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Snowfall – S1E10 – The Rubicon

Previously on Snowfall, “Story of a Scar

Photos: Ray Mickshaw/FX

It’s been a long and winding road for all the players in Snowfall’s violent and raucous journey through the drug trade. In short time, the promise of power and lure of riches has diminished somewhat for a few, while others like Gustavo ‘Oso’ Zapata and Franklin Saint are determined to trudge through the mire and come out on top, no matter the cost.

Snowfall has had its ups and down during its inaugural season, yet “The Rubicon” is a solid finale, effectively tying any loose ends left flapping in the breeze while setting a strong tone for next season’s unmistakably grim story arc.

One of the first things “Rubicon” deals with is something that’s constantly nag at viewers for virtually the full run of Snowfall’s first season: the tumultuous relationship between the consistently edgy Teddy McDonald and the cavalier Alejandro Usteves. Considering how the latter preferred to bury his problems – along with any witnesses – in shallow graves, this partnership that Teddy placed himself in was a terrible pairing from the start. It’s what McDonald wanted, he sought to prove his meddle to the CIA and himself, and for the most part, he failed.

Business was good despite all their personal and logistical setbacks; the Contras and CIA essentially formed an ironclad alliance through the pair and thankfully both we’re aware their personality clashes were a trivial matter within the big picture. That is until Victoria – sister of the one of the slain in the premiere – stumbled her way into their path. After weeks of deflecting, obscuring and creating false evidence, Teddy couldn’t shake the woman who merely sought answers on her sister Kristin’s whereabouts. For every moment when all appeared lost, Victoria would receive another massive clue about the identity of the last persons to see Kristin alive.

Victoria’s pursuit for the truth became too much for Alejandro, and against Teddy’s orders, he took matters into his own hands once more. It was a harrowing scene: once McDonald realized Usteves knew where Victoria was located, Teddy made his way to her place but it was too late. Alejandro had already begun chopping Victoria up in little pieces. Distraught from the sight before him, Teddy had to make a choice between what is good for the country and the strength of his convictions. Thankfully he chose the latter and neutralized Alejandro right then and there.

Fortunately for McDonald his contribution to the U.S. Government’s agenda is undeniable; Teddy is Reagan’s golden boy and is damn near untouchable. After the Colombians, Alejandro’s back-up connects in “Scar”, discover exactly who McDonald represents, even they expressed the fear of God on their faces.

A little further down the road, Lucia and Oso continued meeting in secret to devise the most effective plan in eliminating Ramiro before he assumes control over all of Los Angeles. Somehow the pair succeeded in taming their partner Stomper (Tony Sancho) just enough to engage in a precise strike at Lucia’s father’s funeral rather than having a bloodbath on their hands. Last we saw Ramiro he was still alive yet mortally wounded from all appearances. Whether he dies or not, Lucia and Oso created enough breathing room to reassess their place in the game and assume control over cartel territory from within now that Ramiro is out of commission. The only true enemy that remains is Lucia herself, as her hubris and belief that she deserves THE seat at the table may cloud her vision and spell her doom.

As for Franklin and his crew, it couldn’t be going any better. Leon is on the mend and was in better spirit knowing Saint was able to flip Ray Ray and force him to kill Lenny (Craig Tate), whose unexplained obsession in seeking revenge against Franklin left Ray unnerved. Colder and far more calculating (thanks to a few knocks on his head), Franklin has doubled down on his vision of a prosperous future, with a few major tweaks. Firstly, he’s not leaving South Central anytime soon. Now that Jerome and Louie are minority partners in the family enterprise, Saint has found people he can trust to keep the business afloat and spread word about their product. Another big change is Franklin’s turn away from his mother Cissy (Michael Hyatt), who still hasn’t any clue just how big her son’s lies have been.

By episode’s end, the Saint family and associates are well on their way to owning their block and beyond. All of Franklin’s vision and determined will finally come to fruition, but at the cost of his own people. In any case, the drugs will keep pouring in to LA and ridiculous amounts of money will be made. What no one has failed to realize (or simply doesn’t care about) is how much they’re going to lose in the long run.

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About Rexlor Graymond (431 Articles)
Rex Graymond is 24.6kg tripolymer composite, 11.8kg beryllium-nickel-titanium alloy. Constructed in Northern California. Loves comics and films almost as much as pancakes. ALMOST.
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