All-out war gets ever closer in “Camp Elegance” as drastic measures are taken on both sides are bodies continue to pile up.
This recap of Fargo season 4, episode 6, “Camp Elegance”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
This week’s episode of Fargo, “Camp Elegance”, realizes that perhaps there’s a secret weapon in the on-going war between Kansas City’s mobsters and Mafioso’s – the Chris Rock monologue. We get a couple of them in this installment, touching on subjects as diverse as historic racial inequality and professional boxing, delivered to professional turncoat Odis, and to brutish Fadda front-man Gaetano. In a lot of ways, Loy Cannon is the mouthpiece for all the show’s ideas about how the American dream looks a lot different depending on whose flickering eyelids it’s playing out behind. When he says at one point that he’s fighting a mindset, he’s right. He’s the voice of the disenfranchised in a story almost entirely about disenfranchised people.
Of course, there are many different kinds of disenfranchisement, which is partially why the Cannons and the Italians are at odds in the first place. Their conflict takes some serious turns in “Camp Elegance”, as we predicted it would last week, since Loy believes someone must be made to answer for the death of Doctor Senator, and Gaetano seems the obvious choice. He despatches the newly-recruited Zelmare and Swanee to kidnap him while he psychotically shanks a dressmaker’s dummy, and in the process, he accidentally guns down one of his own. In his captivity, he’s regaled with a tale of Sugar Ray Robinson both as a metaphor for being “the champ” and as foreshadowing for the fact he’s about to get done over by a pugilist.
With Gaetano at the mercy of Loy, that leaves the Fadda family to be presided over by Josto, who isn’t exactly torn up about his brother’s fate – he immediately tries to write him off as being dead – until he’s told by Ebal that part of running Kansas City is going to be healing the rift between him and Gaetano. Loy, meanwhile, believes getting rid of Gaetano is going to free Kansas City up for him, so Gaetano’s wellbeing is of the utmost importance to everyone. And Gaetano’s wellbeing rests on the safety of Satchel.
Satchel is presently a hostage of the Italians, part of the longstanding son-swap agreement meant to keep the peace between the families. Loy sends Odis – who is playing both sides, neither of them well – to retrieve the kid, but he’s taken away before he can. That leaves Satchel to be dealt with and, predictably, Rabbi to intervene, though he’s a wildcard in this whole arrangement and can’t say for certain where Satchel will be safe, let alone where he’ll be safe after his intervention (probably nowhere.) This, at least for now, keeps Gaetano alive, but getting him back won’t be easy, since Loy won’t allow it, Josto doesn’t want it, and even Calamita feels he’d rather die than be traded, as Ebal suggests.
Phew. Gangland politics are complicated. Slightly less complicated, but nevertheless mysterious, is what function Oraetta is going to play in this larger conflict. We don’t see much of her in “Camp Elegance”, but we see enough to be reminded that she’s still keen to put her patients – among other people – out of their misery, and also that Ethelrida’s meddling has drawn a target on her back. Here, we see Dr. Harvard read out the anonymous letter Ethelrida sent hoping to expose Oraetta’s weird serial killer keepsakes, but she’s able to play it off and Harvard’s inherent sexism basically makes her excuse fit. It almost gets lost amongst all the territorial toing and froing, but there’s clearly more to come from this particular subplot. As ever, death seems the likely outcome.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.