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The Gift of the Magi
Season 2, Episode 5
Fargo Season 2 Episode 5.jpg
Episode Information
Air Date:

November 9, 2015


1.13 million

Written by:

Matt Wolpert
Ben Nedivi

Directed by:

Jeffrey Reiner

Episode Chronology
Previous Episode:

Fear and Trembling

Next Episode:



The Gift of the Magi is the fifth episode of Season 2 of Fargo, as well as the fifteenth episode overall. It premiered on November 9, 2015.


Floyd takes action, and Charlie tries to prove himself. Peggy and Ed disagree about what to do next, while Lou finds himself sidelined during Ronald Reagan's campaign tour.


Ronald Reagan, guarded by Lou Solverson, addresses the citizens of Luverne with a speech about America's financial state. The Kansas City Mafia takes a zoning commissioner out hunting, and Joe Bulo gives an unheard order to Mike Milligan before sending him off. Hanzee Dent shows Rye Gerhardt's belt buckle to Floyd and Bear. Having followed Dodd's orders and met with him beforehand, Hanzee tells her that Ed Blumquist is actually a Kansas City hitman known as "The Butcher of Luverne", and Dodd uses this to affirm that he was right about Kansas City all along.

Reagan continues his speech while the KC Mafia venture out into the woods to hunt deer. The Gerhardt Crime Syndicate ambushes them, killing everyone present except Bulo and the Kitchen Brothers. The brothers retaliate, wiping out all Gerhardt forces singlehandedly until Hanzee slits Wayne's throat from behind and beats Gale unconscious. Bulo runs away to his car, only to find Hanzee waiting for him. Reagan finishes his speech, receiving a standing ovation and leaving Karl Weathers in tears.

Floyd orders Ed's death, and Dodd sends Gerhardt hitman Virgil Bauer to do it. Charlie convinces Dodd to let him go with, stating that the murder of a family member demands a family member claim retribution. Ed, still thinking about Rye's death, argues with Peggy over what to do about the Gerhardt threat. Peggy wants to move to California, but Ed demands to stay in Luverne. Milligan shows Simone Gerhardt Bulo's decapitated head, sent to him by the family, believing she had not warned him of the Gerhardt attack. Despite her protests that she was not told, Milligan threatens her into working as an informant for him.

On the Minnesota campaign trail with Reagan, Lou is called by Ben Schmidt, the Fargo police having found the shootout's scene. Lou tells him he fully believes the Blumquists accidentally killed Rye, and the two agree to question Floyd again. At Bud's Meats, Ed and his coworker Noreen Vanderslice discuss the nihilistic philosophies of Camus when Charlie comes in. Intimidated by the pig's blood-stained Ed, he nervously leaves without any violence. Peggy packs a suitcase to leave town and gets her car back from Sonny Greer, but has a change of heart and sells it so Ed can buy the butcher shop. Bear, having doubts about Hanzee's account of Rye's death, questions him about the story, but Dodd sends him away before Hanzee can say anything. After he uses Bear's dead wife to taunt him, Bear tells his brother that there will one day be a reckoning in which all souls get what they deserve.

After another speech, Reagan encounters Lou in the men's room. He thanks Lou for his service and reminisces about the war movies he starred in. Lou tells Reagan about Betsy's cancer, and asks if he has the cure for the sickness that affects the world. Reagan, unable to answer, pats Lou's shoulder and leaves. While Betsy takes her pills, she notices a drawing Molly made of their family, with a UFO hovering above them and the house.

Panicking, Charlie calls his father and leaves a message with a Gerhardt soldier that he wants to go back to school and complete his education. Virgil makes him go back to finish the job. He follows Ed to the back and almost shoots him, but his target is alerted to his presence when Noreen enters the room. Charlie's missed shot starts a fire, and Virgil comes in to finish Ed off. He almost strangles Ed to death, but Ed overpowers him and stabs him through the head with a meat cleaver. Charlie, knocked unconscious in the struggle, is dragged out of the burning building by Noreen and Ed, the latter fleeing the scene.

As Simone returns home, her father tries to intimidate her but is stopped by Floyd. Lou observes the burnt butcher shop and leaves to arrest Ed. Peggy, unaware of the situation, excitedly tells Ed about selling the car as he comes home. Realizing they cannot flee, Ed looks out the front door as police arrive outside.


Main cast

Recurring cast




  • The title comes from the O. Henry story of the same name. Peggy's act of selling her car so that Ed can buy the butcher shop is similar to the events of the story, in which a woman sells her hair to be able to purchase her husband a new chain for his pocket watch, only to find that he has sold his pocket watch to buy her a set of hairbrushes.
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"