'Snowfall' Season 3 sees Franklin Saint expand his business, but what about the effect the crack has on his neighborhood?
Towards the end of the premiere episode of 'Snowfall' season 3 on Wednesday, Officer Andrew Wright (Marcus Henderson) tries to shake some sense into Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) about how much crack is really affecting the neighborhood. The addicts who roam the streets, who do anything for just one hit are all people from Franklin's neighborhood. While he is flourishing in his business and his family has moved on to better things, including owning businesses, there are kids who have missed out on the care of their mother, all because she is busy getting herself a hit of the crack. The one that Franklin sells in the Westside. Does it work? On the surface, of course, Franklin acts like none of this is affecting him.
In fact, when Officer Wright asks him how he is able to sleep in the night knowing the things that he has done, including murdering his best friend, Franklin turns around with a wide grin on his face. He seems the least bit affected as he says, "Like a baby". As the audience, you might even begin to wonder if Franklin really is the heartless drug lord who is more worried about his business than people's lives. After all, we were rooting for him when he got arrested because what he did in season 2 was for the greater good. He killed his friend to keep peace in the neighborhood. Now, it feels like somewhere, we are also responsible for the direction that Franklin's life has taken. A few moments after this, Franklin gets out from Officer Wright's car and what he sees, it definitely has him stepping back (if only in his mind).
He sees this woman - who has no sense of where she is or who she is - get a hit of the drug and carelessly pick her baby up. It is a disturbing scene, but in hindsight, the treatment of the scene was impressive. There was no underlining for dramatic effect, neither in Franklin's expression nor on the lady who is an addict. The transition is organic and that makes it impressive because this is a narrative allusion to what Franklin will be going through this season. He will be pulled in many directions, fight with his conscience and the need for survival and that fight will affect his relationships - with his mother, Reed Thompson (Carter Hudson) who is an undercover CIA agent, his uncle Jerome (Amin Joseph), aunt Louie (Angela Lewis) and his best friend Leon (Isaiah John).
An allusion to this struggle within Franklin is hinted at when he meets his on again off again girlfriend Melody Wright. The daughter of the officer who is out for Franklin, she has been accepted in Spellman University. It is great news and when Franklin hears about it, he is happy and wants the best for her. When she speaks of getting a job to support herself while finishing college, he hands her a wad of cash. He wants her to concentrate only on her education, but the fact that the money comes from addicts who are probably ignoring the needs of their own family is something for us to think about. Something for us to understand and decide, is Franklin really the guy we want to root for?
More than anything, 'Snowfall' is a great show to study grey characters as not only do we get invested, but we also become a part of the narrative with the characters that we support and root for. This, in turn, leads to us questioning our intentions and this conflict within us and the characters will continue throughout the season.
The second episode of 'Snowfall' will air on Wednesday at 10 pm on FX.