Fargo S5E9 Recap: It’s About To Go Down

“The Useless Hand”

Roy Tillman stands on his ranch in Fargo S5E9, "The Useless Hand"
CR: Michelle Faye/FX

The following recap contains spoilers for Fargo S5E9, “The Useless Hand” (written by Noah Hawley and directed by Thomas Bezucha)

The walls are finally closing in on Roy Tillman and I can’t say I hate it. This man has had it coming for quite some time, and while things are coming to a close, he still hasn’t met his fate. Yet. Most of this episode takes place on the ranch so I will focus on Tillman and his drama first.

Dorothy is in the shack still looking for ways to escape. Luckily, she stumbles (literally) onto a weakened board on the ground. She continues to kick it until it breaks and she is able to get under the shack. Still handcuffed, she uses a nail she finds to pick the lock and is released.

She sneaks into Tillman’s house, which seems incredibly risky, but it’s Dorothy and one can assume she has a plan. She finds a phone in the master bedroom which she seems quite disgusted to be in. She places a brief call to Wayne but ends the call when the current Mrs. Tillman walks in with a rifle pointed in Dorothy’s direction. Dorothy attempts to talk Mrs. Tillman down and tries to convince her that together they can take Tillman down. Neither have to suffer his abuse. Mrs. Tillman isn’t buying it but before she can do much, Dorothy snatches the gun, knocks Mrs. Tillman unconscious, and then grabs her phone. She runs off and out of the house.

Moving on to Lorraine for a moment. Former officer Olmstead (she transitioned jobs fast) comes in and informs Lorraine that Danish’s phone was turned off and the last location was the Tillman ranch. Lorraine doesn’t want to bullshit anymore and calls in help from the feds, military, and the “orange guy.”

Tillman must have a sense that a fight is coming his way. He makes a live stream calling out to all his “patriots” to come join his fight. After, he realizes his house smells of gas which he can thank Dorothy for since she turned the gas on in the kitchen before she left in hopes someone would light up and make the house go ka-boom. He must know this is one of her signature moves as he tells his minions to start looking for her.

Meanwhile, she is hiding out behind one of the houses nearby. She makes a call to Olmstead to let her know she is OK and where she is at. Lorraine snatches the phone and gives Dorothy a sweet-ish, powerful pep talk. It’s what Dorothy needs to hear, as she seems to get that look of revenge back in her eyes. Olmstead is worried for her safety, though, and encourages her to hide until the police arrive. Olmstead then places a call to Deputy Farr and updates him on the situation in hopes that he can trace the cell Dorothy is using and help rescue her.

Dorothy decides to hide under the hot tub in the pit where Tillman’s dead victims lie.

The feds, military, and Farr arrive at the ranch. Tillman gives some bullshit speech indicating that he doesn’t follow their rules and that they are trespassing on his property. He warns them to “leave and live” or “stay and die.” Not only does he have huge nipples, but massive balls as well.

The troops retreat temporarily to discuss and Tillman goes back to searching for Dorothy. Tillman in the process of searching finds Munch returning Gator. Earlier Munch had Gator held up in a shack of his own where he presumably took one (or both) of Gator’s eyes. Munch spews some of his typical riddles and throws Gator back to Tillman. Tillman seems disappointed as usual and walks away without even helping his son or asking him if he’s OK.

Farr is leading a group of military folk in the search and rescue of Dorothy. Unfortunately, one of Tillman’s men finds her first. She stands scared looking up at the man who is there to kill her, but Munch saves the day and takes the men out. He then helps Dorothy out and refers to her as a tiger free from its cage. He hands her back the rifle and she walks off ready to kick some ass.

I have mixed emotions about this episode. I feel like Tillman’s character was modeled after that orange-faced fella that Lorraine spoke of. The speech to his patriots seemed eerily familiar and honestly, I’m just so over all of that. I feel his character could still be a powerful douche without having any semblance to real-life folks. Even the spiel he gave the feds at his gate seemed very over the top. I know he’s ready to die before he will surrender but is everyone on the ranch OK with shooting and killing members of the military and federal government? Why is everyone willing to die for this fool?

It felt very drawn out.

I did enjoy the scenes with Munch and Gator. It was much appreciated to finally see Gator whimper like a bitch instead of being this low brain cell macho man. Dorothy escaping was expected but I thought it was cool to finally see her and Munch in a scene together. I loved that Lorraine referred to Dorothy as her daughter and how happy it made Dorothy.

Hopefully the finale isn’t long and drawn out. I hope we get a resolution fairly quickly and that Dorothy can finally reunite with her family and enjoy some Bisquick. Dontcha know?

Written by Felicia Nickens

Lover of television, film, & the macabre.

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