FX

Fargo Teaches Simone A Tough Lesson About Dividing One's Loyalties

And gang war can't even take a day off for a funeral.

No one should have been that shocked that Dodd Gerhardt's own child would end up turning on him. In a season full of sociopathic criminals, he is arguably the worst; whatever else Mike Milligan, for instance, might be capable of, at least we haven't seen that guy lie to his mother's face and thus convince her to start a war on completely fabricated intel. But even as Dodd has busied himself provoking decisions that have led to dozens of deaths so far, he has still made time to abuse his eldest daughter Simone: he's a piece of shit on both a macro and a micro level. And maybe it's the impunity with which Dodd seemed to have gotten away with it most of his life that made Simone think she could scumbag him without suffering any consequences herself. But as she has learned in the latest episode, that's not how things were going to go for her.

Simone has been Dodd's victim since we met her: he's belittled her as a potential contributor to the family business worthy of being present for meetings, shoved her around, and called her a whore. Once she started seeing Mike, someone with no compunction about murder, not asking him to kill her father would have been a real waste not, want not situation. But for all Simone's insistence that she knows what she's doing because she's "grown," it apparently never crossed her mind that Mike might care more about weakening the Gerhardts than he did about sparing her, and that if he was bringing men and launching an attack, maybe she should consider staying away from the compound or risk becoming a casualty herself. You or I might be safe in believing that we've really bonded with a partner once we've snorted cocaine off his shoulder, but that's probably because we never dated anyone from Kansas City.

After Mike & Co. shot up her grandparents' house (which the Gerhardt henchmen sure have repaired in a hurry, given the total absence of the hundreds of bullet holes one would have expected to see following that last assault), Simone might have realized the error she had made in trusting Mike and committed her loyalty to her family: her grandmother had, after all, been in the middle of encouraging Simone to think of herself as a leader when they were attacked. But when Simone dismissed Dodd to Floyd as "just a man...he shits and sleeps!," she got a slap across the face and a stinging indictment to go with it: "You're two of the same! Like porcupines! You're half-crazy, always looking for a fight!" If the person who's been Simone's staunchest ally in the family thinks of her as Dodd Jr., then Simone's got no choice but to try to shore up relations with Mike.

Chris Large / FX

Chris Large / FX

This turns out to be a poor choice as well.

When Schmidt and Lou bust into Mike's hotel room, saving Simone from pretty-much-certain death, and Simone gets the better of Schmidt in the elevator, she issues what seems to be a mission statement: "If I'm goin' to the noose, I'm goin'. But I'm done lyin' down for men." Is she planning to go back to the compound to throw herself on Floyd's mercy, maybe in the hopes that Floyd will overlook her treachery in the name of establishing the Gerhardt matriarchy she seems so eager for? Have her recent experiences just convinced her that she has no future with the Gerhardts and that she should strike out on her own? We'll never know, because that's when Bear and Ricky show up, so that Bear can take Simone to her fate.

Simone might be done lyin' down for men, but -- even as it's written all over her face that she knows Bear's not there to take her to a surprise pizza party -- maybe she gets into Bear's truck because...well, because she's pretty sure if she doesn't he'll just kill her in the parking lot, and she thinks there may be a chance that she'll be able to talk him out of what he has planned; his reaching across to fasten her seat belt for her suggests that he still has some residual degree of concern for her safety. And maybe this ride actually was a test that she had a chance of passing, until she asked after Floyd and Bear had to respond by asking why she wasn't curious about Charlie. Things get worse when she refers to "Dodd" and Bear corrects her: "His name's not 'Dodd' to you, it's 'Dad.'" For a moment, Simone forgets to be scared: "After everything he did? That you seen him do to me?" Her voice gets hoarse as she adds, "Which, you don't even want to think about what he does when you're not around." Would we put any kind of abuse past Dodd, at this point? It sure sounds like "lyin' down for men" wasn't a metaphor, and hasn't been something she literally did only with Mike.

Simone may have very good reasons to want Dodd dead -- whether or not Bear wants to acknowledge that, and given that he has his own reasons to wish death upon Dodd, his charge on this particular day must leave him with some complicated feelings. But Bear's position, apparently, is that Dodd is Simone's family no matter what, and so are the rest of the Gerhardts, and that her disloyalty is a capital crime. Simone got close to fulfilling her dearest wish. But by focusing on her rage against her father, she lost sight of the future Floyd might have been grooming her for. The porcupine has pricked her last.

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Fox

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