Fargo: Bisquick
January 17, 2024 8:32 AM - Season 5, Episode 10 - Subscribe

 
In the closed captioning, when he said his own name it was spelled Oola Moonk, which doesn't sound particularly Welsh.

I think the line that made me laugh the hardest was "You ever drive a Kia, Mr. Moonk? It's like flying a cloud."
posted by Stanczyk at 8:38 AM on January 17 [6 favorites]


In the closed captioning, when he said his own name it was spelled Oola Moonk, which doesn't sound particularly Welsh.

Saw that as well. Pretty sure it’s still Ole Munch, just CCed differently to reflect his own native pronunciation instead of the english pronunciation of “ol’ munch”.

Noah Hawley really let himself have a bright little ending with this one, eh?
posted by supercres at 9:51 AM on January 17 [5 favorites]


(I think when Gator and Roy were talking about Munch they used the same closed captioning to describe how he said his own name.)
posted by supercres at 9:52 AM on January 17


Wayne and Munch were a hilarious pairing. Loved the orange soda cheers. This episode was very different from what I had expected, but I enjoyed it. The whole season was terrific.
posted by emd3737 at 10:01 AM on January 17 [11 favorites]


Wouldn't have expected such an optimistic final scene, but it was still tense/disturbing enough to be Fargo, plus hilarious, deep, and full of symbolism and callbacks - loved it.
posted by p3t3 at 2:06 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


not this episode, but if anyone knows where I can find a gif of Munch rising like a u-boat in Gator's backseat, I think that would have broad applicability in online communication.
posted by Sauce Trough at 2:19 PM on January 17 [10 favorites]


The cast was all great but David Rysdahl and Sam Spruell were the real standouts for me.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:10 PM on January 17


Also was anyone else thinking, "why is the tunnel hatch closed for Roy, didn't gator leave it open?" just as he turns around and we see who apparently closed it - nice subtle touch.
posted by p3t3 at 5:11 PM on January 17 [11 favorites]


Aww, I'm not surprised Witt died, but still sad.

That ending scene was amazing. "A man is grateful" is going to be the going "thanks" in this household for awhile.
posted by the primroses were over at 6:57 PM on January 17 [12 favorites]


I'm really glad we got that scene between Dot and Gator. It didn't entirely redeem Gator, but I believe a thousand percent that Dot would visit him with cookies. If she brought Wayne with her, I think they might be able to redeem Gator together.
posted by gladly at 7:10 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


A man is pleased with the season finale

That final scene is just, wow. Dot is working hard here but she's also kind and compassionate. She gives Munch a way out. The smile on his face as he bites into that biscuit...chef kiss.
posted by Ber at 7:46 PM on January 17 [8 favorites]


Dot is working hard here but she's also kind and compassionate. She gives Munch a way out.

Yeah, the end of Munch was reminding me a bit of the Grinch when his heart grew three sizes :D But that comparison doesn't do this scene justice- if it were only Wayne and Scotty that won him over, then it might be more apt, but yeah, Dot worked hard for the resolution.
posted by p3t3 at 8:12 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


The whole season was some good TV. I'm also sorry for Witt, but in a world of predators, he was only ever cut out to be prey. I kinda wish, as justice for him, one of the paid off prisoners had, symbolically at least, been black, but it must have been a choice not to have been.
The epilogue with Munch was so tense, and so well wrought that it could have gone any direction and I would have been pleased.
My favorite moment though was when Lorraine realized the hug was going to continue a bit longer. Perfection from JJL.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:01 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I so appreciate that this season ended with the notion that a debt can be forgiven.
posted by h00py at 10:31 PM on January 17 [19 favorites]


I kinda wish, as justice for him, one of the paid off prisoners had, symbolically at least, been black, but it must have been a choice not to have been.

Maybe the prison segregation Roy mentioned applied in the visiting room too? If so, there wouldn't have been any Black prisoners there for the show to pick out. A also wondered why there was one cell block missing from the ones Dot's MoL listed in that scene (she said something like "A, B and D"). Why weren't the prisoners there hired to help make Roy's life a misery too?

