After Cissy (Michael Hyatt) shockingly murdered Teddy (Carter Hudson) at the end of last week’s episode, we knew that things would more than likely go downhill for our beloved Franklin Saint (Damson Idris). It’s safe to say that none of us could have expected just how bad it would actually get. In the series finale, entitled ‘The Struggle,’ the story of the Saint family comes to a close as does one of the greatest television shows of our generation.
The episode begins with Franklin making his way into a bar where he immediately goes to use the payphone. He frantically calls Veronique (Devyn A. Tyler) to alert her of his mother’s actions. As Veronique urges him to come home so they can figure it out, Franklin is stuck in a state of disbelief as he rhetorically asks her why Cissy would do what she did. Instead of heading home, Franklin decides to stay at the bar to gather his thoughts. While doing so, his pager goes off. When he returns the call, Havemeyer (Matthew Alan) is on the other side of the line threatening to send him to prison if he didn’t turn Ruben (Alejandro Edda) over to the CIA. Franklin rushes back to the safe house where he’s been keeping Ruben for who knows how long now. Veronique tries to get his attention but she is unsuccessful. Not only did Franklin ignore her, he also ignored Ruben’s pleading for his life and warning that turning him over to the CIA would be a bad idea before pistol-whipping the KGB agent. Franklin stuffs Ruben in his trunk, drives him to the location provided to him and leaves him there as the CIA agents come grab him.
Franklin makes his way to the projects to talk with Leon (Isaiah John) the following day. When Leon tries to bring up Cissy and her well being in jail, Franklin quickly interrupts him and changes the subject. He asks Leon how much money he has left. Leon responds by telling him that he has $3 million. Franklin proposes that Leon give him the full amount in exchange for him making Leon a partner in the Spring Street development property. He continues by promising to pay Leon back ‘5 to 10 times more’ once he’s back on his feet. Leon turns his best friend down, reminding him that Cissy sacrificed herself to keep them safe. He explained how he didn’t want to disrespect what she did by giving him something that she didn’t want him to have. Franklin goes into full Teddy mode and mentions how the only reason any of them have money is because of him. After his stance doesn’t change, Franklin raises his gun and demands Leon give him the money or else he’ll take it. Franklin ends up leaving after realizing he’s drastically outnumbered by Leon’s men. Following Franklin’s visit, Leon gives Wanda (Gail Bean) a sense of comfort by assuring her that Franklin won’t try to come after him. Even with the reassurance, Wanda still drops a bomb on her husband. She tells Leon that she’s going back to buy a one-way ticket back to Ghana. Surprisingly, Leon doesn’t try to stop her from going. Alternatively, he gives her a stack of cash to make sure she would be able to make it back to where they once called home.
Meanwhile, as Leon tries to respect Cissy’s wishes, she was busy ceiling her fate. She pleaded guilty to murder and was remanded without bail until her sentencing. Franklin visited her in jail and let her know that he’s working with his attorney to get the plea deal threw out. He goes on to warn her that she can’t continue bad mouthing the CIA. Franklin then addresses what’s obviously been weighing heavy on his brain. He asks Cissy why she did what she did. He continues to badger her by mentioning that she only had to wait 10 more seconds and the transfer would’ve been made. The whole time Franklin was talking to Cissy, she sat silently listening. It seems that she had heard enough because a few short seconds later, she hung up the phone, got up and walked away.
As Franklin sits at his mother’s house trying to regroup, he’s surprised by a visit from Paul Davis (Steven Williams), the real estate tycoon we met earlier in the series. Davis is there to offer Franklin a deal to buy him out of the Spring Street development deal. Franklin is informed that Veronique reached out with the idea. Franklin abruptly tells Davis that he is mistaken and his stake is not for sale. When Franklin confronts Veronique about going behind his back, he tells her that Spring Street will continue to be funded because he sold all the South Central buildings to Cissy’s old boss, Arnold Tulfowitz (Mark Harelik). When Veronique expresses displeasure with his actions, Franklin wraps his hands around his pregnant girlfriend’s neck and warns her to never do what she did again. While one Saint wasn’t receptive to advice, another was handing it out. Leon finally visited Cissy behind bars. She gave him an explanation for her actions and he broke the news to her that he would continue keeping the shelter open. The most heartwarming moment came when Leon asked his second mother if there was anything he could do for her. Cissy told Leon that the best thing he could do for her would be to pack his bags and go back to Ghana with his wife. The moment brought Leon to tears and surely made him think. Elsewhere, still in need of money, Franklin goes to the bank to get a line of credit and make a withdrawal. He is stunned to find out that Veronique emptied almost $800,000 from their account prior to leaving town. Franklin again goes to see his mother in jail. He is visibly drunk and discombobulated. He tells Cissy about what Veronique did and explains that he needs her to sign the house over to him in order for him to sell it. He doesn’t forget to mention that he technically bought the house. When Cissy continues to remain silent, Franklin explodes into an expletive rant aimed at his mother, claiming that she ended his life. As Franklin is escorted out by the guards, this is sadly the last time we see Franklin and Cissy interact.
