From the start, “Snowfall” has delivered fierce jolts.
Lucia had most of her family killed … then vanished. Franklin, the brainy teen, became a drug boss; his friends became killers.
Still, nothing matched the latest impact: Franklin casually killed Andre, the honest neighborhood cop. On the day of the funeral, Melody – Andre’s daughter, Franklin’s ex-girlfriend– shot him three times and left him to die.
What’s going on? As the season-finale (10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11) arrives, viewers might fear the worst: Maybe Franklin’s being killed and the show – whose co-creator, John Singleton, died in April at 51, after a stroke – is being cancelled.
Not so. A promo for the finale showed Franklin struggling to leave the hospital; in its summary, FX said: “Franklin walks a different path. Life in South Central begins to change forever.”
And yes, “Snowfall” has been renewed for next season, its fourth. “I always … felt like we needed five to tell the story,” co-creator David Andron told the Television Critics Association in August.
As it turns out, that promo was partly a deception. The season-finale – sometimes frustrating and mostly fascinating – spends most of its time in a sort of “what if” alternate world; viewers will have to wait until the final moments to learn if Franklin survived and what that “change forever” means.
This show reflects Singleton’s passion, Walter Mosley, the crime novelist who’s a consulting producer, told the TCA. “He was completely committed to South Central (Los Angeles). He was raised there, he lived there, his business was there and his stories were about there.”
That started with “Boyz N the Hood” (1991). At 24, Singleton became the youngest person ever Oscar-nominated for best director. “Snowfall” gave him a broader canvas, with the 1980’s rise of crack.
That’s told via drug kingpins and Teddy, a CIA agent importing cocaine.
Congressional probes have concluded that U.S. officials sometimes imported cocaine, in a roundabout plan to get weapons to Nicaraguan rebels. Details – including the extent and authorization – remain in dispute.
“I was fully ignorant of it,” said Carter Hudson, who plays Teddy. “It’s hard to wrap you head around the scale of it.”
But once you do, it’s easier to believe all the fictional elements in Franklin’s violent world.
— “Snowfall,” 10 p.m. Wednesdays, FX, rerunning at 11; season-finale is Sept. 11