Zelmare Roulette (Karen Aldridge) and Swanee Capps’ (Kelsey Asbille) jailbreak has just been discovered as FX’s Fargo season four episode three begins. We kick off just days prior to the events at the end of episode two, with the police examining the tunnel the twosome used to exit the women’s prison. Dogs are employed to follow Zelmare and Swanee’s scents. The trail leads the cops to the restroom the duo briefly stopped in to clean themselves up.
And now we learn a little backstory on Dick “Deafy” Wickware (Timothy Olyphant) who put in the briefest of appearances in episode two. Dick delivers a speedy, basic history of his faith – he’s a priest of the Mormon church – to Captain Martin Hanhuck (Guy Van Swearingen). Captain Hanhuck reminds him there’s a kill order for all Mormons in Missouri and not only is Dick aware of the order, but he also admits he doesn’t care.
Captain Hanhuck runs out of patience with this weird stranger who’s made himself at home in front of his desk and demands to know why Dick’s in his office. Dick explains he’s also a U.S. Marshal and he’s chasing down two escapees. He believes Zelmare and Swanee have made it to Kansas City and he’s looking for a little local law enforcement assistance.
Captain Hanhuck assigns Detective Odis Weff (Jack Huston) to work with Dick. Odis stumbles as he reminds his boss he’s working the hospital homicide case. Oh, plot twist revealed…Captain Hanhuck is onto Odis and knows he checked in with the Faddas. He’s removing Odis from that case and assigning him to the fugitive hunt.
Dick “Deafy” Wickware isn’t deaf; he earned his nickname because he’s male…I mean, because he hears what he wants to hear. Dick assigns Odis the task of retrieving the address of Zelmare’s sister.
Night falls and Odis and Dick wait in the car outside the Smutnys’ residence/funeral home. Dick dissects Odis’ “nervous condition,” and Odis isn’t happy to be under the microscope. Odis wants to wrap this case up so he can get back to the murder case he should be handling. (By the way, Dick is apparently an equal opportunity racist.)
Odis and Dick watch as Oraetta (Jessie Buckley) scurries across the street and drops her freshly backed, syrup of ipecac-filled pie on the funeral home’s doorstep. They see Thurman (Andrew Bird) retrieve the pie and Dick gives the order to move in.
Episode two ended with Dick and his police back-up busting down Dibrell and Thurman’s front door. We’ve now caught up to that moment.
Thurman’s “secured” as they search the rest of the funeral home and its attached residence. Dibrell (Anji White) and Ethelrida (E’myri Crutchfield) are in the kitchen as Thurman’s escorted in by Dick and his men. Dick quickly points out there are five place settings at the table. Dick reminds Dibrell harboring a fugitive is a felony, but neither Dibrell nor Ethelrida give up Zelmare’s location.
Odis and some of the cops head down to the basement and the funeral home area, while others search the upstairs living areas.
Odis’ men pull open the drawers where dead bodies are normally stored and fail to locate the fugitives. They pause as they hear something from one of the unchecked drawers and pull it open to discover a bloated dead body is making sounds from its gut, causing multiple officers to toss their cookies.
They return to Dick and declare the basement is clear. We quickly learn it’s not and that the fugitives were in fact hiding in a drawer.
Dick interrogates Dibrell, Thurman, and Ethelrida while Zelmare and Swanee creep up the stairs and peek around the kitchen door. They’re listening in as Dibrell lies and says she told her sister to stay in jail and serve out her time. When Dick asks again if she’s seen Zelmare, Dibrell replies, “Seen her? Officer, if I ever see my sister again, I’m going to wring her neck.”
All the while Ethelrida’s attempting to silently communicate with Swanee and Zelmare not to do anything rash. (They have a gun and are obviously ready to use it.)
Dick wishes them a nice night and apologizes for the disturbance.
The pie sits on the table, untouched.
Loy Cannon’s right-hand man Doctor Senator (Glynn Turman) meets with Fadda consigliere Ebal Violante (Francesco Acquaroli) at Spud’s All Time restaurant. They discuss Loy’s decision to move on the slaughterhouse and Ebal reminds Doctor they should all respect the deal Donatello struck with Loy. Doctor lays out a bit of his personal history and then replies, “Excuse me if I say our word is exactly as good as yours.”
