Posted by Katherine Recap | Hollywood, TV

[For Fargo “Loplop!” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Loplop Hanzee searches for Peggy and Ed; Dodd ends up in unfamiliar territory.

This episode’s title refers to the artist Max Ernst’s alter ego – a bird character named Loplop. What Ernst called a superior of birds. Ernst had been a gunner in the first World War and as an artist in peacetime, he struggled between his wartime destroyer identity and the creator he was becoming. Thus, Loplop can be seen a manifestation of Ernst’s confusion – two sides of himself in conflict. In this episode Hanzee and Peggy play out this same parallel as the Loplop of Fargo. Peggy is suddenly free as a bird and finally “actualizing herself” while Hanzee struggles with the spoils of war and his Native American identity. He’s a decorated Vietnam vet just trying to get a job done but daily life meets him with brutality and racism from all sides. A concord develops between Peggy and Hanzee in “Loplop” where, though they are nowhere near each other for most of it, she begins to fill his silences with her words while Hanzee’s actions becomes Peggy’s way of being. They are like a yin and yang, circling itself. In the beginning of the episode Peggy is the stalked one and at the end Hanzee has switched from hunter to hunted.

The episode begins with a slow pan through Peggy and Ed’s basement, a crime scene crossed with an outtake from Hoarders. Peggy sits on the stairs with Dodd tied to a chair nearby. Peggy imagines she’s talking to a man (Max Ernst probably) who asks her questions about whether she’s actualized. Does she know the difference between thinking and being? She needs to just sit and be because looking for meaning will only frustrate her. From this Peggy takes away Don’t think about the person I want to be, just be that person. Which satisfies her and for the first time in Fargo, we see a truly happy Peggy and not just the “positive thinker.” From that moment forth Peggy is freed from the trappings of her mind. Ed comes to get her and they take Dodd, tied up in the trunk, on a road trip to Ed’s cabin in the woods. Once there Peggy shocks trying-to-escape Dodd with his electric cattle prod and then they tie him to a cabin chair. Ed finds a payphone at the gas station to call the Gerhardts about Dodd.

On the phone with a Gerhardt lackey, Ed explains he’s the Butcher from Luverne and that he has Dodd but nobody of value comes to the phone. Dumbstruck Ed says he’ll call back later. Back at the cabin Dodd whines and wiggles while Peggy stirs beans on the stove. She tells him to be civil and he says go to hell so she stabs him until he can be polite. Then Peggy feeds him beans like a baby in a highchair. Ed comes home and sees the stab stains bleeding on Dodd’s chest so he chides Peggy to stab him less. If anybody else was in that chair we’d probably agree. But it’s Dodd. So, go ahead and stay stabby, Peggy.

Hanzee goes to a bar on the Blumquist’s trail and gets a glass of water with spit clearly floating on top. So, he asks for tequila – poured right in front of him. The bartender serves up some more racism but Hanzee remains stoic, even telling him about how he served in Vietnam, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Once outside three douchebag locals approach spewing more racist crap so Hanzee shoots them. Then he goes back in the bar and shoots the barkeep too. When the cops show up right away outside the bar, Hanzee pulls out a shotgun and blasts them too. Looks like he’s done with stoicism for the day.

Ed keeps calling the Gerhardts with no luck. Meanwhile Peggy watches a Ronald Reagan movie on TV, so enraptured that she fails to notice Dodd wiggling out of his ropes. Meanwhile Ed’s calls aren’t going well with the Gerhardt clan. He sees an article in the paper about the Gerhardt war with the Kansas City mob and gets an idea. Ed calls Mike Milligan to offer Dodd in exchange for getting the Gerhardts off his back. This thrills Mike and they set up a meeting for the next day. On the front page of Ed’s paper Ed we also see a picture of Hanzee and a headline about his shootout at the bar earlier and the manhunt for him. Right on cue, Hanzee drives up to the gas station and asks the cashier about Ed. The guy tells him Ed is down by the lake but then immediately regrets it when he sees the front page of the paper and Hanzee’s manhunt mug shot. The cashier then calls the police. So, now we know Hanzee heads toward an ambush.

Back at the cabin the now-free Dodd has set up a booby trap for Ed that catches him as he enters and leaves him hung from a ceiling beam by the neck. Dodd then lectures the struggling, dying Butcher of Luverne about his Peggy problems while Ed writhes – hands grasping at the rope around his neck trying to stay alive in a hangman’s noose. His face turns scarlet. Then Peggy crawls out from under the bed and stabs Dodd through the foot. She follows through with a fireplace poker to the back of the head. Peggy is a warrior. She frees the now unconscious Ed by chopping the rope. Ed’s “Peggy problem” saved his ass today. Together they hogtie Dodd and then Hanzee arrives. Loplop is face to face, creator and destroyer in one room.

Dodd tells Hanzee to shoot the Blumquists but Hanzee doesn’t listen. Instead Hanzee propositions Peggy for a haircut. Dodd calls Hanzee a half-breed. Hanzee ignore him and tells Pegy he wants a professional looking haircut, short and clean. Then Dodd says Hanzee needs to shut up and shoot them, calling him a mongrel. Hanzee reacts with a shot straight through Dodd’s temple. Then he sits down for Peggy to cut his hair. She gets him set and stands behind him ready to start cutting as Hanzee says he wants it professional because he’s “tired of this life.” But then suddenly Hanzee spies Hank and Lou stalking them outside and stands to shoot them through the window. Peggy drives the scissors into Hanzee’s back as he shoots. Then his gun runs out of bullets so Hanzee flees out the front door as Hank and Lou enter the back. Inside they find just Peggy and Ed, hands raised in defeat.

With “Lolop” the antagonism of the creator/destroyer dynamic plays out fully. At episode end, the hair stylist/artist/creator stabs the war torn destroyer in the back. The two can’t co-exist peacefully for long, especially not in a world like Fargo. It took a standoff with this much gusto to take out a larger-than-life character like Dodd. Peggy’s journey is the coolest things about this episode. All she ever wanted was a personal evolution, what she called “actualizing,” and in “Loplop” Peggy makes it happen. She saves Ed. She stabs dangerous men. Yes, the cops do end up catching the Blumquists in the end but the most important thing for Peggy is that she found herself before they found her. Peggy found out she’s a warrior. Hanzee, meanwhile went from a badass to a man at rock bottom who thinks a haircut could change the direction of his life.

–Katherine Recap


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