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Snowpiercer: A Wedding, A Survivor and A Tree

As it barrels straight into constructed and probably unavoidable hell, Snowpiercer finds itself still descending into chaos. And often when confronted with pure chaos humans turn to the simpler, easier emotions to grasp onto. Like love, loyalty and freedom. Whether the last option is an illusion or not, the biggest question aboard Snowpiercer hasn’t changed in three seasons: who are you loyal to? The good of train? Or the good of the people? By now it seems that’s having both was never in the cards.

On the pirated Snowpiercer Layton and his crew decide it’s time to reconnect with Wilford’s train. They’ve got the upper hand now that they have Asha, the survivor that Layton nearly froze to death saving. With her, convincing everyone that life outside of the train is possible will be easy and the overturn of Wilford is sure to follow. As they make their way back home, Layton obsesses with the tree he saw as he was freezing to death. And after some research he learns that it a specific kind of tree, an Dragon’s Blood Tree which only grows in the Arabian Peninsula. Which just so happens to be the final hot spot on Melanie’s data. Despite Till’s playful mockery, Layton decides his vision is a sign they’re going in the right direction.

Meanwhile we discover on Snowpiercer that Wilford has enlisted Javi, Kevin and Dr. Headwood to build an EMP which will disable all electronics on the pirated train when they return to reattach; leaving Layton and co to freeze death. He also finds an opportunity for himself in throwing a huge wedding for LJ and Osweiller. With the loss of Alex to Layton’s side, Wilford seems to be prepping LJ to take her place but it’s not the engine that Wilford wants LJ to rule over, it’s the passengers. And by making her the star of the train for at least one day, Wilford seems to have completely won LJ over. As most of the train begrudgingly celebrates, Ruth, Pike, Lights and Strong Boy scramble to disarm the EMP. But their time is cut short when Javi, in his panic to not get mauled again, alerts Kevin to what’s happening. In order to buy some time Ruth surrenders herself much to Kevin’s joy, and while she’s interrogated by Wilford the other three accidentally activate the EMP, leaving them with no choice but to throw it overboard. It works to destroy the device and give a bit of luck to Layton and crew, signaling to them where Wilford is and disarming Wilford’s ability to see them coming. Creating the perfect opportune moment for a surprise attack.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the second episode of season three is this, a little hope goes a long way. Even when the hope is being misdirected. Both Layton and Wilford instill hope in those that look up to them. Layton’s tends to lean more towards the good everyone while Wilford’s leans heavily on the good of the train. Its what drives Ruth to lead the resistance with Pike and the others and it’s what keeps LJ conniving every chance she gets, even when it means going against Osweiller. They both have visions of a future that can only come to fruition if they hold on tightly to the hope they’ve been given. The only real difference is that Layton’s hope comes from his heart, and Wilford’s comes from his greed. We saw a lot of this in the previous season but it’s even clearer now.

As exciting as the idea of a survivor from outside of the train is, it could go south very quickly. And not in terms of adding or taking away to the plot, but in the realm of believability. If Asha really has been surviving by simply living far underground in a nuclear plant, that puts a dimmer on the idea that passengers on Snowpiercer have no choice but to figure out how to keep the train and themselves going. The initial draw of Snowpiercer as a whole is the concept that there is nothing but survival aboard the train. I won’t completely dismiss the idea but it makes me hesitant that Snowpiercer might be going down a path that will ultimately pull it away from what brought its audience to it in the first place.

Finally, as big of a plot point as it was, the Loyal Wedding was more annoying than it was substantial. For three seasons we’ve been watching LJ whine her way to the top, even when she’s at her lowest all she has to do is get teary (or starry) eyed and suddenly temporary fixes are being dropped at her feet. I suppose it shines light on how white woman privilege can make it out alive and well in the apocalypse but I find myself wishing Wilford would have found someone else to fawn over. I’m still surprised that he didn’t attempt to take Winnie under his wing, a younger mind is much easier to influence than that of an older one. Though it doesn’t matter now, as LJ seems poised and ready to do whatever Wilford asks for her. Hopefully soon she’ll have a turn around like Ruth did, though she would be much harder to find trust in than our favorite deputy of Hospitality turned Resistance fighter.

