Smoulder To Life
Episode 2 of Snowpiercer Season 2 begins with Melanie’s dream shattered by the arrival of Alex, who greets her while she’s behind bars. Alex demands to know which side Melanie is on and how it was snowing outside. Alex refuses to believe her though and walks away.
Melanie is eventually brought before Wilford who has no confidence in Layton’s managerial style. Melanie’s vote of confidence is enough to pique his interest though, sending a message down to Snowpiercer asking to see the man for himself.
Meanwhile, at the front of the train Layton gets dressed while Zarah promises to keep herself safe. Well, Layton may need to watch his own back as Bess Till arrives and talks to him about the hostilities between passengers in the train. First up though, Layton swears in Till as a Brakeman again and has her investigate the case alone.
The hostage, Kevin McMahon, is brought in for questioning as Layton listens to his words. Kevin adores Wilford and is confident the man will come and save him from this ordeal. Well, this line of thinking is nothing a little chicken won’t change.
As Kevin begins hungrily wolfing down fresh food brought to him, he admits that the big man last episode has had his skin augmented in some way to withstand the cold. There’s also around 100 passengers onboard Big Alice too but that’s about all he gives up for now. With crucial intel to work on, Layton mulls over his next move.
Ruth rushes in to see Layton, reading Wilford’s letter agreeing to a prisoner exchange. He’s going to hand over Melanie for Kevin being returned. Of course, Layton is smart and knows that he just wants to see them all first-hand and weigh up what he’s dealing with. However, Layton agrees to the terms.
Well, the ever-charismatic Wilford shows up at no man’s land; a single carriage separating Big Alice and Snowpiercer. Melanie and Kevin switch sides but just as they do, Alex stops Melanie and shows her the vial, desperate to know what’s inside. Melanie refuses to tell her though and asks Alex to return to Snowpiercer with her. Wilford’s hold is too strong though and she walks away…after smashing the vial on the floor.
In Snowpiercer, Melanie warns Layton that Wilford has set his sights on him now and that can only spell trouble. Well, they have bigger problems to deal with now as Melanie feeds back what she discovered outside with the engineers. Given the minerals found, it seems like the climate is changing.
Kevin’s treatment in Big Alice meanwhile, is very different. He feeds back everything he’s seen, including how everyone is second guessing themselves. As Kevin steps in the bath, Wilford asks outright exactly what he told the others on Snowpiercer.
When Kevin pussyfoots around the truth, Wilford sits in the bath with him and hands over a knife. He forces the man to slit his wrist, telling Kevin he’s free now. As he willingly cuts his wrist and fades away, Wilford watches with silent satisfaction as the bath turns red.
Meanwhile, Bess Till busies herself with a investigation surrounding an assault on a Tailie passenger. The victim is Lights, who’s had two of her fingers severed off completely. Till’s investigation brings her before Pastor Logan, who talks about faith and the Wilford believers that will follow the charismatic leader no matter what. Could it be that the attacks inside the train are from those believers? We shall see…
Zarah runs into a conflicted problem of her own as she heads into the hospital wing and finds a severely injured Josie hooked up to an IV drip. After thinking about sabotaging her, Zarah eventually changes her mind and walks away. This brings her before Audrey who tells her to protect her baby no matter what, “None of our hands are clean, darling.” She says.
The Snowpiercer engineers do some research and realize the Earth is coming back alive and starting to warm again. With a weather balloon floating up, the temperature continues to rise. Now, I’m no scientist but surely the further away from Earth you get, the colder it’s supposed to get? Especially that shot of the balloon in outer space, where it’s brutally cold.
Anyway, on the back of this Layton and Melanie send a message back to Big Alice, asking to meet for a Summit in First Class Dining. Wilford believes this is the perfect opportunity to strike first – and presumably strike at Layton.
Wilford arrives with his men, including the icy tank called Bob and Alex too. Onboard the train, Wilford’s all smiles and even meets LJ Folger who embraces him and reveals that he “still has friends” in the train.
Wilford steps into the dining area to rapturous applause as all the dominant players gather together. Melanie tells both Big Alice and Snowpiercer that the world is warming and they need to team up together to try and tackle this.
Wilford refuses to believe, especially as it would undermine his rule. However, he suddenly turns the tables and tells Melanie she’ll need to man the research station herself. She agrees to the terms but only if both trains can keep working as one. With the future presumably set for outside the train, Wilford whispers for Alex to make her move.
Bess Till realizes something is up with Wilford’s hand gesture though; his three finger salute matches Lights’ lost fingers.
As the episode closes out, Josie awakens which prompts Layton to scramble up and see her.
The Episode Review
Episode 2 of Snowpiercer deepens the ties between characters but also paves way for more of this crazy storyline to come forward. It seems like the show is gearing up for life outside which sort of defies the whole idea of this hierarchical train with different classes.
However, the show has already delivered some pretty crazy twists and turns along the way so it’s hardly surprising that Snowpiercer is going this route with possible colonization too.
The investigative segments involving Bess feel like busywork in truth, and don’t really contribute a whole lot to the story. At least not yet anyway. We already know that Wilford has fanatics within the ranks of Snowpiercer, especially LJ and Ruth who are both big believers of his work. Are they swayed enough to kill?
By comparison, Melanie finds herself conflicted over the direction she’s going, especially after seeing the combined cheers from all classes when Wilford arrived on the train. It’s a small touch but also one that shows just how much power and influence this man has. After all, he managed to convince Kevin to slit his own wrists with a sinister smile and a bit of persuasion.
The ending certainly leaves the door open though and it seems like the future may, quite literally, be heating up.