Fargo: Happy
November 23, 2020 7:24 AM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Loy forms an uneasy alliance, Odis finds peace, Josto settles the score, Ethelrida takes a risk and Oraetta gets spooked.

The episode is mostly about moving swiftly towards the conclusion, but I found it an enjoyable way to get there. A couple of things that aren't especially important, but piqued my interest: I wonder whether this episode was part of the same production block as The Nadir (also directed by Sylvain White), with East/West in its own block (which would kind of make sense), and next week's finale done with the other episodes directed by Dana Gonzales - perhaps something covid-related? I have no idea how I'd find out; Ethelrida is obviously the female form of the name Æthelred, the significance of which I've not worked out.
posted by Grangousier (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I loved the Josto/Gaetano dynamic after they started working together. I just find it hilarious that I was convinced while they were at odds that it was going to turn out that like Gaetano's a scared little kid inside and Josto's secretly the ruthless killer and then they make up and nah, Gaetano's really a psychopath and Josto's really an idiot just like we thought, and the curveball is that they genuinely start building a healthier relationship than you'd expect.

Also loved the Third Man cinematography nod in Odis' apartment building when it goes all dutch angle noir.

It's been a slow burn for me and I need a rewatch to really work it out but this might be my favorite season after 2. Both of those seasons make me feel like I want more of every single character. Especially criminally underutilized Ethelrida! She was so good in this! I want Lemuel to escape the Cannon family life and find happiness with the Smutnys.

I want Satchel to have some happiness too but unless the show is really jerking us around I think we all know where he's headed and it's so sad.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:17 PM on November 23, 2020

"Now Fuck. Off."

Ha jason_steakums! Yeah, the twist there is that there was no twist, it's just idiots and odd luck all around.

Ethelrida had some fine lines/ plot, and Emyri Crutchfield absolutely nailed them.



Some form of "Advised by Elfs [wise counselors]"? Or is another show bleeding through - there's that ghost-thing in this one, right?
posted by porpoise at 8:41 PM on November 23, 2020

I love that this show is at the point where there's a full on explanation of the ghost/familial curse that's been mysteriously hanging around teasing us all season and said ghost prevents the murder of one of the main characters and moves the plot along in a big way, in a show that's still like 99% not supernatural, and it doesn't even register as one of the most interesting moments in the episode. It's not even the most interesting thing in its own scene because Jessie Buckley is so good!
posted by jason_steakums at 9:11 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

This season has been a slow burn, but it’s kind of funny that when all-out war finally arrives, it’s basically dispensed with quickly in a (well-scored) montage. Last episode had Rabbi and Satchel hear a news report about a shootout at a slaughterhouse, which I thought was foreshadowing for this episode’s events, but it turns out to have been just one of many shootouts we only get to see in passing.

Gaetano’s surprise death made me laugh out loud. I want to think there’s some narrative connection between that occurrence and Odis’s death, making it the second curse in the episode, but all I can think of is that Odis was overly (pathologically) cautious, so his beatific expression in death inspiring a moment of fatal incaution in his killer was fitting post-mortem revenge.

Speaking of the Roach, I have a question for all assembled: Did season 1 of Fargo have any supernatural elements? Here we have the Roach, season 3 had Ray Wise in the bowling alley with the reincarnated kitten, season 2 had the UFO. Was there anything in season 1 I’m forgetting?

If I were in charge of television I would green light a show about Ethelrida meeting up with Dee from Lovecraft Country (they’re around the same age at the same time! And only a 7.5 hour drive apart!) and teaming up to fight crime and witches.
posted by ejs at 9:54 PM on November 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

[Wholly irrelevant at his point, but I realised this morning that there were obviously - kicks self - actual Ethelridas in history, the most prominent of whom is St Æthelthryth, a.k.a. St Audrey, patron saint of cheap jewellery, who still doesn't fit, but it's better than being a mere feminisation of one of the less impressive Saxon kings. Sorry, Ethelrida! The name is obviously shortened to Ethel, such that the -rida is vestigial at this point, which probably does tell us something about our Ethelrida.]
posted by Grangousier at 12:04 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Did season 1 of Fargo have any supernatural elements?

Raining fish!
posted by jason_steakums at 4:41 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

Speaking of the Roach

I’m guessing it’s Roche. The devil is an Irishman.
posted by Grangousier at 12:40 AM on November 26, 2020

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