A Single Trade
Episode 4 of Snowpiercer Season 2 begins with a trade exactly 3 days after Melanie left the train. This aforementioned trade is between Big Alice and Snowpiercer as goods are transmitted between the two trains. Only, within that trade happens to be a letter from Wilford himself.
Well, he receives a simple reply: “What do you want?” It’s an abrupt message, but one that sees Wilford admit he wants to upset the balance of power onboard Snowpiercer. The first step to do that is to head over to their train carriages for the evening. Layton suspects as much and asks Audrey to help him on this mission.
Meanwhile, Till continues to watch Buckie, remaining less-than-anonymous at the pastor’s carriage. Upon seeing images of her fallen comrades on the walls, she begins weeping. Thankfully, our priest is on-hand to help lend a compassionate ear.
With the evening on Snowpiercer upcoming, Wilford draws three names from a hat for those who will join him onboard. Layton, Audrey, Roche and Ruth all work together to try and make this a night to remember, telling their fellow passengers that they need to make sure Wilford sees them as a unified front.
Audrey is sure Wilford already has his hooks in them (looking specifically at Ruth at this moment) but for now they need to try and see this through. Well, Ruth believes she’s being pushed out the operation and tries to concoct a way to remain relevant in this wave of change washing over the train. Interestingly, this development includes Zara jumping in as a staff member for hospitality.
Our two crazy scientists from Big Alice show up on Snowpiercer and help tend to each of the different patients – including Josie. Just before the big night out, Josie is taken across to Big Alice for treatment.
Back on Snowpiercer, that aforementioned craziness spills over to Breachman, who’s attacked by all the Tailies who believe he’s the one responsible for jumping one of their own.
It’s a tense atmosphere clinging to the train, especially when the Big Alice passengers hop onboard Snowpiercer for their night out. Layton and Wilford stand together as a message is broadcast from the front of the train. The engineers launch a weather balloon into the air with the intention of hearing it ping from Melanie’s location – if she’s there of course.
Well, the night goes ahead as planned and Audrey takes Wilford backstage while Roche and Ruth watch him leave, exchanging knowing glances to one another.
While Audrey does her best to win over Wilford, the other passengers from Big Alice and Snowpiercer begin to mingle. Alex is shown a viewing platform by LJ while the Last Aussie isn’t actually the last Aussie, as there happens to be another native on Big Alice. What are the odds, eh?
Anyway, Audrey manages to bring Wilford under her control before eventually heading back to the party. They hear back from the bridge of the train too as the engineers check the weather balloon and hope for the best.
After what seems like a lifetime, they receive a ping from Melanie confirming that their mission may well be a success after all. Wilford’s smile quickly changes to a scowl, which he disguises well from the others around him as he joins in their applause.
The night ends and Josie awakens inside Big Alice right next to our icy friend asleep on a stretcher. It seems like Josie may well be the next character about to experimented on.
The Episode Review
Snowpiercer returns this week with a slightly artistic episode, but one that’s a lot slower than the others we’ve experienced thus far. A lot of the drama here rests squarely on Melanie’s wellbeing. What happened to her out in the snow? How did she make it to safety? How did the ping work? And what is the end-game here?
While it seems likely that we’re gearing up for another fight between the two trains, including Wilford building an… ice army? I guess? To be honest the science isn’t exactly fully realized and at times Snowpiercer does slip a little too far into the realm of silliness.
With the exception of the first episode, this season has really struggled to capture that same power dynamic that made the first so fascinating, instead devolving into a fight between two sides onboard a train. The charisma of Sean Bean is enough to drive this one forward though but the midway point of this show has slowed things down, which isn’t helped by a rather underwhelming mystery that feels crowbarred in to fill the run-time.
Let’s hope the pace picks back up soon!