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Recap / Fargo S 02 E 10 Palindrome

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The Gerhardts are virtually wiped out, with the exception of Charlie, thus permanently ending their dynasty. During the pursuit, Hanzee shoots Ed as he and Peggy flee through an alley. The pair take shelter in the meat locker of a supermarket. Ed eventually succumbs to blood loss, causing Peggy to have a mental breakdown and hallucinate that Hanzee has set the supermarket ablaze to smoke them out. However, Hanzee has since fled. Lou arrives and arrests Peggy. The two converse about life and death on the trip back to Minnesota, with Peggy finally accepting her fate. Hanzee, now provided a new identity from a confidant, contemplates his future and is last seen rescuing a pair of young boys, one of whom is deaf, from a schoolyard bully.


Milligan is promoted after claiming responsibility for wiping out the Gerhardt family, but finds that he will be working in a small office in a corporate setting. Meanwhile, Betsy has recuperated from the side-effects of her experimental chemotherapy drugs. When Lou returns home, he, Betsy, and a recovered Hank gather as a family. No one can explain the mysterious UFO seen at that shootout. Betsy then asks Hank about the strange symbols in his home office, and he explains he was attempting to create a universal pictorial language to promote better global cooperation and understanding. The three ponder what the future holds for each of them and for the family.



  • All There in the Manual: Yes, those two kids speaking in sign language on the baseball field are a young Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers. The episode credits reveal their first names to be Wes and Grady Numbers.
  • Asshole Victim: It isn't shown, but the last we see of the kids picking on the young Mr. Wrench and Numbers, Hanzee is approaching them, grabbing at his knife.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Betsy isn't much of a fan of Albert Camus. She believes firmly in the sanctity of life and that she has a job to do on Earth; death doesn't negate the good she does for others.
  • Arc Words:
    • As the page quote demonstrates, Peggy calls herself the victim similarly to Lester Nygaard over the course of the first season.
    • "Don't care _____. Don't care _____. Kill and be killed. Head in a bag. There's the message." This is uttered by Moses Tripoli in the first season and reiterated by Hanzee here directly after he's revealed to be the original identity of Moses Tripoli.
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  • The Cake Is a Lie: Mike yearns to become a criminal king, but when he achieves all his goals, he discovers that the reward he desired is just a mundane office job. There was never any throne for him to sit on, just a chair at a desk.
  • The Cameo:
    • Mr. Wrench and Numbers make cameos near the end of the episode as kids who Hanzee Dent (supposedly) rescues from a couple of bullies.
    • Allison Tolman and Colin Hanks appear very briefly in Betsy's dream about the future. Keith Carradine also makes an appearance as the older Lou as seen in season one.
  • Character Death: Ed Blumquist succumbs to blood loss after taking two bullets from Hanzee. Also, Ricky G dies at the hands of Gale Kitchen.
  • Crazy Sane: The doodles in Hank's house are an attempt to decipher and fix the challenges and obstacles he and everyone faces day after day. Although his plan to create an 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.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Gale shoots Ricky G in the chest with a shotgun, but instead of finishing him off with a second shot, Mike tells him to let him bleed out, making his passing all the more painful.
  • 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.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Gale and Mike have Ricky G cornered, he just starts chatting away with them. Even after Mike makes it clear that he's not going to make it out alive, Ricky doesn't drop his friendly act, and dies going for his gun rather than begging for mercy.
  • Facial Horror: The burns that Peggy gave him in the previous episode really start to show on Hanzee the next day, so much so that he arranges to get major facial reconstructive surgery.
  • Final Speech: Ed's final words are spent telling his wife that they really don't make a very good couple.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Despite their differences, Lou and Ben Schmidt have reached a respectful bond by the end of the season as demonstrated by their final scene together.
  • Greed: After Ricky G escapes the Sioux Falls Massacre, he drives to the Gerhardt house and tries stealing their valuables. This is what gets him killed, as Mike and Gale don't let him go once they've caught him.
  • Hidden Depths: Ben Schmidt is certainly an cowardly asshole on the surface, but he rejoins Lou in his hunt for Hanzee immediately after regaining consciousness, mourns the loss of his boss and fellow officers after the Sioux Falls Massacre, and parts with Lou on amicable terms.
  • Irony: Hanzee, who almost single-handedly toppled the Gerhardt crime empire, will go on to create his own criminal organization that will be toppled by Lorne Malvo halfway through season one.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Mike succeeds at bringing in the Gerhardt's territory and receives a promotion. Said promotion will just turn him into another corporate suit. He ends up in a boring desk job trapped 9-5 because Broker and the other Kansas city heads feel that this is the future of corporate crime.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After everything Mike did to climb to the top of the Kansas City Crime Syndicate, he finds out the reward he'd coveted so much is his own personal version of hell. Mike had lusted for a position of power, to be a modern-day king in the style of Al Capone. But as he himself said, the future cannot be stopped and he's Kicked Upstairs to a tiny office and an accounting job. It's nicely ironic that he considered the Gerhardts to be 'the past' and was such a big believer in 'the future''s that future that dooms him to a life of mediocrity. No more tense showdowns, no shoot-outs with your enemies, no sleeping with Femme Fatales...just golf and a typewriter.
  • Manly Tears: Schmidt sheds a few of these when he finally gets a moment to reflect on the Sioux Falls Massacre.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Ricky thinks he can get away with stealing from the Gerhardt's house once they've all died, but Mike makes sure this isn't the case.
  • Pet the Dog: When Mike and Gale invade the Gerhardt's now almost entirely abandoned home, Mike lets the elderly housekeeper live, and have the remainder of the Gerhardt’s largesse. Ricky G on the other hand...
  • The Reveal: Hanzee Dent went on to become Moses Tripoli, the leader of the Fargo Crime Syndicate who was murdered by Lorne Malvo in season one.
  • Run for the Border: Averted. Despite Lou's belief that Hanzee fled for the border, the Indian actually decided to stick around, get some reconstructive surgery, and start his own criminal empire.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Betsy's dream at the beginning of this episode is a direct Shout-Out to HI's dream towards the end of Raising Arizona, another Coen Brothers movie.
    • Peggy and Lou's confrontation in the police car as they drive away with Peggy under arrest is a gender-flipped echo of the ending of the film Fargo, with a decent law officer gently confronting a murderer with their actions in a way that leaves them speechless.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Lou softly shuts down Peggy's defense of her own actions with just a few simple words. She keeps her mouth shut for the rest of the trip.
    Peggy: It’s a lie, okay? That you can do it all. Be a wife, and a mother, and this self-made career woman like there’s 37 hours in a day. And when you can’t, they say it’s you. "You’re faulty," like… like you’re inferior somehow. And then… like… if you could just get your act together until your half mad—
    Lou: People are dead, Peggy.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Hanzee Dent and Moses Tripoli of season one are revealed to be the same character in this episode.


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