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Black Blizzard is the fourth episode of the first season of Carnivàle, and the fourth episode overall.
Sofie heads into town on a mysterious errand, despite her mother's disapproval. She sits alone in the pickup, and pretends to wait for her fake brother until the owner of the diner notices and invites her inside. They strike up a relationship (which involves Sofie telling him she's the widow of famous baseball player, Clayton Jones), and when the colossal dust storm hits, Sofie loses her viriginity to the man. When the storm clears, she returns to the carnival to find that Apollonia almost died from dust collecting in her throat. The other carnies had saved her, but Sofie's mother is less than pleased.
Samson also leaves the carnival, to visit a local prostitute whom he's known for a while. In his absence, greatly lengthened by the black blizzard, Jonesy takes it upon himself to check to see if Management is alright after the dust storm clears. Unfortunately, he finds the stage at the rear of the trailer empty. There is nothing behind the curtain.
The last two who weren't present at the carnival when the storm hit were Lodz and Ben. Lodz had taken the young man on a road trip to a secret location. When the storm arrives, Lodz leads Ben to a deserted cabin, where the two discuss Ben's true identity. Lodz riles Ben up about how Ben could have prevented Flora's death, until Ben yells "Stop!" at which point the dust storm stops as well. In denial of his own power, Ben states that he didn't do it, at which point the storm resumes.
Justin, meanwhile, is unaffected by the dust storm, but nevertheless has problems of his own. The Methodist Church does not approve of his activities with the Dignity Ministry and orders him to return to First Methodist or be disciplined. Justin is furious, but his mood changes when Iris delivers the news that the Dignity Ministry burned down, killing all the children.
- Due to the fact that the cabin that Lodz leads Ben to did not appear in any long shots of the location, it is possible that the whole sequence was merely a dream Ben had, albeit one initiated and directed by Lodz. Or, they could just have walked really far.
- Jonesy's experience in Management's trailer causes him to doubt Samson's word, and he begins question Samson's authority from this point.
- Lodz was aware of the storm before it hit, presumably when he noticed the glass of absinth shaking in his trailer. Ben also walked in on him while he was wrapping up bottles in cloth, a precaution for when the storm hit.
- Apollonia was also apparently conscious of the storm before it arrived, since she tried to convince Sofie to stay with the carnival for the day. Apollonia must have warned of bad weather since Sofie retorted that it was a "beautiful day" outside.
- When Lodz burns Ben on the face with the hot poker, Ben's wound heals instantly. Avatars seem to heal faster than mortals, although they're still vulnerable.
- Lodz offers to teach Ben to use his gift, and offer which Ben refuses, but it's clear that Lodz is only trying to manipulate him.
- Justin's rant to Iris in Chin's may possibly be the first manifestation of his ability to psychically manipulate people. As he rages, the background goes dim, and it looks very similar to his "greatest sin" trick. Iris also becomes progressively more emotional and rapt as the rant progresses.
- All the carnies voice their discomfort with visiting the upcoming town of Babylon. It seems Babylon has accrued numerous violent urban legends concerning what the townspeople do to carnies.
- On his way to find Lodz in the cabin during the dust storm, Ben crosses the dead lamb that he saw in his dream in Milfay.
- Lodz tells Ben that the very land that Babylon sits on is poisoned. He also tells Ben that the land will swallow him.