Before we all move on, what did people make of the extra-long blackouts between scenes throughout this series? It's common enough for a show to go to black silence for a moment in this way, but these seemed about three times the normal length. I've got my own notion what this contributed, but I'd sooner hear yours first.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:12 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


I liked the last scene. I'm a huge sucker for mercy and forgiveness though. Also Munch's whole thing dissolving in the presence of basic midwestern niceness feels correct.
posted by fleacircus at 1:59 AM on January 18 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the end of Munch was reminding me a bit of the Grinch when his heart grew three sizes

I'll admit I did the narration out loud during the scene. "And Ole Munch's heart grew three sizes that day."

But this was great. Less surreal than some other seasons but the story was very linear and clearly told.

You could interpret Munch at the end as

(a) Minnesota Nice triumphing over Ancient Evil
or
(b) A man who has survived a lifetime of hardship and abuse reacting to the first non-transactional kindness he's ever experienced

...and I like it either way.

I liked Roy's ending too. I expected someone (Gator? Dot?) to shoot him when he came out of the hole, I didn't expect he was walking into a perfect FBI trap, and the way they filmed that was perfect.
posted by mmoncur at 5:13 AM on January 18 [5 favorites]


I loved the ending between Dot and Munch. I was really worried when he showed up at Dot’s that after all that time there was going to be more bloodshed. But as soon as Dot launched into the “debt should be forgiven” speech, I felt that things were going to be okay. Being able to see Munch struggling with getting there was so well done and still kept the suspense up. I’m glad we got the payoff of him biting the biscuit and finding love and joy.

I kinda wish, as justice for him, one of the paid off prisoners had, symbolically at least, been black, but it must have been a choice not to have been.

I kind of look at this in two ways.

On the one hand, it might be a bit of a nod to white people need to clean up their own mess and not rely on the labour of black people to do that for them.

On the other hand, what worse punishment than for Roy to now feel under threat by the very people he had exclusively felt safe with. He was all high and mighty about racial segregation and hierarchy in the prison protecting him, and now he’s under threat in the system he wished so hard for. His little white supremacist misogynist world got torn to shreds in a matter of seconds.
posted by eekernohan at 5:27 AM on January 18 [8 favorites]


I loved that Munch kept trying to interject with his bullshit (“a man must have a code”) and his protests kept getting weaker and weaker as he went along with everything they asked him to do.

I understand why the writers made the decisions they made, but seeing both Dot and Witt have a gun pointed at a defiant Roy, and not take the shot, was frustrating. Reminds me a little too much of the treatment we’ve seen wealthy criminal politicians get in the real-life justice system.
posted by condour75 at 6:13 AM on January 18 [6 favorites]


The line in this episode that made me LOL was Roy asking his soon-to-be-dead father-in-law "Have you seen a man in a dress with a haircut like the Three Stooges?"

Witt was a dead man as soon as his threat to Roy that if he didn't put the knife down the next shot would be to the mouth was tested by Roy making another slight move towards him - and not getting shot in the mouth. Roy knew then that Witt didn't have the killer instinct, and made him pay for it.

I'd like to think that Gator might be capable of redemption, and be able to salvage something out of his ruined life without the toxic influence of his father now gone.

The last scene was amazing. As mmoncur said:

You could interpret Munch at the end as

(a) Minnesota Nice triumphing over Ancient Evil
or
(b) A man who has survived a lifetime of hardship and abuse reacting to the first non-transactional kindness he's ever experienced

...and I like it either way.


The look on Scottie's face of pure childlike innocence and openness, smiling up at this strange, awkward man, was beautiful. Wayne's guilelessness was, well, beguiling. And Dorothy, gradually wearing Munch down, killing him with kindness, was masterful.
posted by essexjan at 6:59 AM on January 18 [13 favorites]


That may be the best Final Battle scene ever in TV or movies. It's my current favorite, anyway.
posted by mediareport at 8:12 AM on January 18 [13 favorites]


I'm also sorry for Witt, but in a world of predators, he was only ever cut out to be prey.

I dunno, he's no more deserving of a bloody death than any other good-hearted soul in the Fargoverse. He was taken by surprise by Munch when he stupidly stands outside the gas station with no cover and is shot in the leg, but otherwise handles himself ok during that whole mess, escaping the initial ambush and calling for help, and is relatively sharp otherwise during the rest of the show (unless the writers needed him to do something stupid, like not immediately telling Indira to show him another copy of Dot's mug shot after Gator deletes it off her phone in the hospital).

His death felt cheap to me, a feeling reinforced by comments from Noah Hawley and Lamorne Morris, who both left me with the impression that the decision process was something like "Well, it's Fargo, so we have to kill someone good."

