Snowfall: Franklin finally reaches the point of no return

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 08: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been edited using digital filters) Damson Idris attends the premiere of FX's "Snowfall" season 3 at Bovard Auditorium At USC on July 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 08: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been edited using digital filters) Damson Idris attends the premiere of FX's "Snowfall" season 3 at Bovard Auditorium At USC on July 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) /

In the middle of its third season, FX Networks hit show Snowfall has reached the point of no return. Franklin is no longer the kid who started hustling for ice cream money. The heat is on, and it is making everyone sweat.

The FX Network will continue showing the digression of South Central Los Angeles in the midst of a crack cocaine epidemic. The first season of Snowfall showed Franklin and Leon as kinds wanting a bit more for themselves and their people. They were dabbling in street-level drug sales, feeling on top of the world.

Franklin’s immediate family got drug into the drug sales scheme, slowly but surely. Jerome gave Franklin a glimpse of the small-time drug-dealing life in season one of Snowfall. Now Franklin is rising high in the world of illicit goods. He is even loaning his mentor Avi a million dollars, with interest of course.

With Snowfall now in the middle of its third season, Franklin is unquestionably the mastermind and kingpin that all others revolve around. The workings of the community network and the punishments are determined largely by Franklin Saint.

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Leon is no longer a cap gun criminal. He is an all-business killer. Old girlfriends and lackadaisical employees must deal with his wrath. Franklin had to help Leon control himself, but now Leon is approaching life with a bit more panache. Those Isreali guns help to carry himself with force.

Seeing Franklin in prison crushed his mother Cissy. Teddy is able to spring Franklin from jail, which enables Cissy to accept the new career path his son chose. Now she is managing money and possibly an apartment complex, soon.

What kind of apartment complex would it be though? Andre, an LAPD sergeant, is seeing the destruction that crack cocaine is causing. Users are willing to fall from speeding cars just to attain their next rock to smoke.

Andre wants to stop the flow of drugs that is destroying the community. He might want to start with his daughter Melody. Franklin used to have strong feelings for Melody. Once he saw her sniffing powder, she was just another customer to be treated coldly, with no remorse.

That powder might not have been in the streets were it not for Teddy taking his CIA operations to the extreme. Julia, the DEA attache to Teddy’s operation, has been shot in the head but a drug smuggling Oso. It was revenge for Lucia, or so it could be justified.

No matter, collateral damage is to be expected with running drugs in one direction and guns in the other. Teddy’s personal collateral damage is his family life. His father has all but disowned him. His wife is barely a passing thought in his daily life.

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His brother should be dead, and probably will be soon, because of Teddy’s actions. His son has been barely mentioned. At least Teddy has a new smuggling route though. Teddy did get testy when Franklin insinuated that Teddy was impervious to the supply and demand economics of the cocaine trade. Now Franklin knows what information to hold dear, or to hold as leverage.

Franklin and Teddy are both manipulating everyone around them to better themselves. Neither seems to be getting better situations though. Teddy is all but a burned-out operative, waiting for the final flaw to end his operation. Franklin is in a precarious position, running the streets from above but still getting comfortable writing checks for charter jets.

Both Franklin and Teddy think their actions are justified, but both are getting more ruthless, more cunning, and more deceptive in their affairs. Franklin now goads Avi about duffel bags filled with towels instead of cash. He props up at Avi’s bar like he owns the place. Now that he caught Avi trying to run a loan scam, he does own Avi until the million dollars plus interest is repaid.

Franklin is no longer the insecure and doubting strategist he was in the first season. Now he is a cunning criminal, laying out rules and drawing lines on the map like the Allies after the war. And his word goes, for now.

That stable environment of a small market will not last. The recipe is out. Boundaries will be fought over, as in any industry. Franklin is given more respect by Avi and Teddy than most street-level dealers trying to increase their market share.

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Seeing this problem become bigger, Franklin decides to make his customer base smaller. The new business model is to wholesale quality cocaine powder to a select few customers who can handle the extra responsibility.

Franklin is just following good advice in the light of new problems. Avi told him not to get greedy. Selling weight leaves some money on the table but keeps Franklin’s crew off of the corners where final sales are made. Those same corners attract too many police bust arrests and stick up crews.

Give someone extra responsibility, and they may start to think they can run the whole operation. Franklin’s showdown with Manboy is still yet to come. Each has been placating the other so far this season. They will either come to a new agreement or settle the debate in the old fashioned way.

Still, Snowfall is fun television. Even in the 1980s, even burgeoning gangster got to have a good time at roller skating. Franklin wanted to relax, so he went to the rink hoping to talk to Melody. Instead, he had his last conversation with Melody the innocent next-door neighbor and his first with Melody, an experimental cocaine user.

