TV: Fargo Season 4: Episode 6: Camp Elegance (2020) – Reviewed


Photo Courtesy of FX

At this point I probably sound like I’m repeating myself, but I’m still loving this season of Fargo. It’s different than previous seasons in many ways, but it still retains the charm that the show has had since the beginning. 

The last few episodes have been a series of moves and counter moves from both sides of the conflict. Last week saw the Faddas striking down the Cannons in brutal ways, and this week Loy (Chris Rock) showed what he’s made of after the heartbreaking death of Doctor Senator (Glynn Turman).

Sunday’s episode, entitled Camp Elegance, begins with Loy going after Otis (Jack Huston), and explaining that he now owns him. When Otis signals that he understands the situation, Loy charges him with getting his son, Satchel (Rodney L. Jones III), back so that he can take down the Faddas once and for all. 

Simultaneously, Capps (Kelsey Asbille) and Roulette (Karen Aldridge) – acting on orders from Loy – trick Gaetano (Salvatore Esposito) into killing his own man before Capps shoots Gaetano in the side of the head, injuring but not killing him. 

This event unintentionally makes things a little easier for Josto (Jason Schwartzman) who has been looking for a way to rid himself of his brother. Josto then orders Antoon Dumini (Sean Fortunato) to dispose of Satchel, causing several chain events that ultimately lead to Rabbi Milligan (Ben Whishaw) saving Satchel’s life, later telling Satchel that he will have a choice as to the life he wants for himself, something that Milligan was never offered. 

If there’s a knock against Camp Elegance, it’s that both Deafy (Timothy Olyphant) and Ethelrida (E'myri Crutchfield) barely appear, yet still are crucial to the overall story. Deafy continues to spy on Otis and sees Loy and his men leaving Otis’s apartment during the opening scene; Ethelrida celebrates her birthday while contemplating the letter she sent to Oraetta’s (Jessie Buckley) supervisor at the hospital, which revealed Oraetta’s sinister motives. 

Other than those two moments, Deafy and Ethelrida are absent from this week’s proceedings. I can’t really blame Noah Hawley or his fellow writers – there are four credited writers for Camp Elegance: Hawley, Enzo Mileti, Scott Wilson and Francesca Sloane – given the amount of characters this year. It’s only fitting and natural that certain episodes would focus on some characters while omitting others. Still, even writing and summarizing the information above, I too must check myself on the who’s who of characters and the actors playing them. 

The experience of watching Fargo week in and week out helps one keep track of all the moving pieces, but as I mentioned in one of my previous reviews, Fargo is a show that would be better served if all of the episodes were offered at once. Hawley is an expert at many things, and having focused, character-driven stories are among his best qualities. 

Still, character drives plot, and when you have this many characters, having the entire story at one’s disposal may prove more useful than getting one chunk at a time. That’s less the fault of Hawley’s and more just then nature of putting out a product on FX. 

I imagine next week’s episode will be more focused on the Faddas, especially given the pattern of the past few weeks, but then again Fargo always manages to surprise me. Either way, this episode, despite some minor quibbles, proves that Fargo continues to be the best show on television right now.

--Matt Giles