Hawley: But we've established the rules of the game, which is that this show says it’s a true story. It says it’s reality, and in reality all the good guys don’t live and all the bad guys don’t die...So what we ended up with in that tunnel was a guy who believed in the rules and a guy who fought dirty. It would be lovely to think that the rules always win out...

Morris: It’s Fargo, and in typical Fargo fashion, you have to have some surprising or shocking deaths. Hopefully, it’s a memorable one!...I think a lot of it had to do with — and I want to say [Hawley] said this to me, but maybe not — but, I’m a fan of Fargo. Season four, even though he’s running a criminal world, Chris Rock’s character, at the end, he just gets killed. You’re like, “what?” Season three, it’s Ewan McGregor. It’s like, all these things that just happened. And this one happened, too.

Eh, that's kinda weak. And the implication at his grave site that Dot didn't even go to Witt's funeral? No way she and Wayne and Scotty wouldn't have been there.
posted by mediareport at 8:47 AM on January 18 [5 favorites]


seeing both Dot and Witt have a gun pointed at a defiant Roy, and not take the shot, was frustrating

I agree. I remember first noticing this foolishness way back in 1989, while watching the horror movie Dead Calm. There, the hero lady had put one shot into the indestructible killer's chest and had him slumped helpless before her. "Empty the gun into him!" I was shouting at the screen - but, of course, she didn't and sure enough the killer came back to menace her all over again. I was giving Dot exactly the same advice here.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:08 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


And the implication at his grave site that Dot didn't even go to Witt's funeral?

I don't think that's implied -- they're visiting the grave a year later.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:04 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


Yeah, OHenryPacey, I too appreciated Jennifer Jason Leigh's brilliant "okie dokie," even though it's hard for me to pick a favorite moment in the episode. That last scene was the most tense and dense and satisfying fight I may have ever seen. This show is so well done. Virtuoso work from everyone.
posted by queensissy at 11:09 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


I don't think that's implied -- they're visiting the grave a year later.

I think it's implied very clearly when Indira tells Dot and Scotty about Witt's six sisters showing up at the funeral, which they don't appear to have known about.
posted by mediareport at 11:40 AM on January 18 [5 favorites]


>> I kinda wish, as justice for him, one of the paid off prisoners had, symbolically at least, been black,
>> but it must have been a choice not to have been.
...

> Maybe the prison segregation Roy mentioned applied in the visiting room too?

I think the fact that Lorraine's example goon prisoners were both white was a deliberate filmmakers' choice because it really lays down how hooped Roy is.

Moments earlier he was going on about how prison is tribal in a way that suited him. Who protects Roy if even his own kind are gunning for him?
posted by Sauce Trough at 2:00 PM on January 18 [3 favorites]


(or basically, what eekernohan said)
posted by Sauce Trough at 2:04 PM on January 18


We saw Munch drive so we know he knows how, but when did he learn, and who taught him? I would kill to be a fly on the wall at Munch's first driving lesson.

"A man puts on his protective belt, and checks the position of the spies on his flanks."
posted by Stanczyk at 3:14 PM on January 18 [11 favorites]


"A man does not know why you stopped him, officer."
posted by Paul Slade at 11:57 PM on January 18 [8 favorites]


The final scene, "A man is grateful" (and that moment is both hilarious and fascinating - Munch is genuinely grateful though he's trying to come wreck mayhem and extract what is owed to him - yet), was as profound as you can hope for. And the whole theme of debt (Roy repeatedly calling out Dot on what she owed him, Mrs. Lyon being 'the Queen of Debt') was well worked throughout but the way it came together at the end, with Dot showing Munch how/even that debt can be forgiven was pretty damn sublime.

Dot is a tremendous portrayal of self-reinvention that I feel like got sold short in all the stomping about. She made a choice to be happy, to be 'nice' but as soon as she sees Roy on the horizon she shifts gears 100% no second thought - which is true and sad as hell and I don't know that I've seen that on TV before. And for that portrayal all parties deserve praise. I wasn't sold on Juno Temple at first but ... in her final scene, knowing all we know about her (and Munch knows as well) that was a beautiful thing. A masterful chunk of acting on all parts.

