Fargo: Storia Americana
November 30, 2020 9:29 AM - Season 4, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Josto gets revenge, Oraetta comes clean and Ebal teaches Loy a lesson about business.

It'll take a while to absorb it. It was very satisfying to me - no surprises, exactly, but everything coming to earth in more or less the right place.
posted by Grangousier (21 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Y'all don't skip the credits.
posted by kingless at 10:48 AM on November 30, 2020 [4 favorites]

Great end to this season. And, absolutely watch the credits.
posted by jazon at 6:50 PM on November 30, 2020

I guess the oranges are a godfather reference.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:01 PM on November 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

Ok season, there were a few too many overlapping webs, and for me, no clear charismatic lead.

Oraetta was an early candidate, Ethelrida was close.

"Yeah, uh, could ya shoot him first. So I can watch?"

... got a chuckle out of me, though.
posted by porpoise at 8:41 PM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Can they make a show where Ethelrida solves mysteries by speaking french, going to the library, and looking smug? because I want to watch that.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:49 PM on November 30, 2020 [4 favorites]

What was the significance of Etherida’s final scene where she was conversing with the Italian boss and then picks up suitcases and exits stage right? Didn’t quite get that.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:21 PM on November 30, 2020

She's moving to Paris and escaping all this bullshit. Not really clear from the text, but that was my take from an interview.

Also: I like how Cannon is betrayed in the same way in the first and last episodes: in both cases (the bank and the mob) he is taken to the cleaners by people with less talent and foresight than him simply because they have a broader organization with deeper roots.
posted by absalom at 6:33 AM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

Of all the idiosyncratic murderers we’ve seen in Fargo, I think Oraetta is my favorite. Lorne Malvo, Mike Milligan, Hanzee Dent, Yuri Gurka, V.M. Varga—they all saw themselves as wolves in a world of sheep. Oraetta Mayflower was down in the trenches with us, doing what she thought was necessary, for no monetary gain. And that part where she asked that Josto be shot first so she could watch made me laugh out loud.
posted by ejs at 9:15 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Two things that I found interesting was the callback or maybe call forward to the lives of children. Hanzee was taken in at age 8 and always the outsider with his adopted white family while Milligan senior was back and forth as hostage and child soldier between the Jewish, Irish, and Italian gangs. Heck, Hanzee takes under his wing two boys who were being picked on and entered life as later assassins. And then Satchel as child hostage and later gangster future middle manager. It is a story of children navigating deep waters.

Another thing, in this season, was the casual acceptance of sexual violence towards women. Not in an overt manner but in conversation with Zelma and Swanee assuming that rape was always on the table for them and how assault happens with both family (Zelma being cornered at age 9) and authority (Swanee having the Indian raped out of her). Heck, corporal punishment seems a standard experience for Aethelrida, too.
posted by jadepearl at 9:28 PM on December 1, 2020

I'm really really happy with this season, though sad that Cannon couldn't come up with a way to beat the Italians.

However much I liked this season, I did not like the final ending for Cannon. I really thought the Zelma thing came out of no where, a little foreshadowing would have been nice here. And the oranges were a little too much for me. Give me the Coen brothers call backs all day but skip the Godfather please.

I'm so happy we got Mike Mulligan's backstory (thanks for the hint about watching the credits, I had to go back)! And what a sweet touch that he's using Mulligan for his professional name.
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:04 AM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, I'm surprised Jason Schwartzman didn't have a better defense against the psycho nurse. All the things he said are normal things people say to a nurse. But I'm also happy he couldn't weasel his way out of it.
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:55 AM on December 2, 2020

Josto, bless him, wasn't gifted with very much imagination. I thought he didn't answer that point as his father's death was something fortuitous to him - he's a sociopath, never upset by any death (though often surprised or irritated). Also, Violante wanted him gone. It wasn't a fair trial, and from a narrative point of view, any attempt to defend himself would have slowed things down.

