Snowfall A Long Time Coming Review
Snowfall: Season 1, Episode 6: A Long Time Coming continues in the quieter mold of the previous week’s episode but accomplishes little of note.
Helmed by Michael Lehmann, Wednesday night’s installment of the show is remarkable in how devoid of style and substance it is. Although the preceding episode Seven-Four had a similar tone and temperament, that episode had interesting dialogue and story development to make up for its subdued pace. A Long Time Coming, in contrast, does nothing to justify its stilted approach, with the violent encounters in the show’s second half being too little too late to inject a much needed source of tension in the program.
There’s not much to be said about the episode’s camerawork aside from the fact that it’s pretty conventional for the most part. Indeed, there is only one sequence that really stands out, that being the talk between Oso (Sergio Peris-Menchaca) and Lucia (Emily Rios). Shot in the round, the sequence starts with Oso sitting in frame looking up at Lucia before the camera slowly starts to swing over to his vantage point. Just before the camera crosses the 180-degree line, the scene cuts and then bafflingly returns to where it started, going through the process all over again.
As if this wasn’t confusing enough, we cut to a shot of Lucia taking a shot of liquor to a shot of Lucia drinking a shot of liquor, interrupting the shift for no discernible reason whatsoever. When the transition resumes, the camera is on the other side of Oso, robbing the viewer of the delightfully disorienting effect that jumping the line would have provided before it finally swings behind Lucia and ends where it began. If Lehmann had shot this scene straight it might very well have been the episode’s strongest, but instead his inexplicable decision to repeatedly interrupt the transition deprives it of any dramatic power it might otherwise have had.
On a similar note, there isn’t much to say about the musical selection for this installment of the show. In fact, there are only two scenes where the music can be said to play any meaningful role: when Franklin (Damson Idris) and his less mature “business partners” revel in the money they’ve accrued after a successful coke sale and the program’s last scene when Alejandro (Juan Javier Cardenas) tells Teddy (Carter Hudson) that he killed the girl on a missing person poster they see.
While the track used in the former scene is merely meant to highlight the excitement that Franklin and company must be feeling, the song used for the latter one, a cover of The Undisputed Truth’s “Smiling Faces Sometimes”, ties very nicely into the fact that Teddy realizes he has entered a dangerous relationship that may bite him in the back someday. Of course, this could be a larger metaphor for the CIA’s willingness to work with unsavory parties in order to pursue their own goals, as exemplified by their partnership with the Contras in the show or their similar support for the Islamic mujahideen during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
In any case, I hope that the show’s producers learn from the mistakes of A Long Time Coming and make the next episode of Snowfall worth sitting through this one.
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