We’re then fast forwarded three months ahead. We catch up with Franklin as he’s on the phone with a loan officer trying to buy himself some time to make a payment on Cissy’s home. Franklin is devastated as the officer tells him that he can’t give him an extension. Before he can wallow in sadness, Franklin pagers goes off. He ends up meeting with Top Notch (Damien Smith). Two things happen at the meeting. The first was that Top Notch told Franklin he couldn’t find Veronique and he was done looking for her. The second thing was Top Notch giving Franklin a parting gift in the form of an envelope. Franklin then arrives at a house in the suburbs of Los Angeles. With his gun in hand, Franklin sneaks into the home and finds Peaches (Deray Davis) laying on the couch. Although he’s clearly high, Peaches reveals that he has some of the money he stole from him left over in a safe in the backroom. As Franklin motions him up to get it, Peaches pulls out a gun and shoots at Franklin. Fortunately he misses and Franklin is able return fire, shooting and killing him. A panicking Franklin comes across the safe but can’t open it on his own. He enlists the help of a locksmith who arrives to help. As the locksmith is working on opening the safe, one of Peaches’ junkie friends pops up. After the friend nervously runs out of the room, Franklin chases him down and murders him. Franklin then returns back to the room and makes the locksmith finish opening the safe. It is the biggest let down ever when Franklin uncovers that there’s only $12,000 in the safe. Franklin lets out a satirical laugh that expresses how frustrated he is and the irony in the situation. After letting the locksmith take the money, Franklin changes his mind and shoots him in the back as he leaves, killing him.
Two years later, we’re taken to a farm. The DEA agent Tony (Scott Subiono) that had Gustavo (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) in a jam showed up looking for Louie (Angela Lewis). Tony informs the property’s owners that Louie is wanted as one of the largest distributors of cocaine in Los Angeles history. As Louie silently listens on, the owner’s of the property lie and tell Tony that Louie was there for a few months in the wintertime but eventually moved on. Louie isn’t the only one somewhere else. Gustavo is back in the ring! Instead of wrestling himself, Oso is now a coach. When class is over, Gustavo calls the answering service he told Xiamara (Joey Marie Urbina) to use the last time they had spoken. He was shocked to hear a message from Xiamara. She tells him that her and the boys finally settled in North Carolina. She apologizes for taking so long to reach out to him and ends by saying they miss him and would love to see him again if at all possible. It seems like Gustavo (and Louie to a certain extent) legitimately made it out.
After another year passes, Leon returns to the old neighborhood from Ghana. He pulls up on Franklin who is clearly going through it. This is obvious by his appearance (unkept hair and dirty clothes) and the fact that he was drinking in the middle of the day when Leon arrived. Also, there’s an eviction notice on the front of Cissy’s house (for unpaid taxes), which looks like a pigsty inside. As they walk around the neighborhood, Leon and Franklin catch up. Leon shares that Wanda is doing great and currently trying to get into the music business. Franklin then tells Leon that Veronique called him once. He says that she told him he had a son, she would raise him right and break the curse. Leon tells Franklin that he started a free legal clinic and offers him a job. Instead of taking it seriously, Franklin chooses to ask Leon for money to buy alcohol. Ironically enough, Franklin went to buy the bottle from the same store he worked at in the very first season (Cho’s). As Franklin and Leon walk back, they come across the cops seizing Cissy’s home. Leon offers to pay the tax debt for Franklin, but Franklin stops him. He tells Leon that he no longer has any chains on him, proclaiming that he was now free (his own way, not Leon’s and not the government’s). Franklin emotionally tells Leon that he’s the best friend he’s ever had and he’s proud of him. Franklin takes another sip out of his drink and begins to walk away. As Leon tries to call his name one last time, a completely different Franklin than we’ve known throughout the whole series walks off into the sunset.
Shoutout to the iconic John Singleton and the entire cast and crew for an amazing run. Hop in the comments and share your thoughts on how the legendary series ended!