Writers Noah Hawley and Lee Edward Colston II pay tribute to The Wizard of Oz with FX’s Fargo season 4 episode 9, “East/West.” The principally black and white episode has an actual Ozian vibe, full with key characters, a Fargo twist on the yellow brick highway, an cute canine, and a twister!
Omie Sparkman (Corey Hendrix) takes a break from driving, stretching his legs as he reads a marker honoring Clyde Tombaugh, the person who found Pluto. He permits his kidnapped passenger (saved within the automobile’s trunk) a smoke whereas pumping him for information. The reluctant passenger, Aldo Abruzo (Joel Reitsma), says Fixed Calamita got here to him searching for weapons, explaining he wanted to kill some individuals in Kansas. Aldo thinks Calamita’s trying to find a Swede or an Irishman.
Omie’s subsequent cease is a fuel station in the midst of nowhere. The clerk’s by himself and he’s a talker. When requested he confirms a thin Italian hasn’t handed by lately. However, if he’s on this highway he’s positive to cease there since there aren’t many fuel stations round.
Omie desires to hang around till Calamita exhibits up and provides to color the partitions if the clerk will enable him to stay round. He forces Aldo into lending a hand since they’ve time to kill.
Hours go by and clouds collect overhead as they take a break contained in the station. Calamita pulls up and Aldo tries to make a run for it. Omie’s pressured to shoot him earlier than he makes it exterior.
Calamita hears the shot and slowly exits his car.
The episode jumps again in time someday, catching up with Rabbi Milligan (Ben Whishaw) and Satchel Cannon (Rodney L Jones III) who’re additionally on the highway and driving previous that very same fuel station. They arrive within the city of Liberal, Kansas the place Rabbi plans to relaxation for a couple of days.
A historic marker exterior the resort tells the story of the Mellon household who lured unsuspecting vacationers to their deaths.
Their check-in on the Barton Arms is a bit complicated, with the clerk quizzing Rabbi Milligan on odd subjects to find out whether or not to place them within the east or west facet of the resort. She concludes they need to sleep within the west facet and warns the sisters who personal the place don’t like “coloured people.” But when they steer clear of the sisters (The Wizard of Oz‘s witches), they’ll be fantastic.
After a fast tour of the place, she exhibits them to their room. On the way in which there, Rabbi notices a yellow line down the center of the ground. Apparently, the sisters have cut up the place in half and every management one facet whereas avoiding the opposite.
Rabbi desires Satchel to remain within the room till he returns from retrieving cash he hid on the town years in the past. He arms Satchel a knife and reminds him that if he doesn’t return, he’s both useless or in jail.
Rabbi makes it into city solely to find the shop the place he hid the cash has gone out of enterprise and the brand new homeowners have taken down the wall the place his stash of money was saved. The brand new proprietor confirms the wall was eliminated however doesn’t say something concerning the cash – and Rabbi doesn’t ask.
Satchel’s alone in his room when he hears a noise inside a wardrobe cupboard. He opens the door and out jumps a canine! It’s a Cairn Terrier – like Toto – named Rabbit. She’s a cute little factor and really pleasant. She takes off working downstairs as soon as Satchel opens the door and he chases after her. He encounters aluminum siding salesman Hunk Swindell (Tim Hopper) in a parlor and pauses for a chat. It seems Hunk (The Wizard of Oz‘s “Scarecrow”) is an actual fan of Dale Carnegie and is sort of the individuals individual. Fargo‘s model of The Wizard of Oz‘s “Tin Man” – Hickory J. Milch (Japhet Balaban) – joins them and modifications the topic to grease fields. He’s headed to Texas to make his fortune.
Rabbi returns to the resort and sends Satchel again to their room. Rabbi confesses there’s been a setback acquiring the cash, however he thinks he’s solved the issue. He warns Satchel to not wander round when he’s out. Satchel hears the dinner bell and utterly ignores Rabbi’s warning.
They be part of these already gathered across the dinner desk, however Satchel’s warned he can’t sit down. One of many sisters permits it, principally as a result of the opposite sister refuses to permit “coloreds” on the desk. Hunk introduces everybody seated on the desk and Rabbi makes use of a pretend identify. He claims to be searching for trustworthy work in Sioux Falls.
