With the season finale of Snowpiercer right around the corner, we’ve been given the first taste of the revolution already. The world is crumbling around Melanie Cavill while Layton’s continues to get ever so brighter, things are starting to do a 180 for the two leaders of the train but it’s still unclear which one or if either of them is going to come out on top.
Episode eight of Snowpiercer, titled “These Are His Revolutions” takes the barely kept calmness that’s hanging on by a thread and severs it completely. Everything descends into chaos. While first-class rebels against Melanie once they learned that Mr. Wilford is in fact dead, Layton rallies the tail, and third-class sets everything in motion by infiltrating as many places that they can. The moment is now and they cannot turn back, they don’t have the time.
As the tallies move up the train to start the revolution, Ruth struggles with the reveal that there is no Mr. Wilford and she’s been being played by Melanie. It hurts her so deeply that she’s willing to take sides with Folgers family and believes that Melanie needs to be executed. It seems like an extreme step to take but the uncertainty and scariness of having to change everything about the way life on Snowpiercer runs are too strong in too many of the first and second class passengers. They’re too afraid of change to make good choices. Meanwhile, with Bess Till by his side, Layton takes the lead and presses all the way up to the night car. His logical thinking, strategic planning and gathered observations while playing train detective help him give third and the tallies some kind of advantage. He knows the train now, he can place people in the spots they need to be to help further the revolution.
While arming themselves with any and all weapons, the tallies and third-class spread themselves throughout the train and pick up anyone who wants to join the fight. The idea of being able to have the train run by the lower class and not the snobs upfront who never have to lift a finger gains traction and gives courage to anyone who needs it. But as usual, there can’t be hope without some kind of setbacks. It’s still unclear whose side exactly LJ is on but she’s pivotal to the start of the higher class rebel of Melanie. Layton lets her in on the Wilfrod secret knowing that she will take it straight back to her parents and her parents encourage Commander Grey to use force in the name of keeping order on the train. Even though the order went out the door a long time ago.
The closer Snowpiercer gets to its finale, the more it shines a light on the crumbling system that is class structure. Melanie worked hard to keep the class sections of the train separate. She helped push the narrative that certain people were less than others because of where they ended up on the train when boarding or what section was stamped on their ticket. Mr. Wilford may be dead and Melanie may have killed him but he can’t be blamed for the uphold of violent classism that plagues the train. That’s all Melanie’s doing. Especially now that it’s been revealed that Mr. Wilford was left trackside years ago, back when Snowpiercer first started its endless journey. Melanie has had seven years to make life better for everyone on the train, but she decided not to. And now everyone is going to pay for it.
My favorite thing about the episode, besides the bloody battle in the middle of the night car, was the last-minute reveal that Pike has been taken out of the drawers. While third class and the tallies fight for their life, Pike is given chocolate cake in the dining car and shows what is probably his true colors. He is not on Layton’s side, the other man moves too slowly and too delicately for Pike. He is more than willing to help Commander Grey take Layton down and put a stop to the uprising. It doesn’t matter that he was once stuck in the tail, he’s in a better position now. He could be playing with Grey and first-class, after all, it’s been a long time since he’s eaten anything of substance and food is food no matter who’s giving it to you. But if Pike has indeed switched sides then he becomes another generalized white person that has folded under pressure. He reaffirms the fear that all oppressed people have; that ultimately it’s every man for himself and unity is just a fairytale.
Snowpiercer airs on Sunday nights on TNT
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