All in all, the fast pace of season three promises more chaos to come with twists and turns at every resting point. Which is what makes the show as addicting as it is. As Layton and crew aim to reattach their pirated train, I find myself hoping they’re able to do so without completely going off the rails.

Snowpiercer airs Monday nights on TNT


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Snowpiercer: The Overheating Pirates and the Freezing Dictator

Snowpiercer has finally made its return to television with an action packed season premiere. Picking up six months after the wild S2 finale, we find ourselves dropped into the middle of tentative chaos. Upset and spiteful over being outsmarted by those he considers beneath him, Wilford is pushing his train to chase after the stolen part of Snowpiercer, he wants it plus Miss Audrey back and nothing is going to get in his way. Even if it means nearly freezing everyone aboard to death. Though the resistance, led by Ruth and Pike, is still strong and working hard despite the constant pressure. They still believe in the cause. On the Pirate Train, Layton is doing his best to help prove Melanie’s theory that the earth is warming. He along with Ben, Alex, Till and Josie struggle to keep a constantly overheating train going while keeping Miss Audrey, Sykes and a stowaway called Martin in check and in the dark. Both trains are teetering dangerously on the edge of something big but it’s still too early to tell if the explosion will be good or bad for either.

It’s a bit hard to tell who has it worse on which train, from the passengers freezing under Wilford to Ruth having to stay hidden out of sight at all times; then there’s also Javi who was viciously mauled by Wilford’s dog and is now being forced to drive the train with the dog sitting right at his feet. Whereas on the Pirate Train it might seem better but, the group is running out of perversions and always running hot. Underlying tensions rumble and bumble in different layers, Layton and Josie try to stay professional with each other considering that Zarah is having his baby. And Bess Till begins to speak up about not completely agreeing with everything Layton says. Miss Audrey has been confined to a jail in the library but is hell bent on getting back to Wilford. And even though this group is smaller, the pressure of keeping them alive still weighs heavily on Layton. If they broke away from Wilford for nothing, it’ll all be on him.

Right from the start, the most interesting thing about the season premiere is the new sets of dynamics. The compiled list of people on the Pirate Train is a mixed bag of characters. Sure we already know the friendship between Layton and Till, the romance between Layton and Josie but there are so many new angles to be enjoyed. For instance the budding friendship between Alex and Till, two characters that would probably never have much to do with each other if it weren’t for this breakaway mission. Both scenes of Alex talking Till through driving the train while she keeps it from overheating and Till talking Alex into going back for Layton after Miss Audrey nearly convinced her to leave him, set the stage for a great sister like relationship between them. Layton and Ben also seem much closer and even more so on the same page since last we saw them. While Melanie is still clearly the connecting factor between the two, the conversation flows easier between them now. Six months is a long time time to be stuck on such a tiny train compared to the thousands cars long Snowpiercer.

There’s also the issue of Miss Audrey, who went from a fan favorite to pretty much fan enemy number one. Her betrayal of Layton and the Resistance in S2 is still hurtful because she was such an important key in taking Wilford down. Now, whether it’s because she’s truly brainwashed or just playing a very long game, Miss Audrey journey in the new season will be under heavy scrutiny. And it’s not looking good so far, her attempt to take over the Pirate Train and force Alex to take them back to Wilford is stopped by wrench armed Till but doesn’t bode well at all. As fun as it is to dislike Miss Audrey, I admire her character development the same way I admire Ruth’s. The two of them have made such great personal leaps, even if Miss Audrey’s leaps are in the wrong direction. It’s nice to see such fleshed out women characters who are allowed to be flawed and grow. They’ve completely switched places and it’s one of the most interesting parts of the show.

In other storylines, Layton still finds himself firmly in the middle of Josie and Zarah. Every time he seems to be ready to settle down with one, something happens that pushes him into the arms of the other. Back in S1 when he finally starts to form something with Josie he is reunited with Zarah and she becomes pregnant, then in S2 as soon as he’s ready to be serious again with Zarah he has to leave her behind on Snowpiercer because it’s ultimately safer and sets out on the Pirate Train with Josie. It’s a literal seesaw love triangle. I personally have no preference to who Layton ends up with. However I do find Josie more compelling than Zarah, she isn’t perfect but Josie has been loyal to Layton from the get go, Zarah left him behind in the tail until her security in the front was threatened. The most interesting thing about Zarah is the fact she’s pregnant with Layton’s baby, and it seems Wilford thinks so too.

