Previously on Snowfall, “Slow Hand”
After a strong premiere and pair of enjoyable yet less dynamic episodes, “Trauma” continued building upon the landscape and web of intrigue crucial to Snowfall’s overall arc, however it is a disjointed effort that sacrifices the quality of one story line for the others. Moreover, save for Lucia and Gustavo’s shared recovery, every installment of Snowfall made subtle (and not so subtle) tweaks in the characterization of a few players. While it was likely made to intensify the internal conflicts in their respective story line, it generally felt as though some of the characters had regressed to a degree.
Rather than pursue his young family and absolve himself from the coming grief and horror of the Agency’s Central American operation, Teddy goes all in by following Alejandro deep in the jungles of Nicaragua and interjects his designs to modernize their little revolution. This plot is fine and good and shows how McDonald is a person of questionable and , but it also somehow turns you in the favor of the hardlined, child-killing Contras because Teddy is just. that. damn. Infuriating.
It’s clear McDonald’s a company man through and through. The job is his life, to the point that Teddy didn’t remember he had a son when discussing family with Alejandro’s wife and co-leader of their Contra cell (Zabryna Guevara). Regardless of his mental block, he takes a liking to Popeye (Marcel Ruiz), the youngest person within this band of fighters. Claiming to be an orphan thanks to the Sandinistas, Alejandro’s party took him in but they don’t coddle him by any means. Everyone within Nicaragua’s borders has a tough luck story courtesy of its government, therefore sympathy is hard to come by. Snowfall doesn’t appear interested in providing the details of the revolution and the constant government turnover – due mainly to outside influences – in Nicaragua’s history, and rightfully so as it could be a show all in itself. What’s obvious is this particular group of rebels are willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals, and yet again theirs are antipodal to Teddy’s inflexible designs.
The opposite can be written about the aftermath of Lucia, Pedro and Gustavo’s violent encounter with a cartel enforcer. The entirety of their segment was masterful writing by Emmy Grinwis as she kept their anguish understated yet so close to the surface, each character ready to break out of their skin because of what they did 24 hours earlier. The decision to omit the fight itself was an excellent means to build tension between Pedro and his partners, who clearly was the most traumatized of the three.
For all their grand designs and boundless ambition, this was possibly the first time Lucia and Pedro had to get their hands dirty. Oso wasn’t unfazed by the whole ordeal but there were moments of concern that he’s aligned himself with people who will eventually get him killed. As their scenes progressed we learned how each one of them reacted during the ambush and unsurprisingly, Pedro – the one with the biggest bark – choked when things were most grave. From the jump it felt like Pedro wasn’t going to last long in the show and his time at Lucia’s side may be near its end, but not before he messes up one more time. That isn’t to say, his cousin is a rock; Lucia may have irrevocably changed from her near-death experience. Whether that means she’ll be more diligent in her plans or suffer mentally from the ordeal will be revealed in the coming week.
The most disappointing segment of the episode, Franklin and Leon bungled their way into killing their formal homie turned chief rival Karvel, played by Sheaun McKinney. Saint wanted to be a player in the game so badly and was off to a stellar beginning… and here he is, messing up like a goddamn scrub. True, things became very real for him and Leon last week after Karvel tortured and raped Lenny, but one would assume he’d have a better plan to be rid of Karvel. It simply felt out of character based on how Franklin’s narrative was laid out in the first three episodes.
Knowing he’s unable to cope with the ruthlessness of the the drug game, Saint takes himself out of it much to Avi’s chagrin. We know Franklin isn’t done by any means, but it’ll be have to be something extremely life-altering within the next episode or two for him to jump back into Drexler’s arms and acquire more wisdom from his shady Israeli “father”.
Snowfall – S1E4 – Trauma | Damson Idris, Carter Hudson, Emily Rios, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Michael Hyatt, Amin Joseph, Angela Lewis, Juan Javier Cardenas, Alon Moni Aboutboul | Writer: Emmy Grinwis | Director: Hiro Murai