Fargo season 4, episode 10 recap – “Happy”

November 23, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV Recaps
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Fargo season 4, episode 10 recap - "Happy"


War between the families finally erupts in “Happy”, and everyone stands to suffer in this penultimate episode.

This recap of Fargo season 4, episode 10, “Happy”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

It took most of the season, but all-out war has finally broken out in Kansas City. That’s what everyone’s calling it in “Happy”, and there’s really no other word for it – major players on both sides keep dying in bloody circumstances, and there will be a couple more names to scratch off before the episode’s end. Fittingly, “Happy” opens with a montage of newspaper stories full of corpses and slow-motion shootouts.

The episode’s title refers to Lionel “Happy” Halloway (Edwin Lee Gibson), a man Loy and Buel meet with – the cousin, apparently, of Leon, the man Loy whipped with a belt, an event which apparently “deserves a conversation”. You don’t say. Loy hasn’t given the best of impressions regarding his on-going war efforts, but he needs Happy’s help in the campaign. It’s reluctantly agreed to, mostly thanks to a vengeance-driven Buel still believing that Satchel is dead, insisting on justice.

The war is getting to everyone, not just those on the frontlines, which Weff is feeling pretty acutely. He might be getting rounds of applause from his colleagues following the train station massacre, but you can’t just double-cross made men like that and expect not to pay the price, which Josto reminds him. Weff might be feeling himself now, but Josto is adamant that he dies, even if even Gaetano thinks continuous war is bad for business and New York – always referred to as a kind of looming individual, not a place – wants things wrapped up as soon as possible. Somebody has to pay the price. That somebody might as well be Loy.

“Happy” also gives us some more explanation of the specter that has been glimpsed throughout the season, especially by Zelmare, when Ethelrida presses Dibrell on the whole curse issue. The ghost is that of Theodore Roach, an old slaver who brought Ethelrida’s great-great-grandfather to Mississippi in chains and laughed at the prospect of a storm killing his slaves. Ethelrida’s great-great-grandfather strangled him, and the scent of the low tide has followed them ever since. Eventually, Lemuel joins them on the porch and Dibrell leaves to make dinner, and Oraetta arrives to confront Ethelrida about the missing ring. Ethelrida, emboldened by what she knows of Oraetta’s activities, makes no secret of the fact she knows what she’s been up to and has evidence to prove it. Suddenly, the “word for” people like Ethelrida doesn’t have the power it once did. Perhaps, as Ethelrida claims, it never had much power, to begin with.

Speaking of power, there’s very much a struggle for it in “Happy”, involving Happy himself, and indeed Leon, both of whom are happy to roll on Loy in exchange for all of his territories and Leon’s installation – by the Faddas, naturally – as Loy’s replacement. This dastardly meeting is interrupted by Milvin, of all people, who bursts in and declares – in a room full of Italians, no less – that he’s calling off Josto’s wedding to Dessie on account of the war. Eventually, Milvin is punched a couple of times by Gaetano, entirely deservedly, if you ask me.

News of this quickly gets back to Loy. So, too, does news of Weff raiding the Faddas’ Apex Vending Machine Company. Poor old Weff is mightily struggling with the stress of the whole affair, as it happens, and rightly so since Josto and Gaetano are waiting for him at his house. During the stakeout, Gaetano tells a story of violence and suffering that goes some way in explaining why he is the way he is, and, like his brotherly assault of Milvin, helps to strengthen the bond between him and Josto. This, it turns out, is to make the next development sting a little more, since after killing Weff, Gaetano dopily trips and falls and blows his own brains out, right in front of Josto.

This is the first of a slew of major developments to close out “Happy”. In the next one, Oraetta – after a fancy, effective POV shot – looms over Ethelrida with the intention of killing her, but she’s chased back to her own apartment by Roach’s ghost. There, she finds the cops waiting to arrest her for the attempted murder – he pulled through, you’ll recall – of Dr. Harvard. As she’s taken away, Ethelrida watches from the porch, which leads us into the third and perhaps more important turn – the one that might even end the gang war.

Ethelrida visits Loy. This is where, I think, the character really comes into her own. She’s clever and principled enough for Loy to notice, and we’ve seen throughout the episode that this is a decision she has thought through. Earlier, she looked up old obituaries, as well as telling Lemuel that she wants to meet with his father since she believes she has a means of getting the family’s business back. And she does – Donatello Fadda’s ring, and an obituary proving it’s his. Both Loy and Ethelrida smile at one another. The battle has taken quite a turn.

Thanks for reading our recap of Fargo season 4, episode 10, “Happy”. For more recaps, reviews, and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?

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