When it comes to Mr. Wilford, his determination is rock solid. He has his sights set on getting Miss Audrey back and making the Pirate Train crew pay. He’s still dangerously charming in everything he does, even when doing traumatizing things like rubbing ointment on Javi’s mauled face or eating dinner as his scientists poke long needles into Zarah’s belly to prod the baby. Also, he seems to be eating more this season. In nearly every scene he had tonight, Wilford was consistently eating. Which is terribly cruel seeing as how everyone else is practically starving. Though it does make me wonder, is he constantly eating as a way of coping with being outsmarted? Or does he do it to subconsciously show everyone else he holds all the power?

The premiere concludes with Layton returning from he and Josie’s rescue of Ben with an unconscious body on his shoulders. A woman who seems to have been surviving in the building Ben had fallen into. But that’s not all, after passing out from lack of power he now has flashing visions of a living tree in Africa. Which of course will only fuel him more to find the habitable warm spots that Melanie’s data points them towards.

What I’m most interested in for the season ahead are the smaller details. Things such as the new alliance between Ruth and Pike, a duo I would have never thought to put together. There’s also the fact that LJ and Osweiller now run the NightCar in Miss Audrey’s absence and turn information to Wilford whenever he asks for it. And Sykes loyalty to Wilford cracking when she refuses to help Miss Audrey and Martin try to take over the Pirate Train. The characters and their journeys are what keep me coming back each week. I have no gripes about the season three opener, it’s my favorite so far and makes me wish it was next Monday already. The promise of whats to come for Layton and his crew is enthralling.

Snowpiercer airs Monday nights on TNT


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Snowpiercer: Two Trains Extravaganza

In back to back episodes serving as the season finale, Snowpiercer took the audience for its most intense ride yet. Mr. Wilford’s heavy handed take over was just the tip of the avalanche and over the course of two hours he tightens that grip until there is no other choice but for Layton & friends to be separated, literally. With unexpected team ups, the reopening of a closed car, new alliances formed and a desperate attempt to do the impossible; Snowpiercer has set the ultimate standard for itself. How do you get the advantage over a man who’s only real concern is himself?

To start, in “The Show Must Go On”, Wilford attempts to restore his personal order to Snowpiercer. Which means picking off Layton and those loyal to him one by one. Without Melanie’s protection, everyone is vulnerable to Wilford and his erratic decisions. Layton is dealt with immediately and is sent to work in the compost car of Big Alice, he’s reduced to a shit scraper while Wilford gloats at him from a tiny window in a steel door. Ruth is offered a place at Wilford’s side because he knows that’s the one thing she’s been craving since the very beginning and Till is given the option of becoming his advisor because he needs someone to tell him right from wrong. But Wilford forgets that not everyone is simply going to fall at his feet because he says so, especially not with the freeing change they experienced under Layton’s rule. Both women turn Wilford’s job offerings down and pay for it in different ways.

Meanwhile Zarah is kept under tight lock and key while being supervised by Kevin, with a baby in her stomach she has turned into Wilford’s number one priority. She’s got a privilege no one else does. The man even goes as far as separating the only two engineers the trains have, pulling Javi to Big Alice’s engine room and sticking Skyes in Snowpiercer’s to keep an eye on Ben. The resistance cannot plan another revolution if they’re unable to be together, or at least that’s what Wilford thinks.

During a special dinner party, consisting of those most loyal to Layton plus Alex, LJ and Oseweiller; Wilford is met with push back from Alex after having spent all day joking about leaving Melanie out in the cold to die. Upset by her rebellion against him, Wilford sends her to the brig as punishment for even slightly wavering from his side. And then he unleashes his evilness on Ruth by sending her to join Andre in the compost car. Everyone he once thought loyal to him, is slowly starting to disappoint. Even Miss Audrey, who has turned into an intoxicated mess, isn’t as useful as he’d hoped her to be.

Though separated, it is Javi who starts fanning the flames of the next revolution; the take down Wilford revolution. After hearing Melanie’s voice on the radio, confirming she’s still alive, Javi is able to send a message to Layton by way of toilet paper stuffed in a lipstick tube. It’s time to make a break for it, and Layton is ready.

