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Fear and Trembling
Season 2, Episode 4
Fargo Season 2 Episode 4.jpg
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.


In 1951, Dodd Gerhardt assassinates rival Mort Kellerman on orders from his father in retribution for the murder of his grandfather. In 1979, Dodd thinks about this as he drives with his nephew Charlie, deciding he is old enough to start doing jobs for the family, something his father vehemently opposes. They notice a car with a Missouri license plate while getting doughnuts, and inside square off with a group of Kansas City Mafia members. Dodd dispatches them easily and has Charlie knock one out himself.

Lou and Betsy Solverson meet with a doctor to discuss her cancer, learning that Betsy has the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial. The catch is that she will be receiving either real or placebo pills. After another attempt to copulate, Peggy Blumquist slips into the bathroom and takes birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Ed joins her and tells her she might have to miss her Lifespring seminar due to the cost, but Peggy argues a need to attend so she no longer has to be a "less good me."

Hanzee Dent stops at the Luverne Waffle Hut to examine the crime scene. While he examines the skid marks and finds a broken piece of a headlight, a light flies overheard and Hanzee stares at it, unknowingly missing two hours once it leaves and he checks his watch. He checks Sonny Greer and Karl Weathers' auto repair shop, ignoring Greer's protests as he examines the Blumquists' car and matches the headlight piece to the headlight itself. When Greer tries to threaten him by stating he was in Vietnam, Hanzee muses about his own time there, where he was forced to search for traps in Viet Cong tunnels. Weathers arrives and shows his gun to Hanzee, who leaves calmly as Greer hurries to call the police.

Simone Gerhardt has sex with Mike Milligan at the Pearl Hotel and laments her nostalgia for the sixties afterwards. When Milligan mentions he saw Hanzee leave Fargo earlier, Simone tells him he is searching for Rye. He asks her whether or not Floyd will sell or hold, to which Simone is middling on, and she mentions Otto having a doctor's appointment. Mike asks at which office. Lou is called along with Hank Larsson to the auto shop. He looks at the Blumquists' car, thinking back to Ed's strange behavior from two days prior.

Floyd and the heads of the Gerhardt Crime Syndicate meet with Joe Bulo and his men. She offers to pay them and give up territory in Minnesota, so long as they sacrifice no North Dakota land and control all remaining operations, working as partners with the KC mob. Bulo is agreeable to this, but notes Dodd's assault on his men and is skeptical that Floyd can keep him in line. As Otto finishes his doctor's appointment, Milligan and the Kitchen Brothers kill his nurse and two bodyguards. Milligan smugly delivers a message to the mute Otto: "Joe Bulo says hi." One of Bulo's men informs him of the shooting's success, and he quickly rejects Floyd's offer and lowers his price to two million dollars. He warns them that anything other than full surrender will be met with hostility.

Ed's check to his boss to buy the butcher shop bounces, and he confronts Peggy outside of work about it, who admits she spent it on the seminar. Hanzee drives by and briefly locks eyes with Ed. Peggy begs Constance Heck to give her the money back, but Constance tells her it has already been sent and calms her by affirming that she needs the course. Hanzee searches the Blumquists' house and finds Rye's belt buckle in the fireplace, quickly leaving when Lou arrives and waits on the front porch to meet the couple. He stops them when they come home and warns them about the Gerhardts, encouraging them to confess to hitting Rye and promising protection. Peggy refuses, asking him to leave.

Floyd tells her sons they will go to war with Kansas City. Lou sits in his backyard, keeping guard over the house. Betsy comes out to see him and Lou optimistically suggests she had gotten the real medication. He laments the world's apparent fall out of balance and sends his wife to bed after kissing her good night.


Main cast

Recurring cast




  • First appearance of Mort 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"