The Birthplace of Civilization
Episode 5 of Fargo Season 4 begins with a jazz club being raided by the police. They beat down the men inside – including Loy’s son – and take them away in handcuffs. From afar, Josto and the rest of the Italians watch on as the boss proudly proclaims, “This is how you get it done.”
Meanwhile, Loy sells on his 200 guns as agreed last episode. On the back of this, he organizes the troops to check the funeral home. Only, while they talk in the warehouse police rush in and ask about the guns. They obviously aren’t there though as the deal has been done.
That doesn’t stop the police from taking them all down to the station though. Except Loy though who’s left behind, allowing him to tell an unnerving story about the war and minesweepers. As he shouts the word “boom”, his voice echoing off the cold walls, the police walk away unnerved.
Meanwhile, Ethelrida writes to Dr Harvard intending to tell him the truth about Oreatta. When her father arrives, she asks Thurman about the poison and he comments how it shouldn’t be kept around her house. He tells the girl to be careful and mentions how the pie they had baked may well have been poisoned. When Thurman leaves, Ethelrida continues writing her letter.
In the morning, Josto is convinced that Gaetano will go back to Italy. Only, Rabbi isn’t so sure. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
There’s 20 or so men rolling into town in the next week or so and they’re strictly Gaetano’s men. This could mean a coup for power is on the horizon, leaving Josto with a difficult decision to make. Sensing something big is about to go down, Rabbi tells Zero to be ready while Josto stews; when the shooting begins they’re going to disappear.
In the morning, Ethelrida heads off to visit her Aunts who are held up in a hotel. They’re insistent that they’re not criminals – they’re actually outlaws. As they celebrate her birthday, this short burst of tranquility is sure to end sooner rather than later.
Back home, Loy finds himself coming to blows with his family. Given his son is in the police station, they’re not happy with Loy’s decisions. “Pretty soon all we’re gunna have around here are clothes.”
Loy loses his temper upon hearing this, berating the girls for taking the high horse while reveling in the luxuries he’s managed to provide for them with the gang’s blood, sweat and tears.
At the police station it’s not Loy who shows up but Josto. He speaks to Loy’s men about the racial injustices of America and the difference in public perception between their breed of criminal. He tells them to pass a message on to Loy – “It’s time to surrender.”
While Josto leaves, Rabbi realizes neither side is going to back down. Given his mission to keep Loy’s boy safe, he tells Zero that they’re not going home as he senses all of them are going to die.
Gaetano arrives at a nearby diner intending to discuss business. Unfortunately the coffee there isn’t up to standards – and an earlier incident involving slippery ice means he’s not in the best of moods. Eventually he shoots the two workers dead and leaves.
Things are still tense in the Smutney household following the incident with the money. This is only made worse when Loy shows up to discuss what’s happened. He’s enraged by his audacity to pay back the debt with Loy’s own money and reinforces to Thurman that he will do whatever he can to win.
On the back of this, Thurman loses his business to Loy who tells him to hand over the deed asap. Even worse, they have to reveal the location of both Zelmare and Swanee.
He’s not the only one after them it seems. Deafy shows up at school asking to find the two fugitives. As Ethelrida flexes her historical knowledge of the past, the Marshall loses his patience and gives her an ultimatum. Either it’s Zelmare and Swanee or her that will go down for this. Eventually she confesses up and gives the location.
Loy arrives at the hotel first and tells the two girls to get dressed. Just as he does, the Marshall arrives and heads up to Room 313 to find the girls. Only, when he gets there he watches helplessly from the window as Loy and his boys take off with the girls in tow.
At the diner, Doc shows up intending to speak to Gaetano. Only, it’s not Gaetano but his right hand man, Constant. He warns Doc, telling him there’s nothing tougher than an orphan in a box. This time of pleasantries is over though and Doc is damn certain of that.
He warns the pair that while Epal earned his respect, Constant most certainly has not. He tells them they’re a mess and promises to clean them up. Unfortunately the first shot of this war is fired by Constant, who shoots Doc dead in cold blood and leaves him in a heap on the floor outside.
When Loy finds out later that evening, he’s beside himself with rage-fueled grief. This war is about to get very nasty.
The Episode Review
With the simmering tensions reaching boiling point this episode, this war looks to finally be taking off after a slow build up. The various players are intriguing and the two sides have an equal stake in this fight. Who will come out on top?
Gaetano is still the wildcard here though and predictably it’s his first blow that starts the war to come. Chris Rock finally gets a larger chunk of the episode to flex his acting chops too, and he does a great job with this character.
The cold and calculating nature of Loy really comes across here and the brutal way he comes down on Thurman is indicative of his character.
Still, all eyes now turn to the next episode as this one looks set to explode into a flurry of blood and violence.