SEASON TWO, EPISODE FIVE- "THE GIFT OF THE MAGI"
Tonight's episode of "Fargo" started with a bang, literally.
The Kansas City Mob, lead by Joe Bulo (played by "Everybody Loves Raymond's" Brad Garrett) and the Gerhardt family. Both sides pretty much declared war on each other last episode, over the death of Rye Gerhardt that started this new season. All the events have finally come to a head, and the result was brisk and brutal shootout. The Gerhardt's managed to survive, thanks to the help of Hanzee Dent. Hanzee Dent has been mostly a background character all season long, but he had the standout episode this week. Hanzee is incredibly deadly, and his brief history of how he came in contact with the Gerhardt is real and raw. The work done by Zahn McClarnon as Dent was flawless this week.
Just as several mobsters died this week, it seems the bad guys are still closing in on the Blumquist family. The Gerhardts are after them for putting the final nail in Rye's coffin, and Ed Blumquist wants to leave town with his wife Peggy in order to escape death. Peggy stops herself, and plans to figure things out at home, as Ed comes into contact with some of Gerhardt's goons. Luckily, Ed survives the encounter, but the butcher shop he was planning to buy before all of this nonsense burnt down in the ensuing fight. Ironically, Peggy sold her car in order to get the money for Ed to buy the butcher shop, on the same day it burnt down.
Just like Fargo did with their third episode this season, they are paralleling another story from fiction. "The Gift of the Magi" is a short story about a low-income couple who plan to get each other Christmas gifts with very little money. So much so that both the husband and the wife sell their most prized possessions in order to buy their gifts. Whats funny is that the things both the husband and wife buy for each other are accessories for the possessions in which they sold to buy their Christmas gifts. This parallel to tonight's episode is a lot clearer than the parallel in "The Myth of Sisyphus," but it was still quite clear and it made me laugh. I wonder if these guys write an episode around a particular story, or the writing just happens as it does and they name the episode based on what was written.
All season long, we have been waiting for Bruce Campbell to show up as President Ronald Reagan and tonight we finally saw him! Oh my God, it was perfect! Campbell didn't have too many scenes in the episode, but each time he shambled onscreen, he was excellent. Bruce Campbell, like you probably would have predicted, was very funny in his scenes. I am curious to see if he will have any significant meaning, because his character just seemed kind of...there in the episode. But that doesn't necessarily mean anything. So I am very curious indeed.
Another solid episode, what did everyone else think?