‘Fargo’ season four episode five recap: will Josto Fadda kill Gaetano?

**Spoilers for 'The Birthplace of Civilization' below**

Everyone aired their grievances in Fargo this week, as the Faddas and the Cannons each bid for supremacy, and argued why their bitterness and ruthlessness was more justly earned.

The themes of immigration and the cyclical nature of US history really boiled over in Fargo season 4 episode 5, aptly titled ‘The Birthplace of Civilization’, and this line from Josto Fadda (Jason Schwartzman) summed up what this season has been driving at: “You know why America loves a crime story? Because America is a crime story. But here’s the rub – when we hear a crime story, who do we root for? Not the poor sap that got taken victim. No, we root for the taker. The guy with the gat.”

A deftly written episode, it also marked a point of no return for the warring gangs, with escalations taking place that no amount of coffee shop diplomacy will be able to abate.


Line of the week: “They had to send him home in a terrine. That’s a pot they put soup in”

A backstory for Odis Weff (Jack Huston) explained the crooked detective’s OCD and verbal tics – he was a minesweeper in the war, and not a very good one. Loy Cannon (Chris Rock) taunted Weff about his questionable military record, the line above explaining the fate of the detective’s army captain after Weff failed to sweep a field for explosives. What Cannon didn’t seem to know (or wilfully omitted) was that Weff screwed up that day largely because he had just learned his fiancée back home had been brutally raped and murdered. But nobody’s shedding a tear for Weff, a coward who is surely on his way out the moment he outlives his usefulness to Josto Fadda.

There were many great dialogue moments this week, honourable mentions going to Josto and Rabbi Milligan’s (Ben Whishaw) exchange about bad maths, and Dick Wickware’s (Timothy Olyphant) furious: “Son of a biscuit!”

Jack Huston plays Odis Weff in ‘Fargo’. Credit: FX

Classic ‘Fargo’ moment: an intimidating ice cream sundae

The Fargo writers have been having a lot of fun with this season’s resident psychopath, Gateano Fadda (Salvatore Esposito), who, even by his own maniacal standards, really ratcheted up the crazy this week.

First we saw him kill a couple of innocent diner staff over an insufficiently Italian cup of coffee, and then later he set right-hand-man Constant Calamita after Cannon Limited consigliere Doctor Senator, Gaetano saying nothing but quietly loading up an ice cream with toppings in the back of the coffee shop. As Calamita and Senator exchanged menacing one-liners, I half expected Josto or his goons to spring out, having secretly struck a brief truce with the Cannons in order to take out his brother. If only Josto had the foresight for such a move, as with Doctor Senator now dead at the hands of a Fadda, Loy Cannon will be waging war regardless of who ordered and carried out the hit.

The most ‘Fargo’ character name: Thurman Smutny


We’ll give it to Thurman (Andrew Bird) this week, who faced his comeuppance for unwittingly paying Loy Cannon back with his own stolen money. Cannon is a shrewd operator, and in the cases of both Smutny and his sister-in-law Zelmare Roulette (Karen Aldridge), Cannon chose not to kill but monetise them. Zelmare is now a soldier for the Cannons, while Thurman was forced to give over his funeral home business to the gang. A fantastic performance from Chris Rock in episode five – he is not as cartoonish a villain as Josto or Fadda, and yet still completely magnetic in all of his scenes.

Fargo season 4 episode 1
Jason Schwartzman as mob boss Josto Fadda. Credit: FX

This week’s biggest question: Will Josto kill his brother?

“Making me say it isn’t going to make it any easier to do,” Rabbi told Josto when the don asked him what he should do about the insubordinate Gaetano. Killing your own brother is a pretty intense step, but Josto is more than capable, and beneath the effete demeanour he’s every bit as callous as Gaetano.

The real question is whether Josto taking out Gaetano, who is entirely responsible for the raising of the temperature between the Fadda family and the Cannon Limited, will be enough to bring that temperature back down. Cannon consigliere Doctor Senator is dead, and you can bet Loy Cannon will offer an eye-for-an-eye response next week, if not gouging two or three eyes for good measure.

‘Fargo’ season 4 episode 5 airs tonight (October 18) on FX in the US, with a UK broadcast via Channel 4 expected sometime in 2021