Old Ways, Old Wars
Snowpiercer returns this week for its penultimate slice of dystopian sci-fi and one thing’s for sure – the finale is shaping up to be an unmissable episode. With the battle lines drawn and some decent drama throughout, Snowpiercer has really come into its own during these last few weeks to end things on a high ready for the green-lit second season.
Episode 9 of Snowpiercer begins with Melanie imprisoned with other men and women from the Tail. As the train demands blood, she watches helplessly as a man is executed. With a face mask hooked up to the outside, his face contorts and freezes.
With the fight hitting a stalemate for the time being, the rich and poor passengers have very different ideas of handling the next stage of the ongoing rebellion. Pike is released down the train and, as we saw in the previous episode, is working with 1st class. He presents their offer to Layton which includes him surrendering in exchange for the Jackboots not gassing every carriage and killing many people. Giving him an hour to decide, Layton contemplates what to do next.
Up in 1st class, an enraged Ruth starts sifting through Melanie’s cabin and finds audio logs from Mr Wilford. Taking control of the train herself for the time being, Melanie meanwhile is sat in the execution chair. Thankfully, she’s saved by one of the engineers who leads her straight to Jinju. The girl tries in vain convince Melanie to fight the soldiers head-on but instead she has a different idea.
Layton finally decides to cave and surrenders. Pike heads back up-train to deliver the news but as he does, Melanie crawls out the vents and confronts Layton. She decides to work with them and explains how they can take the train for themselves. With a fork in the tracks coming up and all the Jackboots gathered together, it’s just the opportunity they need to take the train. If they’re successful, Melanie agrees to step back and hand over leadership duties to Layton.
With the plan in place, Layton heads up-train and signs the surrender declaration as pictures are snapped. The plan kicks into gear and a fight breaks out, with Roche helping Layton slip away. Time slowly counts down as Layton’s forced into making a difficult decision and sacrificing many of his friends for the greater good of the train.
Despite saving the train, Layton and Melanie stand face to face as they discuss the fate of the train and what comes next.
The Review Write-Up
With the fate of the train hanging in the balance, Snowpiercer brings a really interesting episode to the table. It’s one that examines the sacrifices needed for the good of the train while setting up the conflict for the finale to come.
Given what we’ve seen across the season, allowing Layton to experience that same sense of loss and anguish through tough choices is a nice mirror image to Melanie. She too has had to make sacrifices for the good of Snowpiercer and with them both now on the same page, all eyes turn to the front of the train.
Quite what will happen next remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – you’re not going to want to miss the finale!