Incidentally, regarding Josto's psychopathy - it's interesting how little we know about the Faddas as a family (as opposed to all the other camps), and whether it's intentional or not I think it does show how little interest Josto really has for them - for example, is it made clear who the boy (Ciro?) who's sent to the Cannons is? Josto's son, or younger brother or what?

That look that Oraetta gives Josto's corpse - how fascinated by and in love with death she is!

I must admit, I was very aware of Zelmare as a loose end drifting, so it was inevitable in the moment that that would happen. Actually I thought she'd shoot him, but the stabbing was better.

Josto and Rabbi were abused by Old Man Milligan as well, to add to the list of violations.

I think that ties in with other themes - that both Loy and Dibrell at different points explicitly frame their histories in terms of slavery, the litany of murders that Gaetano recites to himself to keep himself sane, as well as the dream Old Man Milligan and the phantom Roche, and more things that I can't think of off the top of my head. And Oraetta's remarkable walk must be a relic of the ministrations of her mother. Something about the way the past lives on through us as our histories and culture.

Also, a number of cross-cultural matches - in addition to the hostages embedding with the enemy, the Smutneys, Zelmare and Swanee, the doomed marriage of Josto and Dessie - the Cannons are also a combination of Loy (from Harlem) and Buel (from the Deep South), I think.
posted by Grangousier at 1:21 AM on December 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

(Ah, rewatching ep 1 again - Zero is Josto's brother.)
posted by Grangousier at 4:06 AM on December 2, 2020

I thought it was interesting how many times we saw Loy Cannon standing inside his office, looking out the window, safe. Someone always had his back.

But standing outside looking in is where his end came about.

I liked that, is all I'm saying.
posted by komara at 8:17 PM on December 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

Maybe this isn't the best place for it, but I can't think of a better one off the top of my head: what are all the things that connect the Fargos?

Fargo the movie: Carl Showalter buries the money in a snowbank and marks it with the ice scraper.
Season 1, after the movie: Stavros Milos, the Supermarket King of Minnesota, finds the money. Molly Solverson is one of the leads, Lou Solverson is her father.
Season 2: prequel to season 1, shows young Lou Solverson and also Mike Milligan
Season 3: I'm drawing a total blank how this one fits into the timeline
Season 4: prequel to season 1, shows young Satchel Cannon aka Mike Milligan

Are there others I'm forgetting? There's something about Hanzi, right?

Question number 2: what are the supernatural or otherworldly elements of each season?
posted by komara at 8:23 PM on December 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Season 3 connects to Seasons 1 & 2 via Mr. Wrench, who tries and fails to kill Malvo in S1 and is seen as a boy with Hanzi in S2. In S3, he joins up with Nikki Swango when she's going after Varga's gang.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 8:56 PM on December 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh, right right right. I don't know why but season 3 just evaporated from my head the instant it was over.
posted by komara at 9:42 AM on December 11, 2020

Also in season 3, Stan Grossman from the movie is mentioned in context of a potential business deal with Emmit Stussy. And Hanzee gets plastic surgery after S2 and turns into the Fargo mob boss Malvo kills in that building Key and Peele are staking out in S1.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:36 AM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh and the supernatural elements are the raining fish in season one, the UFOs in season two, Ray Wise's character in season 3 is hinted at being the mythical Wandering Jew, and then the spooky ghost man that haunts the Smutnys and the maybe ghosts in the Barton Arms hotel in season 4.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:39 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I really thought the Zelma thing came out of no where, a little foreshadowing would have been nice here.

Oh, I think that was on purpose, and it's something I really liked about the end. Remember how Loy had praised Zelma and Swanee as "invisible" and sought to exploit that?

Up until that twist the final episode was a little rote - all of the pieces were falling into place, and it was mostly all foreshadowed in episodes 9 and 10. As Loy's homecoming to his family was playing out I was thinking how slow the episode was going, and how unsurprising it was and then...whaaat? We had checked off the box for every major character, or so I thought, and I had totally forgotten Zelma still existed.

It worked really well for me.
posted by anhedonic at 7:55 PM on December 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

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