If there’s anything episode nine gets absolutely correct, it’s the portrayal of Wilford as the typical bigoted white man. He is every powerful man in charge ever. The charm he once showcased loudly and proudly has begun to fade into the background, much like the way politicians become sinister only after they’ve been elected into office. His disdain for anyone’s emotions other than his own only help convey the universally known concept of white men: they believe themselves to be the only important beings in the world. Their feelings, opinions and believes are the only ones that matter in the diverse and wide world. Wilford is the textbook definition of white privilege.

In the second half of the season finale, aka episode ten “Into The White”, the chaos aboard the conjoined trains reaches its boiling point. Layton, with the enormous help of Ruth, carries out a “foul and murderous plot” to get up train to Javi and then even farther uptrain to Snowpiercer’s engine. LJ begins her grooming lessons to take Alex’s place by Wilford’s side, Till’s loyalty is put under the ultimate test and Josie’s newfound freeze resistant body is given a mission to prove she’s the perfect experiment.

After besting their door guard, Layton and Ruth find Alex in the brig and she tells them about the secret entrance into Wilford’s bedroom which is directly connected to the engine room. Now Team Layton, Alex sets a plan in motion with them: they have to make it to the meet up spot and pick up Melanie. While she pretends to renounce her mother, Layton and everyone on Snowpiercer; Javi, Ruth and Andre send word to Ben that Melanie is alive and he’ll have to do something about Skyes so they can get ready to pick her up. With that plan in motion and communications going, Andre and Ruth keep moving.

But Wilford can only be kept in the dark for so long, when the trajectory of the trains changes just so slightly he is raises the alarms. And no one can stop him from sicking Jupiter on Javi, hitting Alex and all around losing his composer. After all, he is so close to the kind of order he craves he can taste it.

He makes one crucial error however, in his attempt to be more feared than respected; his sudden turn against a emotionally confused Alex. Instead of punishing Alex for her feelings about being reunited with her mother, Wilford should have helped her through them. Especially since he wanted to use Alex as his biggest pawn, however Wilford is an unchecked white man, everyone else’s feelings are unimportant to him. And his shunning of Alex is the slight tilt needed to finally push her over to Layton’s side.

As Wilford catches on to the coup taking place, Miss Audrey attempts to get Zarah to see reason. Unashamed of defecting, Audrey has no problem threatening Zarah with the idea that if she won’t be Team Wilford willingly then they have doctors that can remove her from the equation of being pregnant, the baby will be fine but Zarah won’t be so lucky. The meeting is interrupted by Till who delivers a much deserved knock out punch to Audrey’s face. With her as their captive, Team Layton now has some kind of leverage.

And they’re going to need it because the plan, thought up by Alex, is one of the craziest ideas any of them could have. If Wilford won’t stop the trains for Melanie, then those that want to rescue her will detach a few cars of their own, take Snowpiercer’s engine and go get her themselves. They have no other choice. It’s risky, but it’s doable and without Melanie they have no real hope of winning against Wilford; they have no hope of surviving.

In his rush to stop Layton & friends, Wilford demands that the Headwoods send Josie out on top of the train to get the drop and take the engine back from the enemy. Though the Headwoods claim she isn’t ready for that big of a mission, Wilford insists and without delay Josie is suited up and sent out into the cold. While he and Layton face off on opposite sides of the aquarium car, Josie makes it clear where her loyalties still lie. Using her newfound strength, Josie manages to crack the glass roof of the car which causes the entire thing to split down the middle. Now armed with a small crew and ten cars all to themselves, Layton & Friends race off to pick up Melanie. Only to find the station empty, her supplies and rations gone, and a note to Alex from Melanie saying that she’s walked off into the cold to die at peace. However Melanie did manage to save her data and leave it for them, proving that she was right and the earth is warming back up. Life off train is possible. With this newfound information and hope, Layton, Ben, Alex, Till and Josie prepare themselves to return to Big Alice and take back their whole train.

In terms of season finales, it doesn’t get much better than Snowpiercer. Season one ended on the cliffhanger of Wilford’s return, season two ends with the anxious thought of what Melanie’s perceived death means and how they’re going to survive long enough to take Wilford down. The stakes are much high now than they were before. But it’s not just the plot that Snowpiercer manages to get right, the depth in which they develop their characters also places the show high above the bar. Particularly it’s development of its women.

