You know what show Ed and Peggy belong on? Last Man on Earth.
Because if there were a plague that wiped out the entire population, I’m pretty sure Ed and Peggy would survive. They just keep narrowly escaping death. Peggy, in particular, has proven to be quite scrappy, when faced with imminent death.
Given how the show played with time last season, I should have sensed that something was up in last week’s episode. The eighth episode of the season took place temporally almost concurrently with last week’s episode, showing us what Peggy, Ed, Dodd and Hanzee were up to.
Somehow Ed beats Lou and Hank to his home, and Peggy and Ed take Dodd to a remote cabin where Ed tries in vain to return Dodd to the Gerhardts, in exchange for the Gerhardts letting him live. The only problem, as we learned last week, is that Bear doesn’t want his brother back.
During the entire episode, Hanzee is tracking down Peggy and Ed. We think it’s so he can kill Ed and Peggy and rescue Dodd. But when he arrives at the cabin, he kills Dodd and asks Peggy to cut his hair, because he wants a change, and is “tired of this life.” Did Bear send Hanzee to kill Dodd, or was it Dodd’s racist comments, to the man who had come to rescue him, that got him killed? “Jesus Christ, you mongrel. Just shoot these two and get me to a hospital,” Dodd screams right before Hanzee shoots him in the head.
Peggy, now convinced that she is fully actualized, continues to live in her own world. She teaches Dodd manners by stabbing him every time he’s rude, and spoon feeds him beans. “Honey, you got to stop stabbing him,” Ed tells his wife. Even Dodd, who hates women to begin with, knows Peggy is not right. “She’s crazy. Keep her away from me,” Dodd tells Ed.
There were some stunning performances in this episode particularly from Kirsten Dunst and Zahn McClarnon. Dunst was simultaneously hilarious and tragic. And Hanzee is a character of few words who is able to express so much without saying anything at all. Hanzee goes into a bar requesting a glass of water, only to have the bartender spit in his drink. When Hanzee leaves the bar, the locals follow him out taunting him. So Hanzee shoots them, kills the bartender and the two police officers who come to the scene. “I just wanted a glass of water,” Hanzee says. He also tells the bartender he’s done three tours in Vietnam, and has a purple heart and a bronze star. There’s so much about this character we don’t know. But we do know that he’s tired of always having to fight.
The episode ends with Hank and Lou approaching the cabin, and Ed and Peggy surrendering. Mike is heading to Sioux Falls to meet up with Ed, who will be a no-show. My guess is that Ed will tell Hank and Lou about his scheduled rendezvous with Mike. We know there’s a big bloody scene coming to Sioux Falls, and with only two episodes left this season, we know the death count will rise.
“If I kiss you when we meet, would that be inappropriate?”
I hope Constance is still alive.
I wonder if we will get any explanations on the UFOs, or Hank’s wall of symbols before the season ends.
Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.