Fear and Trembling
Season 2, Episode 4
Fargo Season 2 Episode 4
Episode Information
Air Date:

November 2, 2015


1.28 million

Written by:

Steve Blackman

Directed by:

Michael Uppendahl

Episode Chronology
Previous Episode:

The Myth of Sisyphus

Next Episode:

The Gift of the Magi


Fear and Trembling is the fourth episode of Season 2 of Fargo, as well as the fourteenth episode overall. It premiered on November 2, 2015.


Floyd responds to Kansas City's proposal, Hanzee takes a road trip, and Lou has a realization.


A flashback to 1951 shows a young Otto Gerhardt driving down the road with his son Dodd. They arrive at a movie theater where one of Reagan's (fictional) films Moonbase Freedom is playing. Inside, Otto tells Dodd to sit somewhere else, so he can meet privately with a gangster named Kellerman. The two of them talk, and Kellerman accuses Otto of coming here to avenge his recently-killed father, which he denies. Kellerman says that his power is rightfully claimed, and everyone else "sits on the floor".

As one of his henchmen puts a gun to Otto's head, Kellerman tells him it was stupid to bring his son along. However, Otto says that Dodd has to learn how grown men work. Just before Kellerman can give the order to shoot, Dodd puts a knife through the back of his head. Otto then turns around and shoots each of the henchman. As he begins to leave, he turns to a shocked Dodd and tells him to come along.

The flashback ends with Otto's voice echoing in Dodd's head as he drives down the road with Charlie in present day. Charlie asks why he is going on jobs with Dodd instead of Hanzee. Dodd tells him Hanzee is in Luverne looking for Rye. Dodd figures he is old enough that he can start contributing to the family business. Charlie says his father wants him to be a lawyer, but he doesn't want that. Instead he wants to be like Dodd despite only having one good arm. He impresses Dodd with his ability to shoot and reload a gun one-handedly.

The two arrive at a donghut shop, where they see a car parked with a Missouri license plate. Inside the building, they meet a small group of Kansas City Mafia members. They taunt Dodd, and in retaliation he stuns one of them, breaking his arm, and has Charlie knock another one unconscious. Afterwards, Dodd goes to the counter to order doughnuts, saying they're on the Kansas City men.

Lou and Betsy visit a doctor, who does not give them very pleasing news on the latter's condition. He does, however, tell them there is a clinical trial that may help. The two quickly accept, but there is a catch. The drug is given to several people, but not all will get the actual drug. The rest will essentially be getting sugar pills, which does not please them.

At the Blumquist residence, Ed and Peggy finish having sex, and Peggy gets up to use the bathroom. Ed believes they might finally have a baby, but unbeknownst to him, she is taking birth control pills right after they do it every time. Ed joins her in the bathroom to continue the conversation, where he mentions she may need to postpone the seminar, if not find a cheaper one due to it being expensive. Peggy does not like this as she believes it will not make her a "less good me." Ed says buying the shop is their future, and the money for that needs to be the top priority.

Hanzee arrives at the Waffle Hut, which was Rye's last known location. Entering the building, he spots the blood stains that are still on the counter from the Judge. He notices the clock and the time is 07:07. He walks outside and examines the blood from the waitress's body. Stepping onto the road, he kneels down to grab a piece of broken glass. As he wraps the glass shard with a tissue, he sees a bright light in the sky. Once it leaves, he checks his watch and the time is 09:07

Arriving in Luverne, Minnesota, Hanzee passes by the auto repair shop and decides to look around there, hoping to find the source of the broken glass. In the shop, Hanzee walks up to Peggy's car and compares the headlight to the glass shard, getting a perfect match. Sonny Greer, who is a repairman at the shop, spots Hanzee and asks if he can help him. Hanzee ignores his warnings to stop touching the car, and asks him who the car belongs to. Sonny accidentally gives up Ed's name and workplace, Hanzee asks where he is as he pulls out a knife. Now frightened, Sonny warns him he fought in Vietnam. Hanzee asks him if he misses it, which he does not. He goes onto explain the times he was sent into the tunnels to look for traps. Karl Weathers, who as it turns out also owns the body shop, comes out of the bathroom and sees Hanzee with the knife. He displays his own firearm as a means to threaten Hanzee into leaving. Afterwards, Karl tells Sonny to call the sheriff.

