‘Fargo’ Season 5 Episode 4 Recap & Ending Explained: Why Does Roy Kill Joshua?


Fargo season 5 is already being considered one of the better iterations of the dark comedy mystery thriller series in recent times, and the rollercoaster ride continues with a gripping episode 4. The end of last week’s episode 3 set the stage for a symbolically epic battle between our protagonist, Dot, and the men pursuing her, namely Roy and Gator. The new episode now deals with this very faceoff, which has some serious consequences, and also presents Roy Tillman’s latest plans for keeping up with his search while also himself having to stay away from the authorities.

Spoiler Alert

Can Gator kidnap Dot from her house?

Fargo season 5 episode 4 begins right where episode 3 left off—in front of Dot and Wayne’s house in the friendly Scandia neighborhood, with Halloween festivities all around. Making the scene evil and sinister are Gator and his crew of men and women, all of whom are masked appropriately, both for the kidnapping they are about to attempt and also for Halloween. The team divides into pairs and approaches the house from different sides, for they have learned by now that their target is extremely clever. Gator is careful enough to notice some of the noise traps set up inside the house, but Dot is already aware that her captors are coming. The woman had spotted Gator and his suspicious-looking group at the end of the previous episode, and so Dot is also ready to face off with the intruders. It is also for this reason that Dot had already ordered Scott and Wayne to hide inside the loft storage space.

When the two sides finally throw caution to the wind and go about their intentions, Dot once again shines because of her extreme intelligence and quick thinking. She single-handedly puts down a couple of the men with only the help of her many tools and booby traps. At one point, Dot and Gator also come face to face, as the young man expresses with anger his intention to take her back to his father. During this time, Gator refers to Dot as Nadine, meaning that her original name was Nadine, and Dorothy was what she changed to after her escape to Scandia. Dot is equally resolute that she does not want to go back and will fight till the very end to prevent getting captured by Gator. She manages to push the man away in this instance and run around the house, stretching the chase scene some more to satisfying measures.

Eventually, though, the entire course of action changes when Scott and Wayne also have to join Dot in hiding inside one of the bedrooms. Wayne has no idea about what is going on, and he is also confused at hearing his wife being called Nadine. His questions have to be put away for the time being as the couple attempt to somehow escape the house, and in this process, Wayne makes the mistake of trying to open the bedroom window. Dot had carefully booby-trapped every such window, with electric wires running all along them, so that nobody from the outside or inside could use them without getting electrocuted. This is exactly what happens to Wayne, as the man is terribly injured before Dot pulls off the power plug, but the running electricity also leads to the curtains catching fire.

Within a couple of minutes, the entire house catches fire and is engulfed in flames, forcing both sides to get out quickly. It is indeed the fire that helps Dot escape abduction once again, as Gator and his group have to immediately leave, with the authorities having been notified of the fire. Although Dot survives one more night of freedom, she is naturally not exuberant about it, for her current husband has been made collateral in this whole fight. Wayne has to be immediately rushed to a hospital, where he is given emergency treatment for the horrific electrocution. By the time the man wakes up from his state, he seems to have lost his recent memory, for he is simply happy to realize that Dot is his wife. Wayne’s muddled mind does once refer to Dot as Nadine, as he had heard her being called right before his accident, but his wife is quick to correct him and give him care and love. Whether Wayne’s memory loss affects other things still needs to be seen, for the extent of the electrocution’s effect is still not very clear. On the other side, Dot carefully teaches young Scott what to say to everyone about her father’s accident. Scott, who is always very eager for adventure and even unnaturally unattached in a sense, quickly repeats after her mother that some faulty wires had caused the fire and that Wayne got his injuries from accidentally falling from the bedroom window. Therefore, as of now, Dot’s cover remains intact, and she has gotten away from Roy’s evil plans once again.

What are the authorities up to?

