The Land of Talking and Killing
Episode 2 of Fargo Season 4 begins with two women breaking free from prison. Zelmare and Swanee celebrate their small victory before applying make-up and visiting Ethelrida, much to her Dibrell’s disdain.
Meanwhile, the Irish Mafia make their move against Dr. Harvard. It’s a simple drive-by shooting, one that sees Josto and the others killing their man… or so they think. However, that’s not the only death on the table. The Don is dead and the family gather in mourning. Among them is Gaetano who’s arrived from Italy and has quite the mean streak on him.
Oraetta shows up too and finds Ethelrida spying. “You shouldn’t be doing that,” She warns before speaking French. Ethelrida can speak French too though and it leads to an intriguing stand-off between the pair.
Outside, Josto finds himself cornered by Gaetano who’s certainly no stranger to bloodshed and violence. He rattles a tin full of teeth he’s plucked from victims and growls “business, family, country.” Josto is not intimated though and squares up to his younger brother.
Detective Odis Weff examines the crime scene at the hospital where the drive-by shooting occurred. It turns out the nurse Dr. Harvard was with died but he survived. He’s convinced it’s the Italians responsible or, as he refers to them, “Lotharios.” Although Weff agrees to help, his nervous ticks certainly annoy the Doctor who comments on this when he leaves the room.
Loy brings the Italian child Zero along to see his family. Holding Zero back, he tells Josto to bring his own son. Gaetano happens to be there though and he and Loy have quite the stand-off, including the former giving him the crazy eyes.
Eventually the visit takes place and Satchel is allowed to see his Father. Rabbi promises to look after Satchel for him, keeping the boy out of trouble – and the woodshed.
After a brief reunion, Loy leaves with Zero again and reports back to HQ where he’s concerned about Gaetano who seems like a complete wild-card.
Don’s last conversation with Loy saw him agree to them taking over the slaughterhouse. That’s what Loy tells Doc anyway. Obviously he said no such thing so this is Loy moving on his ideas.
As he sits with the Doctor, Loy decides to move on this and expand their territory. The Italians suspect Loy’s crew is going to make their move soon though and their assumption is right on the money.
It also turns out that Detective Weff from earlier is actually working with the Italians too and he’s on their payroll.
Meanwhile, Oraetta tries ending another dying patient’s life but this time she’s caught in the act. Instead of straight dismissal, she blackmails the hospital into giving her a 2 month severance payout and a letter of recommendation. Angry and annoyed, she heads home and finds Ethelrida out on her porch.
Confronting the girl, she asks how she learned French (self-taught) and offers her a house-cleaning job. This, predictably, rubs her up the wrong way and she refuses.
Undeterred, Othaella Mayflower heads back home after calling her a “special project” and starts making her a pie.
Happy’s cousin Leon joins Doctor as he heads down to conduct a “transition of power” at the slaughterhouse. Holding up a gun to those inside, they’re forced to scutter as Doctor takes over.
It doesn’t take long before the Italians arrive, fronted by Gaetano. Doctor reiterates what Loy told him – this was agreed by Don. Only, Gaetano doesn’t believe him and instead tells the men to head home so he can check with Josto.
Meanwhile Oraetta bakes her pie but pours thick loads of ipecac syrup inside the mixture. This, as it turns out, causes serious vomiting. She leaves the finished pie at Ethelrida’s door and returns home.
As she does, Thurman picks up the pie while law enforcement storms a funeral home, kicking in the front door in a bid to try and find Zelmare and Swanee. Before we see the outcome of what they find, the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
After the previous slow episode, this follow-up certainly picks up the pace slightly. The tension between the two gangs is incredibly well realized and you can really feel the tension bubbling up between these two families.
That’s to say nothing of the excellent editing and sweeping camera shots, both of which doing a good job to give this a really compelling and moody feel.
There’s a bubbling set of tensions rising up now with the two rival gangs. Quite what will happen next, remains to be seen.