Fargo Season 5 Ending, Explained

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Warning: Spoilers for Fargo Season 5.


Summary

  • Fargo season 5 is filled with several twists and turns, standing toe to toe with the best seasons in the series.
  • Lorraine finally accepts and respects Dot after learning about the abuse she endured.
  • The ending is quite heartwarming and beautiful, paying off what was set up at the start of the season.

The season 5 finale of Fargo aired on Tuesday evening, and the inevitable showdown between those who follow the rules and those who don’t finally came to a head. Leading up to the events of the finale, a Minnesota woman named Dorothy “Dot” Lyon (Juno Temple) does her best to leave the past behind and focus on the loving, peaceful life she created with her husband and daughter. However, when she’s arrested for mistakenly tasing a police officer, her fingerprints wind up in the system. As a result, Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm), her abusive ex-husband and North Dakota Sheriff, is able to locate her after she escaped his grasp ten years prior.

In the penultimate episode of the season, Roy finally catches up with Dot, who’s imprisoned in a shack on his ranch. Clever as always, she breaks free and manages to make a phone call. She speaks with her mother-in-law, Lorraine Lyon (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who assures her that FBI agents are on their way to raid the ranch. Urged to find a place to hide until the authorities arrive, Dot’s location is inevitably discovered by Roy’s men, who nearly kill her before Munch (Sam Spruell) steps in to save her by killing Roy’s men. Now armed with a gun, it’s clear Dot wants to find Roy and end things once and for all.


Roy Finally Faces Consequences

Fargo

Fargo

Release Date
April 15, 2014

Seasons
5

Studio
FX

Following her escape, Roy encounters Dot with a gun. She shoots him in the stomach and is on the verge of killing him when the FBI descends on the ranch, causing a firefight to break out. Deputy Witt Farr (Lamorne Morris) runs to Dot just as Roy makes his escape toward a tunnel that leads off the property. Dot attempts to go after him but is stopped by Farr, who follows Roy instead. Upon entering the opening of the tunnel, Roy nearly gets the jump on Farr, but not before Farr turns around with his gun drawn.

Refusing to kill the man outright because of his duty as a cop, Roy is able to stab Farr in the chest before escaping through the tunnel. Roy emerges from the tunnel believing he’s free, only to be met by federal agents. Thanks to his son Gator (Joe Keery), authorities discovered Roy’s contingency plan and acted quickly. With the full weight of Lorraine’s connections, the FBI’s case against him, and the murders he committed, Roy receives life in prison for his slew of crimes.

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Lorraine Finally Accepts Dot

Finally, free of Roy and the threat of his men, Dot is able to return home to the peaceful life she fought so hard to maintain. With a satisfying family reunion upon her arrival home, she’s also met by Lorraine. Although the two shared a continuous relationship just weeks prior, it’s clear Lorraine respects Dot after discovering the abuse she endured from Roy and the resilience of her will to escape and make a better life for herself.

Commending her for shooting Roy in the stomach, Lorraine tells Dot, “That’s my girl.” Unable to resist, Dot hugs Lorraine. While such affection is clearly out of character for someone like Lorraine, she leans into it for a moment in the best way she knows how. Finally accepting Dot as a daughter rather than the “mother of her grandchild,” she praises Dot before offering a wink and a heartfelt smile.

Lorraine Pays Roy a Visit

A year after the showdown at Roy’s ranch, Lorraine pays him a visit in prison. As the largest donor to the Federalist Society, she confidently explains he’ll never win any sort of appeal. Furthermore, in order to punish him sufficiently for what he did to his wives, Lorraine details the fund she created for prisoners in debt. As a way to create a sense of loyalty to her and the fund in opposition to Roy, she essentially paid the debt of every prison and loaded their commissary accounts with plenty of money.

When Roy, one of the most repulsive characters in Fargo season 5, declares he’s not afraid of Lorraine, she assures him it’s not her he needs to fear, a clear nod to the other prisoners. Without knowing who to trust, Roy’s confusion and worry are visible. Just before Lorraine leaves, she gives Roy a pack of cigarettes, commonly used as currency in prison, because “they might come in handy.” However, it’s highly unlikely she simply gave him an actual box of cigarettes. Unfortunately, the audience never sees what’s inside the box as Roy takes them off the table with a terrified expression.

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Dot Finds a Better Way Forward

The final loose end is tied when Dot arrives home from the store one day to find Munch sitting in her living room. He’s returned to collect a debt from Dot he believes he’s owed because of what she did to his ear and his partner. Refusing to participate on his terms, she counters that maybe a debt should simply be forgiven. She then invites him to dinner, which he begrudgingly accepts, clearly taken aback by the developing situation.

After helping with their meal, Dot and her family sit at the table with Munch. He proceeds to tell his origin story about how a rich man took advantage of his hunger and turned him into a sin eater 500 years ago. Because of this, he cannot sleep, grow old, or die because “all that is left is sin.” Dot empathizes with him and offers him a cure: “Eat something with love and joy and be forgiven.” She offers him one of the biscuits he helped make for dinner, which he accepts. After taking a bite, he savors the food and smiles. Ultimately, Dot’s way forward is through forgiveness, a beautiful notion for viewers to be left with. All episodes of Fargo Season 5 are currently streaming on Hulu.

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