After a season full of plotting and scheming, last week Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) finally came face to face with Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson). The long awaited meeting got Franklin one step closer to retrieving the $70+ million dollars that was taken from him by the CIA agent. In the penultimate episode of the series entitled ‘Sacrifice,’ we see the lengths the Franklin family will go through to get what’s rightfully theirs and protect the people they love.
If there’s one thing we know about Franklin, it’s that he never forgets anything and he can be very vindictive. This was on display very early on in this episode. As Louie (Angela Lewis) is packing up to skip town, she receives a page from Franklin. When she calls him back, he informs her that the DEA has been surveilling her, they know everything and she’s about to get raided. He wisely urges her to run. This seems like a good deed in theory right? The bad part about it was by the time Franklin called to warn Louie, the feds were already pulling up in her driveway. Luckily for her, she was able to sneak out the back of the house and flea on foot. Desperate for any help she can find, Louie calls one of her last remaining lifelines, Buckley (Brandon Jay McLaren). While driving, Louie and Buckley discuss a number of things including how long the Feds have been on her and if his name is included at all. After Louie mentions having a house near Oija that has passports and cash stashed at it, Buckley demands that Louie gives him half of the money. Louie tells him that if he can get her out of town, they have a deal. Buckley ends up having to pee so he pulls the car over on the side of the road. As soon as he gets out of the car, an on edge Louie searches through his glove department and the rest of the car until she eventually finds his gun. When she approaches him, he’s behind a tree…smoking crack. A light goes off in her head and it takes her back to Jerome’s unfortunate death. Louie turns the gun at Buckley and orders him to give her his pager. When she looks through it, she finds out that Jerome in fact did hit up Buckley for help on the day she was kidnapped. An enraged Louie again threatens to kill Buckley if he doesn’t give her his keys. Buckley obliges and Louie drives off. Where is she headed? Will Louie try to get payback for Franklin setting her up or will she let it go since she didn’t officially get jammed up? Have we seen the last of Buckley?
Although Louie got away, two people who would not be going anywhere anytime soon were Teddy and Ruben (Alejandro Edda). Franklin and Gustavo (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) take Teddy from the trunk of a car and take him to a basement, where they chain him to a chair. After Teddy tries to talk Franklin out of doing something non-sensible , Franklin gives him an ultimatum. He tells Teddy that he’ll give him until the next morning when the banks open up to think about his life and if he wants it to continue. Franklin said if he returned and Teddy didn’t want to make the call to transfer the money over, he’d kill him. He then puts a burlap sack over Teddy’s head. Gustavo then places Ruben in the same room as Teddy, chains him up and also puts a sack over his head. Soon after, Cissy (Michael Hyatt) and Leon (Isaiah John) arrive to watch the two hostages while Franklin took Gustavo to the airport. Before he leaves, Franklin asks Leon to put Ruben in the garage instead of leaving him in the same room as Teddy (Cissy brought up how them being in the same room could lead to them talking and plotting). At the airport, Franklin and Gustavo shake hands one last time. Before he goes off into who knows where, Gustavo again makes Franklin promise that Teddy won’t be alive to come after his family. Franklin gives Gustavo his word. As Gustavo walks away, he and Franklin joke about him getting back into the ring (A full circle moment to when the two first met each other). Did Gustavo really make it out of the game basically unscathed?
While Franklin is gone, both Ruben and Teddy try their best to squirm out of the situation by talking to the matriarch of the Saint family. First, Ruben takes a stab at it. Before he can really say anything of importance, Cissy reminds him that he betrayed her trust and manipulated her pain and her son. Ruben responds by saying he has a boss too and that he can’t just do whatever he wants. He then drops a bomb on her. Ruben alerts Cissy that the KGB has tapes of Franklin talking about everything he’s ever done. He said that there was a recorder sewn into the bottom of his briefcase and every conversation they had was recorded. He continued by telling her that if his superiors don’t hear from him in the next 24 hours, they would leak the tapes to the press. Ruben suggests that Cissy should let him go so that he could help them get the answers they were looking for out of Teddy. His final request was that they hand Teddy over to him once they were satisfied with the information they got out of him. After hearing Ruben’s offer, Cissy then goes to chat with Teddy. She starts by asking him to tell her what he did to Alton. She tells him that if he gives her that, she can at least make the process go quickly for him. After she shares that the KGB wants her to turn him over to them and Teddy doesn’t budge, Cissy starts asking deeper questions. She questioned if Teddy felt bad about destroying her family and decimating her community or if they all were just moves on a chessboard for him. Instead of taking accountability, Teddy instead blames the crackheads for not having self control. He then points the finger at Cissy and reminds her that she played a part in it too by helping Franklin launder his money. In a last ditch effort, Teddy shares the shocking news that Alton isn’t dead. He tells Cissy that he actually drugged Alton, flew him to Puerto Rico and put him in a jail cell. Cissy was visibly shook. In fact, she was so shook that she had to leave the room.
