Episode 6 of Fargo Season 4 begins with Ethelrida celebrating her birthday back home. While she does, Doc’s death sends Loy on the warpath. He immediately confronts Odis, choking him out with a plastic bag while lying in wait inside his apartment. With the man choking on air and nursing his throat, Loy demands Odis help him win this war.
An understandably jittery Gaetano holds up in his office after killing Doc. He knows the African Americans will be after him now and that target also means Josto will be looking to unsettle his brother for his betrayal too.
A knock at the door downstairs sends him into a panicked fit of paranoia. He tells his right hand man Pablo to check it out. When he doesn’t return, the doorknob rattling sends Gaetano over the edge. He empties the chamber into the splintered wood, unfortunately shooting his own man dead.
While he fumbles to reload, Swanee and Zelmare show up and shoot the big man in the back of the head. He’s still alive though, given Gaetano was clearly wearing plot armour, and they scramble to move him.
When Gaetano awakens he finds himself chained up to a chair with Loy towering over him. After a humble story about Sugar Ray, his right hand man knocks the Italian out with a stinging right hook to the jaw.
At work, Oraetta comes under fire following Ethelrida’s anonymously sent letter to Dr Harvard. She manages to talk her way out of trouble though and convinces Harvard that she’s a good Christian. Eventually he caves and agrees to keep this indiscretion between them for now.
Oraetta struggle to shake off who sent the letter and later takes her frustrations out on a moaning patient.
Reinforcements from New York roll in for the Italians. Specifically, this brings Joe Bulo and his men. Word of Gaetano’s capture has spread to the Italian camp but Josto is indifferent to this. After all, Geatano has caused nothing but trouble. Unfortunately, the only way he’ll be accepted as boss is to try and make amends with his brother.
Loy makes a decision that could be the catalyst that starts this war properly. He gets Odis involved and tasks the man with bringing Satchel back to him. Once he’s by Loy’s side, blood will be spilled in retaliation to Doc’s death. The first bullet belongs to Gaetano.
Only, Odis’s ordeal is made all the more difficult by Josto propositioning a similarly precarious deal. He wants the man to find Gaetano and bring him back. Dear me, what a choice to make.
With Josto clearing the room, he tasks Antoon Dumini with taking Satchel away from the house. Knowing this would compromise the deal and cause Gaetano to be killed, he used Ebal’s own words “try to make amends” to play the system.
Well, Dumini does just this and takes Satchel out into the freezing cold where he talks about his journey to this very spot. It’s a fascinating tale and one that sees him hesitate with killing the boy. Torn between his duty and his heart, the decision is eventually made for him.
Rabbi arrives and shoots the man in cold blood. Realizing the war has started, he takes Satchel away and drives off with him somewhere safe.
The Episode Review
Fargo’s latest episode feels like a deep breath before the inevitable plunge into all-out chaos next week. The intriguing set-up for this war has been good and the poetic wrestles for power have been really well orchestrated across the 6 episodes so far.
The show has constantly surprised and kept things unpredictable and that’s partly what’s made this fourth season so watchable. The various monologues across the season have been some of the best material, and the two sides have a lot at stake in this fight.
Still, it remains to be seen how Oraetta and Ethelrida play into this tale. Both of them have, so far at least, felt a bit like spare parts in recent weeks after a strong start to the season.
While this has been a far cry to the quality seen in previous seasons, Fargo continues to deliver decent dram. What’s in store for our characters next week? We’ll have to wait and see.