On Snowfall, The Women Are Just As Ruthless As The Men

Photo: Rick Mickshaw/FX.
I was nervous to watch Snowfall after last week’s traumatic rape scene. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to handle that kind of intensity again. And spoiler alert: Karvel (Sheaun McKinney) is no longer around to torment Lenny (Craig Tate), Franklin (Damson Idris), or anyone else. Leon (Isaiah John) and Franklin took him out to the desert and killed him during Wednesday night's episode. I don’t believe that anyone has the right to take another person’s life, but in this fictional L.A., I think justice was served. Any relief I felt, though, was quickly replaced with more ickiness. This time, it's the women who are carrying out a different kind of viciousness.
After bailing on his partner Alejandro (Juan Javier Cardenas) to spend time with his wife and child, CIA agent Teddy (Carter Hudson) is forced to track him down in a remote Nicaraguan jungle. That's where the insurgents that rely on the American drug trade are based, and when Alejandro fled there, he took a truckload of U.S. weapons with him. Everything works out in his favor, but he also meets a little boy, Popeye, with whom he bonds over baseball and the boy's dead dad. When he realizes that the little boy is actually a spy, he alerts Alejandro and Elena (Zabryna Guevara), the woman who is clearly in charge of the camp. The boy is tortured for information, and despite Teddy’s objection, Elena kills him.
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I found myself rattled by this chain of events for the same reason so many people were shaken by last week’s rape scene. The gender of the person enacting the violence changed the way I felt about it. It was more shocking to me that a woman would kill a child than a man. But I shouldn’t feel that way. When women find themselves in male-dominated spaces, it’s because they are capable of handling themselves just like men do. Lucia (Emily Rios) also has literal blood on her hands at the beginning of the episode after she helps kill one of her uncle’s associates in a cover-up. And she makes it very clear what will happen to Pedro (Filipe Valle Costa) if he ruins their operation.
Prior to last night’s episode, I knew exactly what the women in Snowfall were capable of. Aunt Louie (Angela Lewis) handled an uninvited guest at her home like a professional fighter. Claudia (Judith Scott) rules her kingdom/club with an iron fist. She attacked Aunt Louie and had Franklin robbed with no remorse.
Every week, it becomes more and more clear that women are being given the same amount of space in Snowfall’s drug game — for better and for worse. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m just glad this is fiction.