstone: He provides nothing helpful and if anything, slows down the process of catching Lorne.
  • Nice Guy: Bill might be an incompetent cop, but he's got a good heart and wants to believe the best of everyone. Even when he gets genuinely pissed off, he refuses to swear and doesn't raise his voice much.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look of guilt and mortification on his face when he realizes that Lester is most likely guilty of murder is really something to behold.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Halfway through the series, when he finally perks up from his aloofness after listening to Molly and sends her to talk to Lester.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He finally becomes this in "Morton's Fork," preventing Lester from worming his way out of Linda's murder by cooperating with Pepper and Budge, and giving Molly the department's full support in tracking down Malvo, even recommending her to take over his post as chief once the manhunt is over.
  • Running Gag: Going outside to vomit whenever he sees a corpse.
  • Vomiting Cop: When he sees Sam Hess' body, he has to vomit. He even laments wasting his wife's spaghetti.

    Knudsen 

Deputy Knudsen

Portrayed By: Gary Valentine

A Deputy in Bemidji.


  • Big Fun: He's usually in a cheery mood.
  • Clueless Deputy: Much like Bill.
  • Mauve Shirt: He's one of the few named recurring officers.
  • Number Two: To Bill, when he leaves for Duluth Bill leaves Knudsen in charge.
  • Only One Name: He's only ever referred to as Knudsen.
  • Police are Useless: Like most of the other officers.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In "Eating the Blame," Lester, Numbers, and Wrench all play him for a fool. Lester assaults Knudsen to get himself thrown in jail to get away from the other two, then Wrench and Numbers start a fight to end up in jail with him, Knudsen none the wiser to their machinations.

    Molly Solverson 
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Duluth

    Gibson 

Chief Gibson

Portrayed By: Terry Kinney

  • Cool Old Guy: He might be past his prime, but as soon as the Gerhardt soldiers kick down his door, he reacts quicker than anybody and gets the first shot off.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Gibson is proud of having pissed in his superior's desk when he was younger, but he feels pissing in the pool is a terrible thing to do because other people swim in there.
  • Expy: Like Hank, Gibson seems to have echos of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell from the Coens-directed No Country for Old Men; a veteran lawman who has difficulty coming to grips with the depravity of modern evil.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Averted. Gibson does his best to act accommodating to both Hank and Cheney. When the case starts getting out of hand, Gibson opined that they take the Blumquists north and involve other jurisdictions because they need all the help they can get.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: A more sympathetic example. After Cheney pushes Lou out of the case, citing his inexperience, Lou contacts the cops to try and have them change their mind. Gibson says that they can handle it, but does so not to dismiss Lou's concern but rather to keep him at ease, especially seeing as the decision wasn't up to Gibson.
  • Not So Above It All: Gibson seems like a collected and professional fella, which he is, but he isn't shy to crack open a beer or share funny stories about his career as a young officer.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted. Hanzee shoots him in the shoulder and it proves fatal.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He comes across as a rather practical and competent man; there seems to be a shared respect between him and Hank.

    Ben Schmidt 

Lt. Benjamin "Ben" Schmidt

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/schmidt_benjamin_00.png
"It's goddamn Sioux Falls all over again."
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/schmidt_ben2.jpg
"Gettin' promoted next month, so — hmm, how bad could it be?"
Portrayed By: Peter Breitmayer (2006) & Keir O'Donnell (1979)

Lou: You associated with Ben Schmidt? Think he's a lieutenant now.
Gus: Yes, sir. He's my boss.
Lou: Kind of a prick.
Gus: That's the one.

Gus's superior officer, who was also involved in the Waffle Hut massacre investigation in 1979.