All the innocence of puppy love was gone by the end of the fourth episode. Andre had remained silent when he saw the level of police brutality. He was again a coward in the police locker room, remaining silent as a white officer basically spat on the black community when speaking to Andre.

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Franklin spoke decisively when breaking things off with Melody. She came to try and talk to Franklin but did so in front of Louie just after Andre watched Jerome get beaten needlessly. When asked to hedge his bets with Melody, Franklin went all-in on his family.

“Get the f*** outta here before I call her(Louie) back,” he told Melody in the coldest line delivered on Snowfall. Harsh as they were, those were likely the last friendly words Franklin will speak to Melody. That relationship was Franklin’s biggest lost connection to his innocent self. Melody being shunned could lead her to increased drug use.

Franklin might finally understand the cold and calculated decision that will be required to survive in the life of crime. His dad once said, “I’m not talking about morals here, I’m just talking practicalities.” Andre tried to tell Franklin about his past mistakes in gang life but to no avail.

Franklin has tasted a new life, and will not turn back to his simpler life.

Jerome has a new business. The rock cooking recipe has been leaked, creating competition in the streets. Faced with mounting problems, Fankling pivots his business model. Only sell weight to a few customers. Andre investigates a murder, Aunt Louie.

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Franklin’s mother reached her point of no return and decided to accept her son as he was today. She raised a smart young man and has seen firsthand that Franklin is connected to real power players. Sadly, Cissy is the most naive to the nature of the arrangements.

Jerome is not so naive. He reached a point where he could no longer appease Franklin by giving him a few dime bags of weed to sell. Now Jerome has taken a beating that sent him to the hospital and has to clean up his audio shop after it was ransacked.

Jerome seemed to be tiring of the trafficking life but has been given fuel to rejoin the fight. The cops and robbers who wronged him must pay. Jerome wanted to retire and just install speakers. Now, he has reason to bump off a few rounds which could only amplify the problems.

Most of the problems stem from Franklin having met Avi. Without Avi and Teddy, Franklin is a small-time hustler, and nothing more. Perhaps he goes to college with Melody in the alternative reality. Now, Franklin owes Teddy for getting the murder charges dropped.

Avi owes Franklin interest on a million-dollar loan. Avi was once the life of the party. Now he is scheming to take and replace over a million dollars. Avi has found himself in a terrible situation. He would be dead if not for Franklin. Even Franklin would have to kill Avi if anyone else knew of his deception.

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No matter how much Avi tries to put on a good face, the world can see he is now merely a servant to someone higher up the chain. Avi lost some money and is losing his reputation as well. Time has been running out of Avi since his first appearance. The explanations for how he gets into and out of his binds are still a mystery. With his connections, there could be more than one government or agency at work.

The connections are still being built. Franklin produced a map with territories marked, but he is fooling himself. Those are merely battle lines drawn on a map, there meaning is just being misunderstood.

Andre is still trying to connect his actions with his emotions. He watched with little attempt to restrain his fellow cops as Franklin got beat up. He watched as Jerome was clubbed until he was hospitalized. He stood silent as the officers talked negatively about the whole black community.

Andre is so lost in his emotions he does not know the correct action at the moment. How he reacts to finding out Melody does cocaine will determine her fate. If Franklin and Andre both scorn Melody in the early stage of drug use, the likelihood of her turning to a full-blown crack addict increases.

Andre tries to do the right thing, but only knows the powers of being a father and a cop. Franklin respects neither of those roles. Andre did not respect Melody’s feelings in earlier seasons, all but forbidding the young couple to date. Now Melody does not respect her father’s rules nor the laws of his profession. She thought Jerome being beaten was wrong and that her dad did nothing.

Andre feels the same way concerning his superior’s in the LAPD. No one is listening to his pleas for help. Even explaining that the drug epidemic could taint the Los Angeles Olympics did little to get drum up support or even get the attention the problem deserved.

Franklin was paying attention to police policy though. With most minor plots aligning, the major events of the third season of Snowfall are soon to come. If the latest observation holds, less of Franklin’s trusted crew will risk jail time. Franklin noticed, “they couldn’t charge the minors at all, might be smart using more going forward.”

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Going forward on Snowfall, Franklin and Teddy have to find a new comfort level. Avi might need to be replaced, as he is getting desperate. Jerome tried to jump back to the other side by installing stereo systems. Louie jumped back to Jerome after Claudia died. Everyone still included in Franklin’s life has accepted their roles. Those shunned will lash out eventually.

Once crack cocaine filtered down to the kids, there was no turning back. The War on Drugs began to ramp up, as did criminal activity. Everyone has picked their sides for the season. There is no more straddling the fence. Now the real power plays of Snowfall can begin.