Fargo (Fourth Season)
It is kind of amazing to me that each season of Fargo has been a little less wonderful than the one before, and yet the first season set the bar so high that they have all been very worth watching. Still, if this goes on, I fear for Season Five, if and when. This one is set in 1950 and follows a gang war between the Italians who have been established in Kansas City since they took the rackets from the Irish (who took them from the Jews) and the Negros who want to take it from them. The star is Chris Rock, whose hair is getting gray, as Loy Cannon, the patriarch. It is a subdued performance, and quite a good one. Then there is the usual Noah Hawley menagerie of oddball characters, such as Doctor Senator (his name, not his titles) who is like the consigliere to the Cannon Organization, and an obsessive/compulsive cop on the take, who can’t go through a doorway without rapping on it in six or seven sets of two knocks, and is always muttering “Ten Little Indians.” But the standout, the one who steals the show, is Irishwoman Jessie Buckley as compassionate serial killer nurse Oraetta Mayflower. She is a delight to watch, from smothering the Italian Capo (who was shot, almost fatally, with a child’s pellet gun) to baking an apple pie laced with ipecac for the residents of the funeral home across the street. It will have hilariously explosive results later. Like I said, not top-of-the-line Fargo, but watchable.