  • Badass Mustache: When played by Keir O'Donnell in Season 2, Schmidt sees more action than when played by a clean-shaven Peter Breitmayer.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In season 2, he's not the more overt jerk he is in season 1, but rather this trope. While he can be amiable and friendly, he can be quite condescending and rude whenever he's got the advantage over somebody, and when Lou snaps at him, he takes time to belittle him later on.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When two armed men come to kill him, he has no qualms about shooting them in the back.
  • Cowardly Lion: As noted in Dirty Coward, he's afraid of the Gerhardts and easily led about, but in episode 9, when under attack, Ben manages to ambush and kill two armed Gerhardt soldiers, in spite of being scared out of his mind. Then he still goes to back up Lou in his pursuit of Hanzee, even though it might mean walking back into deadly danger. He might not be much of a cop, but when bullets start flying, he can be relied to back up his fellow officers.
  • Dirty Coward: He is terrified of the Gerhardts, to the point that he surrenders his firearm without objection upon entering their compound.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When he and Lou bust into Mike's outpost and hold him and Gale up, Lou tells him to take Simone out of the danger zone. Despite being a coward, Ben doesn't want to leave Lou alone with two dangerous, likely armed men, even if he does have the upper hand. Even after Simone kicks him in the crotch and gets away, he still limps back up to help Lou.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Although Season 1 establishes him as a prick and the young Lou in Season 2 initially views him as more of a nuisance than anything, the two do seem to come out of the events of the incident at Sioux Falls on more or less amicable terms, with Lou sincerely comforting Schmidt as the latter breaks down in tears.
  • Groin Attack: Simone flirts with him to get him to let his guard down and then knees him in the crotch to get away.
  • Hidden Depths: Lou remarks that he's a shit cop, and he is pretty lazy and easily led about. In spite of this, there are times where it's clear that he's at least trying to do his job, as he does stick by Lou even after all of the other officers are injured or killed in the Sioux Falls Massacre. In addition, he did serve in the military much like Lou and at the end of season 2, they come to more of an understanding with each other and part on friendlier terms.
  • Jerkass: Gus and Lou agree that he's a prick.
  • Manly Tears: At the end of Season 2, Schmidt slightly breaks down in front of Lou as he absorbs the events of the Sioux Falls massacre. He notes that he has no idea where to begin when it comes time for him to write his report, especially since his boss was killed in the attack.
  • Noodle Incident: In season 1, he makes a cryptic remark about an incident at Sioux Falls, much like Lou, which is explored in season 2. When the incident at Sioux Falls is actually happening, a younger Ben makes a reference to another horrible event that took place at Rapid City.
  • Police are Useless: Schmidt is entirely concerned with the advancement of his own career, genuine police work be damned. During the Gerhardt investigation, he quickly shows that he has no intention of seriously investigating anything that might lead him into conflict with the Gerhardts. He's easily manipulated, lazy, cowardly, and his charges frequently escape.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: When he and Lou learn of Hanzee's actions in episode 8 up in South Dakota, Ben's quite willing to wash his hands of the case and let the local police handle it, which prompts Lou to tell him that he's shit at his job. However, when they actually get to the crime scenes, the South Dakota PD do end up muscling Lou out of the case.
  • Saved by Canon: Like Lou, Ben was in season 1, so he makes it out of the chaos in season 2.
  • Tap on the Head: In Episode 9, Peggy hits him with the butt of a gun, which may have also broken his nose. Though the impact may have only dazed him rather than knocked him out, as he's on his feet by next episode, which is only a few minutes later.

Eden Valley / Meeker County

    Moe Dammick 

Sheriff Moe Dammick

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dammick_moe.jpg
Portrayed By: Shea Whigham

"Only an intellectual could believe something so stupid."

The Sheriff who becomes Gloria's new boss when the Eden Valley PD is absorbed into the Meeker County Sheriff's Office.


  • Da Chief: He's gruff and frequently at odds with Gloria, trying to put the kibosh on all of her attempts to unravel the various plots around Eden Valley.
  • Jerkass: He's a total dick to Gloria and refuses to listen to anything she has to say.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Dammick comes off as abrasive, but his criticisms of the Eden Valley police department are perfectly valid. It's ridiculous for a police department to operate out of the corner of a library, using a storage room as a holding cell, and without any working computers in 2010.
    • Initially, he is reasonable to conclude a number of events are coincidences, even if the audience knows they aren't. As Gloria starts to gather evidence, this becomes increasingly motivated by a refusal to admit he was wrong.
  • Lawful Stupid: In spite of all the evidence that Gloria and Winnie present that the murder of Ennis Stussey is part of a larger string of crimes, he refuses to let them investigate further, because he feels it's more important that Gloria learn to respect his authority as her new boss.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Similarly to Bill Oswalt, though Moe is more of a Jerkass about it.
  • Pet the Dog: He does take into account the loss of Gloria's stepfather and expresses his sympathies, and is apologetic about having to conduct his visit to her offices while she's dealing with funeral arrangements.
  • Police are Useless: At first, his objections to Gloria's investigation fall into Jerkass Has a Point, but as the evidence mounts, he turns to willful ignorance. It seems that he prefers that a miscarriage of justice occurs rather than let Gloria be right.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Dammick was a high-ranking military officer, spending time in places like Fallujah, where he saw those under his command die in horrific ways. Those memories clearly still haunt him; in a conversation with Gloria, he keeps working his military trauma into the conversation in a way that practically screams "I am in psychological agony."
  • Took a Level in Kindness: While he's still rough and abrasive throughout the season, he's noticeably kinder and respectful of Gloria after the Time Skip to March 2011. This is likely because he's been working with her long enough and gains a begrudging respect for her.

