This Fargo review contains spoilers.
Fargo Season 4 Episode 6
The death of Doctor Senator has resulted in all-out war on Fargo. Despite the internal strife on the Fadda side of the conflict, it’s clear there is alignment on the fact that Loy Cannon and his men are the enemy. That enemy finally starts showing his teeth in “Camp Elegance,” but Loy’s show of aggression comes with a significant risk; his boy Satchel is still in Fadda care and obviously at risk to be the target of retaliation. Thankfully, a former boy soldier in the ranks keeps this war from escalating even further, for now.
The episode begins with Ethelrida blowing out the candles on her birthday cake, but the vibe in the room is anything but celebratory. That ominous feeling extends across the entire 45-minute installment. Next thing you know, Odis is getting attacked in his apartment, brought right to the brink of death and then released. Loy and his men are responsible, and Loy launches into yet another monologue using Odis’ doll collection as inspiration for a speech about equality. It isn’t the greatest metaphor, but he gets his point across: Odis works for the Cannon’s now.
We quickly learn what Odis’ first bit of business is as a part of the Cannon’s crew. Odis serves up Gaetano’s location, and the Cannons use their other begrudging associates Zelmare and Swanee to execute a kidnapping. However, the kidnapping looks an awful lot like an execution, as Swanee shoots Gaetano in the back of the head. To the audience, it certainly looks for a moment like Gaetano is dead, which seemed like an utter waste of Salvatore Esposito’s menacing goon. The flipside is that when it’s revealed that Gaetano is alive and being taken to be held hostage by the Cannons, it felt like a needless, cheap fakeout. A lose-lose, essentially.
Anyway, Ebal returns from New York right as Josto learns that his brother has been taken. Clearly, a part of Josto is relieved that Gaetano is off of the board, but unfortunately Ebal informs him that for the New York family to recognize him as the boss, he’s got to make peace with his brother. The Cannons also have to pay for their show of aggression, so Josto makes the gutsy call that Satchel, Loy’s boy, be executed. Loy anticipates this action and orders Odis to get the boy out of the Fadda home, but Odis isn’t able to intervene; Constant Calamita separates Rabbi from the kid and orders low-ranking family member Antoon to off the boy.
The time spent with Antoon is some of the best material of the season. The soldier perspective is missing from these last few episodes and seeing Antoon interact with his family before having to do a morally reprehensible thing is affecting. Also, Antoon’s immigrant story, about his journey as an Italian Prison of War, is the first enjoyable reminder of this season’s themes since episode two. Antoon of course isn’t able to muster up the guts to kill Satchel, but he’s shockingly killed by Rabbi suddenly after losing his nerve.
It’s been obvious that Rabbi has a soft spot for the kid after being put in the same position as a child, but when Rabbi gets confirmation that the boy is in danger, he springs into action. His efforts ultimately are not needed at that place and time, but Rabbi’s move is sure to pay off for the kid in the longrun. There’s no turning back after killing Antoon and defying Justo. Rabbi plans to take the terrified Satchel to a remote location as the war between the Cannons and the Faddas breaks out, then when the dust settles, allow Satchel to decide if he wants to go back home. Rabbi was never given the choice whether to become a pawn or a boy soldier, so he’s giving Satchel that option. Rabbi and Satchel, who at this point seems pretty certain to be a younger version of Season 2’s Mike Milligan, have easily become the season’s most interesting characters with the most compelling storyline.
Inversely, Oraetta came across as compelling in early episodes, but the spitfire wildcard has yet to feel like she’s a part of the main story. The letter that Ethelrida wrote last week exposing Oraetta made its way to Dr. Harvard’s desk, but the polite and well-spoken agent of chaos is able to talk her way out of trouble again. It just feels like a retread of a scene that we’ve already witnessed. One would think all of the suspicion would cause Oraetta to ease off of her murderous extracurricular activities, but the episode ends implying that she’s going to kill again. It’s a shame that it all feels so far removed from the rest of the plot and characters.
As the shortest episode of the season thus far, “Camp Elegance” uses its time economically. Though Odis isn’t my favorite character, it’s fun to see him torn between the warring families. Things will likely get trickier for him once Deafy fully inserts himself into the mix. Gaetano’s fake out death wasn’t great, but I can’t wait to see him in full on Hannibal Lector behind bars mode. Finally, Rabbi has fully fulfilled his potential, and his status as a noble third party in this story gives us someone to root for. It’s not all working exactly how it should, but Fargo is managing to entertain more often than not.