After half a season of set-up, the confrontations between key characters are now coming thick and fast — and they’re every bit as exciting as you’d hope.
The massacre in the woods and the battle at the butcher’s last week were just the appetisers for the feast we got this time round.
Hanzee clocks Sheriff Ted Danson! Peggy zaps Dodd with his own taser! Mike shoots up casa de Gerhardt! Ron Swanson stares down a shotgun-bearing Bear!
All the drama can be traced back to Charlie and Simone, the two youngsters desperate to be involved in the family business — but entirely unprepared for what that entails.
Dodd’s daughter Simone, however charismatic, is nothing but pawn in this mob story.
She dreams of defeating her abusive father and of running away with mysterious Mr Milligan, yet she still harbours some loyalty to the wider family.
Simone may want her dad to ‘kiss her grits’ but she doesn’t understand the game she’s in, and doesn’t understand what a gangster Mike really is.
When, in purely cinematic sequence, he rallies his Kansas army while reciting Jabberwocky, he’s not going to take down the gun-toting North Dakotan brothers. He’s coming for her.
The only lawyer in town
Up until this point, Nick Offerman has only had to play shades of his iconic comedic character Ron Swanson.
But in ‘Rhinoceros’ - a title I can’t quite unpack - his Karl Weathers is given the spotlight, and it’s a gripping scene dripping with tension, dread and a rare glimmer of humanity.
Weathers, Luverne’s only lawyer apparently, is drafted in by Detective Lou to take the case of Ed the butcher after the drama last week.
Except he’s drunk.
Offerman is in his Parks and Rec element playing the blowhard, speaking slurry legalese, making death penalty faux pas, and ultimately soiling himself.
And then he’s in his element again when the boys from further North come to claim Bear’s teenage son Charlie from jail.
Bear, the sympathetic brother, just wants his boy. And Weathers, the kid’s de-facto lawyer, is able to convince him to do what’s right — leave.
All roads lead to Sioux Falls
So that just leaves Peggy, who could be key to everything happening this season.
As she natters on about her imminent Life Springs seminar in Sioux Falls, Sheriff Ted (rightly) observes: ‘You’re kind of touched, aren’t ya?’
Beyond carrying a near-dead Rye home on the hood of her car, or compulsively stealing toilet paper from work, Peggy has been ‘collecting’ magazines in her basement: she’s a hoarder.
And it’s where her great victory occurs.
In the home-brewed labyrinth, Peggy outruns and outthinks Dodd and his lieutenants.
By the end of it, she’s got the big bad Gerhardt prisoner (I think). She’s got Ed running to her. And Hanzee’s not far behind.
It’s all headed to Sioux Falls, once home of a historic Native American massacre — now home to Life Springs.
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