‘Fargo’ Season 4 Episode 10 Recap: “Happy”

Fargo Season 4 Episode 9
E’myri Crutchfield as Ethelrida Pearl Smutny in ‘Fargo’ season 4 episode 9 (Photo Credit: FX)

After taking a pitstop in the world of Oz in episode nine, Fargo season four episode 10 picks up with news that blood is flowing on the Kansas City streets. The Fadda vs Cannon war has taken over the front page of newspapers with headlines that declare “Gang War Erupts” and “Violence Reigns!”

The Smutny funeral home is doing boffo business as the body count rises.

Detective Odis Weff (Jack Huston) accompanies cops on a raid of the Fadda place in an attempt to end the gang war. Josto (Jason Schwartzman) eyeballs Odis as he’s being taken away by the police.

As Buel (J. Nicole Brooks) cuts Loy’s hair they discuss his upcoming meeting with Lionel “Happy” Halloway. Buel believes Happy is a country boy and probably won’t want a “big city headache.” Loy (Chris Rock) disagrees. He believes Happy wants the power controlling the city would afford him.

The meeting begins and Loy doesn’t exactly apologize for the way he treated Happy’s cousin, Leon. Loy explains Leon’s inept but agrees he should have given Happy a call to address the problem. Happy reveals people think Loy’s head’s getting too big and he needs to reconsider his situation. Whatever Loy does reflects on the entire Black community and right now they don’t need the extra attention.

They get down to brass tacks and Loy asks for muscle to back him up in his war with the Faddas. Happy explains the Faddas are the Cosa Nostra and Loy is incapable of driving them out of the city. Loy explains he just wants them put in their place, not cleared out of the city.

Buel’s heard enough and takes over the conversation. She reminds Happy the Faddas killed her 10-year-old son and after they wipe out her family, they’ll be coming after him.

Happy considers this for a moment and then pledges that for two weeks he will put his strength behind Loy’s efforts. However, first Loy needs to make things right with Leon.

After Happy leaves, Buel declares she wants the Fadda brothers dead and then they’ll deal with whoever New York sends as replacements.

Meanwhile, Odis Weff receives a round of applause at the station. Apparently, he’s a hero for bringing in Josto Fadda and his minions. After the applause fades, Odis receives a call from Josto who’s out of jail and ready for a little retaliation. Josto reveals he kept records of every payoff Odis received. Odis reacts by hanging up the phone, cutting Josto off in mid-sentence.

Josto and Gaetano (Salvatore Esposito) meet up with Ebal (Francesco Acquaroli) and Josto demands they put the squeeze on Odis. Ebal’s got other concerns at the moment. He’s just received news New York wants the fighting wrapped up. It’s getting far too much attention. Even Gaetano thinks they need to settle things and warns Josto he’s making this all too personal.

Josto believes they’ll never be able to deal with Loy so they have to find someone within his organization they can make deals with to replace him. He also gives the go-ahead to kill Detective Odis Weff.

Catching up with our trustworthy narrator, Ethelrida (E’myri Crutchfield ) is busy researching deaths that could be attributed to Nurse Oraetta Mayflower. She returns home from her afternoon studying newspaper obituaries on microfilm to ask her mom if they’re truly cursed. Dibrell (Anji White) confirms they are, recalling the story of Ethelrida’s great-grandmother’s dad who came to America on a ship captained by Theodore Roach. She claims Roach was the devil himself and that during a horrible storm Roach did nothing but laugh as hundreds of shackled men were about to drown. They didn’t, but Ethelrida’s relative got revenge on Roach’s cruelty by choking him to death.

They’ve been cursed by “The Roach” – the rotting corpse Ethelrida’s seen in the hallway – since then.

Lemuel Cannon (Matthew Elam) joins them and Dibrell leaves them to talk. Ethelrida asks Lemuel if he can get her a meeting with his dad. She’s convinced she knows how to get the house/funeral home back. Before Lemuel can answer, Oraetta (Jessie Buckley) barges up and demands Ethelrida give back the ring she stole. She threatens to go to the cops and Ethelrida tells her to go ahead. She’s seen the evidence of Oraetta’s criminal activities and isn’t scared Oraetta will involve the cops.