Whether you’re mad at Miss Audrey for defecting or not, her development in season two was top tier. She’s gone from mother of the Nightcar, temptress and psychologist to the ultimate survivor. No matter what you think of her, Audrey is a survivor. She accesses every situation and then acts accordingly to how it’ll benefit her best. It’s a trait that without a doubt was taught to her by Wilford but she’s turned it into a skill that should be envied by others. This is the post apocalyptic world, the concept of loyalty is almost nonexistent. Audrey’s switch to Team Wilford makes sense, especially after learning that he forced her to self harm but it’s not the change in her teams that makes her so fascinating. It’s the little trauma responses she has while being on his side. On the outside she may have defected but with every passing episode, Audrey begins to look worse and worse which means on the inside she’s fading away. We can only wonder what kind of person she’ll be by the time we get to season three.

Another character development worth noting is that of Josie. Unlike Audrey, Josie has never wavered on where she stands. She is with Layton until the end, she believes in life off train or at least equality for all onboard. However, personally, Josie has changed a lot. After her near death experience, Josie had lost her light. Which can’t be blamed on her because frostbite that severe would put a dimmer in anyone. Simply breathing hurt, Josie was in pain every second she was conscious. But the new body that was given to her by the Headwoods excites Josie, she wants to see what she can do with it and what it means for the fight she’s been in for the last seven years. She is the new advanced version of Icy Bob, but she won’t be as easily controlled as he was. On the flip side, Zarah has developed in an unexpected way this season as well. She’s probably still my least favorite character but season two Zarah is much more tolerable than season one Zarah was. Perhaps we can chalk it up to the pregnancy giving her some sense and making her more mature, either way this season showed that Zarah has some kind of depth to her. Often this season she was the voice of reason that Layton needed to hear, she even managed to overcome the jealous she felt for Josie and seems to have found peace in the relationship between her and Andre. It’s a nice change.

Characters aside, Snowpiercer also shocked me a bit by finally beginning to nibble on the subject of race. For the first time, it’s mentioned that Wilford is nothing but a bigoted white man. After an entire season of him being an undercover racist, Layton is finally able to sort of call him out to his face. The moment isn’t nearly long enough and it doesn’t really hold any weight in the grand scale of things but it’s a good starting point. My biggest hope for season three is more of the characters addressing racism. Not just Andre by himself but the others as well, because it’s there and continuing to overlook it will only hold Snowpiercer back as a series.

The best part of the two hour finale were the unexpected team ups, Layton and Ruth being the number one. They’ve been at such odds with each other the entire season, it was a delight to see them work together. The brief team up between Layton and Alex as they travel to the radio station for Melanie was also enjoyable. It will be interesting to see how being around others without any of Wilford’s influence at all is going to shape Alex. I also hope that we haven’t seen the last of Melanie. While not my favorite character, the show has been relying heavily upon her and to snatch her away like this seems like a disservice. Even if we only see her in flashbacks from now on, Snowpiercer needs Melanie Cavill.

I have a lot of hopes for season three, mainly I would like more Layton and Till scenes as their friendship is one of my favorite things about the show. I also hope for some sort of three way relationship between Layton, Josie and Zarah. It’s the post apocalypse, there’s no reason that if they wanted it badly enough, the three of them couldn’t work something out. Others dreams and hopes are pretty minuscule, I’m simply overjoyed that the series will be returning for a third season. I’m geeked to return to write about it.


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Snowpiercer: You Have The Engine

With only two episodes left, Snowpiercer uses its eighth episode to lay the foundation for the battle of the season to finally come to a head. Layton’s broken promises to his people and unwillingness to fold under Wilford puts him in a tight spot while the passengers of Snowpiercer continue to divide themselves down the line. It’s either team Layton or team Wilford, there is no in between anymore and those that have been walking the line have no choice but to pick it a side.

For starters, everything is rapidly falling apart on Snowpiercer. The civil unrest among the passengers is peaking, Boki (the trains last Breachmen) has to wrestle with the fact Wilford is not the all mighty man he thought him to be, cars in second class are flooding, the division begins to affect Roche personally, and for every problem Layton finds a solution for; two more pop up to take its place. Not to mention the ever looming threat of Wilford is pressing down on those against him harder than before. It’s not looking good for anyone who isn’t ready to raise three fingers in dedication.

