“Camp Elegance” is only episode six of Fargo‘s fourth season. There are FIVE more to go. This means that as each episode convinces you that a shoe is about to drop, it is lying. The tension just keeps building. A little more blood is spilled each week. A little more kindling is added to the fire that will soon blow Kansas City apart, but so far … no explosion.
The major focus of “Camp Elegance” is the war breaking out between Loy Cannon’s (Chris Rock) crew and Josto Fadda’s (Jason Schwartzman) family. Gaetano (Salvatore Esposito) and Constant Calamita (Gaetano Bruno) assassinating Doctor Senator (Glynn Turman) has set the war machine irrevocably in motion, and Loy is quick to respond.
One of Loy’s opening moves is to set his men on Odis (Jack Huston) in his sad apartment. Loy follows and tells Odis that he belongs to him now, ultimately tasking him with retrieving young Satchel (Rodney L Jones III) from the Italians. Loy also has his new soldiers, Zelmare (Karen Aldridge) and Swanee (Kelsey Asbille), use their wiles to infiltrate the home where Gaetano is holed up. They leave all of his guards dead and drag him unconscious to Loy’s boxing gym, where Loy chains him to a chair and unleashes a welterweight fighter on him. Loy doesn’t plan to kill Gaetano until he has Satchel securely in hand, but best laid plans and all that.
Josto gets the news of Gaetano’s abduction at the same time his consigliere gives him the breakdown of what the bosses in New York want him to do: fix things with Loy one way or another and work things out with his brother. Josto does not want to lose the opportunity to get his brother permanently out of the way, and he doesn’t want to be told what to do by New York. He wants war.
Josto sets Constant up to take the fall for subverting New York’s order to trade Gaetano for something, punishing the scarred flunky for his wavering loyalty. He orders one of his other men to separate Rabbi (Ben Whishaw) from Satchel and then take the kid “for a drive.”
Antoon (Sean Fortunato), the poor sap who knows there’s no safe way not to follow the order to murder a child, has to pull Satchel away from the television where he’s watching a show with Antoon’s own gaggle of children. He leaves his loving (and ambitious) wife with a look that communicates what he’s off to do, then drives Satchel to Camp Elegance, the place where he was cared for while a prisoner of war.
Antoon takes Satchel to the spot where he carved his name when he made the decision that one day he would be an American, draws his gun and … can not go through with it. His soul might be saved by the last second decision not to kill a little boy, but his life is forfeit to the cagey Rabbi, who arrives just in time to shoot Antoon and whisk Satchel away to someplace safe. (Thank you, Fargo!)
As they flee, Rabbi explains to Satchel that he never had a choice. He was forced to become a child soldier. He pledges that they’ll hide out somewhere until the dust settles, and then he’ll give Satchel the choice about whether or not he wants to go home. Satchel trusts him and agrees to go along with this plan.
Meanwhile, Oraetta’s (Jessie Buckley) boss, Dr. Harvard (Stephen Spencer), receives Ethelrida’s (Emyri Crutchfield) letter and calls the murderous nurse in to discuss it. The letter has been sent anonymously, and Oraetta is able to charm the vain man into tucking it into a drawer instead of taking it to HR. She knows he’s on alert now, but it doesn’t help her resist the urge to dispatch a moaning gout patient who is driving the whole hospital crazy. (A thought: does Oraetta use a pseudonym? Maybe she really is from Fargo!)
Who can say how quickly Oraetta will identify Ethelrida as the likely sender of the letter? Things are dark anyway at the Smutney house. The girl is already in the dumps over having given her aunt up to Marshall Dick “Deafy” Wickware (Timothy Olyphant). Her parents are equally dour after having told Loy where to find Zelmare as well and signed their business over to him.
And Deafy? He’s just sitting back and observing right now, quietly tailing Odis and putting the pieces together. Chances are, he’ll be among the last folks standing … or not. Fargo is hella bloody, you know?