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Well, I think history's proven people of the Germanic persuasion don't surrender easy. But you can kill them.
~ Joe Bulo talking about the Gerhardts.

Joe Bulo is a major antagonist in the second season of the television series Fargo. He is an enforcer for the Kansas City Mafia whom his superiors send to Fargo, North Dakota to negotiate a deal with the Gerhardt Crime Family, the ultimate goal being to take control of their territory. He is also the boss and friend of Mike Milligan.

He was portrayed by Brad Garrett, who also portrayed Gary Munson in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.


Early Career

Bulo starts out as a button man for the Fadda crime family in 1950. His first major assignment is to kill treacherous family member Josto Fadda and his lover Oraetta Mayflower, who re accused of killing Josto's father Donatello and brother Gaetano. He drives them out to the middle of nowhere, where a hole has been dug for their bodies. Josto tries to talk Bulo out of killing him, but Bulo is unimpressed; he shoots Josto in the head after Oraetta asks Bulo to kill him first so she can watch, and then shoots her dead, as well.

The Mafia War

Thirty years later, Bulo is the Fadda family's chief enforcer, and in charge of their day-to-day operations. After Otto Gerhardt, the leader of the Gerhardt Crime Family from North Dakota, suffers a stroke, Bulo tells his superiors that they have an opportunity to take control of the Gerhardts' territory. They send Bulo, along with Mike Milligan and the Kitchen Brothers, to force the Gerhardts to make a deal by kidnapping Otto's youngest son, Rye; the plan goes awry, however, when Rye runs from his kidnappers and local hairdresser Peggy Blumquist accidentally hits Rye with her car. She takes him to her home, where he attacks her, forcing her husband Ed to kill him in self-defense.

Floyd Gerhardt, Otto's wife and new leader of the family, talks to Bulo's family and associates about the offer, even though her eldest son Dodd wants to start a war. Floyd says she wants to solve the problem in a peaceful way, but that they will be ready if a war if that is what Bulo's superiors want.

The Deal

While Bulo and Floyd have a meeting, Mike and the Kitchen brothers ambush Gerhardts men. During the meeting, Dodd loses his temper, and Floyd orders him outside. Bulo questions her discipline as a leader, but Floyd remains professional and presents a counteroffer. When Bulo's men inform him of the ambush, he rejects the offer and threatens to kill the entire Gerhardt family unless they yield.


Dodd's bodyguard, Hanzee Dent, has been looking for Rye as well, and evetually he discovers that Rye was killed by Ed, whom an acquaintance says works as a butcher. Hanzee informs the family, and Floyd, believing "The Butcher" is the nickname of a hitman sent by Kansas City, swears revenge on them, starting a war.

While Bulo and his men are hunting deer in the forest, they are ambushed by Hanzee and his men. Bulo escapes from the ensuing shootout, only to find Hanzee waiting for him. Soon afterward, the Gerhardts deliver Bulo's head to the Kansas City mob.


           FargoTitle.png Villains

Carl Showalter | Gaear Grimsrud | Jerry Lundegaard

Year 1: Lorne Malvo | Mr. Wrench | Mr. Numbers | Lester Nygaard | Sam Hess | Moses Tripoli
Year 2: Hanzee Dent | Dodd Gerhardt | Floyd Gerhardt | Bear Gerhardt | Mike Milligan | Joe Bulo | Kitchen Brothers
Year 3: V.M. Varga | Yuri Gurka | Meemo | Ruby Goldfarb
Year 4: Josto Fadda | Loy Cannon | Oraetta Mayflower | Gaetano Fadda | Constant Calamita | Antoon Dumini | Odis Weff | Deafy Wickware | David Harvard | Yiddles Milligan | Satchel Cannon