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Recap / Fargo S 02 E 09 The Castle

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Lou and Hank call in the South Dakota State Police after recapturing the Blumquists. When Ed reveals his upcoming rendezvous with Milligan, State Police Captain Cheney hatches a dangerous scheme for him and Peggy to wear a wire for the meeting. Cheney has Lou escorted out of the state after strongly opposing the idea, though Hank stays behind. The Blumquists agree to the plan for lesser charges, and the police set up an ambush at the motel meeting spot. Hanzee lies to Floyd and Bear by claiming Dodd is being held inside the motel by the Kansas City mob.


Meanwhile, Lou stops at the gas station to call home, unaware his wife has collapsed, then discovers that Hanzee killed the attendant. Lou rushes to warn the others, and arrives to find the Gerhardts on the offensive against Cheney and his team. All but Ben and a wounded Hank are dead. Hanzee stabs Floyd to death. Bear attacks and attempts to strangle Lou. A UFO appears in the midst of the chaos, distracting Bear and allowing Lou to fatally shoot him. The Blumquists flee the premises, pursued closely by Hanzee. Hank tells Lou to pursue the trio as police reinforcements arrive.



  • Action Survivor: Anyone who survived the Sioux Falls Massacre, with special mention going to Lou, Hank, and Ben Schmidt due to their endurance of the most gunfire.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Discussed by the narrator. Hanzee's lying to Floyd concerning the whereabouts of Dodd confirm his shifted loyalty, but the narrator flashes back to various scenes of Hanzee brooding over the course of the season and wonders aloud at which point he decided to turn. invoked
  • Arc Words: "Okay then," spoken multiple times throughout the series, is heard again when Mike Milligan arrives just minutes after the Sioux Falls Massacre.
  • Asshole Victim: Maybe Jeb Cheney was just trying to help, but he was a complete ass about it by undermining Lou and assuring the officers that he was the only one who should handle the situation. His death is feels more like Laser-Guided Karma than a tragedy.
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  • Big Bad: Hanzee Dent has certainly proved himself to be this by the end of this episode.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Not only does Hanzee orchestrate the entire Sioux Falls Massacre, but he's the one who personally kills Floyd once she realizes.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • Lou hits Bear with a bullet on the side of the head, but this merely gets his attention. It takes a direct shot less than a foot away to finally finish Bear off, but Lou manages to kill him while he's distracted by the UFO.
    • Hanzee kills the Rushmore Grocery Shop owner this way through the window of his store.
  • The Cameo: Martin Freeman, one of the leads in the first season, serves as The Narrator of this episode.
  • Gut Feeling: Lou knows that something is going to go awry at Sioux Falls. It's really lucky that he ended up back there despite being escorted out of state.
  • Hate Sink: Jeb Cheney, despite only appearing in one episode, could take the cake for one of the biggest assholes of the season. While other assholes, like Dodd, lead to entertaining chemistry between characters, Cheney is just unpleasant to watch.
  • Ignored Epiphany: After Hanzee nearly quit his life as a killer at the end of the previous episode, he decides to wipe out the Gerhardts at the beginning of this one. He also realizes that he needs to kill the Blumquists by the end, as he revealed his true self to them in a moment of weakness.
  • Ignored Expert: Despite his overwhelming familiarity with the Blumquists' case, Lou is sidelined by South Dakota P.D, who ultimately end up paying for their mistake.
  • Implacable Man: Bear during the Sioux Falls Massacre. See Made of Iron below.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Cheney 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: The easiest thing about dealing with the Gerhardts, Blumquists, and Kansas City was the cooperation Hank and Lou got from the surrounding officers. Once things go down in South Dakota, however, Jeb Cheney throws their advice to the wind and has Lou escorted out of state.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: South Dakota Police, specifically Jeb Cheney, don't listen to Lou when he warns against their plan to use the Blumquists as bait. Cheney belittles Lou and makes sure he leaves the state, only to be one of the first men killed at the hands of the Gerhardts that same night.
  • Last Stand: After seeing Hanzee kill his mother, Bear seems to lose all will to live and attacks Lou with everything he has.
  • Made of Iron: Like his brothers before him, Bear proves to be exceptionally hard to kill. Lou fills him with bullets, but Bear doesn't even slow down, he just jumps on top of the man and straddles him in the middle of the parking lot. Only when the UFO arrives does Lou manage to get a shot in at close range and blow his brains out.
  • Nightmare Face: Bear wears one of these while he strangles Lou.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Bear gives one of these to Lou in the motel parking lot.
  • Not So Stoic: Lou and Hanzee, two characters who retain their calm, collective attitude throughout the whole show, both briefly stare in disbelief when the UFO descends above the motel parking lot.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Lou once again assumes this role when he tells the Blumquists that he feels responsible for their lives and urges them to reject Cheney's plan to use them as bait.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: The only Gerhardt man to make it out of Sioux Falls alive is Ricky G, who's seen running towards the cars when things fall out of favor with his employers.
  • The Spook: Quoth the narrator: "Not much is known about Ohanzee Dent. We have no birth certificate, no tribal or family history."
  • Tap on the Head: Peggy hits Schmidt with the butt of a gun, which may have also broken his nose. The impact may have only dazed him rather than knocked him out, though, as he's on his feet by next episode a few minutes later.
  • Tragic Mistake: The South Dakota officers turning their radios off proves to be their undoing, as Lou could've warned them otherwise and they'd have been prepared for the Gerhardts' attack.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Peggy is completely unfazed by the UFO outside the motel despite everyone else's disbelief.
  • Wham Episode: The Sioux Falls incident so frequently referenced in the first season unfolds in this episode, so yeah, it's probably the biggest Wham Episode of the season (which is saying something). Numerous South Dakota police officers are murdered, the last if the Gerhardts are wiped out (including Bear and Floyd), the Blumquists escape again, and Hank is shot (though not fatally).


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