At the end of Homer’s 24-book-length poem The Iliad, the mighty Greek warrior Achilles slaughters his Trojan enemy, Hector, for his role in the death of his friend, Patroclus. In ”Part One” of Snowfall’s rendition of The Iliad, as Franklin and the Family struggle to survive amid a series of attacks, it was easy to assume that our ambitious lead was being set up to become the Achilles of this South Central saga. Last episode, each time a different group of Franklin’s team was blitzed, I braced myself for a casualty. And yet, “Part One” ended without the loss of a loved one the likes of which might propel Franklin into a grief-stricken quest for battle (No shade to Avi’s friend Azeen who died during one of the shootouts. RIP!). But, as it turns out, the war being waged this season is not bound up in Franklin’s own loss but rather the losses he has left others to mourn. “Part Two” reveals that the man behind the curtain was none other than Kane Hamilton — the formerly incarcerated brother of Kevin, Franklin’s former bestie, whom he killed in season two.
Before Franklin comes face to face with Kane and his grief, he must look death in the eye without knowing how he arrived in this situation.
For starters, after fleeing their original attackers (Kane’s guys) and some local Mexican gangs, Franklin and Oso find themselves stuck in a literal tiger’s den thanks to the weird old man taxidermist from last week (whom I unaffectionately call Gran Torino after his “muchachos” comment). The two men escape within an inch of their lives after Oso, using his belt to lock the door so the old man can’t feed them to the tiger, sets their captor up to climb on top of the cage where his own beast mauls him. Amidst the carnage, the key to the cage falls into the tiger’s domain, and Franklin, the skinniest of two, is made to crawl into the cage and get the key. “It’s a good day for gorditos,” Gustavo remarks.
Unfortunately for El Santo y El Oso, they are not yet free from danger. Almost immediately after escaping one gruesome fate, they are captured by the Mexican gangsters are brought to a salon to have the money’s location beat out of them. “Dónde está la féria?” a man asks Oso after putting on gloves and punching him several times. When it’s Franklin’s turn to be interrogated, the man offers to translate for Franklin, who is focused on reading the room since he still can’t understand Spanish. (At this rate, Mr. Saint needs to get on Duolingo and stop playing!) Eventually, Franklin offers to take the men to the money, which he lies and says is back at Gran Torino’s Taxidermy Shop and Tiger Enclosure. The men agree on the condition that Gustavo has to stay behind as insurance. As one might expect, the gangsters get blindsided and mauled by the tiger who I imagine was having a very exciting day. (In a matter of a few hours, her captor has died, she’s freed from her cage, and food is delivered to her. I might have to stan?)
After playing GrubHub deliveryman for the Tiger, Franklin steals his captors’ car and meets up with Jerome and Leon to rescue Gustavo. After opting to spare the gangsters who held him hostage, Gustavo leaves with Franklin, Jerome, and Leon. Still unsure of who is after him, Franklin turns to Gustavo for a sounding board. “Three coordinated hits, and I didn’t see any of ’em comin’,” he says. “People hide who they are, but sooner or later, they show it,” Gustavo responds. “I didn’t believe you were coming back,” he adds. Franklin understands why Gustavo had difficulty trusting him. “Shit, I didn’t trust you too,” Franklin remarks. When they compare notes about their first drop after Teddy’s return, it becomes clear that Franklin was wrong to assume Gustavo’s collusion with Teddy’s surveillance plan. “You really didn’t know?” Franklin asks. Gustavo shakes his head and looks off in a daze, processing how Teddy remains an enigma to him. As the four men drive off, the tiger walks down the block, crossing the street as if the neighborhood were her kingdom.
When Gustavo and Franklin finally arrive at the club, they must tend to their wounds and face the women in their lives. Xiamara comes to pick up Gustavo, and after hugging him from behind, she punches him hard. “You know what’s not funny? Thinking you left me with those pinches kids Gustavo,” she says. They embrace and she takes him home. In Franklin’s absence, Cissy and Veronique have been talking quite a bit, and unfortunately for Mr. Saint, his mama’s pep talks have justifiably sent Veronqiue’s protective instincts into hyperdrive. After refusing to let Big Deon drive her home because apparently, he sings over the radio (he just like me!), Veronique tells Franklin she will take herself home. When Franklin gets home, however, Veronique is nowhere to be found. At a sonogram appointment, the doctor informs them that the fetus has a heartbeat. Franklin begins to tear up, and Veronique asks for the room and once they are alone, Franklin admits, “Wish you would’ve said something instead of just taking off like that.” “You would’ve tried to convince me to stay,” she responds. Fulfilling her expectations, Franklin tries to assuage her concerns by telling her about the new security he’s hiring. Veronique is not convinced. “What about next time? […] What about when the CIA decides they’re done with you?” she asks. “You said you could keep me safe, but you can’t, so now I have to keep some distance from you until you’re free from all this.” Franklin shrinks a little accepting his new fate. He and Veronique will not see one another outside of work. Her safety and the safety of their unborn child are now riding on his ability to keep his distance from the family he’s always wanted.
