‘Fargo’ Season 4 Episode 8 Recap: “The Nadir”

Fargo Season 4 Episode 8
Karen Aldridge as Zelmare Roulette and Kelsey Asbille as Swanee Capps in ‘Fargo’ season 4 episode 8 (Photo by Elizabeth Morris/FX)

FX’s Fargo season four episode eight begins with Josto (Jason Schwartzman) suggesting an Election Day wedding to his fiancée, Dessie (Katie Kershaw), and her power-hungry politician father, Milvin Gillis (Eric Slater). However, just because he’s about to wed doesn’t mean he’s wrapped up his affair with Nurse Oraetta Mayflower (Jessie Buckley). Scenes of Oraetta and Josto having rough sex are interspersed with scenes from the wedding conversation with Dessie and Milvin.

Later, Josto’s in bed with Oraetta when he delivers the news he’s getting married soon. She’s surprised but not shocked, and he assures his lover it won’t affect their relationship. The marriage is simply a business arrangement. When Oraetta asks if Josto loves Dessie, he replies, “She knits.”

Oraetta responds, “I knit.”

After Josto heads to the bathroom, Oraetta rings up the hospital and pretends to be Dr. Harvard’s sister. She asks how he’s doing and learns he’s made a full recovery. She assumed he passed away after falling into a coma. Oraetta attempts to get his room number but is forced off the phone by Josto’s return.

Josto confesses Oweny Milligan did things to him that should never be done to a child. Oraetta doesn’t want to hear any more of that story, but Josto explains he’s happy to have someone to open up to. When he tells her he loves her, Oraetta screams at him to get out. “You make me sick, do you hear me?!” she yells.

Josto assures her that’s love and she’s just jealous he’s marrying Dessie. Oraetta demands he leave and not return.

Josto’s happiness about his love life quickly fades when he meets up with his men and finds Gaetano (Salvatore Esposito) sitting in the middle of the group, seated next to Ebal Violante (Francesco Acquaroli). Gaetano immediately attacks his big brother, tossing him in the air. Josto crashes through a table and Gaetano continues the beating, delivering a punch to the face that knocks his brother out.

Josto comes to to find his men apparently now supporting his brother, carrying on and having a good old time. Gaetano reveals he knows Josto murdered Satchel so that Loy would murder him. Surprisingly, Gaetano’s proud of his brother and gives him a hug. Gaetano, after calling Loy clever, explains he figured out Loy wanted him to kill Josto and take over the family. But Gaetano’s realized he’s the muscle while Josto is the brains. He kneels at Josto’s feet and pledges to protect his brother and follow his orders.

Josto warns that if Gaetano ever betrays him, he’ll kill him.

Loy (Chris Rock) learns the bad news that his plan didn’t work and instead helped forge a stronger relationship between the brothers.

Buel Cannon (J. Nicole Brooks) visits the Smutny family’s King of Tears Mortuary looking for her son. She takes a seat at the dining room table as she and Dibrell (Anji White) have a drink and chat. Buel reveals she knows Dibrell’s going to ask for her help and preemptively tells her she can’t offer any assistance. She explains people come to Loy when they have nothing left to lose. “But there’s lower you can go,” warns Buel.

She then reveals Satchel was killed. Dibrell suggests all they can do is have faith and then asks if Buel’s oldest son knows about his brother’s death. He doesn’t. Dibrell states her case, asking for help not for herself or her husband’s sake but for their daughter’s. “It can’t be that she falls because I was too stubborn or weak to ask for help. We will make it right – whatever it takes,” pleads Dibrell.

Buel asks if Dibrell will hold her son’s service and Dibrell says it would be her honor.

Meanwhile, Ethelrida (E’myri Crutchfield) listens to a French record she borrowed from Oraetta as she examines the Fadda ring she took from the nurse’s closet. Lemuel (Matthew Elam) enters the room and asks about her musical tastes. They discuss jazz and Lemuel says he’s only lugging boxes as “an experience.” His dream is to be a horn player.

Dibrell interrupts their conversation to let Lemuel know his mom’s waiting for him. After he leaves, she warns her daughter to keep her distance from Loy’s son. “He’s your captor, not your friend. You can’t afford to make mistakes,” says Dibrell.

Oraetta heads into work and thumbs through the ledger. She can’t find Dr. Harvard’s room number and discovers from another nurse that Harvard’s been transferred to a hospital specializing in the treatment of poisons. The nurse reveals he tested positive for Strychnine and has been transferred out of state while the police conduct an investigation.

Oraetta hurries home and begins packing her bags. She gathers up all the souvenirs she took from the patients she killed and discovers Ethelrida left her journal behind. Oraetta compares the handwriting and confirms Ethelrida is the anonymous letter-writer who told Dr. Harvard about her secret criminal activities.

