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The Myth of Sisyphus
Season 2, Episode 3
Fargo Season 2 Episode 3.jpg
Episode Information
Air Date:

October 26, 2015


1.21 million

Written by:

Bob DeLaurentis

Directed by:

Michael Uppendahl

Episode Chronology
Previous Episode:

Before the Law

Next Episode:

Fear and Trembling


The Myth of Sisyphus is the third episode of Season 2 of Fargo, as well as the thirteenth episode overall. It premiered on October 26, 2015.


The Gerhardts' search for Rye intensifies; Lou takes a trip to Fargo; Peggy overhears a new theory about the Waffle Hut shooter.


Hanzee is in the middle of the woods holding a white rabbit and petting its fur. A brief flashback is shown of a young Hanzee sitting in a classroom watching a magic performance, one of the tricks involving pulling a white rabbit out a hat. Unlike the rest of his peers, Hanzee does not find this very amusing. Back in present day Hanzee, having killed the rabbit, brings it back with him to the Gerhardt residence.

Inside, Floyd has gathered a meeting with Dodd and Bear, as well as syndicate lieutenants Roost Bolton, Mickey Grout, and Joey Seymour. She informs them that until Otto recovers, they will be reporting to her. Both Floyd and Bear agree that going to war with the Kansas City Mafia would not end well seeing as they are a much larger organization. Dodd on the other hand wants to attack as soon as possible, believing his father would want the same. Floyd says she isn't afraid of a war, but it has to be on her terms. The three lieutenants have agreed that they will not be the ones to make the first move against Kansas City. However if Kansas City does attack they will, as Roost puts it bluntly, "cut the goddamn nose off their face."

Joe Bulo and Mike Milligan check themselves in to the Pearl Hotel. They sit down at the restaurant in the hotel to discuss their next moves. Joe complains about the soft water in Northern hotels, which is why he brings his own shampoo wherever he goes. He says it keeps his hair nice in both hard and soft water, and he has Mike feel it. Joe moves on to updates, saying the Gerhardts have yet to make a decision on their offer. He believes they will continue stalling and eventually pass, to which Milligan considers killing them. Joe says that is up to the market whether or not to kill them or buy them out. He tasks Milligan with finding Rye, hoping to use him against the Gerhardts as leverage.

Lou is driving up to Fargo, North Dakota when Hank radios him. Lou tells him he is heading up there to find out more about Irma Mundt, one of the triple homicide victims, hoping to find a connection to the shooter. Hank lets him know they did a print scan on the gun Betsy found and concluded the gun belongs to Rye Gerhardt, heir to the crime syndicate operating in Fargo.

Lou arrives at a courtroom in Fargo and meets Detective Ben Schmidt, who is also working on another Gerhardt related case. As the two of them wait for forensics to finish up, they discuss the case. Lou tells him the identity of the shooter, which immediately catches Ben's attention. Ben tells him the history of the Gerhardt family. It started in Prohibition with German immigrant Deiter Gerhardt, who ran a bootlegging and alcohol distribution network during Prohibition that became one of the largest in the Midwest. His sole son Otto took over in the early 1950s after Dieter was assassinated, shot in the head 19 times. According to Ben, Otto was even more ruthless than his father ever was. Lou asks him if he has ever heard of Mike Milligan and the Kitchen brothers out of Kansas City, to which Ben says he has not. He does however say that with the shooting, the Gerhardts, and Kansas City combined things might become hectic.

Back at the Gerhardt compound, Hanzee asks Simone if Rye has a place in town, thinking he might be there. She claims to not know anything, but eventually fesses up that he sometimes holes up in an apartment complex where Simone visits to secretly get drugs from him, regardless of Dodd not wanting her to. Hanzee tells her to take him to the apartment.

At the Sheriff's station, Hank continues going through pieces of evidence, including files and mugshots of Rye Gerhardt. Elsewhere at the beauty salon, Betsy is there for a haircut. She tells Constance she is surprised her hair hasn't fallen out yet from the chemo. Peggy mentions to Constance that she has decided to take the Lifespring seminar, much to her delight. Hank stops by to hang a wanted posted of Rye on her window. Peggy begins to panic once she recognizes Rye. Betsy points out that maybe the shoe they found on the tree is connected. She says maybe the shooter walked into the road and got hit by a car, which gets Peggy even more on edge. So, she interrupts Betsy's thought process to ask why the motorist that supposedly hit Rye didn't stop, saying it doesn't make sense, to which Hank agrees. Regardless, Betsy suggests they look for a car rather than a man. Afterwards, Peggy leaves the salon and hurries over to the butchery to retrieve Ed. She brings him outside to tell him people are figuring out about the hit-and-run, so they need to cover up the damage to the car.

Later at the Solverson residence, Molly is watching a movie while Betsy is in the kitchen. Meanwhile Lou is still at the courtroom in Fargo when he sees Skip Sprang lingering outside of Irma Mundt's office. Skip hurries away once he sees Ben come out of the room, Lou suggests they flag him down. Outside, Skip is in his car freaking out. Lou and Ben knock on his window to talk to him. Ben asks him why he is here, he claims he had a hearing but it was postponed. Lou points out he's fairly squirrely, and suggests bringing him down to the station. Ben disagrees, saying Mundt could have a bunch of other similar cases that might not lead to anything, and lets Skip leave. Once gone, Lou suggests paying the Gerhardts a visit.

