Access Is Power
As we learn from this episode of Snowpiercer, the most valuable asset on this 1001 carriage train is access. That access comes at a cost but it appears there’s more than one agenda on this train as the veil begins to lift on what’s been happening, but only fractionally. As the continued escalating civil unrest between the Tailies and First Class bubbles up, Snowpiercer fronts that conflict with a simple enough episode that serves up some investigative drama but not much else.
Episode 3 of Snowpiercer begins with Layton awakening from a bad dream involving him saying goodbye to Zarah as she makes her way up the train. A bag is thrown over Layton’s head and he’s pushed up-train. Melanie meanwhile receives a message from Mr Wilford telling the group to stand firm. It turns out he was paraphrasing Churchill and some of those passengers, including the Commander, aren’t taking too kindly to the civil unrest brewing in third class and want answers.
Not long after, Melanie and Roche sit down with Layton and discuss a “new” drug called Kronole that seems to be doing the rounds. Only this isn’t actually anything new given it’s been in the Tail section for two revolutions. As he’s taken out his handcuffs, Roche walks with Layton to find a guard called Osweiller who happened to be one of the dealers for the Tailies and exchanged oral sex for the drug. They sit with him and ask who his supplier is but for now he remains tight-lipped.
When they leave Osweiller is taken to the janitor Terence, where he feeds back what happened with Layton including his questions about Kronole. With the information transferred over, Terence promises to give Layton a warm welcome. Layton himself however, learns from Brakeman that Nikki is now awake and decides to interview her to see if she holds any clues.
Later that day the train prepares for Fightnight; a distraction that First Class see straight through but decide to take part in nonetheless. This happens to serve as an extra distraction from a hole under the train that could prove to be seriously problematic for those at the back-end of Snowpiercer.
The Tailies are cleverer than they think though and figure this out, especially given the train isn’t running at full speed. Realizing they may be uncoupled and left to die, they remain vigilant and alert.
Just before Melanie arrives to stop them, Brakeman and Layton learn that Nikki is suffering from Kronole withdrawal, something that’s been hidden from the other passengers. It turns out Dr Klimpt is the one responsible for this but he wasn’t aware the drug was mixed in with the medicine.
Fightnight begins and Layton works the room, intent on finding the janitor involved with dealing Kronole. After a reunion with Zarah, Osweiller arrives and Layton tries to strike up a deal with Terence. In order to be alone with him, the pair concoct a distraction for Brakeman that involves releasing Nikki and causing a big fight to spill out among the passengers. While this commotion unravels, Layton and Terence sit together and discuss Kronole, in particular whether he dealt it to Sean Wise. It turns out he saw Sean the night he died but he was with someone from First Class when he came to score Kronole.
As the episode closes out, Layton is asked by Melanie who they’re looking for while a mysterious assailant arrives and knocks out the guard outside Nikki’s room. As she watches in stunned silence, this man sits opposite her and removes the light-bulb from a lamp in the room, smiling and revealing that she knows who he is but for now, she can’t remember. Meanwhile, it turns out Layton passed over a small capsule that may hold the clue to Josie escaping her cell when he visited her earlier in the episode, which is where we end things this week.
With a bit more class division showcased – in particular the rich sitting above the poor who begin fighting among themselves during Fightnight – Snowpiercer continues to divide its characters while delivering an enjoyable enough episode that pushes the narrative forward slightly. There really isn’t a lot going on here though and aside from the investigative drama and the reveal of Kronole being involved in what happened, this feels like another foundation-setter as we gear up for more exciting episodes to come.
The ending certainly leaves the door wide open for the future too but quite who is responsible for Sean’s death remains a mystery.
Published: 01 June 2020 at 10:03am on TheReviewGeek.com