“Lay Away” brings war closer than ever, as everyone begins to sense what’s on the horizon and Loy refuses to play the game any way other than his.
This recap of Fargo season 4, episode 7, “Lay Away”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
If you ever needed any more confirmation that a sweet tooth is liable to kill you, just ask Dr. Harvard. When Oraetta turns up with a tin of homemade macaroons he just can’t help himself, and pretty soon he’s choking and spluttering to death. She’s rifling through his desk before he has even expired, poring over the anonymous letter Ethelrida sent outing her as a serial killer. The brief moment of Oraetta cycling through modes of horror at the “discovery” of Harvard’s body as she leaves the room is a wonderful moment from Jessie Buckley.
Speaking of which, Chris Rock has one of his own when Loy finally unravels a little in the aftermath of Doctor Senator’s death and the on-going debate around what to do with Gaetano, who is still being held captive. Now isn’t the time for rash decisions and all-out war, but war seems likelier than ever, especially with Josto having discovered that Rabbi made off with Satchel.
On the subject of discoveries, Deafy is now wise to Odis’s playing both sides and isn’t shy about confronting him over the matter, which leads to both a breakdown in their relationship – not that they had much of a relationship, to begin with – and Odis ritually slapping himself in the face out of frustration. Really, the sense of all things spiraling into inevitable chaos is deeply felt here in “Lay Away”.
Naturally, the right thing to do is hold a meeting. Loy and Josto discuss a trade; the Faddas are willing to exchange some territory for Gaetano’s safe return, but it’s clear the Cannons have the upper hand in the negotiations here, especially since Josto is not-so-subtly suggesting that it might be better to kill Gaetano after all, despite Ebal’s claims of there being people you can kill and those you can’t, according to Mafia hierarchy. Josto even tells Loy that Satchel is dead, as additional motivation, but he’s savvy enough to request to see the body. Josto claims Calamita took him, and that Irish fought for him but couldn’t do anything, and is now gone too. This whole sequence is pretty impressively tense. Eventually, Loy throws them out, but everyone is able to walk away on their own power, which seems like a best-case scenario.
Loy doesn’t take the idea of Satchel’s death well, and while Zero washes his hands, he contemplates strangling the boy – it’s easy to forget the risk Josto took in antagonizing Loy the way he did. When Buel hears the news of Satchel’s death, she lets out a blood-curdling scream. When Loy later sees a billboard advertising the new Diner’s Club credit card, it’s only a further kick in the ribs.
Obviously sensing further calamities to follow, especially after his confrontation with Deafy earlier, Odis packs up his apartment, ready to get out of town. But Opal picks him up before he can leave and takes him to Loy’s gym, where Swanee and Zelmare deliberately antagonize him until they’re given instructions to leave by Loy, under threats against Dibrell. “Lay Away” has another actorly showcase for Chris Rock here, as Loy outlines the Faddas’ strategy of trying to turn him into an animal, like them. Opal thinks the situation isn’t complex, just kill or be killed, win or lose, but Loy is head of the family precisely because he doesn’t think that way. His approach will be smarter, more strategic. And Odis will help.
Gaetano has always been portrayed as a psychopath, but there’s more confirmation here than ever, as his method of keeping himself occupied under duress is to recite the names of people he has killed, and the methods of their deaths. Luckily for him, though, Loy lets him go, though not without informing him of Josto offering territory in exchange for his brother’s execution, rather than his release. But a price must be paid in blood by someone, so Loy despatches his Omie to kill Calamita. Courtesy of Opal: “I sure hope you know what you’re doing.” Don’t we all.
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