Fargo season 4, episode 3 recap – “Raddoppiarlo”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 5, 2020 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
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“Raddoppiarlo” promises a gang war right around the corner, while also finding the fun in bodily functions (again!), a sadistic Chris Rock, and a musical hand job.

This recap of Fargo season 4, episode 3, “Raddoppiarlo”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

I always enjoy it when shows – especially ones like Fargo, with major cult appeal – bring in an actor very closely associated with a single character or type of character and just let their face work as a cliffhanger. The last-minute appearance of Timothy Olyphant in last week’s two-part introduction to the fourth season certainly qualifies in this regard. Seeing Olyphant as another hat-wearing drawling lawman is my cup of tea, and “Raddoppiarlo” wasted no time in bringing us up to speed on this new figure in the complicated Kansas City-set criminal saga: U.S. Marshal Dick “Deafy” Wickware.

Blimey, that’s a Coen name if ever there was one. Nevertheless, Deafy, so-called because he only hears what he wants to, is a blow-in from Salt Lake City on the trail of Zelmare and Swanee, who he knows are holed up someone in the King of Tears. He’s also a devout Mormon, not exactly thrilled with how his people have been historically treated, but also not entirely open-minded about people of other faiths and ethnicities. He doesn’t like coffee. He may or may not be pleased to meet you, or indeed Odis Weff, who he’s quickly partnered up with.

But Deafy is fun because he’s immediately established as being clever and capable and possessed of good gumshoeing instincts, even if they only take him so far, which in the case of “Raddoppiarlo” is to the fifth of six morgue chambers in the King of Tears’ sepulchral underbelly. You’ll never guess where the escapees are hiding.

None of Deafy’s qualities as an investigator are of much interest to Odis, mind, since as long as he’s off the St. Theclas murder case the Fadda family, with whom we know he’s cushy – a fact that doesn’t go unremarked upon by his boss or indeed Deafy himself – are vulnerable. You get the sense that they’re vulnerable at the best of times given how easily Josto, very determined on enacting some manner of revenge against Dr. Harvard, is led astray by the batshit Oraetta, who leads him down a shallow rabbit hole of narcotic bumps and passionless hand jobs to the rhythm of a softly-sung “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. This is a very strange show, isn’t it?

Josto, then, is the easily-led weak-link of the Faddas, while his big little brother Gaetano is the impulsive hothead who can throw his weight around but not tally up the cost of the damage. If you’re wondering who the brains of this operation might be then say hello to Ebal Volante (Francesco Acquaroli), the Fadda strategist with whom Doctor Senator meets in order to broker peace in a typically longwinded and roundabout conversation that’s nonetheless excellent and crystallizes the Cannon point of view in the matter of maintaining terms. To summarize: After the World War II ceasefire, Senator, on the promise of a so-called “Double V” for his service – that would be a victory against the Axis forces and then another at home in the form of rights that had previously been denied to Black folks – was sent to Nuremberg for the trials, where he spent a period of several weeks interviewing none other than Hermann Göring, whose testimony he compiled into a lengthy and detailed report that was binned by his superior officer. As it turns out, Senator’s entire role at Nuremberg was just to make Göring suffer the indignity of being made to answer to a Black man. Thus, the Cannons won’t be taking anyone’s word for anything. What they want, they’re going to take – the only way Black people have been able to get anything in America.

This is assuming nobody else takes what they want first, obviously, which is liable to happen, as we see when Swanee and Zelmare – the former poisoned by an apple pie laced with ipecac – hold up Loy’s HQ, make off with twenty large and leave three people dead – not to mention several pools of vomit on the floor and fart musk in the air. This is the second time in three episodes that Fargo has used flatulence as both a comedic and a plot beat; maybe it’s time to start keeping a running tally.

Naturally, this confuses the Cannons and will inevitably escalate tensions between the two gangs. With war on the horizon, things are only made worse by an attempted but ultimately failed attempt on the life of Lemuel (Matthew Elam), Loy’s oldest son, courtesy of Constant Calamita (Gaetano Bruno) and Rabbi on the order of Gaetano. For now, it’s unclear – to the Cannons, at least – if the two incidents are connected, and indeed who’s even pulling the Fadda strings at this point. As Doctor cautions, though, once the shooting starts, it won’t end without a lot of bloodshed. And the shooting seems right around the corner.

What did you think of Fargo season 4, episode 3, “Raddoppiarlo”? Comment below. 

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