FX’s '80s drug crime series Snowfall recently concluded a mostly uneventful second season. Still, between the cursing and the violence as warranted on the channel now, the series managed to squeeze in one last political jab for the year. Surprise, the drug war is…racist!
The September 20 finale “Education” concludes the recently developed tension between former CIA operative Teddy (Carter Hudson) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) attempting to win the drug war. Under the approval of President Reagan, as we learned last season, Teddy continues to help sell illegal substances to pay the Nicaraguan Contras under the table. Unfortunately, the DEA is doing their job and trying to stop drug dealing. Upon his best dealer Franklin (Damson Idris) being sent to jail, Teddy has to convince the agency to let up for his conspiracy to work. To do that, he invokes another conspiracy.
Lorena: I'm not a fool. I get that sometimes there's a bigger picture. But are you honestly telling me that the juice on this bullshit is worth a squeeze?
Teddy: You know why Nixon started the DEA; started the war on drugs, right? It's a dog whistle. It was intentionally designed to keep minorities in this country on their backs—
Lorena: Even if that's true, it doesn't mean that we just open the floodgates.
Teddy: And I respect that you-- that you want to make a difference. I do. But you gotta admit that until people in this country stop using drugs, that fighting a war on them is pointless and costly. It's unwinnable.
Lorena: I see. So your war is important and noble. But my war is pointless.
Teddy: According to the people who shut down your operation so that mine can continue, yeah. Give me a year... Or two years, maybe-- Just long enough for us to give the Nicaraguan people their democracy back. And I promise you that at the end of it, I will hand over every distributor, every dealer, every supplier that we work with along the way. You're gonna make the largest series of drug-related arrests that this country has ever seen. It's the ultimate undercover assignment. There's no red tape. There's no oversight. The results are beyond anything you could ever possibly imagine. You should definitely take a day or two to think it over. Either way, there's no hard feelings.
I’m sorry, were drugs somehow legal and wholesome until minorities began using them? Was everyone who wanted drugs off the street a secret racist? Is there anything in this show that isn’t built on paranoid nonsense? The answer to all of those questions is an emphatic no.
But Teddy still gets his way following this conversation. Not only does the agency agree to keep away from his dealers, they also help release Franklin from jail. And since the series has been renewed for another season, we can bet on more misadventures of misguided drug dealers against a racist system. Just more proof that real life is fortunately less strange than fiction.