‘Snowfall’ Season 6, Episode 5: Who’s The Next to Die?

Andrew Ricketts Andrew Ricketts is a writer from New York. He wants…
Carter Hudson as Teddy McDonald faces off in the distance near Sergio Paris-Mencheta as Gustavo
Photo by Ray Micksaw/FX

Halfway through the final season of Snowfall, Franklin Saint and Teddy McDonald will know no peace until everyone around them dies.

“What I need is a life. A regular, boring life.” — Wanda

“How is this life any better than that?” — Cissy

“Was it better before I left…or after?” — Leon

Before the ‘Thrilla in Manilla,’ Muhammad Ali’s 1975 rematch with Joe Frazier, the press frothed up a narrative about two very different men facing off for supremacy in boxing. Frazier, a bruiser with limited charms, got tagged the dogged, working-class hero. He had made over a million in his career by then. Ali, an anti-war Muslim activist, spoke in rhymes and reminded followers how handsome and unbeatable he was, a hero. He’d go on to lose more fights than the entire decade before. Prizefighters, no matter their image, look for blood.

Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) and Teddy MacDonald (Carter Hudson) operate differently. The kingpin protagonist stalks his territory and prey and then unloads a screaming bullet blitz to wipe them out and send a message. His opp, the CIA man, prefers to slowly suffocate like a boa, rendering his marks vulnerable through misplaced trust and then subtracting air. They are predators. Even on screen, the actors measure each other, Idris restraining rage and Hudson channeling psychopathic coolness in his demolition. They tend to balance each other while leaving room for the crazed conflict inside a reluctant partnership.

In the final season of Snowfall, it seems like the prey aren’t just the ones they’re obsessively hunting. Saint’s after Teddy and his money, but drags his mother-in-law and wife into the pursuit. MacDonald’s scraping his way back to the top but must eliminate the DEA and KGB in the process. That jeopardizes his informant Gustavo and his lover Parissa.

We talked about collateral in the previous recap because as the bodies pile up around these men, it somehow fails to derail their closest allies until ominous ends engulf them too. The obvious innocent lost in episode five is Teddy’s estranged dad, isolated in a nursing home like a sitting duck in an intoxicated crossfire. Although Teddy’s ignored him for much of his secret life, he whimpers that the old man is a casualty of his personal, endless war. As fans know, Franklin’s beleaguered relationships are all on the chopping block at any given time. The scenes train on Jerome, Cissy, and Vee, the three most important remaining characters, as it were, and how each of them is struggling to find distance from Hurricane Franklin’s shoot-out assassination attempts.

The suspense of anticipating Franklin’s fall, and when his family members will meet their demise, is a useful contrast when paired with his utter need for control. It slows scenes like Jerome’s mechanic visit and wrenches out heartache, leaving us to wonder if this is the last time we’ll spend with the character. The writers are masterful here, portending doom as soon as Jerome rushes off to be alone. There’s no place like home, but Jerome is a man without a country, war consuming his perceived freedom and cheapening his riches. While the moral turns can skew heavy-handed — Jerome’s mechanic stating simply, “I got people who need me to come home,” is an unhinged line for the audience. Jerome should get to go home, we think. He’s earned that much, right? Yet as the story darts back to Franklin’s swift mission to avenge stolen riches, we’re forced to swallow the reality of Snowfall: virtue hastens death’s arrival.


Andrew Ricketts is a writer from New York. He wants to tell the story you share with a friend.

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