The Pretend War
Episode 4 of Fargo Season 4 begins with an ominous omen for the season ahead. Ethelrida awakens to find a strange man roaming about. Gasping, she shuts the door and gets back into bed.
Constant and his associate are stopped en-route back home. Flames lick up the side of the road hungrily, engulfing them in a ring of fire. Unfortunately the African-Americans responsible for this are not messing around and force Constant out the car.
Stealing his truck and supplies, they leave him in the middle of the fire smoking, a searing scar from a burning hot gun across his cheek for his troubles.
On the back of this attack, Ebal confronts Doc and asks outright whether they’re at war. “Not yet…but we’re trying real hard,” He challenges. It turns out this is retaliation for the attack against the African-Americans and the gun store robbery.
Obviously both of these incidents are outside the knowledge of Ebal or Doc, leading to the former making a hasty exit to get his affairs in order.
Loy watches from afar as the haul from the truck is brought in. As he does, Doc feeds back the details about Ebal and how they were unaware of what happened. Given the amount of guns brought in (over 300!) Loy looks over the spatters of blood on the floor and makes a stark promise – if the Italians go after his family again, he’ll kill them all.
Meanwhile, Oraetta sleeps with Josto but as he looks to leave, Ethelrida happens to be at the door. She admits to needing money and takes Oraetta up on the previous housekeeping offer
When she starts cleaning later that day, she finds a shelf full of poisons. That’s not all though, she also finds numerous newspaper clippings and jewelry that look suspiciously like trophies from her surgery kills.
While they talk, outside Josto hears about the botched hit from Odis. On the back of this, Odis is tasked to watch out for Gaetano and feed back what he’s doing.
Josto immediately confronts Gaetano and starts firing warning shots either side of him. With a table out with numerous photos, Josto antagonizes his brother and tells him he’s weak. A tense few minutes pass but things simmer down long enough for the crew to follow Josto into his office.
At the police station, Deafy and Weff receive a visit from a man named Mr. Sinclair. He gives them information about Zelmare and Swanee, claiming that they’ve hopped town and are currently heading for Chicago. After hearing this, Deafy decides to prod the hornet’s nest, speaking to Gaetano about the issues the Italians are currently dealing with.
On his way back from the store, Odis is cornered by Loy and his men. Loy asks outright what happened and who’s calling the shots for the Italians. Reminding him that these men don’t respect him, Loy tasks the Jew with bringing his son back, plus 5 grand to call it square. Looking the boss in the eyes, Odis tells him he’s not able to do it.
Meanwhile, Swanee continues to suffer from the effects of that poison in the pie. On the back of this, Zelmare delivers the bag full of money to Thurman alone. Obviously it still smells of vomit and a sudden bag of money to pay back Loy definitely looks suspicious.
Still, Thurman delivers the goods and Loy accepts the funds. After several seconds, he tells him to leave. Alone, Loy realizes where the money has been from and suddenly rises to his feet.
A euphoric Thurman returns home – unaware of what’s happening with Loy – and reveals that their debt is paid up. Dibrell is more of the realist here though and asks exactly where he got the money from. As she storms off, Thurman tries to convince himself and Ethelrida that everything will be alright. But will it?
The Episode Review
With everything simmering up now, the feud between the Italians and the African-Americans is just starting to get interesting and hit breaking point.
The sub-plot involving Odis is certainly one of the more intriguing elements of this, especially given his wavering loyalty to both sides. Alongside Gaetano, these two look the most likely to light the fuse that will cause the big gang fight to break out.
So far the show has done well to weave a compelling story across this season. While it’s not as strong as those earlier seasons of the show, there’s a decent enough crime drama here worth sticking with.