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The ‘Fargo’ Frozen Five: A Bloodbath Delayed Is Not A Bloodbath Called Off

The Fargo Frozen Five is Uproxx’s weekly collection of thoughts, observations, and goofball screencaps from each new episode the FX limited series’ fourth season. We do not guarantee that there will be five items every week. There could be four, or six, or a dozen. Who knows? This show doesn’t follow the rules. We shouldn’t have to either.

Episode 7 — “Lay Away” (or “We Should Really Figure Out Who Or What Was In That Casket”)

5. The looming mob war between the Faddas and the Cannons continues to simmer without boiling over, due mainly to a combination of Loy Cannon being maybe a little too smart and Josto Fadda being half-smart, at best. The ideas are there for Josto. He sees the angles. He just has no idea how to play them because he’s a spoiled brat whose only goal in all of this is to acquire the power he feels he’s earned as his right for being born. That’s how he can come up with a decent plan on paper — get his enemies to kill his brother and Calamita, solving two problems at once — but bungle it so thoroughly that even an increasingly unhinged Loy Cannon can see straight through it. Loy has every right to be a little off right now, too, between the loss of Doctor Senator and the alleged murder of his son Satchel and the realization that Diner’s Club is about to change the world using the very same tool — credit card, the human nature to want things today but pay for them later — that he has been pitching around town, but now with white faces in the marketing. The man is angry, as Leon and his belt wounds can attest, but he’s still composed enough to give a good speech about not stooping to his enemy’s level, and to release Gaetano after tipping him off about his brother’s plan. It’s the difference between a self-made man and a child of privilege. One has built something and knows the challenges of protecting it. The other showed up after it was built and assumes he gets to have it by birthright. There’s still a war coming, just not quite yet. Soon, though.

5a. My beautiful boy Gaetano had very little to do this week, thanks in large part to his continued status as Loy’s prisoner, with chains around his neck and limbs like the rabid rhinoceros he is. He did get in one classic Gaetano moment, though, when he appeared to be just listing off people he’s murdered and how he did it, which is a solid way to kill time while you’re being held hostage. I mean, I assume. I’ve never killed anyone or been held hostage. I do not plan to start. But still.

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4. MVP of the episode goes to one Mama Cannon The Lioness, who, in a very brief amount of screen time, managed to pull a shotgun out of nowhere like some sort of firearm-specific magician and deliver a brief monologue that opened with an excellent monologue-opening line “You ever go to the zoo?” This whole family is great at these moments, as we saw last week with Loy and his speech about the dolls, and as we’ve seen throughout the monologue-heavy season, and as we’ll see eventually if my “Satchel Cannon grows up to be Mike Milligan” theory plays. I might start asking everyone that comes to my door if they’ve been to the zoo. I’ll screw up the rest of the speech, and again, I rarely have a reason to pull a surprise shotgun on the people I interact with, but I guess it’s a good conversation starter, if nothing else.

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4a. On the subject of Odis Weff and his dolls… this guy. This Charlie Brown-ass goof. He can’t do anything without falling face-first into a snake pit. He tries to do a little surveillance and blammo, there’s Deafy Wickware in his car quoting the Bible in as ominous a way as one can quote the Bible. He tries to flee and blammo again, Cannon’s men pick him up and bring him in and now he’s a hostage. It’s not great. You get the feeling he might get on a train next week but the train will run off the tracks and straight into a river that is somehow infested with sharks despite being thousands of miles from the ocean. Absolutely incapable of winning, this guy.

3b. Oraetta killed two birds with one, uh, macaroon, I suppose, killing the hilariously pretentious Dr. Harvard — and please, let us not overlook the comedy of the stuffy hospital executive being named Dr. Harvard, which is a delight and makes me wish his first name had been, like, Yale — with poisoned Italian cookies to fulfill her weekly bloodlust, and then rummaging through his desk to find the mysterious anonymous letter that she will, one imagines, discover was written by Ethelrida in the very near future. Could she have done this without murdering the doctor, perhaps by waiting until he left or even luring him out and then poking around the office like a burglar? Perhaps. But this is not Oraetta’s style. She does not do half-measures. All of her plans start with murder and then proceed from there. Her to-do lists are very different from yours and mine.

3a. Not the point of any of this, I admit, but I have been consistently impressed that Oraetta can make these delicious baked goods — a pie that Swanee devoured without even putting it on a plate, a macaroon that made the Doctor swoon — that taste good even with all the poison in them. Even if the poisons are flavorless, baking is hard. It’s chemistry, basically. Adding or subtracting anything can throw the whole operation off-kilter. She must be some sort of maestro at it all. I would say she should start a bakery and try to profit off of these gifts, but, you know, the murders. So maybe not.

2. I know I gave the MVP to Mama Cannon just two sections ago, and I stand by it, but please do not overlook what an absolute blast Swanee Capps has been this season. From eating the poison pie and having digestive calamities all over Kansas City, to swaggering around like a Wild West outlaw, to ripping off cool one-liners on a show littered with cool one-liners. We are still very much Team Gaetano in the Fargo Frozen Five, and we will be all the way up to his almost assuredly violent and silly death, but Swanee Capps is sneaking up the rankings pretty good. I hope she and Zelmare book it east with Loy’s ticket and I hope the next season of the show takes place immediately after they set up shop in South Philly. I think Swanee would like it there. Go Birds.

1. Hey, let’s check-in at the funeral home where young Ethelrida is poking around while the deliveries come in to see… what? What is happening here?

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WHAT IS HAPPENING?

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COMPUTER… ENHANCE.

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ENHANCE.

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There are two possibilities here, maybe three. Let’s go with three:

  • This is just some strange dude who is hiding in a casket for reasons involving subterfuge and/or murder as part of the regular course of events on this show, and he just happens to be wearing what appears to be a silver bald cap and sunglasses
  • The demonic visions now afflict more people than just Ethelrida and her aunt, and it’s going to become a thing
  • The demonic visions are becoming real and we are about to have a lot more on our hands than a mob war, kind of like how an earlier season of the show built toward a shootout and then threw a hard left into surprise alien invasion, which would certainly make all the stuff all these characters are worrying about seem pretty trivial, as demon zombie attacks tend to do

A lot going on here. I suppose that’s the point I’m getting at.

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