As he’s leaving, Doctor delivers a final statement. The slaughterhouses belong to Loy, deal or no deal. The Faddas can chalk it up to the cost of the transition. Ebal promises to pass that on to Josto.
Speaking of the Faddas, young Satchel Cannon (Rodney L. Jones III) watches as Rabbi Milligan (Ben Whishaw) fixes the radiator in Josto’s office. Satchel wonders why Rabbi is called “Rabbi,” and he doesn’t really explain but says as with poker you play the hand you’re dealt. He describes being traded as a boy (twice) but was never allowed to go back to his real family. They’re all dead.
Gaetano Fadda (Salvatore Esposito) interrupts their conversation and recalls as a boy he lived in the trees after his house was knocked down. When he calls Rabbi “Irish,” Rabbi quickly replies, “American.” Gaetano reveals he knows Rabbi shot his own father for the Faddas. As he’s speaking, he takes a seat behind Josto’s desk and kicks up his feet.
Josto (Jason Schwartzman) arrives as Gaetano’s holding court and demands his annoying brother get out of his chair. Gaetano claims the chair’s too big for his older brother.
The subject changes to events the previous night at the slaughterhouse and when Gaetano says he took care of things, Josto reminds him that’s not his job. Gaetano can only laugh when Josto calls himself the boss. He has no respect for his older brother.
Satchel sneezes and Josto finally realizes he and Rabbi are in his office where they shouldn’t be because of all the “secret stuff” he has there. (Josto’s description – not mine.)
Josto tosses everyone out of his office and Gaetano smirks as he exits.
Elsewhere, the now unemployed Nurse Oraetta Mayflower has an interview with Dr. Harvard (Stephen Spencer). She doesn’t reveal why she’s no longer working at St. Barts and instead claims she’s just looking for a place she can be more useful.
Oraetta assures Dr. Harvard her old boss, Allen Sneet, will give her a good recommendation. Dr. Harvard decides to take her on and asks if she can start the following week. “I’ll be here with bells on,” says an enthusiastic Oraetta.
Meeting over, Dr. Harvard lights up and looks out his office window. Josto’s parked in his car outside and as he spots Dr. Harvard, he makes a gun out of his fingers and points it at the window as if taking aim.
Oraetta notices Josto as she’s leaving the hospital and informs Josto she’s onto him. She mistakenly insists he’s spying on her and Josto claims he’s not. She believes he’s tracked her down to her new place of work, but Josto looks completely confused and can’t even place her face. Oraetta thinks he’s just joking and continues talking while seated in the front seat of his car, laying out a line for them to snort together.
She then sings “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as she pleasures him right there in the car in the hospital parking lot. She finishes up, leans over to kiss his cheek, and leaves.
Josto still can’t remember her name and as she’s walking away Oraetta continues to assume he’s joking and is in fact stalking her because he’s infatuated.
Zelmare and Swanee hang out across the street from Loy’s vending machine company building. They’re being as inconspicuous as possible while counting the men who enter and exit the building. There are so many that Swanee notes she’ll have to reload.
Loy (Chris Rock) watches over a betting operation housed in the warehouse. Calls come in placing bets on boxing matches and Loy’s observing it all when Leon Bittle (Jeremie Harris) joins him to explain he wants to learn more about the operation and is ready, willing, and able to progress in the Cannon outfit.
Loy decides the best way to use the overly ambitious Leon is to make him his son Lemuel’s driver. Lemuel doesn’t want to be part of the crew and instead wants to drop out of college and be a musician. Leon’s orders are to keep him in check, keep him in college, and make sure he sticks with the family business.
Ebal meets up with Gaetano and some of the Fadda muscle, reporting Loy’s people claim the slaughterhouses are theirs. Josto’s gone out for a while and Gaetano takes this opportunity to ask when they can start killing people. He’s reminded Josto issued a no-kill order.
Gaetano isn’t easily deterred. He asks Constant Calamita (Gaetano Bruno) if he wants to shoot somebody at the top in order to make Loy suffer. Gaetano suggests Constant, who’s only listening and not responding, take Rabbi Milligan with him to do the job. (He thinks it’s a test of Rabbi Milligan’s loyalty.)
Before Rabbi steps out, he warns Satchel that if he doesn’t return it’s because he’s dead or in jail.
