'Fargo' Boss Hints at 'Who's Good & Who's Less Than Good' in Season 4

FARGO -- Pictured: Chris Rock as Loy Cannon. CR: Matthias Clamer/FX
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Matthias Clamer/FX

Kansas City, Missouri: The year is 1950, and the leaders of two rival crime syndicates are eager to establish a cease-fire in their struggle for control of the city's underworld. They strike a grim bargain, each sending his youngest son to be raised by the other in a sort of voluntary hostage situation.

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Learn more about this season's unique storyline.

This being Fargo — creator Noah Hawley's darkly funny anthology series, loosely inspired by the Coen Brothers' 1996 film — you can probably guess how well that works out. But it'll be the last thing you're able to predict.

Fargo Season 4 Jason Schwartzman

(Credit: Elizabeth Morris/FX)

The idea of that bizarre son swap — which occurs between Black entrepreneur Loy Cannon (Chris Rock) and the Italian-American Fadda family — sparked Hawley's vision for the long-awaited fourth season. It's the origin story of America, he says — an exploration of what immigrants and other marginalized people were forced to do to make ends meet.

"If the mainstream economy isn't available to you because you're Black or because you're Italian, before that was an accepted thing to be in America, you have to create an alternate economy," he explains, "which was crime."

The fragile truce is threatened when Mafia boss Donatello Fadda (Tommaso Ragno) dies unexpectedly and is succeeded by his reckless son Josto (Jason Schwartzman). "Now Loy is trying to figure out how to keep the peace with this much more erratic younger man," Hawley says. "There's this idea in Loy's mind that the more powerful he becomes, the safer his family will be. But in fact, the opposite is true."

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A war is brewing between two Kansas City crime families in 1950 in the fourth installment of FX's quirky anthology.

Of course Fargo wouldn't be Fargo without its usual sprawling cast of oddballs and antiheroes caught up in the mayhem. Keep an eye on deceptively chipper nurse Oraetta Mayflower (Jessie Buckley), who becomes dangerously involved with Josto, and Fadda gunman Rabbi Milligan (Ben Whishaw), who was himself traded between crime families as a child.

He takes Loy's boy under his wing. "In Fargo, if you want to know who's good and who's less than good, you look at their relationship to children," Hawley teases. "Rabbi is the only person — the only man — in this whole show who puts the needs of a child before his own."

Fargo, Season 4 Premiere, Sunday, September 27, 10/9c, FX