Snowfall Trauma Review
Snowfall: Season 1, Episode 4: Trauma is a serviceable installment of the program that doesn’t make any mistakes but doesn’t do much else either.
Divvied up into three distinct plots, the show tracks the activities and travails of several different people: a young black drug dealer (Damson Idris) trying to pay back a dangerous seller, a Mexican luchador (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) forced to serve as an enforcer for a drug cartel, and a CIA agent (Carter Hudson) interfacing with the Nicaraguan insurgents that the agency is funding and supplying. This gives us an in-depth look at the different layers of the 1980’s drug trade, showing us not just how the illicit product is moved but also the equally-illicit work that goes into making sure that it keeps moving. Granted, there is bound to be some level of overlap, but the stories mostly remain their own for the time being.
As far as the acting goes, everyone here does a decent job but only one cast member offers what can truly be called an interesting performance. That would be none other than Alon Moni Aboutboul, who portrays the Israeli drug lord Avi Drexler. Grey-haired and sunglass-wearing, Avi has got to be one of the sleaziest characters on TV today as well as someone that Idris’ Franklin definitely doesn’t want to get on the bad side of any more than he already has.
Visually, the episode works but doesn’t capture the audience’s imagination. There are few shots or sequences that really stay with the viewer, with the exception of Franklin and Leon’s (Isaiah John) desert killing of a thief (Sheaun McKinney). As Leon draws his gun and approaches the thief, Franklin towards the camera as the focus behind him softens and we see the unclear sight of his friend shooting their prisoner. We cut away to a wide shot showing Leon firing a second time, the high angle preventing us from seeing the thief’s final moments up-close. This scene does an excellent job of evoking the distance that Franklin feels from his friend as he kills the thief, prompting me to hope that we see more like it in upcoming entries of Snowfall.
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