Let’s get the Fargo season 4 finale explained and address the post-credits scene which left fans both surprised and thrilled.
The Coen brothers’ 1996 film Fargo is widely considered one of the best movies of the nineties and many were sceptical back when a series was announced.
However, the first season premiered back in 2014 and swiftly earned praise for its performances, narrative and its evocation of the original’s quirkiness and style.
The subsequent arrival of the second season confirmed that it would be an anthology series and each instalment has managed to do its own thing while arguably capturing what made the previous such an enticing watch.
Audiences have now finished tucking into season 4 and the ending ushered in a very big surprise, linking the season in with one previous.
So, let’s reflect upon the finale…
Fargo season 4 finale explained
In the Fargo season 4 finale, Ethelrida’s plan became clear. After giving the ring to Loy, it’s then passed to Ebal Volante, along with a story of Josto telling Oraetta to kill his father and take power.
The ring is passed on as planned and the Smutnys have their debt forgiven.
Meanwhile, Josto goes in for Dr. Harvard and muscles him into the car with his father-in-law; they’re both murdered and he then learns that Leon has killed Loy and the plan to have Happy and Leon take position is on track.
However, that isn’t the case and Josto is essentially interrogated and accused of bringing in Oraetta to slay his father. She’s aware that her fate is pretty much sealed and the two of them are taken to a field with freshly prepared graves confirming the worst.
Josto tries to get out of it – “Hasn’t there been enough killing?” – but his attempts are in vain.
Oraetta asks “can you shoot him first so I can watch?” and her wish is their command.
Then, we see Loy go home and Satchel is there, the son whom he figured was dead. Then, meeting with Ebal, he discovers that the new head of the KC Cosa Nostra has made an important change to their previously devised arrangement: “Look at it this way: we are not taking half. You are keeping half.”
He tells Loy that he must do what they say and is threatened with the potential for murder, leaving him stuck. Nevertheless, he still has a life to cherish and there’s still hope, until Zelmare arrives on the scene with news that he tipped off officials with her escape plans. Taking revenge, she stabs him.
We then close on Ethelrida delivering a report on history to her parents and a shot of her which depicts her as older and well dressed suggests the future is bright, but her destination and path remains unknown, leaving audiences curious about her journey.
The return of Mike Milligan
In the credit sequence, it’s revealed that Mike Milligan (played by Bokeem Woodbine in season 2) is the adult version of Satchel Cannon (Rodney L. Jones III), the son of Chris Rock’s Loy Cannon, as highlighted by the Hollywood Reporter.
Series boss Noah Hawley explains the impulse to explore Mike’s background and use it as the origin point for the fourth season. This idea facilitated the inception of a wealth of characters and we realise what led him to become Mike, seeing his father die in front of him:
“On some level, that was the original idea [for season four]. What explains that character? When I started thinking about him in hindsight as this iconoclastic Black man living in a white world, who doesn’t seem to fit in either place … I started to think, where does a guy like this come from? On some level, this whole [season] came out of that question: the idea of these two families trading their sons, the idea that he doesn’t look like a Milligan, so the name must be a chosen one and not a given one necessarily…
He added: “so the idea of a Black man raised by an Irish American who himself was raised by a Jewish family and then an Italian family. That sounded like the history of America. That became it.”
In other news, the mystery is solved in The Undoing finale.