(And Roy creeping out of the tunnel (I noticed the snow on the cover was 'different' from when Gator came out and thought, 'someone screwed up continuity' and then the pull back and all the FBI agents pointing their guns at him *chef's kiss*. And Dot did shoot him, in the gut but she shot him. Mrs. Lyon visiting Roy in Jail was really all I needed for that - and specifically "I want you to feel all she did, for the rest of your long life." (!Yet Dot overcomes it! She wins! because "she is a Tyeger" )
posted by From Bklyn at 12:29 AM on January 19 [7 favorites]


I was super tense during the beginning of the final scene, worried that Old Munch would have a try at harming Dot or her family. Once I felt pretty sure that wasn't going to happen, I enjoyed watching Dot coax Munch away from his worldview towards her own.

The only false note was Witt getting killed. And stupidly. There was no reason for him to pursue, and his death didn't change the outcome at all. And no reason for him *not* to have filled Roy full of holes at the slightest provocation.

It's interesting to me that Juno Temple's last show also wound up with a big note about forgiveness.
posted by jzb at 12:33 PM on January 19 [4 favorites]


The only false note was Witt getting killed.

I was also not particularly thrilled by the insinuation that Roy's punishment would include a lot of prison rape; no matter how deliciously the "vaseline and vienna sausages" line was delivered.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:38 PM on January 19 [4 favorites]


I saw replies on Bluesky about how Dot must have poisoned Munch's biscuit and I physically recoiled at the very idea.

I don't think I want to meet the person who would have drawn that conclusion, the exact opposite of what I got from the episode, with approximately zero evidence.
posted by supercres at 12:52 PM on January 19 [5 favorites]


> And no reason for him *not* to have filled Roy full of holes at the slightest provocation.

Similarly, there's no reason for Dot to *not* poison Munch. He's in her house, he directly threatens her, it's a credible threat because she's seen him kill multiple people, her beloved family is in the blast radius of his violence, and she's demonstrated that she's comfortable with duplicity when the stakes are mortal. It's a pure Lady or the Tiger ending.

(I wonder if "A woman is a tiger" was chosen to echo Lady or the Tiger?)

One of the themes I see in the Fargo TV show is that some people are natural killers and some aren't (and interesting bits happen when killers choose peace or the peaceable try to kill.) Witt just isn't a natural killer, his instinct for compassion extends even to the vile Roy Tillman.

When Dot exercises that compassion, the show ends on a note of hope and grace (if the viewer chooses that ending)

When Witt exercises his compassion and hesitates, he gets killed.

So it goes. Compassion is not necessarily rewarding, or apt.
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:26 PM on January 19 [5 favorites]


I feel like Witt had to go after Roy, because it was his job. Doubly so because him going got Dot to stay put. He also didn’t have the constitution to kill Roy unless he absolutely had to (and maybe not even then). But the moment he felt he had to shoot Roy was after Roy was close enough to kill him. From an outside perspective, it was an unnecessary death, but from a character perspective it was inevitable.
posted by snofoam at 1:44 PM on January 19


I liked this season a lot, but I also felt the "forgiveness of debts" epilog was heavily undercut by all the prison rape innuendo in the immediately preceding scene.
posted by whir at 5:02 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]


...the "forgiveness of debts" epilog...

I thought its strength was that it offered a contrast between the Mrs. Lyon/Roy/ Munch view of the world and the Dot view of the world.

It never occured to me that the muffin would be poisoned, though I was anticipating an eruption of violence - of some sort, the refrain from violence was as forceful a show of power - and as Munch knows he is sitting down with a "Tyeger" and we have seen Dot kick ass for a couple hours - it is no sure thing that Munch could take on Dot and win, the scene becomes all the more tense. I half expected Munch to bite into the muffin and disappear in a puff of smoke.

The series is a terrifically 'Literate' one, in that the form is "TV Series" but the construction is "Literary". (Hawley has written a novel or two, I think started as a novelist.)
posted by From Bklyn at 4:05 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Not muffins. Biscuits. Made with Bisquick, buttermilk, and a touch of honey. They could change your mind too.

Also, Dot for President.
posted by Stanczyk at 7:09 AM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I think Witt and Lorraine's endings are both meant to highlight Dot's special ability to balance the toughness needed to survive Roy and the compassion needed to win over Munch.

