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Fargo Season 5: 500 Years Earlier Flashback Explained

What exactly is happening here? Thankfully we were able to speak with Ole Munch actor Sam Spruell to find out what’s going on … or at least find out his interpretation of what’s going on.

“Either his ancestor or he himself was shaped by a damnation,” Spruell says. “Due to his poverty and social standing, he had to eat the sins of someone who had a higher social standing and more financial freedom.”

Yes, what we’re witnessing in that 500-year-old flashback is Ole Munch engaging in the practice of eating someone else’s sins. For those unaware (and I was one of them until this quick trip to Wikipedia), sin-eating is a real ritual from the British isles. A sin-eater (usually a poor wretch) consumes a meal to absorb the sins from a deceased person (usually a rich asshole), absolving the latter from their sins and condemning the former to a life of shame.

“He’s kind of trapped in a cycle,” Spruell says. “He can’t escape sin. It’s a metaphor, if you like, for poverty and some crime that can come with it. Living below the bread line as an underclass. That’s all in my creation of Ole Munch.”

If it sounds like Spruell has accepted that the man we see 500 years ago is in fact Ole Munch and not one of Ole Munch’s ancestors, that’s because he seemingly has.

“He’s ancient,” Spruell says of Munch. “He has lived with these people forever. He’s got a kind of Old Testament immortal spirit to him that was reflected in that ceremony where he takes off all his clothes and covers himself in mud and the blood of a sheep and really becomes something of the Earth.”

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