Skip hurriedly goes to Rye's apartment and knocks on his door. However instead of Rye, Simone is there. Confused, Skip tells her he is looking for Rye. She doesn't answer his question, but lets him in. As he enters, Hanzee closes the door behind him. She asks Skip if he is the guy Rye mentioned doing business with, which he denies. He says he is just here to pay off some debts, so Simone tells him to pay her instead. However, he doesn't actually have the money. She grabs him by the tie and takes him to the door, suggesting they go for a drive. She and Hanzee take Skip out of the apartment.

Meanwhile on a road in the outskirts of town, Peggy and Ed drive out to an isolated location with Peggy's car. Her plan is to have Ed drive into a tree in order to make the car damage look like it came from that rather than a person. She explains that this was how her alcoholic uncle covered up drunk driving accidents he had in order to rip off the insurance companies, so it should work here as well, despite Ed's hesitation to follow through. Once the car is fixed from the "accident" she believes they will have completely covered their tracks. Ed's first attempt at hitting the tree fails, as he does a 180 and hits it with the back end instead of the front. The second attempt is more successful, and afterwards they get a tow truck to bring it to the auto repair shop.

At the Gerhardt compound, Bear and Charlie discuss their situation with Kansas City. Bear says Floyd plans to try and sell Kansas City a piece of the business rather than the whole operation, however Charlie says Kansas City doesn't seem like they would be willing to share. Bear tells Charlie that he needs to go back to school tomorrow due to the dangerous situation, not wanting his son in the line of fire. Charlie insists he can stay to help, but Bear tells Charlie his mother would want him to get an education and make something of himself, and Floyd has already agreed to it.

Outside, Lou and Ben drive up to the gate of the compound. After being let in, Ollie Stein asks them to surrender their guns. Ben immediately hands his over, but Lou keeps his, asking whether or not anyone else here understands the concept of law enforcement. Floyd comes out of the house, and standing from the porch she recognizes Ben. The two of them share a casual conversation as friends, which confuses Lou (Floyd is friends with Ben's mother). Lou brings up the murder of the Judge, which Floyd knows nothing about. Bear comes out and asks if everything is alright, while Ben is terrified by his presence. Lou continues, saying Rye is wanted for three murders, and the situation needs to be handled immediately. The meeting is interrupted as Dodd shows up to demand answers. The argument intensifies as Lou and Dodd have a long stare-down. The tension is broken when Charlie comes out to tell Dodd that Hanzee wants him to meet at the dig. Dodd tells Lou they're done talking, Floyd has Lou and Ben escorted off the property.

While driving around town, Lou suggests they get a warrant to search the Gerhardt compound. Ben reminds him that they own all the judges as Dodd mentioned, so it would not be possible. Lou notices they are passing by Carriage Typewriters and has Ben pull over, wanting to talk to Skip, saying he was squirrely. Ben has to report back to his boss, so he lets Lou go in alone. Entering the building, the interior is all under construction. Instead of Skip being there, Mike Milligan and the Kitchen brothers are there going through his books. Gale notices him first and goes to grab his gun, but Lou stops him. Mike and Wayne enter the common area, Wayne with his gun ready. Lou points his gun back at him, then asks Milligan what they are doing here. Both parties ask each other where Skip is with their guns pointed, no one gives an answer. After a bit of back-and-forth between Lou and Milligan, Milligan and the brothers leave. Before exiting, Milligan says "I am not a crook" and walks out the door.

On his way home, Lou stops at a service station. Getting out of his car, a man standing by the car in front of him begins to talk to him about circular patterns. He talks about "the visitors" and their bright lights hovering from the sky, and that sometimes people are taken by them. They always come in sets of three, and they allegedly came two nights ago. He believes these visitors have benevolent purposes. Confused, Lou gets back into his car.

That night, Ed (now with a neck brace) and Peggy ride a bus home. Ed is unsure if their plan worked, but Peggy insists it did. Lou arrives home where Betsy and Hank are in the living room. Betsy goes into the kitchen as Lou and Hank discuss the former's trip to the Gerhardts. He describes it as a "high noon" day, and mentions he also ran into Milligan. Betsy returns with cake and the three of them play Cribbage.

Elsewhere at a dig site, Dodd arrives to see Hanzee and Simone holding Skip captive. Simone gets out of the truck to join him, Dodd insists she get back in the truck. She says she was the one who got Skip, but Dodd hits her. She tries to light a cigarette to rebel against him, he throws her back in the truck. He goes and joins Hanzee, where Skip is begging to be let go. Dodd demands to know where Rye is, but he does not know. Hanzee tells Skip to get in a hole that he dug, which he reluctantly does. Skip tells them Milligan probably has them, and he can try to make a deal with him. Dodd doesn't buy it, and has a dump truck spill a pille of hot asphalt into Skip's hole, smothering him to death. Dodd then tells Hanzee to go to Luverne and find Rye and if anyone gets in his way, cops or criminals, kill them.


Main cast

Recurring cast




  • The episode's title is a reference to the book of the same name written by absurdist philosopher Albert Camus, which Noreen paraphrases during the episode.
  • First appearance of Roost Bolton.
  • First appearance of Mickey Grout.
  • First appearance of Joey Seymour.
  • Last appearance of Skip Sprang.
  • This is the first episode to not be written by Noah Hawley.
  • Charlie's comment about Kansas City "they didn't look like fellas who want to own half a car" could be a reference to a line in Fargo the movie, where Carl Showalter argues over splitting a car.
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"