A Great Odyssey
Episode 3 of Snowpiercer Season 2 begins with Wilford delivering his broadcast to Big Alice as he promises to retake what is his. With the apocalypse coming up, Wilford uses his icy giant Bob as a tool in this coming war. In fact, he pushes the man to breaking point, deciding he needs to withstand -100° temperatures going forward.
Before he can continue, both trains communicate and try to come up with a suitable plan. They need to try and help Melanie make it through the difficult conditions to the research centre. While the two groups ping-pong between ideas, they strike a deal and trade resources. With enticing fresh food on a tray, Snowpiercer suggest trading food for parts. Wilford smiles, admiring Layton’s tenacity and allowing Melanie to come onboard.
Alone, Melanie is antagonized by both Alex and Wilford who doubt her ability to make it up to the research centre before she freezes. When Wilford leaves, Alex’s icy demeanor thaws slightly as the two bond and discuss the past. Alex even shows Melanie where she’s sleeping. Reciprocating the kind gesture, Mel shows her a simple way of testing how the train is feeling. After collecting her things, Melanie heads back to Snowpiercer.
Meanwhile, Layton heads in to see Josie who’s not happy with his perceived betrayal after their Tailie friends died for the cause. She realizes that he needs her support. Unfortunately, trouble is brewing in the Tail, as Layton learns more about Till’s case regarding Lights.
With Roche and Till together, they continue to investigate as they visit Buckie and his boys, asking about the mask-wearers attacking Tailies. After raising three fingers, Breachman and the others stop what they’re doing and admit that they’re not here to attack, they’re waiting for Wilford’s command. And just like that, he shows off a tattoo branded on his chest – Wilford’s insignia.
The train has bigger problems to deal with though as the passengers face a similar situation to that in season 1. Instead of an avalanche and wobbly tracks however, all the passengers on Snowpiercer are forced to muster and head to the end of the train as they brace themselves to ascend up a difficult stretch of track.
With things tense and this 1000+ carriage train on the verge of derailing and crashing at any moment, Melanie and the others cut the lights while Big Alice slams on the boosters. They hit the corner and all the carriages make it through without a hitch. However, Wilford is not happy about the tears Alex is shedding, telling her this is the last time he’ll allow it.
Before Melanie eventually leaves the train, Alex heads down to see Melanie and say goodbye. Of course, given Melanie was the one to hurt Josie, there’s no love lost between them. However, Layton bids farewell to Melanie, who in turn says bye to Ruth and Alex. Just before Melanie jumps off the train, she tells her daughter that it’s not her fault as they embrace one more time before she jumps out.
The Episode Review
Episode 3 of Snowpiercer slows the pace slightly as we see Melanie and Alex’s strained relationship start to thaw and become more intimate. It’s clear that Wilford has all of his troops under his command though and everything on Big Alice seems to be operating like a cult. His displeasure at Alex’s show of emotion is evidence enough that any sign of weakness will not be tolerated.
The attack on the Tailie from the Wilford fanatics continues to push the crime drama side of things but to be honest, it doesn’t feel like it’s needed and just ends up feeling like busywork.
It also doesn’t help that this second season is starting to venture beyond the train itself, losing sight of that rich and poor commentary which made the movie (and to an extent the first season) so fascinating to watch.
Instead, what we get is more generic flavoured sci-fi, propped up by the deliciously maniac and well-acted performance of Sean Bean.
Still, with Melanie off the train and both Big Alice and Snowpiercer forced to work together, it remains to be seen exactly what will happen next between these two trains.