Fargo Season 4 Episode 9
Jason Schwartzman as Josto Fadda in ‘Fargo’ season 4 episode 9 (Photo Credit: FX)

Josto meets with Leon and Happy to make a deal for Loy’s territories. Leon will take over all Loy’s slaughterhouses and the territories on the east side. Plus, Josto will need to give him a piece of the trucking. Josto is forced to temporarily suspend negotiations when his future father-in-law, Milvin Gillis (Eric Slater), intrudes on the meeting and demands a private audience.

Milvin informs Josto the wedding’s off. The gang war has made any association with the Faddas bad for Milvin’s political aspirations. Insults are exchanged and Gaetano, who’s been sitting by listening in, is done with Milvin’s name-calling. He punches him once in the nose and then again, knocking him down.

Milvin’s able to get up and scurries away, warning they can’t hit a U.S. alderman and get away with it.

Loy gets an update from Opal (James Vincent Meredith) and learns Odis Weff and the cops raided their warehouse. He also learns Leon and Happy met with the Italians.

Meanwhile, Satchel (Rodney L Jones III) is still on the road with his canine best friend at his feet. A truck approaches on an otherwise deserted road and pulls up next to the duo. The passenger calls Satchel “boy” and wonders why he’s out for a walk. The man insults Satchel and Satchel is in no mood to let it pass. He whips out his gun and aims at the passenger. “This is my world. I’m the boss – I tell you what to do,” says Satchel before adding, “F**k off.”

The truck speeds away.

Josto and Gaetano pass the time telling stories from their childhood while waiting in their car in the dark outside Odis Weff’s place. Their patience finally pays off and he returns home from work.

Odis flips on the lights and discovers his place is in shambles. His figurines that were part of the memorial to his dead wife have been smashed and her picture was defaced. He runs from his apartment and makes it to his car before Josto turns on his car’s headlights.

The Fadda brothers are parked directly in front of him and as Odis struggles for his gun, Gaetano exits the car and begins slowly walking toward Odis’ vehicle, gun at his side. Odis realizes he’s a dead man and seems to accept his fate as memories of his loved one flow through his mind. Three bullets delivered at near point-blank range end his life.

Josto tells Gaetano to hurry up and Gaetano heads back to their car. He trips and shoots himself in the head, slicing open his skull. Josto checks out his body and then hustles back to the car and drives off, leaving a dead (but smiling) Odis and a scalped Gaetano behind.

Oraetta sneaks into the Smutny home late at night and stands silently over Ethelrida’s bed. The teenager is sound asleep and unaware she has a visitor. Oraetta removes a syringe from a pouch and is about to inject Ethelrida when she smells something. She senses a presence behind her (it’s “The Roach”) and screams bloody murder, dropping the syringe as her hands shake uncontrollably.

She returns to her apartment to find it’s filled with cops. They place her under arrest for the attempted murder of Dr. Harvard.

The Smutnys (and Lemuel) gather on the funeral home’s porch and watch as Oraetta’s taken away.

The following day, or shortly thereafter, Ethelrida shows up for an appointment with Loy. She thanks him for the opportunity to speak and he confirms his son told him she had something to say. Loy reiterates her family’s home and business are now his and she’s unlikely to change his mind. He’s impressed with her knowledge of the artwork on his walls and takes a seat, ready to conduct business.

Loy understands she’s there to convince him to give back the business, but Ethelrida shocks him by claiming her parents have earned the right to reclaim their funeral home. Ethelrida lays out her take on Loy’s claim to the business, saying her parents repaid their debt and currently still have the deed in their possession. Plus, they’re continuing to pay the taxes.

Loy asks if her parents sent her and Ethelrida stands up for herself, confirming this was her decision – and hers alone. She knows he’s lost 27 of his men and the invoice for their funerals comes to $8,700.

And now it’s time for Ethelrida to play the ace up her sleeve…

She places the stolen ring on Loy’s desk and he has no idea of its importance. She assures him the ring is priceless and will lead to him turning back control of the funeral home to her parents.

Ethelrida lays out the story of Nurse Oraetta Mayflower and how she poisons her patients and then takes keepsakes from each of her victims. This ring is one of those keepsakes. Ethelrida explains that through her research at the library she learned who the ring belongs to.

Before finishing her tale, she instructs Loy he will give back her parents’ business and their house. Plus, he’ll mark all their debts paid. In exchange, she’ll help him win his war. Loy swears she can have whatever she wants if she can do that.

Ethelrida hands him Donatello Fadda’s obituary and Loy compares the ring in his hand to the one in the newspaper photo. He smiles and Ethelrida smiles back.