Courtesy of FX
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the series finale “Snowfall”.
When John Singleton set out to tell the story of the effects of the 1980s cocaine trade on Los Angeles, he had a clear vision in mind. He wanted something that came full circle and eventually led to his directorial debut “Boyz ‘N the Hood,” a film set in the ’90s that explores the harsh realities of black families living in South Central. from Los Angeles. -years his first Oscar nomination, making him the youngest and first black filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director.
Damson Idris played a major role in the story of “Snowfall”. With the role of Franklin Saint, Idris carried out Singleton’s story and vision through to the series’ final scenes. As Franklin’s story came to an end on Wednesday night, fans finally said goodbye to what was left of their prolific anti-hero after his brutal war with the CIA, his family and the South Central drug dealers who turned him in. penniless, alone and on the edge of sanity.
“Over the years, we’ve talked about it a lot,” said “Snowfall” showrunner Dave Andron. “I remember throwing FX the fifth and sixth seasons and at that point I was like, ‘Well, maybe he gets his money and loses everything and everyone and destroys his community, but he becomes the soloist.’ But it was the right thing to do and even in the very, very, very early mini-pieces that we did with Leonard (Chang) and John (Singleton), we were talking about ‘Well, maybe he ends up being destroyed like his father.’ ”
“It’s the right thing to do,” added writer Walter Mosley. Mosley also said Variety that killing Franklin just wasn’t in their writing staff’s plans. “I read it many times and I think we had the right ending for him and everyone else.”
With Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson) dead before he could transfer the millions of dollars he stole from Franklin to him and his imprisoned mother, Cissy (Michael Hyatt), Franklin needed the money fast. But instead of following the advice of the family and friends he had left behind, he slowly cut all his lifelines.
He resorted to a life of robbery and murder during his fall from power, which also included a short appearance by Peaches (Deray Davis). Davis starred in the series from season 2 until her character abruptly left town with $5 million of Franklin’s money.
The episode ended with Leon (Isaiah John) making the trip from Ghana to the south-central to visit Franklin, but what he finds is a shell of his former best friend. Franklin is overlooked. His eyes are misty; one is bloodshot. His teeth are past the point of repair due to his excessive drinking (a habit he picked up once his life started to turn sour), and his mother’s house – which he had previously bought with drug money – is seized by the city because of unpaid property taxes.
In preparation for the final scene, the actor even left some members of the production team emotional as he said goodbye to his character.
“When we first walked on set with him and talked about what they were going to do, hair, makeup, wardrobe, right? But I hadn’t seen everything. So we went to the set for rehearsal and it was at Cissy’s house. We shot this thing before we took it out on the street. The director, myself and our script supervisor walked on set and our script supervisor saw him in the next room, in the corner, with his head down and mumbling and shuffling. She started crying. And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s gonna land.’ Just looking at it, she couldn’t stand it.
The two friends take a walk in the rapidly changing neighborhood to reflect on old times. At one point, they pull up to a film set with a young John Singleton in the director’s chair. To whom Franklin yells, “You won’t win an Oscar!”
This line, along with two other scenes, were improvised by Idris, Andron shares.
“One of them lined up with Leon when they came down and said ‘sexy, chocolate motherfucker like me,'” Andron explains. (Idris’ real line is “Sexy, chocolate n–– like me, can’t keep a female dog”).
“Then the real heartbreaker with him and Leon standing there. Part of it was really wanting to push Isaiah and bring Isaiah as Leon to the point of breaking and when Damson leaned over and said, ‘You’re my best friend and I’m proud of you.’ It was Damson. I was like, Oh my God, and it broke Isaiah. It was perfect. It was amazing.
“Snowfall” served as an exploration of the early days of the crack epidemic in the United States in South Central Los Angeles. It was a story told from the perspective of black people, as the issue plagued black neighborhoods and homes across the country. Franklin Saint built his life pedaling cocaine and, as a result, killing those around him. He ultimately lost everything because of it. His mother became a prisoner. His father, Alton (Kevin Carroll), was killed along with his uncle Jerome (Amin Joseph), and his aunt Louie (Angela Lewis) was left on the loose.
Looking at this wreck, fans have pondered the significance of Franklin’s fall, which begs the question: who wins in this game of eat or be eaten?
“It’s not that no one wins. However, that is part of it. But I mean, it’s also true for life itself. Nobody wins, you know? Mosley said. “It’s a really focused life experience. How these people, having done their best, couldn’t think of everything. In that way, it transcends race.
Singleton’s vision was celebrated at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts on Thursday as the school unveiled plans to honor the director with a salon named in his honor. The seating area will be located outside the Dean’s offices and will be decorated with posters of Singleton’s popular films.
See photos of the living room below.