‘Fargo’ Season 5 Episode 6 Recap & Ending Explained: What Happens To Vivian Dugger?


It is not very common or easy to have the protagonist of a series be completely absent from an entire episode despite the plot not veering into some other time period or narrative diversion. Yet, episode 6 of Fargo season 5 has Dot Lyon completely missing from the scene, while the rest of the developments in Scandia and Stark County continue as usual. The protagonist driving away from Sheriff Indira Olmstead’s house at the end of episode 5 can now be linked, as she has temporarily vanished from the hotbed of all the action. This increases the possibility of the following episode 7 being completely about Dot, but meanwhile, this week’s episode 6 brings in plenty of exciting developments in this morbid yet entertaining tale.

Spoiler Alert

What happens to Vivian Dugger?

Last week’s episode 5 of Fargo season 5 introduced us to Vivian Dugger, the owner of a struggling bank in the North Dakota-Minnesota border area, who had been approached by the Queen of Debt herself, Lorraine Lyon. The meeting was over Lorraine’s interest in buying Vivian’s bank, as she was ready with a multimillion-dollar offer. It was only because of Vivian’s sexist objection against letting a woman buy over his business that the deal had not been made yet, and Roy Tillman had learned of this development when he went to meet Lorraine. Since Roy and Lorraine’s meeting had gone totally against how the Stark County sheriff had wanted it to be, because the billionaire woman refused to cooperate with him, he had grown terribly vengeful against her. Wanting to hurt the Lyons in every way, Roy had already ordered Wayne to be kidnapped, and he now makes a move against Lorraine financially as well.

At the beginning of episode 6, Roy Tillman arrives in front of an adult club, waiting for the banker and his associates to come out. Roy had revealed earlier that he knew Dugger, and he made use of this acquaintance in order to get back at Lorraine. The sheriff confronts Vivian, threatening him to not go ahead with the deal with Lorraine or else face death at his hands. Vivian Dugger knows that going against Lorraine Lyon’s wishes will hurt him, both financially and otherwise, so he tries to convince Roy of this. When begging does not work, the banker desperately tries to remind him how he knows the governor and can, therefore, cause him harm politically, but Roy Tillman is not someone to be affected by such threats. He further orders Vivian not even to receive Lorraine’s calls and to keep no contact with her whatsoever.

When Lorraine checks up on her business deal through her attorney, Danish Graves, she learns that Vivian is no longer seeing anyone from her side and is not even returning calls. Graves has been told that the man is away for the time being, but Roy Tillman boldly leaving a reminder at Lorraine’s office makes it clear that it is he who is behind this strange behavior. Lorraine receives a white jacket left behind at her reception, along with a note that says “not on my watch,” making it evident that Roy is now getting in her way of business deals as well. While Roy Tillman is more courageous and outspoken, he is no match for Lorraine Lyon’s shrewd intelligence, as she is crafty enough to implement other methods to get back at him.

Lorraine learns of the upcoming elections for the sheriff’s post in Stark County, in which Roy is naturally a candidate. It was also revealed that the banker, Dugger, paid money illegally to fund Roy’s election campaign, so the woman knows that taking down Dugger would hurt both men. Therefore, she sends Graves to meet with the banker once again at the adult club, for this is where one would surely find him. Over a menacing phone call, Lorraine reveals that she has contacted the federal authorities at the SEC, informing them of the illegal favors that Dugger has been making with his bank’s money. It is clear that the man’s business is in complete jeopardy, and to make matters worse, Lorraine has also gotten all his bank accounts frozen, resulting in his son’s higher education stopping as well. In a series of impactful decisions, Lorraine Lyon completely obliterates Vivian Dugger’s life, getting him into all sorts of financial and legal trouble. The banker can only sit and listen in a stunned state, for he has surely messed with the wrong side in this duel.

What is Roy Tillman’s next step of action?

Back in Stark County, Roy Tillman sits at home watching television when he happens to come across an advertisement for Lyon Motors, the small car dealership that Wayne ran. Since Dot’s husband had been kidnapped by Gator and his men, Roy went over to the small shed at the farm where the man had been kept hostage. He immediately realizes that his son has managed to mess things up again, as they have abducted the wrong man from the hospital. The hostage was indeed Jordan Seymore, a rowdy man admitted to the hospital in Scandia, whose nametag Dot had intelligently replaced with Wayne’s. Roy’s reaction is to immediately shoot the man dead, not caring about the fact that this is one more body that can get him in trouble. In fact, Scandia deputy Indira Olmstead is already investigating the disappearance of Seymore, whose family members have reported his strange absence from the hospital.

Perhaps for the first time in Fargo season 5, and also in his recent past, Sheriff Roy Tillman is worried over his present situation. Having multiple loose ends, most importantly, Dot still being free, and Ole Munch being on a personal vendetta against the Tillman family, particularly before the upcoming elections, puts the man in a fix. Thus, to resolve at least some of his problems, Roy orders Gator to make contact with Ole Munch so that they can win back his trust. Munch appears at the farm, still angry at the past disagreement between him and the Tillmans but ready to listen to their demand at present. Roy knows how to deal with hired hitmen like Munch, even if they go rogue against their employers, as the sheriff probably has past experience with them. Roy wins over Munch by paying him all the money that was due and also adding some extra to help Munch forget that Roy and Gator had earlier tried to kill him.