In a hotel, the Kitchen Brothers are seen playing cards as Mike Milligan and Simone Gerhardt have sex in the room. After a post-coital conversation going from Mike's surprise by Simone's finger and her nostalgia toward the '60s, Mike mentions that he saw "the Indian" (Hanzee) leave town the day before. She says that Dodd sent him to find Rye. Mike asks her if she thinks Floyd Gerhardt will accept their deal and Simone says that she thinks she will try to compromise, "give some, keep some". Mike asks if that was Otto Gerhardt's idea, and she says that he is a "legume" and thus they're taking him to a doctor's appointment. Mike asks her which doctor, figuring he can send a message.

Otto is taken to a doctor's appointment by three people: a nurse, a driver, and Ollie Stein.

Lou and Betsy are coming back from the clinic and he asks her if he should treat her differently to which she replies "please don't". He gets a call and goes to attend Sonny and Karl at the body shop. There he finds Hank Larsson already interrogating them and notices the damage on Peggy's car. Looking closer and remembering his conversation with Ed he apparently realizes their involvement with the Waffle Hut investigation.

Floyd, her family and allies meet with Joe Bulo and his men to present her counter-offer. She offers to pay them money and give up a part of their territory in Minnesota in exchange for the Gerhardt's continuing control of the remaining operations and their continuing domain of North Dakota, but working in partnership with Kansas City. Joe is impressed with her offer, and says that if it was up to him, he would take their offer...except Dodd's assault on his men earlier makes him skeptical that Floyd will be able to properly discipline her sons and get them in line. Dodd takes offense and she makes Bear take him out of the room.

At the clinic, Otto is being wheeled back to the car when they see that someone parked too close to them, making it difficult for them to leave. The driver crawls in through the passenger's door and tries to start the car, only to flood the engine. By the time he does get the engine started, Gale shoots him through the windshield with the shotgun. Ollie tells Otto's nurse to get help, and while he draws his gun, Wayne abruptly shoots him. As the nurse makes it to the door, Mike steps out, a concealed gun hidden in his coat sleeve, and shoots her. They leave Otto by himself after Mike leaves a message: "Joe Bulo says hi."

Back to the meeting Joe is told about the shooting by one of his men, then rejects Floyd's counter-offer and lowers his initial offer to 2 million dollars.

At Bud's Meats, Bud Jorgenlen tells Ed that his check bounced and that if he does not give him the down payment until Friday he will sell the butchery to another person, that offered more than Ed.

Ed confronts Peggy for her use of the money for her course. He tells her that she needs to get the money back. Back in her salon she tells Constance Heck that she needs the money back, but after being told that the money was already sent, Constance convinces Peggy that she wants and needs the course.

Hanzee finds the Blumquist residence and quickly finds Rye's belt buckle, evidence of their involvement with his disappearance and likely murder, just when Lou arrives to interrogate them. Ed and Peggy return home and find Lou, who tells them that he does not believe their story about an accident. Throughout the whole talk he gives them the opportunity of confessing to hitting Rye, warning that Rye is from a dangerous family and there might be consequences to them. Ultimately they do not confess and Lou leaves, at Peggy's insistence telling them that they should lock their doors. Throughout this scene it is not clear if Hanzee left the house or simply hid in a different room.

Floyd tells her family that they will not accept Joe's offer and that they will go to war.

Outside their home, Betsy finds Lou tying knots. He has a shotgun with him and tells her that he couldn't sleep and tells her to go back to sleep while he is keeping them safe.


Main cast

Recurring cast




  • First (and last) appearance of Kellerman.
  • Last appearance of Duke.
  • Last appearance of Ollie Stein.
  • The drug suggested for Betsy called "Xanadu" could be a reference to Citizen Kane, where Charles's Foster Kane's mansion was called Xanadu.
  • This episode shares its title with a philosophical work by Danish existentialist Søren Kierkegaard.
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"

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