Fargo season 4, episode 11 recap – “Storia Americana” shallow grave

November 30, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV Recaps
4

Summary

“Storia Americana” brings the latest season of Fargo to a close with plenty of death, some lessons learned, and a glimpse of what the future holds for one character in particular.

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4

Summary

“Storia Americana” brings the latest season of Fargo to a close with plenty of death, some lessons learned, and a glimpse of what the future holds for one character in particular.

This recap of Fargo season 4, episode 11, “Storia Americana”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


When this season of Fargo began, it was ostensibly about Ethelrida. She was narrating. The story of two warring gangs was couched in her perspective. Now, ten episodes down the line, it’s easy to forget that, since while Ethelrida was always around she long-since stopped seeming like the most important player in the blood-soaked tapestry of Kansas City criminality that was being weaved for our viewing pleasure. That all changes in “Storia Americana”, since it’s Ethelrida who sets in motion the events that bring everything to a close – ensuring that almost nobody but her comes out unscathed.

It all starts with Donatello Fadda’s ring, which as we saw last week she presented to Loy Cannon as leverage in his on-going war with the Italians. Loy, in turn, gave the ring to Ebal with a few whispered words about how Josto just might have enlisted the services of a psychotic nurse to bump off his father so he could seize power. The Smutnys’ debt is forgiven. Josto’s debt to the family must be paid in full.

Following Gaetano’s faintly ridiculous mishap of a death, “Storia Americana” finds Josto almost trying to live in his honor by violently killing both Dr. Harvard and his snooty father-in-law, and he believes, as we soon learn incorrectly, that the plan to supplant Loy with the much more manipulable Happy and Leon is going ahead. Of course, though, it isn’t. Ebal has intervened and has also convened a Fadda court, attended by Oraetta, who will judge Josto for his crimes. Unsurprisingly, he’s found guilty, not that there was ever much chance of another outcome, and one moment of ambiguity seals his fate. Whether or not he really intended for Oraetta to off his father – I like to believe he didn’t – he’ll pay the price for doing so all the same.

The price is death. And death here comes in a blatantly Miller’s Crossing-inspired execution straight into a pre-dug grave, during which Oraetta’s last request is for Josto to be killed first, so she can watch. Her request is granted, and as she peers luridly, smilingly down into his grave, she joins him soon after.

With the war ostensibly over, Loy stands to benefit. For one thing, he gets Satchel back (a last-minute coda, by the way, confirms that Satchel grows up to be Mike Milligan). He also gets to keep half of his current business operations, which Ebal ever so kindly grants him after revealing some “changes” being made in their arrangement. Ebal is at the head of Kansas City’s Mafia operations now, and Loy should consider himself an employee of the Italians – if he doesn’t, they’ll kill him and find somebody who will. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but on reflection, it’s better than the alternative. Loy gets to go home, while so many on both sides of the conflict haven’t.

In a cruel, ironic twist, it’s at home with his family where Loy is killed, and not by an Italian gangster, but by Zelmare, who stabs him to death on his front porch in revenge for Swanee’s death.

All throughout this season of Fargo, Loy has been depicted as calculating and ruthless, but never monstrous. He was smart, sometimes reasonable, often not, and surrounded by (mostly) devoted soldiers who respected him and his vision. In almost any other crime show, he’d be the “hero”, so to speak, the way Forrest Whitaker’s Bumpy Johnson is in The Godfather of Harlem. But not in this show. Loy Cannon might have been a better gangster than almost anyone else on the show, but it was never enough. The Faddas had someone behind them, and another person behind him, and another behind him – their influence stretched further than Loy’s could ever hope to, for reasons he could never forget.

In the end, it’s only really Ethelrida who walks away unscathed, and nobody knows where she ultimately goes. Hopefully, somewhere better.


Thanks for reading our recap of Fargo season 4, episode 11, “Storia Americana”. 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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