Fargo: East/West
November 16, 2020 9:39 AM - Season 4, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Rabbi and Satchel hit the road.

Hope no one minds me posting this.

Slow and sad and strange, in some ways the most Coenesque episode of this story, in the way of the melancholy non sequiteurs of Buster Scruggs - part of me registers the formal purpose of the episode (a hiatus away from the gathering pace of the main plot before we're pitched back into it for the last two episodes), most of me just appreciates the oddness and the aesthetics. I presume the transition into colour is a Wizard of Oz thing, as is the small dog, but that's as thinky as I want to get.

Is the dog actually called Rabbit, or is there a sign around its neck pointing out that it's rabid?
posted by Grangousier (19 comments total)
It's frustrating that I can't avoid spoilers and explain why I loved this episode so much except Rabbi/Rabbit made me smile.
posted by kingless at 2:26 PM on November 16

The siblings with the appliance store were almost what one could call kitchen brothers.
posted by snofoam at 5:28 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]

Ah, boarding houses.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:20 AM on November 17

"The future is what?"

"How's that?"

"What's it going to say?"

"Wait till it's finished. Then you'll see."

"Well... finish the damned thing already."

"Moment I finish it, I'm out of a job. Plus, what do you care? It's just a sign."

"It's the principle, making people live with uncertainty. It ain't right."

"Send a letter to your congressman, you're so irate."
posted by Catblack at 7:26 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]

It's frustrating that I can't avoid spoilers and explain why I loved this episode so much except Rabbi/Rabbit made me smile.

Do you already know something about the last 2 episodes? Because if not, anything that has happened up to and including this episode are fair game.
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:00 AM on November 17

(I never do this, but I had to put up the two short scenes with 'billboard guy'. I don't think it will spoil anything, the whole episode just rolls along like this, but this guy made us laugh pretty hard.)

The Future Is What / The Future Is Now
posted by Catblack at 9:17 AM on November 17

Do you already know something about the last 2 episodes? Because if not, anything that has happened up to and including this episode are fair game.

Thanks, LizBoBiz, wasn't sure about the rules. I know nothing about the future. (Hey Rabbi, living with uncertainty is what we all do.)

Clyde Tombaugh gets credit for discovering Pluto. In the Tombaugh article, Wikipedia says
To better test his telescope mirrors, Tombaugh, with just a pick and shovel, dug a pit 24 feet long, 8 feet deep, and 7 feet wide. This provided a constant air temperature, free of air currents, and was also used by the family as a root cellar and emergency shelter.
Obscure, so it's probably a stretch to call stopping by his plaque foreshadowing the tornado. Besides, black & white, Kansas, not having a tornado would've been a disappointment.

The opening gas station scene, especially painting the station, was Omie at his best. Really hated seeing him go at the end of the episode. That boarding house. Yes, Catblack, the billboard scenes were funny. The traveling salesman with the Dale Carnegie fixation was fun. (Unrelated: it's striking how similar the techniques in How to Win Friends and Influence People are to the ones I'm urged to use to talk politics nowadays.) I guess I'm not 100% sure what's to become of Rabbi and Constant. How reliable are those accounts I've seen of cows and whatnot being set down unharmed by tornadoes? And finally, Satchel gets away with Rabbit. Nice seeing one of the kids take charge.
posted by kingless at 10:02 AM on November 17

The bandaged man was Ira Amyx, who played Milligan's father in episode one, and his teen helper was Aaron Lamm who played Ari Moskowitz. IMDB also lists Andrew Rothenberg. another Moskowitz. So more ghosts, then.
posted by Grangousier at 1:02 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]

Enjoyed the slower pacing of this episode, there was constant escalation of tension but it'd blow off a little, but it kept slowly ratcheting up like the inevitable storm.

Loved the shot down the middle of the staircase.

The tornado scene recalls to me the story of William Rankin.
posted by porpoise at 6:13 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]

I don't think it will spoil anything

Again, you are not spoiling by posting clips or talking about things that happened in the episode and any that came before

Spoilers in FanFare are only for future events that have not aired, next week's preview, info from books if its a show-only thread, etc. It is totally fine to discuss this episode in this episode's thread.
posted by LizBoBiz at 2:43 AM on November 18 [1 favorite]

I've now been wondering about the other [ghost/dream] couple - older man and woman, folding a flag that may be a confederate stars-and-bars or a Betsy Ross stars and stripes.
posted by Grangousier at 4:16 AM on November 18

I really enjoyed the color hotel scene. That had a very Barton Fink vibe (but how could you do a Coen brother's TV show with a scene in a weird hotel and not do Barton Fink??)

Now that I think about it, this entire episode had more of a Coen Brothers vibe than the rest of the season, and even last season. The weirdness throughout the whole thing was just perfect.
posted by LizBoBiz at 4:22 AM on November 18

LizBoBiz, you did notice that the hotel was the Barton Arms?
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:46 AM on November 18 [2 favorites]

I did not but that's awesome!
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:10 AM on November 18 [1 favorite]

>I'm not 100% sure what's to become of Rabbi

His fate is foretold in the very beginning, in the page from "The History Of True Crime in the Mid West" by Brixby that's fluttering in the (years-old?) tornado wreckage of the gas station.


Two African Americans, two Italians, and an Irishman walk into an outlaying gas station. Sounds like this could be the beginning of a tasteless joke, but you would be mistaken to think so. What it is, dear reader, is the set up for perhaps one of the most puzzling entries in this compendium of midwestern crimes. It is a case that had investigators scratching their heads for years. Five dead, at least four from gunshot woulnds, and the bodies scattered in some cases miles from on another. No suspects. No arrests. And no widely accepted theories as to what transpired. Here we turn our attention to Liberal, Kansas, 1950 and what is today believed to be the convergence point for this mysterious act of violence, the Em and Henry Filling Station situated outside the city limits.

The majority of the facts in this case, scant as they may be, were gathered in an investigation conducted by Seward County Sheriff, Dink Toltam. As a result, Toltam found most success in piecing together a narrative of events. In his report, Sheriff Toltam recounts a storm occurring on the same day an African American man in his sixties was shot in the head. This man has been identified as Willy Bupor who, by all accounts, was an upstanding citizen in the small town of Liberal.
posted by Catblack at 9:31 AM on November 18 [5 favorites]

His fate is foretold in the very beginning

posted by kingless at 9:37 AM on November 18

the Em and Henry Filling Station
posted by eckeric at 12:23 PM on November 18 [1 favorite]

The "Mellon Mounds" plaque outside of the Barton Arms is a fictionalized reference to the Bloody Benders.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:41 PM on November 22

Did anyone notice that the police officer in Liberty was played by Jack White of the White Stripes?
posted by Jaymzifer at 6:29 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

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