Franklin returns to the warehouse the next morning and he obviously isn’t in the mood for games. After depriving Teddy of water, Franklin decides to take it up a notch. He gets Teddy’s attention with a game of Russian Roulette. Teddy again doesn’t budge, thinking that Franklin is playing with blanks. Franklin shoots the gun in the air to show that there’s a real bullet in the chamber. As Franklin prepares to play another round, his mother stops him. Cissy begs her son to walk away and let Ruben and the KGB handle Teddy. She emphasized that she didn’t want them to become killers. Even after Leon agrees with Cissy, Franklin remains adamant about his mission and refuses to stop. Franklin’s sense of urgency is increased even more when Veronique (Devyn A. Tyler) calls him and tells him that their first check bounced and they’re officially out of money. She made it clear that they needed to get the money sooner rather than later. Knowing that they were running out of options, Veronique enlisted the help of some corn oil. After Teddy once again doesn’t give Franklin the answers he wants, Franklin opens his shirt and pours the steaming hot oil on him, severely burning him. As Teddy sat in excruciating pain, Franklin asked him the question we all have wanted the answer to. Why? Why did Teddy take Franklin’s money? Teddy’s first answer was very political. He told Franklin that he stole the money to protect the country and preserve democracy. After Franklin calls BS and asks the question again, the truth finally comes out. Teddy finally admits that he took the money simply because it wasn’t Franklin’s to begin with. Teddy went on to say that it was his cocaine and his operation. He even went as far to say that he made Franklin and everything he has, he allowed him to have. Before Franklin could pour more steaming oil on Teddy, the CIA agent throws out an idea. He suggests that they split the money and go their separate ways. In a surprise decision, Franklin agrees. The plan was for Teddy to put Franklin’s half in an escrow account. Next, they would decide on a public place to hand Teddy over. Once both sides felt secure, Teddy would make the final call to transfer the money over. Teddy agrees to let everything that happened between before go. To show that he meant it, he told Franklin that the account numbers were in his wallet. Ironically enough, he was telling the truth.
Once Franklin decides that he’s going through with the plan, he calls Stephen Havemeyer (Matthew Alan) to set up the specifics of the deal (which was supposed to include Franklin bringing Ruben to Stephen). Cissy tries to get her son to reconsider one more time. She tries to explain to him that even if the plan works, they will never be safe. Franklin (and Veronique) both express that there’s willing to take that risk. Once she realizes that there’s nothing she can do to change Franklin’s mind, Cissy tells him that she’ll ride with him to take Teddy to his handler since she doesn’t want Leon or her grandchild to be anywhere near the handoff. Cissy continues by telling Franklin that after they make the handoff, she would be cutting ties with him and they’ll never see each other again. Franklin confirms that he is fine with that. Franklin, Cissy and Teddy arrive at the meetup spot. Untrusting of the opposition, Franklin doesn’t bring Ruben but promises that once he gets his money, he’ll deliver him. Stephen reluctantly agrees and Teddy makes the call in order to make the final transfer. As Teddy is on the phone, a suspicious Cissy asks him what prison Alton is in. Teddy disrespectfully admits that he was lying and Alton is dead. Without any remorse, he adds that he shot him twice and dumped his body. Cissy reached her absolute breaking point when she internalized what Teddy told her. Literally as Teddy is about to give the bank teller on the phone the password to complete the transfer, Cissy whips out a gun and shoots Teddy in the chest twice. Havemeyer quickly walks away from the scene. Consumed with so many emotions, Franklin’s first inclining was to try and see if Teddy was alive while still trying to get him to say the password on the phone. It was too late though, Teddy was dead. When Franklin realizes, he tries to get his mother to leave with him. Instead, she stays and lets the cops arrest her after she says goodbye to her son. Did Cissy sacrifice her own life for her son’s? Will she spend the rest of her life in prison? What’s Franklin’s next move going to be now that the money seems to be out of the question? Will Veronique stay around? Will Leon make it out alive? Sadly, the last episode of this generational series airs next week. Share your thoughts on episode 9 and let us know your predictions for the season finale!