Previously on Snowfall, “Pilot”
After an impressive pilot that set the stage for a multifaceted drama rife with the violence and paranoia associated with ‘the life’, “Make Them Birds Fly” smooths out what few kinks were in the premiere and takes a more deliberate approach in showcasing the already tense partnerships between Avi Drexler and his multiple connects, as well as the cartel cousins Lucia and Pedro.
Many of the characters share obvious mutual interests, namely making money and keeping their place among the drug game’s unforgiving food chain. The problem is none of them don’t know or care to keep their noses clean, so to speak. Alejandro claims he’d do whatever’s necessary for the Contra revolution, and that includes eliminating three women who were present during his CIA contact’s overdose. Lucia and Pedro are willing to put profits over family when they tasked Gustavo to rob from a trusted member of their father’s cartel. Franklin, having gotten his first taste of success, foolishly believes the world is finally his when there’s still so much he needs to learn.
The only one who has taken the time to think ahead but is so unqualified for the operation is Teddy McDonald. After he made a strong argument to his station chief that he’s ready to return to the field, McDonald is still convincing himself that he’s the right man for this extremely lethal job. It’s apparent that Alejandro and Avi cannot stand Teddy, who is far more rigid and methodical in the way he conducts business. While McDonald’s partner looked at him like he wanted to put a gun to his head multiple times, Avi had no qualms in threatening Teddy’s life when he appeared shifty as a narc.
After their botched meet with Drexler, Teddy managed to adapt his persona in time for his and Alejandro’s second meet of the day with the Cousins. Now feigning an annoyingly laid back disposition, McDonald’s act lowered Lucia and Gustavo’s defenses enough to complete their transaction. Though he’s been hesitantly accepted by all the players in their operation, Teddy still has a lot to do to improve his standing among the group. Between his fear of failure, his desperate need to see his family again and the daily stressors from introducing hundreds of thousands of kilos of cocaine to the greater Los Angeles area, McDonald is more likely to crack under pressure than his serpentine partners.
Probably the most frustrating segments of “Make Them Birds Fly” involved Franklin’s sheer naivete about the dangers of walking around with two keys in his backpack. It’s not like he’s a complete nubile because he occasionally sells weed for his uncle; yet his brief exposure to Avi and his opulent lifestyle made him starry-eyed and eager to make his own stacks. The only hitch in his plans is dealing with Aunt Louie’s former partner Claudia, as we recall from last week, put a gun to Saint’s head to intimidate the up-and-comer.
Now aware of Claudia’s reach, Franklin still rubbed her the wrong way and she (likely) ordered her former dealers to wait for the boy outside and steal the money he owes Avi. It was short-sighted play to teach Franklin a lesson that “this isn’t Mayberry”, but in the end, it’ll certainly cost those pushers their lives – possibly Claudia’s as well – once Avi realizes he has to come down from the hills and work things out in South Central, one bullet at a time.