Heartbreak touches the Family once more when they discover that Peaches, a friend of Jerome’s brought on as a bodyguard, was involved in the series of attacks. When Peaches was first suspected in last week’s episode, Jerome is defensive and unwilling to consider that his friend had lied about taking a “sick day.” But Franklin suggests that they go out and investigate the matter. When Franklin, Jerome, Louie, and Leon discover that Franklin’s money storage site has been ransacked, all clues point back to Peaches. “Only two people knew about this place, and I’m one of ’em,” Franklin exclaims after noting that around $5 million dollars have been stolen. “To come at us like that? Shoot at Cissy? V? Louie? Ain’t no way,” Jerome says in disbelief. Leon wants to know where Peaches would take cover, and Jerome asserts that the two “ain’t been that tight in years.” Louie assesses the strategy required to pull off such a betrayal. “This wasn’t no impulsive move. If he did do this, ain’t no way he stuck around,” she says. “He ain’t do it alone neither. We find who he used to come at us; maybe they’ll lead us to him,” Leon adds. As the group files out, Jerome lingers, heartbroken and betrayed. “[Peaches] was a broke down fuckin’ vet before I put him on,” Jerome tells Louie. “You might’ve brought him in, but he was Franklin’s guy. If anybody should’ve seen this coming, it’s him,” Louie responds. Later, when some dealers press the couple about a delayed drop, Jerome snaps and starts wailing on one of the guys. He finds no outlet for his sadness but rage.
As the episode comes to an end, all the Family’s anxiety, angst, and anger are rivaled by Kane’s calm fury that has been cultivated over a long period of time. The interaction between Kane and Franklin revisits the betrayal and trauma of losing family and foreshadows the violence to come:
Kane: “When I heard about my li’l cousin Delroy getting stabbed while slanging for you, I was in solitary, wouldn’t even let me out for the funeral. Then I heard about Kev, then I didn’t wanna go to the funeral, woulda been too angry, done something crazy, probably added more time. So I just sat waited it out.”
Franklin: “You don’t know what really happened.”
Kane: “No? You don’t shoot and kill my baby brother? Did I get that wrong, Frankie? Show me the proper respect and say it to my face.”
Franklin: “I was in prison.”
Kane: “Who you snitch on to get out?”
Franklin: “If you had a problem, you should’ve just come and spoken to us.”
Kane: “Unfortunately, some things can be made right and some can’t, but I do sincerely apologize if shit got out of hand and misses saint or anybody else got caught up in it. That’s all on me. Next time, I’mma have better people. Next time we get it right.”
Charming yet chilling like the perfect movie villain, Kane is one to watch.
Coming Soon To A Theater Near South Central
• Monster-in-Law: After Cissy asks V about the move she pulled when the cops came in last week’s episode, Veronique explains that the “waterworks” was one of many manipulation techniques she learned from her mother, a con-man who traveled the world and often incorporated her in her scams. “I tried to heal myself from the last before it swallowed me, but maybe I was just tryna outrun it, but hey, here I am back at the beginning,” Veronique says to Cissy. Let me find out that Veronique’s mama was the original City Girl!!! Prayers up for Franklin if this woman ever shows face.
• Misery: In between scenes of Franklin’s struggles after the shootout, the episode returns briefly to Teddy who is still at Parissa’s house which is to say that he is stuck in a creepy game of Operation. Struggling to level with her, Teddy repeatedly asks Parissa what she wants from him. Despite raising her rate for saving him from $250,000 to $500,000, she reveals that her desires are not strictly monetary. She kisses Teddy on the lips and smirks. “The last two days have been the most fun I’ve had in years,” she says. Yeah, this episode confirmed that I need to immediately see Tiffany Lonsdale (the actress who plays Parissa) in a remake of Misery!