Witt had the compassion, but he just wasn't cutthroat enough to shoot Roy while it was still an option. He wanted to avoid it as long as possible and waited just a little too long. (I do think this wasn't actually necessary, thematically, and feel like mediareport above that this was mostly a cheap, "well some good guy has to die" *shrug* decision, but it still works ok-ish for me.)

Lorraine is tough, and much savvier than Roy. She understands the power of debt and uses it as a tool for her own devices, whereas Roy lets his feelings of being owed things lead him to obviously bad decisions. But her thing is power (hello, biggest donor to the Federalist society, perfect character note) and she was never going to pass up a chance to humiliate Roy and seek vengeance for herself (and Danish, and Dot, to be fair).

I actually think a Munch - Lorraine scene could have been amazing - I don't know how they would have even semi-plausibly crossed paths, but they both have such strong ideas around debt and are smart enough to match wits. But Lorraine would never pull off what Dot did, and neither would Witt, or Indira, or anyone but Dot.

Having the Lorraine-Roy scene before the Dot-Munch scene I think is also to get viewers to think about their impulses re: vengeance and forgiveness. Probably a lot of people got some satisfaction out of watching Lorraine spell out Roy's punishment to him. But if you did, and then you see Dot breaking through to Munch with forgiveness, do you have to go back and interrogate your reaction to the earlier scene? (Maybe not, if your take-away is that the biscuit was poisoned, heh.)
posted by the primroses were over at 8:18 AM on January 20 [12 favorites]


People are free to interpret things how they want, but I agree there was zero textual suggestion that the muffin was poisoned. I feel like to even infer it as an ambiguous possibility intended by the show is a tremendous stretch, even if sure, maybe it's possible...
posted by Pryde at 9:30 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Again, not a muffin, a biscuit. It's almost more important than whether it was poisoned or not. Substitute buttermilk instead of water or milk, and add a little honey. Stir with a spoon, but not too much, you're not making pancakes. And while we didn't see her do it, from the look of 'em, she brushed them with melted butter. I'm not trying to be pedantic, but what she fed him was important and very midwestern.
posted by Stanczyk at 9:36 AM on January 20 [7 favorites]


The biscuit definitely wasn't poisoned. But as for the muffin, who knows?
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:00 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


I don't think the biscuit was poisoned, but I do think the that he dies at the end, as he is released from his curse.
posted by thedward at 1:49 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Aha! So it was poisoned, with love and forgiveness.
posted by Pryde at 2:46 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


The more I think about this season, the more impressed I am. Even the puppetry stuff in the middle was part of the theme.

Two victims of incredible trauma sharing a meal, with one showing the other that it’s okay to ‘cut the strings’ and become a different, better person.
posted by FallibleHuman at 8:47 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Too late for edit window, but: survivors. Not victims.
posted by FallibleHuman at 8:58 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


very midwestern

And very southern! We also love our buttery, buttermilk biscuits. We made the Bisquick drop biscuits all the time.

Like Noah Hawley, I also think biscuits can bring peace.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:32 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


I half expected Munch to bite into the muffin and disappear in a puff of smoke

Crumble to a pile of ashes for me, but same same.

Also, now I want to know who would win if Lorraine and Malory Archer ever got in each other's way.
posted by flabdablet at 2:38 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


I cannot believe they were able to sell me on the Sin Eater thing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:03 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


I don't believe it's been said yet in this thread, but another great scene is Dot sitting silently in the car on her way home. It was so expressive and nuanced. Reminded me a lot of the final scene in Michael Clayton.
posted by mcstayinskool at 4:14 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


The final scene with Munch reminded me a little of the little girl's encounter with the monster in Frankenstein, 1931.

And the biscuit (Munch, like me, might have said "scone") maybe sort of is a poison for him - a way towards peace that nevertheless ends his immortality.
posted by rongorongo at 9:59 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


There is a fairly detailed article about sin eating here. They make the point about just what a bad deal it could be to become a sin-eater: the church would execute you if it found out you were providing an alternative to their lucrative revenue of indulgences, society would shun you for the sins you carried - people would throw rocks to chase you away and avoid looking you in the eye. You would be an utter scapegoat - destinted to become an unhappy ghost wandering the earth in after death - albeit one providing the most vital possible service to your clients. And you would be working for a pittance and some hunks of bread. Just not biscuits made with Bisquick and honey!
posted by rongorongo at 2:21 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


« Older Movie: The Predator...   |  Percy Jackson and the Olympian... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster