Breaking down the 'Fargo' season 5 finale — and whether it connected to past seasons in the end

Jon Hamm as Sheriff Roy Tillman and Juno Temple as Dot Lyon in "Fargo" season five.
Jon Hamm as Sheriff Roy Tillman and Juno Temple as Dot Lyon in "Fargo" season five.FX
  • Noah Hawley's "Fargo" season five sees a seemingly normal housewife hunted by a sinister sheriff.

  • The season ends with an insightful discussion about sin and debt.

  • Here's a complete breakdown of the finale of "Fargo" season five.

"Fargo" season five has gone out in a blaze of guns, debt, and conversations about sin. The fifth installment of Noah Hawley's crime anthology follows Dot Lyon (Juno Temple), a housewife suddenly targeted by a ruthless sheriff from a neighboring county.

The big reveal is that Dot is on the run from Sheriff Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm), her abusive husband who believes that society has lost its way in modern times. Much of the season revolves around their deadly game of cat-and-mouse, along with a dose of that signature "Fargo" black comedy.

But by the time the finale ends, Dot and Roy's lives are forever changed. Here's the "Fargo" season five ending explained.

Sheriff Tillman is arrested and ends up in prison

Jon Hamm as Sheriff Roy Tillman in the "Fargo" season five finale.
Jon Hamm as Sheriff Roy Tillman in the "Fargo" season five finale.FX

The finale picks up immediately after episode seven, as the FBI is raiding Sheriff Tillman's compound, and his extremist militia is fighting back. But Tillman slips away during the chaos, as Dot is saved by the authorities and taken home.

The sheriff has shown that he'll do whatever it takes to live a life unrestricted by the US government, and that's only exacerbated by the attack on his property.

During his attempted escape, he stabs Deputy Witt Farr (Lamorne Morris) in the heart, mercilessly killing the dedicated officer. While Tillman believes he's escaped scot-free by using an old tunnel that leads into a field, he's surrounded by the FBI, and taken into custody.

Not only does the sheriff have to face the fact that he's not above the law, but he's told that his son Gator (Joe Keery) is the one who told the authorities about the tunnel. Think of it as karma for all the abuse that Gator has endured at Roy's hands over the years.

And the punishment doesn't stop there.

Everyone's favorite debt collector, Lorraine Lyon (Jennifer Jason Leigh), later visits Roy in prison. She explains that she's helping hundreds of inmates pay off their debts in exchange for making his life sentence a living hell as revenge for the abuse he inflicted on her daughter-in-law.

And as the prisoners behind Roy start grinning menacingly, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what the former sheriff's future will look like behind bars.

Dot reunites with her family and frees Ole Munch of his sins

Sam Spruell as Ole Munch in the "Fargo" season five finale.
Sam Spruell as Ole Munch in the "Fargo" season five finale.FX

Dot takes her old life back and returns home to her husband Wayne (David Rysdahl) and their daughter, Scotty (Sienna King). But jumping ahead to a year after the compound raid, she's at peace with her past and is trying to move forward.

That peaceful existence is briefly interrupted when Ole Munch (Sam Spruell) turns up at the Lyons' house to claim the debt he feels that Dot owes him. This is because their fight was never properly finished when he originally attempted to kidnap her for Roy at the start of the season.

But in the most poignant conversation of the season, Dot invites Munch to make food and have a meal with her family, effectively forgiving him for his violent nature. As they talk, Munch explains his history as a sin-eater and implies that the nature of taking on other people's sins and absorbing their debt is neverending.

But Dot suggests that it only takes one person to break the cycle, much like she helped break the cycle of abuse that she was trapped in with Roy. By eating a meal with the Lyon family, Munch can finally feel warmth, and happiness, rather than pain and misery.

So, does 'Fargo' season 5 connect to previous seasons?

Sienna King as Scotty Lyon and Juno Temple as Dot Lyon in the "Fargo" season five finale.
Sienna King as Scotty Lyon and Juno Temple as Dot Lyon in the "Fargo" season five finale.FX

Previous seasons of "Fargo" have had connections and references to each other. In season one, which was set 2006-2007, Keith Carradine played Lou Solverson. Then Patrick Wilson plays the younger version of Lou in season two, which is set in 1979.

Mr. Wrench (Russell Harvard), the deaf hitman from season one, also turns up again in season three, working with Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character. A younger version of Wrench also briefly appears in the season two finale.

And of course, we see a younger version of season two's Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) appear in season four. Then a child known as Satchel Cannon, he's played by Rodney L. Jones III.

Unfortunately, there aren't any overt connections between "Fargo" season five and the previous seasons, which is surprising considering the Easter eggs that have popped up before. Unlike every other season of the show, there's no character in season five who has appeared before.

Then again, the key theme in season five is debt, so perhaps the writers didn't want to owe anything to a previous story.

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