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Loplop’

According to Peggy Blomquist, “You don’t ask” to go to the toilet when you’re in school, “you just go!” Perhaps at the beginning of this second season of the immensely popular Fargo we could have considered Mrs Blomquist to be the kind of gal to ask to go to the loo, but no more. The signs had been there for some time: the butcher’s wife seemed to have been enjoying all this murder and warfare a little too much. It would appear that the bloody circumstances she and Ed have found themselves in have allowed her to finally become “the best me I can be”.

Whilst the last two episodes of Fargo focused predominantly on the war between the Gerhardts and the Kansas City mob, this week we found out what Ed and Peggy had been up to after escaping the capture of Lou Solverson and his colleagues in an episode that led up to the phone call between Ed and Mike Milligan from last week. It went a couple of steps further, too. By the episode’s conclusion we found ourselves with a dead Dodd Gerhardt, Hamzee Dent with a scissor wound to the back of the head and the Blomquists appearing to finally surrender to their inevitable fates.fargo-season-2-episode-8-2The deterioration of Peggy’s mental state has never been better depicted than in ‘Loplop’, with Kirsten Dunst putting in a superb performance as Ed’s deluded and moderately bloodthirsty wife. Ed is hardly handling things well himself and it takes a lot for the intimidating Dodd Gerhardt to serve as both comic relief and the most sane character on screen. The scene in which Peggy force fed him baked beans was a particularly brilliant slice of surrealism.

Hanzee Dent’s winding plotline was the other main focal point of the episode, as he tracked down the Blomquists and acquired some unexpected life lessons on the way. A scene in a bar which sees him racially abused suggested what the killer confirmed later in the episode, that he is “done” with his life of crime. Be it for the American government in Vietnam or the Gerhardts in Fargo, he’s through with carrying out the dirty work of those that abuse and oppress him.fargo-season-2-episode-8-1Dent was very impressive this week and his blank expressions and subtle dialogue serve as a clever contrast to the eloquently poetic Mike Milligan. If only they weren’t on opposite sides, they’d have made great partners in crime. Still, with both of them seemingly relinquished of their previous loyalties, we could yet see them walking into the sunset together at the season’s conclusion.

Last week’s director Keith Gordon (who has also worked on Dexter and The Killing) returned for ‘Loplop’, and continued the trend of damn fine-looking TV that has characterised the season thus far. The split screens were back and the colour pallet was as vibrant and varied as ever, even in the night-time scenes; colour and brightness seem to find a way to shine in the darkness just as the animated characters and quirky dialogue serve to subdue the dark underlying themes of the show.

Full of life and vivacity as it enters its darkest hour, season two of Fargo continues to impress.

★★★★★

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