Hunk retains up a gentle stream of tales as everybody eats.
The next day Rabbi permits Satchel to carry the canine as they head into city. Rabbi stops by a billboard that’s midway completed and asks the person placing it up what it should say when it’s completed. “The long run is…what?” asks Rabbi. The person tells him he’ll simply have to attend till it’s full to study the reply. He’s going concerning the job slowly in order that he can keep employed.
When requested why he cares, Rabbi replies, “It’s the precept, making individuals dwell with uncertainty. It ain’t proper.”
They arrive on the town and park exterior the shop, and Rabbi instructs Satchel to remain within the automobile. Inside the shop, the 2 homeowners are discussing Rabbi’s go to. The one who spoke with him is bound he is aware of they’ve taken his hidden cash.
Rabbi enters the shop from the rear and is ready to simply get the drop on the lads. He instructs the homeowners to go again into the workplace, away from the entrance of the shop. Rabbi calls for the return of his cash and one proprietor claims to not know something. Rabbi hits him along with his gun and the opposite proprietor confesses it’s within the secure. Since they discovered it within the retailer after they bought it, they imagine it’s rightfully theirs.
Rabbi discovers what’s left of his $5,000 isn’t a lot but it surely’s higher than strolling away empty-handed.
In the meantime, a cop questions Satchel who’s quietly ready within the automobile. The cop calls for to know what he’s doing as inside the shop the homeowners beg for his or her lives.
Rabbi seems to think about his subsequent transfer. We don’t hear any gunshots previous to Rabbi returning to the automobile to deal with the cop. Rabbi claims Satchel’s dad is a useless a conflict hero he served with, and he thinks it’s his responsibility to look after his good friend’s orphaned son.
The cop warns Rabbi to watch out touring round this city with a “coloured” child.
Again on the resort, Satchel complains about being hungry. Rabbi’s determined they’ll go away that night – with out the canine. Satchel pleads to be allowed to carry her and when he doesn’t get his method, he confesses he simply wished one factor for his birthday.
Rabbi had no concept it’s the child’s birthday and heads off to the fuel station to purchase the boy a deal with. He stops once more on the billboard which is now completed. It reads: “The Future is Now!” and he’s sad with that declaration. The person’s nonetheless engaged on it and provides no definitive rationalization for what it means.
The wind’s actually kicking up as Rabbi Milligan approaches the fuel station. He spots legs protruding of a door and quietly approaches a window. Peeking in he sees Calamita holding Omie at gunpoint. The wind whips round and makes a noise, inflicting Calamita to search for and spot Rabbi exterior. He heads exterior and shoots Rabbi as soon as earlier than he could make it into his automobile.
Rabbi leans on the hood and isn’t in a position to return fireplace as a result of the bullet has rendered his proper arm too weak to lift the gun. Omie follows Calamita exterior the shop and fires his one remaining bullet into Calamita’s again. Calamita returns fireplace, taking pictures Omie twice.
Whereas Calamita was occupied with Omie, Rabbi was ready to make use of his left arm to carry up his proper and takes intention at Calamita. Sadly, a robust gust of wind sends a board into his arm, knocking the gun away. Calamita’s about to shoot Rabbi when the approaching twister begins sucking all the things into the sky. Each Calamita and Rabbi Milligan are sucked up into the funnel.
Satchel wakes to search out Rabbi hasn’t returned. When he steps exterior the room, the episode switches to paint.
He tells the bandaged man within the room subsequent door that he’s simply woken up and is searching for his good friend. Satchel refuses to come back nearer as the person instructs and as an alternative returns to his room.
He cuddles Rabbit whereas ready for Rabbi’s return, propping a chair below the doorknob to maintain out the entire resort’s unusual Ozian visitors.
Hours move and Rabbi nonetheless hasn’t returned. Rabbit must exit and Satchel will get dressed to go away. They head off down the highway collectively. Satchel pauses to have a look at the finished billboard and to look each instructions down the freeway, deciding which approach to stroll.