Family is family.
The episode begins Oraetta hard at work, preparing what’s sure to be a safe and healthy dessert. She pops by Dr. Harvard’s office to deliver his macaroons, and she’s surprised to see that they’re actually French, not Italian. Harvard just ate, but Oraetta insists that he at least try one. At her insistence, he picks a vanilla one. He takes a bite and soon devours the entire thing, calling it extraordinary.
Then the choking starts. With the doctor on the floor and incapacitated, Oraetta looks over the anonymous letter. As the doctor continues to convulse, Oraetta eventually lets out a fake yell to alert the secretary.
The Fadda clan looks over Antoon’s body. Josto orders Calamita to hunt down and kill both Rabbi Milligan and the boy. As for Antoon? He’s left for the birds. How rude.
At the same time, Loy and his men contemplate what to do with Gaetano. Leon wants to kill Gaetano, and still insists that he’s strategy, but at the repeated mention of Doctor Senator’s name, an enraged Loy punches Leon and then takes off his belt to literally whips Leon’s ass.
After calming down, Loy answers the phone and tells the caller on the other side to meet him at his place at 3 pm.
Deafy meets up with Odis to discuss his surveillance on Loy Cannon. He believes there aren’t any secrets in the Kansas City Police Department, but Odis knows all of that. Deafy suggests going in, guns a-blazing, but he knows that’s not the best idea. He then asks Odis if he’s familiar with the blood atonement. Thou shalt not kill, but he that killeth shall die. No, Odis is unfamiliar.
Also, Deafy’s little birdie brought up how Odis is a crooked cop. Deafy wonders if Odis has been yanking his chain the entire time. Deafy warns Odis on which side he’s playing, but Odis just wants Deafy out of his vehicle. He then proceeds to slap himself in the face over and over again.
Calamita arrives at Loy’s home and asks Buel how many children are in the house. She, in turn, asks if he’s ever been to the zoo. The mama lion isn’t just in the cage for her protection, which Buel proves as she whips out a shotgun and tells Calamita to get the fuck out. Soon enough, Calamita does fall back.
Over at the funeral home, Ethelrida comes downstairs to find some men bringing boxes into her home. As one of the men loafs around, he heads towards a coffin- that briefly opened by itself, by the way- and taps on it. Of course, he gets no response.
Calamita investigates Satchel’s room to hopefully find something to aid him in the search for Rabbi Milligan. He soon happens upon a Bible and, inside, a specific newspaper clipping about a restaurant: Uncle Jack’s Feed & Seed.
While Deafy watches from a safe distance, the Faddas arrive at Loy’s base of operations. Josto and Ebal soon head inside. Ebal apologizes for the death of Doctor Senator, whom he considered a friend, but based on how it is, you can’t kill certain people. Gaetano is one of those people.
Josto isn’t as on board with that, but Ebal offers a trade: in exchange for Gaetano, the Cannon will control the trucking routes to Cleveland and Dallas, as well as the slaughterhouse.
Loy still considers killing Gaetano, as well as Ebal and Josto, but Josto considers that funny. If Loy gets the territory and hands over Gaetano, then Gaetano will leave the country. Then again, as Josto points out, New York doesn’t know that Loy has Gaetano. Josto points out that it’s been hard since Donatello died. Gaetano came over and made some choices, but he wasn’t alone. Gaetano had rats killing him, like Paolo.
But one other guy did something. What this guy did is a sin, as far as Josto is concerned: and this ‘thing’ is that Satchel is dead. Josto didn’t have to deliver this news, but he respects and grieves with Loy. It shouldn’t have happened. A life for a life. Zero has been treated fairly, and Josto is fine with Zero being killed, to even things out, but he’s more on board if Gaetano were to be killed.
However, Loy wants to see Satchel’s body. Josto doesn’t have it, though since Calamita heard about the trade. Loy wants to see Rabbi Milligan, who fought harder for Satchel than anybody, but Josto doesn’t know where he is. As Loy remembers the exchange of sons, he orders Josto and Ebal to leave.
That evening, Loy prepares to administer quite the beating upon an unsuspecting Zero, but ultimately can’t bring himself to do it. He stews over the supposed death of Satchel before going to Buel to deliver hear the bad news.
The next day, Loy recalls his conversations with Satchel, who informed his father that he received good teachings from Rabbi Milligan. Loy informs his son that where they’re going, the smartest man wins. Where is that? The top. He then stops and sees an advertisement for the Diners’ Club Credit Card.
Well, there goes that idea.
We rejoin Odis, who remembers happier times with his beloved-to-be. In present-day, he begins packing up his figurines and cleans up around his living space. When he’s all packed up and ready to go, he’s interrupted by the arrival of Loy’s men. He’s ordered to get into their car, but Otis retorts that he doesn’t get in their car- they get in his.
So they do.
Fair enough. So Odis is brought to Loy’s operations and eventually meets Zelmare and Swanee. He warns them that they’ll get killed in a place like this, but they aren’t too worried about that. Loy soon arrives and tells Odis to cover his ears.
He gives them train tickets to Philadelphia and orders them to not return. He’s trying to do the right thing and avoid them ending up dead. Zelmare would rather not go, but Loy reminds her that if she cares about her sister’s well-being, she’ll go. So they leave.
Loy tells Odis that he wants his kids to elevate, not denigrate. As for the Italians, they call a man an animal and keep him in the dirt. But what if that man stands tall and remains a man. Surely Odis understands that. You get in the dirt yourself and you show them how to hate and be cruel. You kill his friend and murder his child, even.
