Fargo Season 5 ended on a major note that has ties to No Country for Old Men.
Season 5's ending showed a pivotal confrontation between tenacious and strong-willed woman Dot (played by Juno Temple) and a menacing immortal killer named Ole Munch (Sam Spruell).
Following the fall of Roy Tillman, Dot held a family chili night, but an unexpected guest came to visit in the form of the sin-eater Ole Munch.
Munch told Dot that she still had a debt to pay for killing his partner. However, Dot was unfazed, telling him, "Isn't the better thing – more humane thing – to say that debt should be forgiven? Isn't that who we should be?"
Dot's statement led to Munch abandoning his code. The show's final moments showed him smiling, now able to taste the Bisquick biscuits that the family offered him and symbolizing that he was freed from being a sin-eater.
Fargo Season 5’s Ending Explained by Show’s Creator
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Fargo creator Noah Hawley was asked if Dot and Ole Munch's confrontation was "baked into the premise of the season."
The show's creator responded with "no," noting that he had the "unfinished business denouement idea:"
THR: "The season ends with Dot and Ole Munch settling their differences over Bisquik biscuits. Was this scene baked into the premise of the season?"
Hawley: "No. I had the unfinished business denouement idea, which was that everything would resolve itself except for Munch, and he would show up at her house."
Hawley then confirmed that the Season 5 finale's confrontation scene is inspired by a pivotal moment in No Country for Old Men where Kelly MacDonald's Carla Jean Moss was confronted by Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh:
"In a way, in my free association game called 'Fargo,' I was thinking a bit about that scene in 'No Country for Old Men,' where Kelly MacDonald comes home and Anton Chigurh is in the house. They have this conversation where she says, 'I knew this wasn’t over,' and he flips the coin, she refuses to call it, and that it has nothing to do with the coin, it’s all about him. And then of course, he kills her off-camera."
In No Country for Old Men (a movie directed by original Fargo directors Joel and Ethan Coen), Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh gives his victims a chance to settle their fate through a coin flip, but they eventually lose and are killed afterward.
The film's final scene showed a tense standoff between Moss and Chigurh where the former refused to have her fate decided by a coin flip, telling Bardem's villain, "The coin has no say, it's just you."
While the movie implied that Chigurh killed Moss, it also showed that the killer's immortality was gone after he was involved in a car accident. This is due to Moss' reminder that he's just a man like everybody else.
Following the finale's premiere, many fans drew connections between the two scenes, particularly given that No Country for Old Men and the original Fargo movie are both written and directed by the Coen brothers.
The Fargo writer said that he thought that there was "a thriller version" of the said scene, but he veered away from that:
"I thought about that, and about Dot, and this idea of debt… she took something from [Munch] and now he wants something in return. But when the time came to write the scene, I thought there was certainly a thriller version of the scene, one last fight or chase or whatever you want to call it."
Hawley then explained how he was able to come up with Dot's no-nonsense nature in the final scene that humbled Munch:
"Then I just thought, 'Well, what if she refuses to be in that scene? What if that’s his scene, and she’s like, ’Well, I’m not going to be in your scene. I’m going to make you be in my scene, and my scene is a school night where we’re halfway to dinner, so either do what you were going to do or wash your hands and help.’"
In a separate interview with Collider, Hawley referenced No Country for Old Men when talking about the Season 5 finale, describing the confrontation scene as some sort of "the echo" of the movie's iconic last moments:
"It’s interesting, it’s sort of like a three-act play that lasts 20 minutes. When she comes home and finds that Munch is in the living room with her husband, they have an initial conversation and they move to the kitchen, and then they are in the dining room. Part of it for me was the echo of a scene in 'No Country for Old Men' where Kelly Macdonald comes home from the funeral of her mother and Anton Chigurh [Javier Bardem] is sitting in the house, and she’s like, 'I knew this wasn’t over.' He flips the coin and tells her to choose a side, and she refuses to choose because it’s not about the coin, it’s about him. Then he exits the house, and we know that he’s killed her. He even says, 'I promised your husband I’d killed you,' and she’s like, 'That makes no sense.'"
The writer/director also broke down his thought process on how he ultimately landed on the idea of giving the spotlight to Dot, pointing out that the character needed to have a moment "where she’s like, ’I’m not gonna be in your scene, you’re gonna be in my scene:'"
"So, I thought a little bit about that, the idea that the debt is unpaid, that she took something from Munch, which was half an ear and some pride, and that debt has to be collected. He needs his pound of flesh. On most shows or movies, what you would have is a very tense, suspenseful scene in which they’re cat-and-mousing, and she ultimately has to fight him, and I thought, “Well, I think it needs to be her scene. I think she needs to have a moment where she’s like, ’I’m not gonna be in your scene, you’re gonna be in my scene. I know that you have designs, but it’s a school night and we’re halfway to supper. So, do what you’re gonna do, or wash your hands and help us prepare the meal.’”
Hawley further discussed the humorous juxtaposition of Dot's domestic life with Munch's intrusion, ultimately leading to the villain's lesson being delivered:
"And we don’t know what he’s gonna do. Then, of course, he’s in the kitchen — that’s funny. He’s making the biscuits with her, but he keeps trying to turn it darker, and, 'A man has a code,' whatever. But then, of course, in the chaos of family life, it’s like he’s in the way. 'Measure out a cup of milk… Here’s the beer.' He’s constantly interrupted. Then she says to him, very pragmatically, 'You took a job that had a risk. You can’t be mad at the risk. You had a mother once, and if someone had come for her… I just did what I had to do.”
Is Fargo Season 5's Ending Perfect?
Fargo Season 5 ending's No Country for Old Men-inspired ending is quite fitting and it took the characters of the TV show on a different and peaceful path that offers some sort of closure.
Unlike in No Country for Old Men where its dark ending shows that Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh is still out in the open, the Season 5 finale gives hope that even a sin-eater and terrible person like Ole Munch can be somewhat redeemed.
The Coen Brothers are known for their movies that have open endings. Fargo Season 5 essentially cements the turn of the tide similar to what Dot does to Ole Munch in the show's final moments.
Instead of ending with Munch brutally killing everyone during the family dinner, Dot has a powerful message of not resorting to violence and making the enemy realize that there is still hope of flushing out your demons.
Whether or not it is perfect will depend on the audience's perspective, but there is no doubt that it gives viewers a sense of closure and a satisfying closing chapter where everyone seems to be at peace.