HomeTelevision‘Fargo’ Season 4 Finale Review: Cannon and Josto Reap What They Sowed

‘Fargo’ Season 4 Finale Review: Cannon and Josto Reap What They Sowed

Fargo Season 4 Finale
Photo Credit: FX

Limited series present an interesting challenge for TV writers. You need to tell a story that’s too lengthy for a movie without dragging things out. You want the audience to feel like you made the most of the small number of episodes. You also don’t want the audience to feel that you saved all the good stuff for the beginning and the end. You want to spread the exciting parts out. 

So, how did Fargo Season 4 handle this challenge? Well, the story it tells isn’t all that complex. It boils down to the two crime syndicates taking shots at each other until the conflict culminates in all-out war. However, we wouldn’t have been able to spend as much time with the characters in a movie. Most of them are bad people, but whether it’s their eccentricities, the speck of goodness in some, or just the fact that I’ve spent hours with them, I’ve grown attached to these characters. I was sad to see most of them die. But actions have consequences, as this finale shows. 

The ring that Elthelrida (E’myri Crutchfield, Amazing Stories) gave to Cannon (Chris Rock, The Witches) leads Violante (Francesco Acquaroli, Suburra: Blood on Rome) to Oraetta (Jessie Buckley, Chernobyl). Violante accuses Josto (Jason Schwartzman, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) of killing his father and brother to consolidate power. While we know that Josto did not kill his brother, Oraetta did kill his father for him. I assumed that Josto wanted Oraetta to kill his father, but now I’m not quite sure. Either way, it’s a death sentence for Josto and Oraetta. I still felt a little sorry for Josto, and he naturally tries to weasel his way out of it, but to no avail. Oraetta humorously asks Josto die first so she can watch, which gives her an unusual amount of joy before her own death. 

Cannon wins the battle, but the Italians win the war, as they take over half of Loy’s business. As Violante points out, the Mafia is simply too big to compete with. It’s frustrating to watch, after all Cannon has risked. Still, Satchel (Rodney L. Jones III, Lovecraft Country) makes it home safe. Loy is a bad father, and I’m unconvinced of Chris Rock’s dramatic acting chops, but he acts well in a scene that’s genuinely emotional to watch. 

Loy doesn’t even get a happy ending with his family because Zelmare (Karen Aldridge, The Get Down) comes back for revenge. She stabs Loy, leaving him to die in front of Satchel. On the list of characters who deserved to die and didn’t, Zelmare is at the top. Beyond trying to help her 

family, she’s despicable, especially after gunning down all those civilians at the train station (though the police probably inadvertently hit a few too). At least the gangsters mostly killed each other. 

So, to summarize, Violante gets a happy ending, as does Elthelrida. Cannon dies, but his legacy lives on. It would have been nice to see Satchel not repeat his father’s mistakes, but he apparently grows up to become a character from Fargo Season 2, as seen in a mid-credits flash forward. This means the show is not a true anthology series (though it might have done things like this before). 

Aside from a few episodes, Fargo Season 4 was never captivating television for me, but as I said before, I grew fond of many of the characters. I do have to say though that the whole son swap deal was dumb, seeing as it had already backfired twice before and backfired yet again. As far as the subject of race is concerned, the season doesn’t have anything particularly profound to say, but it is a reminder that all our stories make up the larger story of America. That’s a good lesson, and if someone realizes that watching it, then that’s worth something.

The Fargo Season 4 Finale is now streaming on FX on Hulu.

Aaron Sarnecky
Aaron Sarnecky
Aaron Sarnecky is a Senior Writer and Former TV Editor for The Pop Break. He is a TV/Film grad of Rowan University and the fraternal twin of Senior Columnist Josh Sarnecky. The two record retrospective podcasts together. Aaron probably remembers that canceled show you forgot existed.

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