Flashback to Fargo, ND in 1950. Younger Otto takes young Dodd to see Moonbase Freedom (a Ronald Reagan film) in a nearly-empty movie theater. Otto talks to the man who killed his father Dieter. The man has his lackey hold Otto at gunpoint. Young Dodd kills the man with a silent knife to the head and Otto takes out the rest of the witnesses in the theater.
Dodd and Charlie drive in the car, with Charlie accompanying his uncle to a job. They discuss Charlie's career aspirations, and Charlie mentions that he'd like to do what Dodd does. Dodd questions how he can shoot and reload a gun with only one usable hand. Charlie urges him to pull over and then demonstrates. Dodd is impressed.
Dodd and Charlie go to a donut shop. A man there tells Dodd that Joe Bulo says hi. Dodd takes a cattle prod to the man and has Charlie punch the second man out.
Betsy and Lou go to Betsy's doctor appointment. The doctor tells them that her tests do not look good and that her cancer is spreading. He offers them a clinical trial with a new drug called Xanadu that looks promising, but mentions that some of the trial participants will get a placebo to test the effectiveness of Xanadu. Betsy and Lou, confused, ask whether she'll be getting the real drug or the fake one. The doctor says that he can't say.
Ed and Peggy have sex. Ed remarks that he thinks "that one stuck" and daydreams about them having a Fall baby and him owning the butcher shop. Peggy sneaks off into the bathroom and secretly takes birth control pills. She hides them when Ed joins her in the bathroom, as he talks about them needing a bigger house depending on how many kids they have. Ed suggests that they may need to hold off on her going to the seminar because it's too expensive and they need to put the money toward buying the butcher shop. Peggy is perturbed and resists that suggestion.
Hanzee drives to the still apparently closed Waffle Hut, looking over the crime scene and the remaining blood stains. He finds a jagged piece of glass and pockets it. He looks up into the sky beyond the trees and sees a strange glowing light. Hanzee then goes to a a car shop where he attempts to match the piece of glass to the headlight of Ed's busted car. He pokes around and goes through the car, to the consternation of the mechanic Sonny. The mechanic unthinkingly gives away that he does know Ed and that Ed is a local butcher. Hanzee intimidates Sonny before Karl enters and threatens knife-holding Hanzee with a gun. Hanzee leaves and Karl tells Sonny to call the sheriff.
The Kitchen brothers are working on papers in a hotel room. In the other room, Mike is having sex with Dodd's daughter Simone. She requests cocaine from him and they discuss whether her family will take the offer. She tells him that he'll probably have to kill her dad. She reminisces about the 60's, while Mike pokes holes in her idealism about that age. The two also discuss Rye's whereabouts. Simone reveals that they are taking her grandfather to a doctor and Mike asks her which doctor.
Lou and Betsy head home from the doctor. He asks if he should be treating her any differently and she asks him to please not. He is called away on cop business and joins Hank, who is interviewing Karl and Sonny about Hanzee's visit. The two men tell the cops that the car is Ed and Peggy's. Lou immediately suspects that the car might be the one that ran down Rye. He recalls Ed acting strangely in the butcher shop.
Floyd, her sons, and their affiliates report to the Pearl Hotel to meet with Joe Bulo. Floyd brings along the Bank to mediate. Floyd turns down the deal and counters with another offer: she offers them one million dollars and 20% of the territory, in exchange for the Gerhardts still running North Dakota with Kansas City as a partnership. She tells him that just because she is a woman does not mean that her back isn't strong and her stomach isn't weak. She tells him that they will fight for what is theirs.
Joe tells Floyd that if it were up to him he would take the counter offer, but questions whether her sons will abide if Kansas City takes the deal. She assures him that her sons will listen to her, though Bulo points out that two of his men there were accosted by Dodd. Bulo questions what she will do to control her sons. Dodd has an outburst and Floyd orders Bear to take Dodd outside. She assures Bulo that she'll deal with her son and keep him in line. Bulo says he doesn't think that Dodd will remain in line.
After Otto's doctor appointment, his keepers who accompanied him have trouble starting up the car. The Kitchen brothers and Mike Milligan show up and take out the handlers, along with the young girl who was pushing Otto's wheelchair. Milligan tells Otto that Joe Bulo says hi. He takes Otto's hat off, puts it in his lap, and leaves him there unharmed.
A man comes into the room where Bulo sits with Floyd and whispers in Bulo's ear. Bulo reports back to Floyd that her counter offer was rejected by the higher-ups, and that Kansas City's purchase price has now come down two million dollars. He tells her that she has the night to think it over, and that if she comes back with anything but unconditional surrender they will wipe every Gerhardt off the face of the earth.
Ed goes into work at Bud's Meats. Bud asks him where he went the other day when Peggy pulled him out of work to deal with the car. Bud tells Ed that the check Ed gave him for the down payment on the butcher shop bounced. Bud tells him that there is another buyer and that if he doesn't have the money by Friday he'll sell to the other buyer. He also asks Ed to check the meat grinder because it's making a funny sound.
Ed goes over to Peggy's job and confronts her about having spent the money on the course. She insists that they didn't agree on her not doing the Lifespring course. As they are arguing, Hanzee slowly drives by and stares them down. She tells him that to her the course is more important. Ed tells her that she has to get the money back before Bud sells the shop to the other buyer.
Peggy goes back to her job and tells Constance that she needs the course money back. Constance tells Peggy that she already sent along the money. Constance gives Peggy a pep talk about not listening to men to the detriment of herself, and insists that it was Peggy's savings to do with as she wished. Constance tells Peggy that she'll do the course in Sioux Falls and be the best Peggy Blomquist she can be and that no one will ever tell her how to live her life again.
In the car on the way back from the meeting with Joe Bulo, Dodd lays his head on Floyd's shoulder and tries to get her to put her hand comfortingly on his face. She repeatedly refuses to comfort him but then gives in and strokes his head while tearing up.
Hanzee goes into the Blomquists' garage and searches for signs that Rye was there. He smells the bleach that Ed used to clean the floor and spots the container. He also notices the freezer where they had stored Rye. Hanzee enters the empty house and checks the fireplace; he finds the belt buckle that Ed burned along with his clothes. He takes it. He notices Lou Solverson drive up and leaves the house.
Lou waits on the Blomquists' porch until they return home later that evening. He tells them that they need to invite him in. He brings up the car to them and they repeat their story about skidding on ice. Ed notices that the fireplace is open and Lou asks whether there is something wrong. Lou asks them pointblank whether he'll find blood in the car if he looks. Lou tells them that they have the look of two people who have no idea what's coming, likening it to a boy in war who has his legs blown off and doesn't realize he's dead yet. Lou warns the two that the man they hit was Rye Gerhardt and that his family hurts people for money, warning them that they may already be coming for the couple. He urges them to come clean before it's too late and can't be fixed.
Ed hesitates, seemingly about to tell the truth, when Peggy abruptly asks Lou to leave. Ed backs her up and Lou leaves. As he leaves, he tells Peggy to lock the door.
Floyd lies in bed with Otto. Bear goes to call her to meet with everyone who has assembled to hear her decision about what to do. She stands up and says that it's war.
Betsy sits at the table, facing the trial drug bottle with a blank look on her face. She goes outside to talk to Lou. He mentions that the whole world is out of balance. At his request, she goes back to bed while he stays out there to make sure they're safe, tying knots in his rope.