    Gloria Burgle 

Chief Gloria Burgle

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/burgle_gloria.jpg
Portrayed By: Carrie Coon

The chief of the Eden Valley police, and a newly divorced mother, who is struggling to understand this new world around her where people connect more intimately with their phones than the people right in front of them.


  • Action Mom: Rather than being a Pregnant Badass, like Marge and Molly.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Law of Non-Contradiction" is completely focused on her adventure in LA, with no other main cast members appearing.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: She has Donnie pull over Nathan's bus to give him a message.
  • Amicable Exes: With her ex-husband, Ron. They seem to have a pretty strong friendship.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Despite her kindhearted nature, she is undoubtedly a tough police officer.
  • Da Chief: Subverted, in that her department is about to be merged with the county police as the season begins.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a tendency toward this when pushed.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Her discomfort with modern technology and distance from her son is established by her first scene in the premiere, when the convenience store automatic door she's trying to get through malfunctions and he has to let her in manually.
  • Expy: She oddly becomes one for Barton Fink during her trip to Los Angeles, dealing with a malfunctioning front desk bell and sitting in the familiar pose on the beach.
  • The Hero: Probably the most clear-cut example in the show.
  • Heroic BSoD: Has a minor one when she realizes she spent several days in LA chasing a false lead regarding Ennis.
  • Insistent Terminology: She regularly points out to people that she is the "chief" of police rather than "officer" or "detective". With civilians it is a way of chastising them when they try to dismiss her. With other police officers, especially Moe Dammick, it is meant to point out that, at least till the new year, she has jurisdiction over the Stussy case and they cannot stop her from investigating.
  • My Beloved Smother: A downplayed example toward Nathan, though he doesn't seem to mind much.
  • Nice Girl: Gloria is nothing but cheerful and friendly so long as you're the same to her.
  • Only Sane Man: Similarly to Molly and Lou from previous seasons, she's one of the only sane and normal people amongst the chaos.
  • Running Gag: Automatic doors not opening for her. Also serves as a representation of her rejection of modern technology.
  • Smarter Than You Look: In-universe. Some of the other characters (particularly Moe) consider her unintelligent for her unwillingness to adapt to modern technology, but she's actually a very driven and quick-thinking cop who is far more qualified than her superiors.
  • 'Took a Level in Badass: After the final 5 year Time Skip, while working for Homeland Security she is able to track down and arrest Varga, even though he had already created a completely new identity and was operating out of Brussels.
  • Walking Tech Bane: Gloria has an aversion to technology of all kinds and the sentiment seems to be mutual. Even automatic doors don't work for her. This ultimately is much to her advantage while up against the extremely tech-savvy Varga, who's bamboozled by how an online search for her name turns up absolutely nothing.

    Donny Mashman 

Deputy Donny Mashman

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mv5bmjmzmdi3mdawnv5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdk1mtqxmji_v1_sy1000_cr0014981000_al.jpg
Portrayed By: Mark Forward

The only other police officer in Eden Valley before the County takeover.


  • Clueless Deputy: He leaves his gun behind twice. The second time nearly gets him killed when he goes back to retrieve it and runs into Yuri.
  • The Ditz: Not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.
  • Nice Guy: Quite cheerful and pleasant.
  • Non-Action Guy: Definitely not combat-adept. Instead of trying to fight Yuri, he makes the wise decision to simply leave.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: He's smart enough to realize that picking a fight with Yuri is a really bad idea, so he simply gets the hell out of the police station while he can.

St. Cloud

    Winnie Lopez 

Officer Winifred "Winnie" Lopez

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s3_005.jpg
Portrayed By: Olivia Sandoval

A police officer from the St. Cloud Police Department, whose investigation into a traffic accident embroils her in the murder investigation of Ennis Stussy.


