Fargo – Season 5 Episode 8 “Blanket” Recap & Review

Blanket

Episode 8 of Fargo Season 5 really pulls out the underlying darkness from the cinematic universe… but it begins on a lighter note. We saw how Lorraine instructed Danish to “steal the election” from Roy. She wants to erase his fundamental identity and bring public humiliation to him like no one has dared to.

To accomplish that, Danish uses his legal smarts and concocts a plan that you only see in movies and TV shows. He randomly picks three names from the debt collection register and considers their debt paid. Danish goes to court and legally gets their name changed to “Roy Tillman.”

 We then turn our attention to Dot and Roy in the hospital. He compels her to sign the release form for the hospital. The scene plays out like a long-drawn domestic abuse awareness infomercial. Dot’s expressions are muted as she tries to weave her way out of this mess but Roy isn’t letting go. All his ego and narcissism grasp him akin to a madman. In Fargo’s flavorful traditions of divine intervention, God tris to lend a hand.

Trooper Witt Farr incidentally shows up at the hospital with an injured culprit. The moment he sees her, Witt does not hesitate to check-in. He can clearly spot Dot’s cry for help, even though she tries to go along with Roy’s facade.

Witt, well-informed of his duty to protect the vulnerable, stands firm. He insists Roy let her go but the sheriff’s tone turns threatening. Dot recognizes that Witt is outnumbered as Gator and the other henchmen walk up to them from behind. To ensure Witt’s protection, she pleads with him to let her go and even requests Roy to ask his men to stand down.

He does so and they leave the hospital. Witt immediately calls Indira, who springs into action. Roy tethers Dot with a chain bolted into the ground in an outhouse on the ranch. Dot asks what his plan is. Roy replies “God has a plan for you.” He maintains that Dot must fulfil the vows she made to him with God as their witness. She tries to speak to his conscience by bringing up Scotty. It inevitably spirals into an emotional monologue where Dot explains how her family needs her.

All the reasons she mentions are innocuous and come straight from her heart – the little things that are only meaningful to Dot and her family. However, Roy is unmoved. He is getting late for a debate, informed by Karen who walks in with the girls. And in spite of everything she has gone through, Karen smacks Dot across the face, asking her to “shut up.” The irony in the scene is numbing. Her actions are not confounding, though. She still has to live with that monster, all said and done. 

Indira comes back home unexpectedly from work. However, Lars has a petite blonde surprise waiting for her in the cupboard. Indira is gobsmacked and livid. Her man-child isn’t that useless after all. I cannot believe how idiotic this man is. Everything he does just worsens our impression of him. He is arguably the most flat character on the show who has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Indira asks him to pack his stuff and leaves for Lorraine’s house.

Indira accepts the security job but promptly reveals the unfolding situation at the ranch to Lorraine. She immediately huddles with her new security head and prepares an action plan. As expected, Danish’s plan is a hit.

Roy is made a fool of on stage as there are three facsimiles of him repeating everything he says. Even the moderator hits him up with questions that expose his shady actions. Roy leaves in embarrassment and ends up hitting the reporter, once and for all, nailing his tenure as sheriff of the county. There is no way he is even coming close to winning now, something that Danish gloats about as he exists the public hall in slow-mo.

Dot tries to work her way out of the chains by using parts from the bed. However, she is interrupted when Gator walks in. Now this meeting is crucial after the last episode’s revelation. We saw how Gator shared a tender bond with Dot, himself scared of Roy. The renewed perspective gives it a different appeal.

She explains how she saw Linda and that she wanted to take Gator away from Roy. But ultimately, Linda faltered in her plan. Gator is incredulous and refuses to believe the narrative. As he is walking out, Dot emasculates him by attacking his insecurities about his masculinity.

She taunts him by saying that Roy purposely didn’t give his name to Gator as he doesn’t deserve it. He will never be enough to carry the name forward and Roy would let it die with him instead of passing it on to Gator. He reaches the gates of the ranch in his car and finds Witt standing outside. He warns Witt to turn away and draws his gun. Gator gives “shoot at sight” instructions to the guards as Witt gets back in his car, understanding his limitations. 

We get another highlight moment from the episode when we spot Ole in the back of Gator’s car, who is completely unaware of his presence. The universe wants to take its revenge for years of cruelty and brutality. It has been a long time coming for Gator. He barked up the wrong tree and will get a slice of divine justice in the final two episodes. Witt spots Danish at a gas station and promptly informs him of the situation at the ranch. The two men understand the gravity of the situation. Instead of calling Lorraine about this, Danish himself goes out to save Dot. 

In the longest, uninterrupted sequence of the episode, we see Roy making his way to the outhouse. A lot of emotions swirl around on his face with only one tangible outcome foreshadowed by the episode’s opening warning about domestic abuse. The camera doesn’t record the exact moments. We can only hear Dot’s cries and pleading.

When Roy won’t stop, Dot unsuccessfully tries to strangle him with the chains. Roy manages to get the bolt out of the ground and tries to use them against Dot. But before he can do more irreparable damage, Bowman walks in. 

For a moment, he is befuddled and embarrassed at what he sees. He informs Roy that Danish is at the gates. Before Roy leaves, he tells Dot that Linda isn’t alive, confirming that the last episode was Dot dreaming up everything. She never met Linda or the safe haven in real life. Perhaps this is why Gator reacted the way he did because he also knew that she wasn’t alive. Danish tries to offer Roy the election back if he would let Dot go. It is a fair offer in his reckoning.

But Roy is too far gone in his commitment to take revenge to see reason. He takes out his gun and shoots Danish in the stomach. Danish bleeds out and is later disposed of by Roy’s henchmen beneath the bathtub out in the desert. Dot witnesses everything and closes her eyes in fear of what may come next for her. 


The Episode Review

Another banger of an episode that realizes the full extent of Roy’s potency as a domineering villain. It was hinted all along – what monstrosity he was capable of. And the experience of watching it unfold is visceral. “Blanket” offers uncompromising drama that comes at you at a relentless pace. There is no breathing space as a viewer. Dot and Roy’s showdown befalls expectations primarily because we didn’t imagine her being in chains and completely subdued.

The expectation was that she would prance into the ranch like a tiger and wreak havoc. This progression is way more realistic and mature, though. Getting rid of Lars through an affair is arguably kinder than Indira growing out of her soft demeanour. Her new start beckons an important role for her to play in the final two episodes.

Danish’s death is a testament to his professionalism and loyalty. His fate was sealed the moment he stepped onto the ranch without reinforcements. And yet, he went ahead, guided by his instincts to save Dot. He is well-liked by the fanbase and they must be sad to see him go.

Compared to some of the previous episodes, “Blanket” is relatively straightforward. Hawley and co go about their business without qualms or second-guessing the decisions. The episode brings the show to an inflexion point from where the only way is up.  

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You can read our full review of Fargo Season 5 here!
  • Episode Rating
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4.5

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