Mr. Wilford is the kind of man that makes the perfect villain. He’s handsome, charming and smart; but he is also cunning, sneaky and holds several narcissistic traits very close to himself. He’s dangerous, because he’s willing to do whatever to get what he wants. Wilford is willing to use, abuse and lose whoever if it means at the end of the day he’ll come out on top. This much has been proved with his treatment of Kevin, Audrey and Alex especially. The only person that matters to him, is himself. Which is why his self sabotage of Snowpiercer’s engine isn’t surprising. Without Melanie aboard to match him mentally, Wilford is ahead of everyone whether they know it or not. Only she can fix technical, engine problems that are sourced back to him, only Melanie can undo any kind of physical damage he does to the train. And she’s not there, so who else can Layton, Ben and Javi call upon for help? Wilford is literally the only option. But that means letting him in to the one place they’ve been so desperately trying to keep him out of. Approving Wilford to come all the way to the front of the train, to the engine, is the biggest risk Layton has taken yet. And since about the four episode of this season, every risk Andre has taken has pretty much blown up in his face.

As Layton deals with Wilford, others on the train find themselves trying to soothe the rising tensions. Or at least they start deciding whose side their on. This is incredibly tough for Roche and his family. For seven long years Roche has been the head of security, his family has been comfortable under Melanie’s pretend to be Wilford reign. Now, he fully supports Layton and the push for equality throughout the entire train. But his support is costing his family their peace. When Roche sends their daughter up train for safety, it’s not long after that their car is visited by Wilford’s people demanding to know where their loyalties lie. Anne, Roche’s wife, worries that if they don’t pick a side soon, when the time comes it’ll be too late. If Roche supports Layton a little too much, Wilford might not overlook it later.

Meanwhile, over on Big Alice things are the polar opposite of its sister train. The eerie calmness of the atmosphere, as they wait for Wilford to reclaim what he believes to be his, is only ever ruffled by Audrey. She’s defected, fully returned to Wilford’s side and is glad to see him take back Snowpiercer so easily. Which is why she pays Josie a visit after the woman wakes up to find her face nearly fully restored to the way it was before the severe frost bite. Josie is still loyal to Snowpiercer and Andre; but the reconstruction of her face and Audrey’s betrayal start her wondering why exactly she was offered treatment on Big Alice. After all, Wilford is constantly playing games, there’s no reason to not think Josie isn’t a player in one now too. Especially after she discovers her new skin can with stand the cold the same way Icy Bob does. Wilford’s always got a plan for everything, he’s got one for Josie too. He’s got places for everyone.

Turns out, Anne was correct. Taking too long to show where your loyalties lie was a mistake. The moment Wilford is able to fix the engine and keep everyone from dying, the tides shift for good. Wilford has won, he’s beaten Layton in the race for who leads the train. The game is over and punishments must be dealt out. Starting with Layton being taken prisoner on Big Alice and the entire Roche family being slipped into drawers. The time of change is done, things will be going back to the way they were. And if anyone doesn’t like it, the real Wilford is there for them to take it up with. Not that any of them would now.

The best thing about “The Eternal Engineer” is the masterclass of acting that the men of the show give. Between Layton, Boki, Ben, and Roche, we were given a range of emotions that perfectly emphasized the stress of what’s happening aboard these connected trains. Boki’s grief, not only for his fellow Breachmen but also his shattered image of Wilford, is gut wrenching. It’s not often someone as strong and solid as Boki has to grapple with the fact they are the last of their kind. Piling on top of that Boki’s blinders have been snatched completely off and he now knows that Wilford doesn’t care about him. It’s a tough episode for him, there’s a lot he’s has to come to terms with in a place that doesn’t really allow time for self reflection. In a more silent approach, Ben’s downward spiral isn’t as noticeable in the chaos of everything around him. But it’s there in facial expressions and jerky anxiety filled movements which is why by the time Wilford takes the engine, Ben’s defeat is palpable.