Constant and Rabbi drive in silence until they reach a college. Rabbi’s still not sure what’s going on, but then finally realizes their target is Loy’s oldest son, Lemuel, who we know at this point is accompanied by Leon on Loy’s orders. Rabbi thinks they must be just intending to scare Lemuel – not kill him. Killing him would spark a war and young Zero Fadda would be the first target.
Constant’s driving and falls in line behind Leon and Lemuel (Matthew Elam) as they pull away from the college. Rabbi hates this plan and demands to know on whose authority they’re acting. Constant ignores the question and instead instructs Rabbi to get his gun out and roll down the window.
Constant finally admits it was Gaetano who gave the order. He doesn’t confirm whether Josto knows what they’re about to do. Rabbi’s really concerned for young Zero, reminding Constant they’ll carve him up and send him home in pieces.
Constant isn’t fazed. He orders Rabbi to get ready as he pulls alongside Leon and Lemuel who are paused at a stoplight. Rabbi’s passenger window is the closest to Leon’s and Rabbi takes aim.
Neither Leon nor Lemuel initially notice Rabbi’s gun pointing at them. When they do notice, Rabbi doesn’t fire. Instead, Constant grabs his own gun and leans past Rabbi to take a shot. Rabbi grabs Constant’s arm, causing the bullets to break the driver’s side rear window. Leon puts the pedal to the metal and races away.
After they’ve driven away, Rabbi and Constant fight over the gun. Rabbi gets the upper hand and although Constant warns him he’s a dead man, Rabbi doesn’t back down. He threatens to tell Josto that Gaetano gave an order and Constant willingly followed it.
Rabbi exits the car and tells Constant he’s walking home.
Enraged, Constant hits the steering wheel and then drives away.
That evening over at the Smutny place, Swanee’s at the dining room table while Ethelrida’s seated across from her doing her homework. Dibrell’s doing the dishes as Swanee asks about Dibrell’s family curse. Swanee believes Zelmare’s story that Dibrell and her family are being followed by the Devil, and that they’ve actually seen him.
Dibrell claims that’s a tall tale. Swanee describes her own family history and claims her dad had two shadows – one of his own and one of the Devil’s. Zelmare interrupts with the announcement she’s borrowing clothes and other things. One of those things is Thurman’s gun.
Swanee’s been munching away on Oraetta’s syrup of ipecac pie, although no one else is.
Thurman arrives to drive the hearse carrying Zelmare and Swanee. Swanee makes a point of taking a butcher knife and a huge final bite of the pie before they leave.
Zelmare and Swanee are tucked away in a coffin in the back of the hearse when the syrup of ipecac begins to kick in. Her farts are loud and apparently, judging by Zelmare’s reaction, very stinky.
They’re dropped off outside Loy’s vending machine building and although Swanee’s still suffering, they get the jump on the guard at the door.
Omie Sparkman (Corey Hendrix) and half a dozen men are counting stacks of cash in the backroom as they hear a gunshot. Swanee and Zelmare enter the room, guns a-blazing. Omie puts up his hands as the fugitives demand everyone get down on the ground. Swanee’s condition is worsening and she’s added vomit to her list of symptoms.
Omie stealthy places his hand on the gun stashed under the desk. Swanee insists she has to leave but Zelmare refuses until they get the cash. Zelmare tosses a bag at Omie and he fires his shotgun, missing his target. Zelmare fires back and sends Omie crashing to the floor.
Swanee’s condition is continuing to deteriorate. Zelmare snags Omie’s gun and instead of shooting him, she blows him a kiss.
A short while later, Loy lays into Lemuel after Lemuel labels himself a proxy in this fight. Loy reminds him his last name is Cannon and therefore he’s a target. Lemuel reports Calamita was driving and Rabbi was in the passenger seat.
Lemuel declares, once again, he wants nothing to do with the family business and insists he’s a music man.
After Lemuel storms off, the discussion turns to the robbery at the vending machine company. Three people are dead and $20,000 is missing. Loy’s informed it was accomplished by two women, one of whom was sick.
Doctor Senator believes this was a coordinated, planned attack. Loy issues a command to lock everything down.
Loy’s confused about what it all means and asks if he should hurt Zero. Doctor knows that would bring it all to a boil and wonders if the order was given by Josto or Gaetano Fadda. There might be in-fighting and this could be a case of the tail wagging the dog. If Loy retaliates, it’ll be a fight to the death.
Wisely, they decide they need to be sure who gave the order before they take their next step.
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