Oraetta looks out the window and spots Ethelrida standing at the curb outside her family’s funeral home.

Loy makes a quick stop at home, with Opal (James Vincent Meredith) waiting near the car. U.S. Marshal Dick “Deafy” Wickware (Timothy Olyphant) approaches Opal who attempts to dismiss him and send him on his way. Dick doesn’t go away and instead compares weapons before showing off his badge.

Opal reluctantly stands aside and allows Dick to enter Loy’s home.

Loy explains he sent away his family, but Dick’s not interested in that. Dick confesses he seems to be stuck in this city, and Loy reveals he promised Zelmare and Swanee they wouldn’t be harmed. They discuss criminal activities, rules, and loyalty, and Loy even explains he’s a deacon at his church. Dick’s not impressed given that Loy traded his own son away for power and money.

Weapons are drawn and Dick is done playing semi-nice. If Loy can trade away his son, then he should be willing to give up Zelmare and Swanee’s location rather than have law enforcement come down hard on his organization.

Loy chuckles and confesses he likes Dick because of the way he’s unfriendly yet seems like he’s doing him a favor. Loy reveals Zelmare and Swanee are on the 10:00 train to Philadelphia. As Dick’s heading out, Loy warns him it’s no longer safe for him to return to Missouri.

Fargo Season 4 Episode 8
Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshal Dick “Deafy” Wickware in ‘Fargo’ season 4 episode 8 (Photo by Elizabeth Morris/FX)

Dick takes command of a group of officers at the police station, delivering instructions on how they’re going to approach the capture of Zelmare and Swanee. Odis Weff (Jack Huston) is among the men and approaches Dick after he’s done with the meeting. He asks to be allowed to participate in the raid and Dick will allow him if he reveals who he was speaking to on the phone while he was rattling off instructions. Odis admits he called Loy Cannon who told him to make sure Dick “gets” the girls. Loy doesn’t want this coming back on him and needs Odis to make sure they’re either locked up or dead.

Zelmare (Karen Aldridge) and Swanee (Kelsey Asbille) arrive at Union Station 20 minutes prior to departure time. Swanee heads off to shop for some sweets at the same time Odis and Dick are pulling up outside. Dick leads the officers into the station as Odis psychs himself up mentally to handle the upcoming stressful situation.

Zelmare and Swanee kick back on a bench, eating their candy and talking about how much they’ll miss this city.

Dick reminds his men their objective is to take the fugitives in alive, but if there’s any funny business they can shoot them.

Swanee has a vision of the cadaverous man Ethelrida saw in her hallway and Zelmare witnessed in their hotel room. The vision fades away but Swanee’s now on alert. Zelmare also notices a shift in the atmosphere and scans the crowd.

Dick’s on the second floor of the station when he sees his fugitives. Zelmare spots him, chuckles, and prepares for war. Swanee does the same as dozens of cops head down the stairs and into the station’s lobby.

Zelmare and Swanee kiss, preparing to go out in a blaze of glory. The fugitives fire at the approaching cops while innocent bystanders begin screaming and attempting to remove themselves from the line of fire.

Odis is still in the car, unable to calm himself down. He finally manages and joins his fellow officers as passengers stream out of the station.

Odis steps around the bodies of dozens of Zelmare and Swanee’s victims – both cops and civilians. The shots have ceased and he scans the area. Gunfire erupts from the second floor and Dick yells for Odis to join him. He’s cornered the fugitives who’ve now run out of bullets.

Dick instructs Odis to cuff the women and instead Odis shoots him in the chest before turning his gun on Swanee. A bullet to the forehead takes her down as Zelmare screams. She sees the cadaverous man watching from nearby, and then manages to run past Odis who shoots but misses.

Meanwhile, Gaetano joins Josto outside their home to discuss the whereabouts of Constant Calamita. Josto explains Antoon was supposed to kill Satchel but Rabbi Milligan shot him and saved the boy. Constant’s been sent out to kill Rabbi and Satchel. Gaetano wonders how Josto knows Rabbi won’t deliver the boy to Loy, and Josto doesn’t have an answer.

Some of the Fadda men are standing by a fire in the nearby field when suddenly a half dozen men emerge from the trees and begin shooting. Loy’s called in his favor and these are Mortie Kellerman (Kai Lennox) and his men who are on the attack outside the Fadda home. The Fadda goons don’t have a chance to fight back, but Gaetano immediately draws his guns and walks toward the attackers, firing as he closes the distance. They flee and Josto finally emerges from his hiding spot behind some logs.

During the shoot-out, bullets flew through the house’s windows and struck Gaetano and Josto’s mother. She’s dead. As the episode ends, Gaetano looks ready to explode with rage.