Although Ole Munch does not look too happy to be back working for the Tillman family, he accepts the money and takes on the mission of continuing his search for Dot, or Nadine, as she is originally called. The man is a descendant of sin-eaters, and like his predecessors, he too does not have any personal choice over clients and the kind of jobs they give him whenever money is involved. As the man is about to drive away from the place, he is confronted by Gator, who still wants to maintain his personal animosity against the hitman. In order to ensure that nothing else goes wrong this time, Gator has secretly fitted a tracker on Munch’s car, and he activates it as soon as the hitman leaves the farm. Perhaps Gator intends to keep an eye on Munch and take his revenge once he is done with Roy’s demands.

How does Indira Olmstead continue to stand up for Dot?

While the authorities had so far been against Dot Lyon, things started to change once Indira Olmstead learned of the reason behind the woman’s strange behavior. Although she gets the complete picture only in this episode, Indira’s decision to support Dot by keeping Scotty safe with her makes her stance quite clear. The deputy is seen at her home as her good-for-nothing husband Lars makes another appearance, this time bringing out his totally worthless and obstinate nature. Indira intentionally opens the garage door to humiliate Lars, who keeps spending days and nights at the garage practicing his golf through some video game, and the husband is angry at this. He tells Indira that he needs a better wife who would tend to all his needs and also be emotionally available to him. When Indira angrily reminds him that they have enormous amounts of debt because of his silly and pointless hobbies, Lars is ignorant enough to ask for a wife who would be less negative about his shortcomings.

The woman leaves for work with nothing else to say, as no words can counter her husband’s stupid rant, and she is then seen at the hospital. As Indira investigates the disappearance of Jordan Seymore, she meets with the two FBI agents, Joaquin and Meyer, who are at the place interrogating Wayne Lyon. They try to tell Wayne and his equally clueless father, Wink, about who Dot really is, but neither of them registers the truth. The FBI agents instead sit with Indira, hand her the entire file on Dot or Nadine Bump, and talk to her about the matter. The agents’ real target is Roy Tillman because of his frequent habit of flouting rules and illegally keeping a private militia, with a number of suspected murders also against his name. But in order to prove all this, Joaquin and Meyer need solid proof, and it is for this reason that they are in search of Dot Lyon.

When the agents tell Indira Olmstead about this plan, the deputy is almost shocked to hear it since she cannot believe that the FBI would use the victim as bait like this. According to Indira, Dot is the helpless victim in this case, and her protection needs to be the priority for every authority. She tries to convince the FBI agents about this, but they are not too keen on protecting Dot by abandoning their mission to get Roy Tillman behind bars. Perhaps the reason for this difference is that Indira knows Dot personally, while to Joaquin and Meyer, the woman is just a fugitive who can be a crucial piece in their investigation.

What does Dot’s case file reveal about her past?

When Indira returns home, she finds Scotty alone at the place, as Lars has gone off to his daily training session. She realizes that her house is not the best place to keep Scotty, and leaving her at the Lyon estate would be better for the young girl. Therefore, she takes Scotty back to Lorraine’s house, maybe even wanting to get back on the powerful woman’s good books. Lorraine is indeed very happy to get her granddaughter back with her, and she immediately calls Indira to her room to have a word. The woman explains how she wants to offer the police deputy the opportunity to earn much more than her current job and also get her loans absolved. Lorraine promises to ensure both of these profitable situations on the condition that Indira leaves her job at the police department and joins the Lyon family’s personal security detail. Lorraine even offers the woman the chance to be the leader of her security team, not just any lowly member of it.

Indira naturally finds herself in a fix, as she does need the money on one hand, while her ethics really stop her from working for a crooked family like the Lyons on the other. She stalls on the offer, with Lorraine firmly stating that she only has the next twenty-four hours to respond to it, following which the chance will no longer remain. The deputy also has a confrontation with Lorraine, as she tells the older woman off for always going against her daughter-in-law. Indira continues to take Dot’s side as she tries to explain to the mother-in-law how the woman is internally suffering. She reminds us that Dot had never claimed herself as a victim or even shared with anyone what had happened to her in the past, and yet she has been hurting for all this time.

Although Indira leaves the Lyon house, asking Lorraine to take a look at Dot’s police file, which she leaves at the place, the woman does not pay much attention. It is only sometime later after Lorraine has successfully ripped apart Vivian Dugger’s life, that she takes a moment at her office to go through Dot’s file. The very first photographs of the woman are enough to shock Lorraine, as they explicitly show the horrible injuries that Dot sustained during her first marriage. The fact that Roy Tillman is a pathetic man who has the habit of assaulting women is no news, as episode 6 itself has a shocking display of his violence against his current wife, Karen. Lorraine does indeed look very shocked at finding out the extent of abuse that Dot has faced in the past. While this might not be enough to get the mother-in-law to start loving Dot as a daughter, it might evoke some natural and womanly hatred against Roy Tillman, which might drive the powerful woman to take more action against the abhorrent sheriff.

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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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