Fargo (season 4)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Original release||September 27, 2020 –|
The fourth season of Fargo, an American anthology black comedy–crime drama television series created by Noah Hawley, premiered on September 27, 2020, on FX, and will consist of 11 episodes. The season was originally scheduled to premiere on April 19, 2020, but this was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As an anthology, each Fargo season possesses its own self-contained narrative, following a disparate set of characters in various settings and eras, albeit in a connected shared universe centered on the Midwestern United States and the titular city of Fargo, North Dakota. The fourth season is set in 1950 in Kansas City and the story follows two crime syndicates as they vie for control. The cast is led by Chris Rock, who plays Loy Cannon, the head of a crime syndicate made up of black migrants fleeing the Jim Crow South who have a contentious relationship with the Kansas City mafia. Other cast members include Jessie Buckley, Jason Schwartzman, Ben Whishaw, and Jack Huston.
- Chris Rock as Loy Cannon
- Jessie Buckley as Oraetta Mayflower
- Jason Schwartzman as Josto Fadda
- Ben Whishaw as Patrick "Rabbi" Milligan
- Jack Huston as Odis Weff
- Salvatore Esposito as Gaetano Fadda
- E'myri Crutchfield as Ethelrida Pearl Smutny
- Andrew Bird as Thurman Smutny
- Anji White as Dibrell Smutny
- Jeremie Harris as Leon Bittle
- Matthew Elam as Lemuel Cannon
- Corey Hendrix as Omie Sparkman
- James Vincent Meredith as Opal Rackley
- Francesco Acquaroli as Ebal Violante
- Gaetano Bruno as Constant Calamita
- Stephen Spencer as Dr. David Harvard
- Karen Aldridge as Zelmare Roulette
|Title||Directed by||Written by ||Original air date||Prod.|
|31||1||"Welcome to the Alternate Economy"||Noah Hawley||Noah Hawley||September 27, 2020||XFO04001||1.22|
|In 1920, Kansas City, Missouri, the bosses of a Jewish crime organization, The Moskowitz Syndicate, and an Irish gang, The Milligan Concern, trade their sons to the other family as a way of keeping peace. However, Milligan's son, Patrick, betrays his adoptive family, allowing the Irish gang to ambush and kill the Moskowitz Syndicate. Patrick's father then forces him to execute Moskowitz's son. In 1934, the Milligan Concern and the newly arrived Italian Fadda Family go through the same peace offering with Patrick Milligan again being exchanged. This time, however, Patrick betrays his Irish family and they are wiped out in a similar ambush by the Faddas. Patrick is then forced to execute his father. In 1949, the African American gang, Cannon Limited, and their leader, Loy Cannon, come to power and, again, trade sons with the Fadda Family. Patrick, who goes by "Rabbi" now, has become a soldier for the Faddas and is not traded away. One year later, Loy, now a banker, pitches his new invention, a credit card, to a white bank, while at a stop sign at the same time, Don Donatello Fadda is accidentally shot in the jugular by children with a BB gun and is rushed to the top hospital in the area. The hospital director is prejudiced against Italians, though, and demands they leave. Donatello's son, Josto, swears revenge on the director. At a lesser quality hospital, Josto bonds briefly with Donatello's nurse, Oraetta Mayflower, who does cocaine with him and vows to take care of his father. That night however, Mayflower instead kills Donatello with a morphine injection and steals his ring. Meanwhile, bright, rebellious, African American teenager, Ethelrida Pearl Smutny, whose mixed-race parents are owners of a funeral home, has a conversation with her father Thurman about their family's financial problems. Thurman, for an unknown reason, has accepted a large loan from Loy which he is unable to repay. Unknown to them, Mayflower is watching them from her apartment window across the street and has taken an interest in Ethelrida.|
|32||2||"The Land of Taking and Killing"||Noah Hawley||Noah Hawley||September 27, 2020||XFO04002||0.79|
