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Damson Idris in Snowfall
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THE PERFORMER | Damson Idris

THE SHOW | Snowfall

THE EPISODE |The Struggle” (April 19, 2023)

THE PERFORMANCE | Idris has always impressed as Snowfall’s complex protagonist Franklin Saint, but his raw and deeply unsettling final turn in Wednesday’s series finale left us utterly devastated. And singing his praises.

“The Struggle” found Franklin grappling with the terrifying reality that the money he so desperately craved, and had even killed for, was truly gone. We weren’t expecting a happy ending for the drug kingpin — he built his empire on cocaine and murder, after all — but we were wholly unprepared for how agonized Idris would make us feel watching the grown Saint unravel until he was a shell of his former self.

The actor spent six seasons living with this character and it really showed as Franklin spiraled throughout the tense hour. You could feel that rabid hunger for money in Idris’ dangerous eyes and near-shaky voice as Franklin pleaded with his mother for help, as well as the acidic burn of anguished fury in his shouting when it was evident she wouldn’t.

Later, as Franklin realized that all of his options had been exhausted and there was nowhere else to turn, Idris masterfully conveyed the final thread of Franklin’s sanity unraveling with a defeated slide down the wall that felt like a kick to the gut. It was clear in that moment that he had finally given up — something he said he would never do.

A time jump revealed that the ex-dealer fell into seclusion and squalor as bills went unpaid. While his face remained roughly the same, Franklin was barely recognizable in the show’s final moments, and that’s a testament to Idris’ searing portrayal of a broken man at the end of his stunning yet inevitable downfall.

“I’m free,” Franklin said. Idris’ hollow smile, though, let us know that was only feigned contentment. It was also a bitter reminder of broken promises, especially as we were left with the depressing final image of the former crime boss now destitute and aimlessly wandering the neighborhood he once ruled. In the end, Franklin deserved his sad fate, just as Idris deserves to be recognized loudly for his moving and truly outstanding work bringing this gripping coming-of-age story to a close.

Scroll down to see who scored Honorable Mention shout-outs this week…

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