Indira Olmstead and Witt Farr had already joined forces to investigate Dot’s strange claims that she had not actually been kidnapped, and they now sit down together to watch security camera footage from the convenience store at the gas station. Showing her the footage of Dot running around the place, Witt proves to Indira that the woman he had helped was indeed Dot Lyon. This confuses the deputy even more, as she wonders why someone would go through such unnatural hardships through the night and then refuse to report the kidnapping to the police. Before their thoughts can go any further, though, the two officers are notified of the fire at Dot Lyon’s house, and Indira rushes out to investigate the scene.

On the other side, Lorraine Lyon is busy with an interview for Forbes magazine when she is informed about her son’s accident and his house having been destroyed in the fire. These two scenes are merged beautifully to provide some more information about the strange connection between the billionaire woman and the police deputy. While Lorraine talks about how her business collects debts from people in the most humane and civil manner, Indira receives a call from her insurance company and is reminded of the money she owes them. Indira Olmstead had to borrow money for her husband’s treatment, and the borrower had been the biggest money-lending company in the region—Lorraine Lyon’s business. Therefore, Indira is in debt to Lorraine, and this dynamic will most surely come into play somehow in the upcoming episodes.

When the police arrive at the hospital, Lorraine urges them to detain Dot and question her, for she must be the one to have caused the fire. Witt makes it clear to Dot how he recognizes her very well, and he also states how the camera footage from the gas station can also easily confirm her presence at the place. Dot is nervous because of these statements, for she clearly does not want her mother-in-law and her cunning attorney to know about her pursuers. The scene finally changes when Wayne wakes up and the nurse calls Dot to go see him, and the protagonist has one more lucky escape, as she no longer has to face the sharp questions.

Fargo Episode 4 also features the two FBI agents who had earlier been seen in the 2nd episode, as they had visited Stark County to warn the renegade sheriff Roy Tillman about following state and federal laws. Roy was unfazed by the whole interaction, as he believed himself to be the authority of his county and had turned away the agents. These two agents, Joaquin and Meyer, now appear before a judge to present their findings about Roy Tillman. While the earlier complaints were mostly about Roy not caring about any of the laws and legalities of the state or country, the agents have now found out about the man illegally selling off weapons bought in the name of the sheriff’s department. They also report about how people often go missing around Roy Tillman, just like one of his officers, whom Ole Munch had killed only a day before. Incidentally, it is also mentioned that Roy had two ex-wives missing, and while Dot is one of them, who the other woman was is still a mystery. Considering how the man is, it is very possible that he killed her even before getting married to Dot, and the woman had no idea about this incident. Following up with this possibility, it could then be that Dot had found out about this missing ex-wife and had finally decided to leave Roy after realizing his violent potential.

Despite the two FBI agents’ complaints, the judge refuses to order any action against Roy, for he knows of the man’s unbothered nature and his dangerous mentality. Along with this, it is also revealed that Roy has a personal militia at his disposal, and so the judge knows how wrong any action against the sheriff can go. At present, Joaquin and Meyer find out about Dot, and they decide to investigate her to find out more about Roy Tillman.

Why does Roy kill Joshua in the end?

While Gator’s unsuccessful attempt to kidnap Dot at Scandia had been going on, Roy Tillman made a different kind of discovery back at his own house in Stark County. When the man returned home from church, he found muddied footprints inside the place and then also saw a strange runic symbol drawn on the wall of his daughter’s bedroom. This was indeed the work of Ole Munch, who had left this symbol as a sort of warning or as part of his strange ritualistic methods, and the man is once again seen in the house in Bismarck, with the elderly woman as his unwilling companion. Roy is most certainly spooked and afraid of Ole after this desperate act, and he has now decided to take a more active role in this matter.

However, Roy first needs to get rid of the state authorities looking for Ole Munch, since finding the hitman would eventually tie things back to him as well. Therefore, Roy now visits the house of the couple he saw during his introduction. The abusive husband, Joshua, who had been continuing with the physical torture of his wife, now becomes the latest target for Roy as he instigates the man to pull out his gun and then shoots him dead. Roy orders Gator to inform everyone that Joshua was the hired hitman who had been going around causing trouble and killing people. This is to ensure that the authorities will no longer look for Ole Munch and that Roy can prepare his own plan against the rogue assassin.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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