|Ethelrida's aunt, bank robber Zelmare Roulette, and her lover, Swanee Capps, escape from prison. After stealing clothes, they arrive unannounced at the Smutny house. Ethelrida's mother, Dibrell, reluctantly allows her sister and Capps to stay. Donatello's passing creates problems for the Faddas and opportunity for the Cannon Limited. Before the former's death, Donatello and Loy had discussed handing over a slaughterhouse (being used as a front) to the Cannon Limited. Loy and his consigliere, Doctor Senator, make a move to claim the slaughterhouse as theirs, under the guise of a deal having been made when it was discussed previous. Additionally, Josto, who has assumed control of the Fadda Family, finds his legitimacy challenged by his brother Gaetano Fadda. Gaetano, an unblinking and violent ex-Fascist, refuses to go back to Italy following the funeral and begins undermining his brother's authority. Further adding to his weak appearance, Josto botches a drive-by hit on the hospital director that turned them away, instead killing a nurse and a wealthy benefactor. Odis Weff, a corrupt cop working for Josto that has several nervous ticks, warns him to refrain from bringing any more heat on the Family. Making use of the opportunity that is Donatello's death, Doctor Senator and several of Cannon's henchmen forcibly evict the Italians from the slaughterhouse and await Josto's response. However, Gaetano arrives instead of Josto and tells Senator that if he finds the deal was illegitimate, there will be retaliation. Striking up conversation on their porch, Oraetta is impressed with Ethelrida's intelligence and ability to speak French. That night, Oraetta bakes her an apple pie, but laces it with ipecac. She leaves the spiked pie on Ethelrida's front porch and Thurman brings it inside. Unknown to all of them, U.S. Marshal Dick "Deafy" Wickware and Odis have been sitting outside the house with several police officers. Believing Roulette and Capps are inside, they kick the front door open.|
|33||3||"Raddoppiarlo"||Dearbhla Walsh||Noah Hawley||October 4, 2020||XFO04003||0.72|
|Deafy questions Dibrell on the whereabouts of her sister and Capps, but Dibrell and Ethelrida both claim they haven't seen or heard from them. A search of the house and morgue in the basement yields no results and the police leave. It is revealed Roulette and Capps had hidden in one of the morgue's cold lockers and evaded capture. They promise to leave but take Thurman's shotgun with them. Thurman smuggles them out in a casket and drops them off at their destination. Unknown to Thurman, their destination is Loy's compound and they intend to rob it. Killing two of Loy's henchmen, Roulette and Capps steal $20k. However Capps, who had eaten Oraetta's poisoned apple pie, becomes violently ill during the robbery and vomits on the money. The two are forced to make a hasty getaway. Oraetta, fired from her previous job for the mysterious deaths of her patients, manages to get a job at the hospital that had previously turned away Donatello. Noticing a scathing Josto outside in his car staring at the hospital, she assumes he is following her for romantic reasons. Entering his car, she gives Josto a line of cocaine and a handjob. Meanwhile, Gaetano has become impatient with Josto's diplomatic approach to the Cannon gang and begins rallying some of the Family to his side, including soldier Constant Calamita. He instructs Calamita to carry out a drive-by hit on Loy's eldest son, Lemuel, and have Rabbi Milligan act as the triggerman. Rabbi, beginning to suspect Josto did not authorize the hit, foils the assassination. Both Lemuel and his newly appointed driver, Leon Bittle, escape unharmed. Rabbi says he intends to tell Josto that Gaetano is instigating a war and threatens Calamita for being insubordinate. Loy, confronted with the news of both the robbery and the failed hit on Lemuel, believes Josto is behind both and wants retaliation. Doctor Senator, suspecting something is wrong, convinces Loy to let him investigate the situation before declaring war.|
|34||4||"The Pretend War"||Dearbhla Walsh||Noah Hawley and Stefani Robinson||October 11, 2020||XFO04004||0.76|
|While smuggling a large quantity of rifles in a produce truck, Calamita and his driver are stopped by Loy's gang using a flaming roadblock. After Opal Rackley sets the driver on fire, Omie Sparkman brands Calamita on the face with the heated barrel of his shotgun before stealing the truck. During a sit down with Fadda consiglieri Ebal Violante, Doctor Senator claims the truck heist was retaliation for the attempted hit on Lemuel. Violante's confusion confirms Senator's suspicions the attempt on Lemuel's life was a power move from Gaetano and the robbery was just a random crime. Rabbi informs Josto of Gaetano's efforts to undermine him. Enraged, Josto confronts Gaetano in front of his followers, threatening to shoot him in the genitals. Gaetano backs off, but is visibly angered. Oraetta, who has begun an intense sexual relationship with Josto, gets interrupted by Ethelrida, who has arrived at her apartment looking