However it’s Layton and Roche that have the best performances of the episode, to me. Roche’s indecisiveness very much represents the audience. Many want to believe in Layton, want him to lead the train and make real change but it also can’t be denied that under Wilford everything ran smoother. It might not have been great for everyone, mostly the Tail, but it was comfortable for over half of the train. And if there’s one thing most people aren’t willing to give up or compromise on, it’s their comfort. Roche never really loss his comfort, he was too high up for Layton’s revolution to have any negative affects on his life. So his support of the man was easy. Now though, his support has landed him and his family in drawers. Which asks the question of was backing Andre the right choice to make? And Andre, well everything went to shit for him a long time ago. But it’s in episode seven that he can no longer hold onto to the leadership role that was slipping from his grasp anyway. In the last five minutes of the episode, Andre’s entire world comes crashing down. Wilford taking the engine means jail for Layton, it means being separated from Zarah and possibly never getting to see their child being born, it means the Tail will lose the little bit of protection they had. It means Andre has failed and his breakdown is imminent. If he’s even allowed to have one.

Everything that’s transpired in season two has been leading up to the moments we’ve begun to witness. Wilford’s plan has always been to take back Snowpiercer, and now he has. He’s also left Melanie out in the cold to die, he’s killed two birds with one stone in less than two hours. He’s won. So the two hour season finale has already promised to be the most wild experience of the show yet, it has no choice but to be. Snowpiercer has come a long way since season one, the set ups and pay offs have been worth it so far. There’s a lot to wrap up in the last two episodes, and even more ground work to be laid out for season three but all the evidence points towards Snowpiercer showing up and showing out. I’m confident it won’t disappoint.

Snowpiercer airs Monday nights on TNT


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Snowpiercer: Chaos Reigns

After spending some quality time with Melanie and watching her battle not only stationary cold but her mind as well, we rejoin the passengers of Snowpiercer and find ourselves at the eve of budding chaos. As Till circles in on her Breachmen killer and Tailley maimer, Layton loses about 80% of his support from third class and Ruth comes faces to face with the consequences of her pre revolution actions. Not to mention over on Big Alice, Miss Audrey dances a fine line with Wilford after choosing to stay with him instead of return to Snowpiercer.

It was only a matter of time before tensions rose pass the point of no return. It’s been a stressful time for the passengers since the revolution and Wilford’s return. Day after day there’s some kind of unrest, and day after day Layton, Roche, Ruth and Till scramble to hold onto to any kind of peaceful order. The death of eight Breachmen at the same time, in the name of what looks like revenge no less, is definitely not sending the message of unity that the train needs. Till is doing her best to handle it though, she knows that she’s close to catching her suspect; all she has to do is look a little closer at those around her but it’s hard to do when everything is descending into chaos. It’s not until she leaves a heavily grieving Breachmen Boki with Pastor Logan and searches out the only antique seller on the train do the last pieces of the puzzle fall into place for her.

Till’s uphill battle this season has highlighted one of the most interesting parts of Snowpiercer on the show, the other passengers on the train. There are just under three thousand people aboard, we stick with our main characters of course but that doesn’t mean that the other passengers aren’t just as fascinating. In her search for the murderer, Till has to find the origin of a vintage Wilford button and she is led to the last antique seller on the frozen planet. Who shares a small, almost overstuffed car with her grandson. Turns out, she has know Wilford personally since he was a child, she was his neighbor. And she easily places the button Till has to a jacket that a fancy first class lady traded a fur hat for. Though this leads to an arrest, a fight between Boki and The Last Australian shifts Till’s focus back to the last person she would suspect to have an evil hand in the situation: Pastor Logan.

While Till fights an enemy that’s too close for comfort, Layton let’s his emotions and loyalty to the Tail get the best of him. In his morning address to the train Layton means to unite third and the tail as both think they other is out to get them, but his speech is flawed and puts too much blame on Wilford. Most of the people aboard Snowpiercer aren’t ready yet to fully let go of Wilford as their savior. Instead of taking responsibility for not coming through on anything he’s promised and being transparent in a way that would appeal to everyone, Layton pushes the already iffy passengers into picking a side; his or Wilford’s. And whether he realizes it or not, there are far more people boarding the idea that they need Wilford to return to Snowpiercer’s engine rooms than those that believe Layton has brought good change.