  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She's actually a very good cop in spite of her odd and quirky nature.
  • The Lancer: Quickly becomes one for Gloria; she is the only police officer intelligent and skilled enough to help her.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: She and her husband are desperately trying for a baby, to the point that their attraction to each other has become severely strained because of the ridiculous planning going into it. They're having no luck, however. Unlike most examples of this trope, it doesn't get resolved one way or another: in her last appearance she mentions that they're still trying.
    • Her desire for motherhood links her thematically to the other female cops in the franchise: Marge and Molly are both pregnant for at least part of their investigations, while Gloria is the single mother of a teenager.
  • Multi-Ethnic Name: She has a Welsh first name and a Spanish surname.
  • Nice Girl: She instantly befriends and allies with Gloria over the Stussy murder case despite just meeting her.
  • Too Much Information: She cheerily regales Gloria with unrequested details of her sex life with Jerry, her husband.

Los Angeles Police Department

    Oscar Hunt 

Officer Oscar Hunt

Portrayed By: Rob McElhenney

The officer investigating the theft of Gloria's luggage during her trip to LA.


  • Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: He does so to excuse himself from an awkward conversation with Gloria.
    Hunt: I gotta drop the kids off at the pool.
    Gloria: You have kids?
    Hunt: No I gotta take a shit.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Oscar fancies himself a player, which he isn't.
  • Jerkass: He really doesn't mean to be, but he seemingly can't help it. His efforts to charm Gloria are rather pitiful; he mocks her accent, her small town mindset and is otherwise a crass fellow. Hunt ultimately loses patience and acts Gloria point-blank if she'll have sex with him. Considering his behavior, he really should have expected her answer.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Pepper & Budge 

Webb Pepper & Bill Budge

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/budge_bill_pepper_webb.jpg

Two largely inept FBI agents who are always seen together. They're assigned to the Fargo Crime Syndicate and find themselves getting involved with Lorne Malvo.


  • Boom, Headshot!: How Budge dies.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Pepper has shades of this, often asking random existential questions or going on rants about the conditions of fast food restaurants. Taken up to 11 in the finale, where he randomly asks "Is this a dream?"
  • The Comically Serious: Budge.
  • Failed a Spot Check: After days on a stakeout with nothing happening, they are so bored and distracted that they fail to see Malvo walk next to their car while carrying a barely concealed submachine gun. Malvo then proceeds to kill a lot of people in the building across the street and they do not realize that anything is going on till a dead body falls out a window. They once again fail to spot Malvo in the finale and he kills them.
  • Meaningful Name: Both their names mean 'to inspire movement' which is ironic considering their failure to act while Malvo assaults the Fargo mob. Played straight when they get their act together and support Molly's pursuit of Malvo.
  • The Philosopher: Pepper, who's given to long rambling monologues much to Budge's dismay.
  • Police are Useless: Despite being placed outside the headquarters of the Fargo crime syndicate to keep their eyes on it 24/7, they manage to completely miss Lorne Malvo killing absolutely everyone inside. However they ultimately redeem themselves.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After their enormous failure, both of them are promptly reassigned to a file room as punishment.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: They promptly tell off Bill for ignoring evidence after seeing Molly's investigative web when he tries to say that they already caught the murderer. They also revoke Molly's Ignored Expert status and say she's done some "exceptional police work."
  • Redemption Equals Death: They make up for their massive failure in Fargo by finally making Bill take Molly's investigation seriously but are then killed while trying to take Malvo down.
  • Those Two Guys: They're only ever seen together.

Internal Revenue Service

    Larue Dollard 

Larue Dollard

Portrayed By: Hamish Linklater

An IRS agent who takes an interest in Stussy Lots.


  • Chekhov's Gunman: After appearing in two episodes, Dollard departs Stussy Lots after Varga stonewalls his investigation. He returns in the last scene of episode 9 where Nikki gives him the tax information, and its his investigation that unravels Varga's plot.
  • Forensic Accounting: Unlike most entries in this page, Dollard's speciality is auditing companies for signs of malfeasance.
  • Informed Flaw: Pre release materials described him as "Lacking any kind of moral scale, he believes the smallest cheater is just as bad as the master criminal". In show Dollard comes across as a fairly affable, if eccentric, person trying to do the right thing.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Played with. Initially his appearance freaks Emmit out and throws Varga for a loop. However, Varga soon finds the means to use legalese to stonewall Dollard's inquiry into Stussy Lots.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: He is an Internal Revenue agent whose last name is one letter away from spelling and sounds almost identical to the United State's currency.
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