for a part time house cleaning job. While alone in the apartment, Ethelrida discovers Oraetta's secret closet where she keeps various poisons, mementos from her victims, as well as newspaper scraps about her killings. Ethelrida steals a newspaper clipping and Donatello's ring. She leaves in a hurry and forgets her notebook in Oraetta's closet. Roulette meets with Thurman in secret and gives him a bag full of her recently stolen money so he can pay his debt to Loy. Thurman, unaware the money was originally Loy's, arrives at the latter's house, pays his debt, and leaves. Loy is happy something went his way, however he becomes angry when he notices the vomit-like smell of the money and realizes what has happened. When Thurman informs his family he has repaid his debt but refuses to tell how, Dibrell correctly assumes the money was stolen and given to him by her sister. She leaves the house angrily.|
|35||5||"The Birthplace of Civilization"||Dana Gonzales||Noah Hawley and Francesca Sloane||October 18, 2020||XFO04005||0.74|
|Retaliating for the truck heist, Josto has Odis arrest several men in Loy's organization, including Lemuel. When Odis attempts to arrest Loy, he reveals he knows how Odis got his nervous ticks from his failures as a minesweeper in WWII. Odis, realizing Loy also likely knows about his and Josto's partnership, does not arrest Loy, instead confiscating the bag of money Thurman gave him. Loy turns his attention to Roulette and Capps. He intimidates Thurman, claiming he knows where the money came from and who robbed him. He demands the whereabouts of Roulette in exchange for his and Dibrell's lives. Meanwhile, Deafy interrogates Ethelrida at her school for the same information. Both Loy and Deafy, having separately learned the location of Roulette and Capps, head to the hotel they're hiding out in. Loy gets there first, however, but rather than killing Roulette and Capps, hires them and sneaks them out of the hotel. Doctor Senator arrives at the diner he and Violante regularly have meetings at, but he is surprised to find Gaetano and Calamita there instead. Calamita attempts to threaten Senator, but he rebukes the pair and leaves. Calamita follows Senator outside the diner and shoots him dead in the street.|
|36||6||"Camp Elegance"||Dana Gonzales||Noah Hawley and Enzo Mileti & Scott Wilson and Francesca Sloane||October 25, 2020||TBA||TBD|
|37||7||"Lay Away"||Dana Gonzales||Noah Hawley and Enzo Mileti & Scott Wilson||November 1, 2020||TBA||TBD|
|38||8||"The Nadir"||Sylvain White||Noah Hawley and Enzo Mileti & Scott Wilson||November 8, 2020||TBA||TBD|
|39||9||"East/West"||Michael Uppendahl||Noah Hawley and Lee Edward Colston II||November 15, 2020||TBA||TBD|
|40||10||"Happy"||TBA||Noah Hawley||November 22, 2020||TBA||TBD|
|41||11||"Storia Americana"||TBA||TBA||November 29, 2020||TBA||TBD|
The fourth season was announced in August 2018 and it was confirmed that Chris Rock was cast in the lead role. In July 2019, 12 actors were announced to have been cast, including Francesco Acquaroli, Andrew Bird, Jessie Buckley, Salvatore Esposito, Jeremie Harris, Jack Huston, Amber Midthunder, Jason Schwartzman, and Ben Whishaw. In September 2019, it was announced that Uzo Aduba had been cast in the role of Zelmare Roulette, however, Aduba had to drop out of the role due to "some personal family issues". The role was recast with Karen Aldridge in December.
Production began in October 2019 in Chicago, Illinois, with Hawley directing the first block of episodes. In March 2020, FX suspended production on the series for at least two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. The original premiere date of April 19, 2020, was also pushed back due to production delays. The series completed production on eight of the eleven episodes before production shut down. Production resumed in August 2020 and was completed by September 8, 2020.
The fourth season has received generally positive reviews from critics, though less acclaimed than previous seasons. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season is "cerified fresh" with a 77% critic approval rating and an average score of 7.11 out of 10 based on 44 reviews. The website's critical consensus is, "Though Fargo's ambitious fourth season struggles to maintain momentum, fine performances and a change of scenery make for an engaging – if uneven – departure from the series' norm." On Metacritic, it has a score of 68 out of 100 based on 33 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
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