Fargo Wiki
Before the Law
Season 2, Episode 2
Fargo Season 2 Episode 2.jpg
Episode Information
Air Date:

October 19, 2015


0.96 million

Written by:

Noah Hawley

Directed by:

Noah Hawley

Episode Chronology
Previous Episode:

Waiting for Dutch

Next Episode:

The Myth of Sisyphus


Before the Law is the second episode of Season 2 of Fargo, as well as the twelfth episode overall. It premiered on October 19, 2015.


The Gerhardts get a surprising offer; two unlikely murderers do their best to clean up their mess.


While Dodd Gerhardt and Hanzee Dent torture a man to death in the Gerhardt ranch's barn, Kansas City Mafia members Joe Bulo and Mike Milligan meet with the now paralyzed Otto Gerhardt about selling the family business. Floyd Gerhardt steps in to deal. After they leave, she calls Dodd and Bear to her to discuss the deal: two million dollars for kicking up to Kansas City from now on. Bear supports his mother taking charge of the clan, but Dodd dismisses her because she is a woman, demanding control of the family. Floyd promises him control once the Kansas City conflict is over, and orders Hanzee to search for Rye Gerhardt. Dodd privately tells Hanzee to bring Rye directly to him.

Bulo and Milligan discuss what to do next to persuade the Gerhardts. Bulo rejects Milligan's idea of intimidation and posits dealing with one of the brothers. Milligan decides on Rye. Hank Larsson and Lou Solverson discuss the Waffle Hut shooting over breakfast with Lou's family. Hank mentions that Irma Mundt was a judge, causing Lou to wonder whether or not she was the target of something. Peggy and Ed Blumquist both think about Rye Gerhardt's murder. Peggy shrugs it off and goes to work, but Ed, distressed and guilt-ridden, takes a day off to clean up the crime scene.

Peggy talks to coworker Constance Heck on the job, the one who had gotten her interested in the Lifespring seminar. When Peggy expresses hesitation about the price of the seminar, as she and Ed have been saving up so Ed can buy the butcher shop he works at, but Constance encourages her to stop putting Ed's needs in front of hers.

Milligan and identical twin KC Mafia henchmen Wayne and Gale Kitchen track down and threaten Skip Sprang into telling them Rye went to follow Mundt. Ed cleans the garage and car, and burns his and Rye's clothes in the fireplace, not noticing Rye's belt buckle remaining unmelted. Lou picks up Betsy Solverson from chemotherapy with their daughter Molly, deciding to stop at the Luverne Waffle Hut when he passes it. He notes the bug spray and empty cash drawer, while Betsy finds Rye's gun in the snow. As Lou bags it as evidence, Milligan and the Kitchen brothers drive by, and Lou stares them down. He calls in their car, and Hank intercepts them. As he IDs the three, he tries to match Rye's shoe to the three and orders them to leave the state when he finds nothing. Mike, flippant, subtly threatens Hank and the three leave.

While at Peggy's house, Constance notices dozens of rolls of toilet paper that went missing from the salon, which Peggy had denied any knowledge of. Regardless, she flirts with Peggy, who nervously rebuffs her and ushers her out. Lou and Hank meet up outside of the Waffle Hut to discuss their findings. Lou confesses his attachment to the case coming from the look on Henry Blanton's face, which reminded him of a soldier he saw die in Vietnam. Hank empathizes with him, telling him of a case in the sixties that reminded him of a death from World War II.

Ed enters the butcher shop alone and chops up Rye's corpse, grinding up the pieces. Lou, seeing the lights on and assuming the butcher's is still open, knocks on the door, causing Ed to miss a swing and chop off Rye's fingers instead of his hand, which scatter. One rolls under a counter as Ed gets Lou's meat order, and Lou almost discovers the finger when he drops a quarter, only stopped by a phone call from Peggy. As Lou leaves, Ed goes to the back to finish disposing of Rye's corpse as narration from "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds" is heard. A green light is seen reflected in the window of the butcher shop, and rises into the air.


Main cast

Recurring cast



  • One unnamed man


Season 2 episodes

01. "Waiting for Dutch"
02. "Before the Law"
03. "The Myth of Sisyphus"
04. "Fear and Trembling"
05. "The Gift of the Magi"

06. "Rhinoceros"
07. "Did You Do This? No, You Did It!"
08. "Loplop"
09. "The Castle"
10. "Palindrome"