In the TV show Fargo season 2, Mike has been dispatched to take care of business but he fails to deliver and an undertaker is sent to him, this undertaker has two companions with him.

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My question is: is this undertaker planning to kill Mike and Mike's associates?

  • If the undertaker is planning to kill off Mike, why would he come into Mike's room, which is basically a hotel room, which is not ideal for murder.
  • If the undertaker is planning to kill off Mike, why would he inform Mike that he is coming?
  • If the undertaker is NOT planning to kill Mike, why would he bring two assassin-looking guys?
  • If the undertaker is NOT planning to kill Mike, why would Mike kill him pre-preemptively?
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    I don't remember the scene very well but my best guess is that it was meant as a veiled threat. Don't mess up again or else... – sanpaco Mar 4 '18 at 6:58
  • @sanpaco, thanks. That was very possible or the undertaker was there to replace Mike. – Yu Zhang Mar 4 '18 at 7:04

Fargo series (and the movie) usually leave some details out, but let me tell you how I understood the issue:

  • Mike's motives:

    • Mike is ambitious, and the operation he is leading is supposed to be his opportunity to show his ability. Losing control of the operation is a big hit, no matter what.

    • Mike works for the organized crime. These people do not have severance packages, if you do not fit they do not risk leaving a "disgruntled exemployee" behind. Retirement means death. Maybe he is not sure that the Undertaker (or someone else) is going to go for him, but he cannot be sure that he is safe, either.

  • The Undertaker's POV:

    • He does not know of Mike's ambition, or at least how far that can push Mike.

    • He works for the same organization that Mike. Even if Mike does not like him, he should fear the rest of the organization enough to prevent some crazy act like that.

    • He has been overconfident in his fame. Everyone knows that he is cold blooded, efficient killer. If you believe that he is coming for you, you run away.

      For all of the above, from the Undertaker POV it means that if Mike has not run away, it is because Mike does not expect himself to be a target, or that he believes he can convince his bosses that he is worth more alive than dead.

      He is not expecting Mike to turn on such a reputed killer like himself, in his own hotel room and with inferior numbers.

Was the Undertaker going to kill Mike? I'm not certain, but:

  • So far Mike has been loyal to the organization, even if he has not shown progress.

  • Mike is no newcomer to the organization. If he fails in his new post, probably he can be used in the tasks he was doing before.

  • Even if Mike is to be "retired", there is an ongoing operation in place. Mike is still useful as a source of information, and killing someone is always a risk of someone discovering it/increased police attention/etc. If Mike is to be killed it would be better doing it at a later time, somewhere else.

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  • yeah, the undertaker is overconfident and even arrogant. In the elevator, he looks very unhappy when one of his companions does not press the floor key fast enough. – Yu Zhang Mar 4 '18 at 18:40

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