TV: Fargo Season 4: Episode 7: Lay Away (2020) – Reviewed


I’m beginning to see some of the problems with Season 4 of Fargo as the episodes progress. In previous weeks, I’ve noted that the latest slate of episodes have leaned more toward the “moves and counter moves” structure, and it’s starting to wear out its welcome. Episode 7, entitled Lay Away, shows both sides this time, rather than focusing on the Faddas or the Cannons exclusively. 

After Josto (Jason Schwartzman) discovers that Rabbi Milligan (Ben Whishaw) intervened and saved Satchel’s (Rodney L. Jones III) life, Josto decides to try and gain the upper hand in the feud with the Cannons by lying to Loy (Chris Rock) and telling him that Satchel was murdered. 

Josto offers Loy a deal: If Loy kills Gaetano (Salvatore Esposito) and Calamita (Gaetano Bruno), the Cannons will gain control of several of the Fadda’s businesses. Loy, once again proving that he’s not a hothead, takes time to consider the offer and realizes that if he kills Gaetano, the Faddas would be will have the ammunition they need to destroy the Cannon Limited once and for all. Instead, Loy frees Gaetano, presumably to let the Faddas destroy themselves from the inside. 

Make no mistake, despite the more repetitive nature the latest batch of episodes have taken on, Fargo remains one of the best shows on television. As much as it pains me to admit, however, this season might be remembered in a less favorable light, depending (as always) on how it ends. 

It seems less surprising and shocking than in previous years, but that might not be a bad thing. Again, I don’t know. It may seem like I’m going back and forth because I am. I’ve repeatedly said that I trust Noah Hawley as a storyteller. I still do. 

Not having the advantage of seeing the complete season all at once makes it trickier to judge whether an episode works. This week might seem like a dud, but by the time we get to the finale, there could be an amazing payoff that justifies its existence. 

Again, Fargo works best when viewed all at once. With a rare eleven episodes this season (apparently there was so much story that Hawley asked for an additional episode, which both makes me excited and worried) this is very much an 11+ hour movie. Think about a sprawling epic like The Godfather or The Godfather Part II. You wouldn’t watch 45 minutes to an hour of that movie on its own and then judge that hour, would you? 

Maybe that’s not a fair comparison. Movies are different than television, but as we all know, especially in recent years, those lines have flirted with one another. Fargo, by design, feels cinematic. It IS a sprawling epic both in scope and in story. 

I patiently await the finale, still about a month away. I hope I’m proven right. All we can do for now is wait and see.

--Matt Giles