Layton’s been off his game for nearly the entire season. Or maybe he’s losing a battle he never wanted to be part of in the first place. Either way, his decisions of late leave much to be desired. He’s losing his footing more and more as the episodes pass, it doesn’t seem like Layton is the leader those in the Tail thought he was. But it’s not like Layton ever stood up and declared himself to be such, he just happened to be able to rally the people like no other. His presence in the Tail was large and it’s not small beyond it either, but outside of the Tail there are complexities that catch Layton up every chances they can. However, those closest to him haven’t lost faith in him just yet. It’s especially surprising how loyal Roche has become to him, though at the end of the episode we learn this could change at any moment. Zarah, who admittedly can’t do much besides trying to keep people calm, is trying to be the rock Layton needs. Yet her words of encouragement don’t light fires in Andre the way Josie’s used to. And Ruth, well, she and Layton has struggled with trusting each other the entire season. But her loyalty is given the ultimate test when a group of rage filled third class people attempt to take Pike’s arm via the freeze. Layton being who he is, offers up his own arm as a replacement. This is extra upsetting to Ruth who just had a startlingly realization when she comes face to face with small Winnie and the girl is absolutely terrified of her. After being reminded that she is the one who took Winnie’s mother’s arm, Ruth is left with the sickening guilt of the trauma her actions can cause. And it’s that guilt that gives her the courage to shout down the third class passengers and save Layton’s arm. The chaos of it all.

While everyone falls into panic on Snowpiercer, over on Big Alice things are still as calm as they’ve ever been. At least on the surface. While pleased that Audrey decided to stay, Wilford still doesn’t fully trust her. After seven years, he knows that she isn’t as loyal to him as she once was and after finding the screwdriver meant to help her rig the com lines, he’s even less happy with her. So he decides to put her to the test, as he does with everyone on his side. Miss Audrey’s powers of persuasion are the stuff of legends, so Wilford does what any sensible evil con man would; he puts her skill to work. Turns out, Kevin isn’t dead. The slitting of his wrists in the bath with Wilford wasn’t a forced suicide, but a forced breaking of Kevin’s mind. And now that Wilford has Audrey back, he wants her to fix Kevin. Because he knows that if she’s really returned to him, Audrey will be able to persuade any to do the same.

Miss Audrey aces Wilford’s test for her, successfully rewriting Kevin’s brain to worship Wilford. In doing so, she solidifies her place at Wilford’s side and proves herself dedicated to him taking over Snowpiercer. Making it seem as if Miss Audrey has become a full blown traitor. However, as much as it’s being pushed that Audrey is now on Wilford’s side, it’s hard to imagine that after all the pain and trauma he caused her that she would return to him this quickly and this easily. The hope is that Miss Audrey is playing the long game, still loyal to Layton and Snowpiercer but understanding that no one other than can get this close to Wilford. We want Audrey to be playing Wilford like an instrument, however I was very wrong about Pastor Logan being good for Till so Audrey actually switching sides could be the case. After all, it’s very hard to women to truly leave their abusers; especially when forced back in close proximity to them.

The seventh episode of season two both concludes an arc started at the beginning of the season and sets up for the finale three episodes. Till catches her rat, proving that Wilford has had people on the inside since the beginning. But the damage is already done, the people of Snowpiercer do not want to hear about how Wilford has been playing them all along. They just want to feel safe and that’s the last thing Team Layton is doing, if anything since Andre took over the train things have gotten less safe and more violent. Though it may not be directly Layton’s fault, the blame still falls on his shoulders. The perks of being a leader.

If there’s anything I love about Snowpiercer it’s the way everyone has to eventually meet the consequences of their actions. Whether the actions are good or bad, everything comes back to a full circle eventually. Ruth took Winnie’s mother’s arm back in the beginning of the first season, last night she had to face the fact she sees herself above certain people but is just as barbaric as they are. In her grief, Till put on blinders and zeroed in on being a good detective. It made her desperately search for someone who was standing right there the entire time, but she could only see him once the blinders she’s been clinging to were ripped away. Andre is being dragged for filth at every turn for not coming through on the promises he made to push the revolution through. Every action, no matter how big or small eventually comes back for its consequences, and we get to see them and sit with them just like the passengers on Snowpiercer do. And I think that’s beautiful, and what makes this show so compelling.

Snowpiercer airs on Monday nights on TNT.


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