Fargo’s fifth season came to a dramatic and thought-provoking conclusion this week with the season finale “Bisquik.” The episode wraps up the stories of this season’s eclectic cast of characters, bringing violence, morally grey choices, and eventually, redemption. Showrunner Noah Hawley breaks down the powerful ending and what it all means.
Final Showdown Leaves Several Dead
The finale picks up right where last week’s cliffhanger left off, with Odis Weff (Jack Huston) and his sons confronting Sheriff Josto Fadda (Jason Schwartzman) and his men outside the Fadda family home. A bloody shootout ensues, leaving most of Josto’s men and both of Odis’s sons dead. Josto escapes wounded.
This kicks off an epic final showdown between warring factions that has been building all season. Josto reconnects with his brother Rabbi Milligan (Ben Whishaw), who takes him to nurse his wounds. Meanwhile, Odis hunts them down, eventually tracking them to Rabbi’s synagogue hideout.
In a dramatic confrontation, Odis shoots Rabbi, but is then shot dead himself by a waiting Det. Witt Farrugia (Lamorne Morris). Josto finishes his dying brother off before fleeing.
Ancient Hitman Ole Munch Seeks Retribution
The violent fallout catches the attention of an ominous figure from previous seasons – 95 year old retired hitman Ole Munch (Sam Spruell). Munch comes to Kansas seeking vengeance against Josto for the death of his grandson Larue Dollars in season 4.
In an interview with the New York Post, Spruell elaborates on Ole Munch’s motivations: “He’s so old and has so many ailments, but the only thing keeping him going is his lust for retribution before he dies.”
Munch quickly picks up Josto’s trail, aided by nurse Zelmare Roulette (Karen Aldridge) and her daughter Swanee (Kelsey Asbille). The pair have their own complicated history with the Faddas.
Violent End For Corrupt Sheriff and His Minions
With Odis gone, Det. Witt Farrugia becomes the new head of the expansionist “Montana Mason” militia group. His corruption and brutality have been growing all season, and the power goes to his head.
Witt quickly abuses his new authority as sheriff to terrorize the town, but his reign is short-lived. Munch, Zelmare and Swanee stealthily infiltrate Witt’s home at night and gruesomely dispatch Witt and his white supremacist flunkies.
Actor Lamorne Morris reacted emotionally to reading the script for the first time: “I threw my phone across the room. I was hot.”
Josto Meets Befitting End After Years of Scheming
The loose ends come together at a diner in the final confrontation. Munch surprises Josto and serves him poisoned pancakes, delivering lethal retribution for his grandson’s death.
Before dying, Josto phones his rival Mort Kellerman (Nick Offerman) to concede defeat. Kellerman has a heart attack and collapses just after hanging up.
Showrunner Noah Hawley explains that Josto’s penchant for scheming to get ahead is what ultimately doomed him:
“He climbed the ladder one rung too high. The moment he became king, he painted a target on his back.”
|Ruthless outsider seeking power
|Shot dead by Det. Witt
|Josto’s estranged brother
|Shot by Odis
|Det. Witt Farrugia
|Corrupt sheriff allied with militia
|Killed by Munch group
|Retired hitman seeking vengeance
|Get revenge, leaves town
|Kansas City mafia boss
|Poisoned by Munch
|Josto’s longtime Mob rival
|Heart attack induced by stress
Zelmare Finds Redemption Through Mercy
Perhaps the most profound moment comes through an act of mercy by Zelmare Roulette. She chooses to spare her sworn enemy Loy Cannon’s son Satchel (Rodney L Jones III) and granddaughter Ethelrida (Emyri Crutchfield), refusing to take vengeance into her own hands.
Showrunner Noah Hawley elaborates on this key moment to The Hollywood Reporter:
“In that moment, she puts aside her own desire for vengeance and says, ‘The cycle ends here.’ She absorbs the debt herself so that it can’t continue and spread outward. And there’s something beautiful in that act of grace.”
Many critics have highlighted Zelmare’s act of grace as the moral heart of the finale. By choosing forgiveness over retribution, she breaks the cycle of violence that has continued unchecked since Loy Cannon killed her son in the 1950s.
The Verdict: A Powerful Ending to an Uneven Season
Reviews of the season finale have been generally positive, while critiquing some aspects of the preceding season. Many praise showrunner Noah Hawley’s ability to weave philosophical themes into the show’s trademark blend of quirky humor and bursts of violence.
- Vanity Fair calls the ending a “stirring and thoughtful conclusion about the nature (and nurture) of violence.”
- Vulture says the finale brings “catharsis and closure after nine hours of anxious doom.”
- The Ringer claims Zelmare’s act of mercy provides “Fargo at its best” but says the season as a whole was “missing intangibles”.
The message seems clear – violence and revenge only lead to more of the same. But the choice to show mercy and break the cycle offers hope for redemption. This philosophical climax will likely leave viewers mulling over Fargo’s moral lessons long after the credits roll.
What’s Next For the Acclaimed Anthology Series
With five darkly fascinating seasons now aired, fans are wondering if there will be a sixth installment of the acclaimed FX anthology series.
Showrunner Noah Hawley remains tight-lipped about potential future seasons. When recently asked by ScreenRant if he had further ideas to explore, he gave a coy response:
“I always have ideas. But I’m focused right now on my two shows for FX, and my new show for Apple TV. We will see!”
While nothing is confirmed yet, the show’s enduring originality and philosophical themes could see it return to explore new stories, time periods, and moral questions. As Ole Munch showed this season, the past has a way of catching up with the present. Much like Munch returning to settle a decades-old score, perhaps fans haven’t seen the last of Fargo just yet.
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