Snowfall The Rubicon Review
Snowfall: Season 1, Episode 10: The Rubicon is not as powerful as the preceding episode but it’s a serviceable enough ending to a largely uneven first season.
In the wake of Story of a Scar‘s success, last Wednesday’s installment of the show feels underwhelming. Without powerhouse performances like Michael Hyatt‘s turn as Cissy last episode, the acting comes across as restrained and feels like a step backwards for the show. The only performances that come even close to Hyatt’s are Carter Hudson and Juan Javier Cardenas‘ turns as Teddy and Alejandro respectively. Another interesting cast member to watch for is Alon Aboutboul, who reprises his role as Avi. Not because it’s as strong as Hyatt’s performance, but because Aboutboul is just so damn entertaining to watch every second he is on screen.
Getting back to Hudson and Cardenas, they have what is easily the most intense scene in the entire episode: Alejandro’s murder of Victoria (Justine Lupe) and his subsequent killing at the hands of Teddy. Cardenas’ delivery of the line “It’s the easiest thing in the world: you just turn around and walk out” is chillingly calm and possesses a subtlety that is painfully absent from most shows like Snowfall. Hudson is equally low-key, downplaying his character’s reaction to Victoria’s death and making his decision to shoot Alejandro all the more surprising.
But Teddy’s most effective moment is when he says nothing at all, listening to a voice message from his wife as he silently takes off his blood-stained clothes. Without uttering a single word, he is able to convey the shock that he feels at his own actions through the very movement of his body, moving slowly and rigidly as he takes off his sullied garments. In this moment, both Teddy and the audience realize that he has finally crossed the rubicon, so to speak, which is saying a lot given that he’s spent the season facilitating the entry of drugs into the country.
While important narrative ends are tied in Franklin (Damson Idris) and Lucia’s (Emily Rios) stories, none of them are handled quite as well as those in Teddy’s plot. This inability to balance the show’s different storylines has vexed the program since the very beginning, but I would say that the compelling elements of the series make it worth watching. Perhaps now that it’s got its first season in and had the chance to get all its kinks out the program will become truly great. I can’t quite say that The Rubicon is classic television or even a solid season finale, but it has enough promise to make me wonder where Snowfall will go from here on out.
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