That’s a surprise for Odis. Loy figures that the Italians can’t rise to their level, so they’ll drag the Coloreds down to theirs. If Loy gets in the dirt, then the Italians were right the entire time. Opal is an eye-for-an-eye type. Kill or be killed. Win or lose. It’s not complex. Loy figures that every country has its own type of criminal. America has the snake-oil salesman. In America, people want to believe.
They want to dream, and you can fleece a dreamer. Odis doesn’t understand, but Loy reveals that Josto wants Loy to kill Gaetano. Loy won’t do that, so the question is what will Loy and Odis do about this?
So what about Gaetano? He’s recalling all the men he’s killed, but he’s interrupted by the arrival of Loy and Odis. Loy sits before Gaetano and tells him that this is over. Josto made them equal partners if Loy kills Gaetano. Family is family, but no one in Loy’s family is trying to kill him. Gaetano is ready to die. Loy cuts Gaetano loose and tells him to inform Josto that the stockyards are his.
Outside, Loy orders one of his men to hit the road and put down Calamita. Opal, meanwhile, cautions Loy, hoping that the Cannon leader knows what he’s doing.
Loy is fighting two battles: he’s trying to win the war with the Italians, and the war against years of oppression in America. Both very challenging prospects, and while Loy has faced major hurdles, he’s managed to stay true to his principles. He doesn’t compromise his integrity or play dirty just because it’s easy. Nor does he resort to retaliation because he can.
Any action that Loy has taken has been because something was done to him. His men attack Calamita on the road, but only after the Faddas attempted to assassinate Lemuel. He doesn’t have Gaetano kidnapped until after Doctor Senator is killed. Now that his son has supposedly been killed, not only does he not take action against Zero, but he also cuts Gaetano loose.
He’s sticking to his morals and refusing to put his hands in the filth, like the Faddas want. It would have been easy for him to have Josto and Ebal killed on the spot when he learned about Satchel’s fate, but not only would he kickstart a shootout, it also wouldn’t bring back his son. While Loy may be a mobster, he’s out to set himself apart from what America sees in a gangster.
Granted, America already sets him apart from most gangsters due to his race, like Josto pointed out to Loy’s men when they were in jail. Loy has to work twice as hard to prove his worth and not step into traps that would just prove society right. That’s hard to do when the odds are stacked against him. After all, his novel credit card idea was swiped before his eyes, but would America believe him if he said that he had the idea first?
It’s amazing how restrained Loy has been, considering all that’s been thrown at him. Beyond him yelling at Josto and Ebal to leave, he only shows moments of anger when with his family and associates. Leon just happened to be a target of his frustration between his repeated attempts at wanting to be more involved, coupled with mentioning Doctor Senator’s name more than once.
What we can gather about Loy is that he’s sitting on a lot of rage. Losing Satchel doesn’t help, and I wish we’d seen more of two things: him discussing this with Buel, and him grappling with what to do about Zero. But he’s not about to fight fire with fire. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. Him wanting to see Satchel’s body is proof enough that he doesn’t truly believe the boy is dead.
More than that, cutting Gaetano loose not only shows that he sees himself a better man than Josto. He sees the friction between the two, and turning Gaetano back over to Josto is sure to create more of a headache for the Faddas. This, in turn, will cause even more fighting between the Italians, while Loy, per Ebal’s terms, can expand his empire.
Opal and Doctor have warned Loy that he can’t control everything, and while that remains true, it’s clear that he’s doing whatever it takes to tip things in his favor, while still staying true to his morals.
Josto, meanwhile, would be fine if Loy took care of any opposition within his ranks. It’s why he has no problem with Loy potentially killing Gaetano, or wanting Calamita taken care of. As has been indicated before, Josto’s insecurity comes from people not taking him seriously. Or rather, people not treating him like the boss that he says he is. While he may be calling the shots, he’s still no Donatello.
I think he might be past the point of redemption since he ordered Antoon to kill Satchel, though. As Ebal has pointed out, there are lines you don’t cross. Family is family, but Josto being fine with his brother dying could indicate that family isn’t the highest priority to him right now. At least, not all of his family.
Between Josto and Loy, the wild card here is Odis. He’s already in the pockets of the Italians, yet he’s pulling double duty for Loy as well. In addition, Deafy knows that Odis is crooked, so I wonder what side he’ll eventually pick. He could always just side with neither and just uphold the rule of law, but that’s too easy for Fargo.
Whenever we’ve seen Deafy as of recent, he’s keeping watch from a distance. The most proactive thing we’ve seen him do was try to get the drop on Zelmare and Swanee, but Loy beat him to the punch. I get the sense that he’s now trying to bide his time and gather as much intel as he can before making a move. It’s slower and methodical, but hopefully pays off in his favor.
So Oraetta asking Dr. Harvard about his favorite treat paid off, as the macaroons proved to be his undoing. I can’t tell if he actually died or is just in really bad shape, but if the doctor pulls through, then Oraetta is screwed. If he doesn’t, then she’s in the clear and now has the letter. I maintain that she should know it’s Ethelrida because of the handwriting in her notebook that she left behind.
But I again has to ask…what’s her endgame? Is she just killing for the sake of killing? Because she’s Minnesota crazy? Plus, if she does indeed know that Ethelrida wrote the anonymous letter, how will she deal with that? Swanee ended up eating the pie, so that was a bust, and chances are that Ethelrida is still suspicious of anything that Nurse Mayflower makes. Who wouldn’t be, really?
With Satchel seemingly dead, but not really, the stakes have been raised for the Cannon Limited, which now has its sights set on Calamita. With Gaetano being returned to Josto, count on more friction between the two. Loy truly better hope that he knows what he’s doing.
Until then, see you next week.