What’s Worth Watching: ‘Fargo’ on FX for Monday, November 30

Chris Large/FX
FARGO -- “Did You Do This? No, you did it!” -- Episode 207 (Airs Monday, November 23, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Jean Smart as Floyd Gerhardt, Angus Sampson as Bear Gerhardt. CR: Chris Large/FX

Fargo, “Loplop” (Monday, Nov. 30, 10/9c, FX)

How great for FX to renew the brilliant Fargo for a third season just in time to shine a light on an episode that epitomizes everything this anthology series does right. Masterfully juxtaposing eccentric humor with sheer suspenseful terror, humanizing even the most despicable characters in a narrative full of unpredictable and delightfully twisted surprise, Fargo has possibly exceeded even its own Emmy-winning first season.

Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that this episode plays back the events that led to butcher-turned-fugitive Ed Blumquist (a beefy, benign Jesse Plemons) calling philosophical hit man Mike Milligan (a lethally wry Bokeem Woodbine) at the end of last week’s harrowing episode, with the news that Ed has Gerhardt crime-family neanderthal Dodd (Jeffrey Donovan) in his custody. The interaction between an angrily humiliated Dodd and his captors, out-of-his-depth Ed and his out-of-her-mind wife Peggy (Kirsten Dunst), is often as funny as it is scary, unfolding like a great one-act play in a remote country cabin. Adding to the almost unbearable tension is the encroaching threat of cold-eyed Gerhardt enforcer Hanzee (Zahn McClarnon) on Ed and Peggy’s trail, leaving more bodies in his wake as he navigates a racist terrain hostile to Native Americans. The wait for next week’s penultimate episode is going to be excruciating.