The Eternal Engineer
Episode 8 of Snowpiercer Season 2 begins with the train divided as the fallen soldiers are dumped unceremoniously to their doom. Roche however, has doubts about this new world order as he says his piece for narration duties this time around.
Till breaks the news that the Pastor is the one responsible for the hit but Breakman is incredulous. He wants revenge and after 30 years of servitude to Wilford, is unable to process that he tried to dispatch them.
Well, Snowpiercer has bigger problems to deal with as Layton and the others struggle to win over the crowd in the train, many of which swaying closer and closer to Wilford’s old ways. Well, things taken an even bigger turn when a burst pipe causes havoc down the train – 3 carriages worth of havoc to be precise.
Osweiller and LJ head down to try and patch it up but unfortunately Knox tinkers with the pressure and causes more water to gush out. Something is blocking the external pipes and with no Breakmen to help, they’re looking at a pretty big problem.
This then falls to Breachman Boscovic to head outside on his own to fix the problem. Water vents gush out large plumes of water that spray down the train. It’s something that sees Wilford phone through to help but those on Snowpiercer reject his assistance.
Wilford stops worrying about Audrey and begins thinking more specifically about his next move. He heads into the hospital wing and shows Josie her new face – which has been fixed. He even shows an illusion to reteach her brain to show she’s got two hands. Just before he leaves, he welcomes her aboard Big Alice.
Audrey heads out and visits Josie in the canteen, sharing common ground and telling her that the future is theirs. Audrey claims she’s never slept better since being on Big Alice. When Josie heads back to visit Bob, she finds him looking the worse for wear after Iceman was out and about down the train. As we soon find out, this was an act of sabotage.
Realizing that Wilford could be responsible, Breachman Boscovic instead pledges himself to Layton’s rule. Well, at least that’s one positive to come from all this.
On top of that, we also see Osweiller and OJ kissing but their time has been short-lived across the season so to be honest, there isn’t much to say about this beyond the fact that it’s here
Unfortunately the rest of the train is completely divided over who to believe, with Roche’s partner even erring on the side of Wilford. That is, until her husband reminds her of the horrors Wilford has conducted.
Layton gathers the troops after learning about the sabotage and realizes they need Wilford’s help to try and help fix the engine. Given this could undo absolutely everything they’ve built, Layton tries to keep this quiet from the other passengers.
Wilford’s arrival eventually sees him face to face with Ben. Despite their best intentions, news of them entering Snowpiercer spreads like wildfire across the train.
A massive problem with the engine leaves the only credible solution to manually shut everything down and re-power it up. According to Wilford, this isn’t part of his master plan and as he communicates with Alice, he pleads with her to push when the time comes.
All the lights and engines shut off as the passengers huddle together and hope for the best. Unfortunately Wilford makes his mark and announces his arrival on Snowpiercer, guiding everyone together to fix the engines. With everyone working in tandem, a wry smile crosses Wilford’s lips, seemingly hinting that this was his plan all along to assume control of Snowpiercer and turn everyone to his cause.
Defeated, Layton walks away as he, Ruth, Till and the others realize their fight to secure the train is over. Wilford is in control. Layton blasts the signal flare forward as Layton is held in custody and due to be taken down to Big Alice. Roche arrives and promise to help as best he can. Zarah arrives next and hugs Layton, telling him not to give up and to do his best.
Roche shows up on Big Alice, escorted in by Audrey to see the two doctors who have him and his family secured in cryogenic freezing. Wilford arrives at the front of Snowpiercer and assumes control of the train, ready for a brand new world in what should be an explosive finale to come.
The Episode Review
What happened to Melanie? Is she dead? What about Josie’s newfound powers? Can she withstand the freezing temperatures now? And is Audrey really a villain or is she still playing a long game?
This second season has, so far at least, essentially been Joseph Wilford’s long-game to assume control of Snowpiercer, using all the tricks in the book to win back his train. From kindness and manipulation through to decoys, seduction and sabotages, Wilford and the crew on Big Alice have done absolutely everything to upset the balance of power. Judging by the end to this episode, it seems to have done the trick.
The new world order was never going to work without Melanie’s steady hand to right the wrongs, and with her out the picture now it was only a matter of time before Andre Layton and his weak grip on Snowpiercer slipped.
Seeing how the manufactured engine problem at the end was quickly resolved by Wilford, using the opportunity to speak to the train and make an easy win, has been enough to slip Layton back into obscurity. How will Snowpiercer react to going back to the old ways?
Given the fighting that erupted at the start of episode 1, it’s a bit of a shame that there haven’t been more conflicts between the two trains. However, could we be looking at another big brawl in the upcoming episodes? Could we see Big Alice turn into the new Tail end of the train and restore the rich/poor divide that made season 1 so fascinating?
It seems like we may be on course for that but there’s no denying that some of the other subplots here have felt like busywork. LJ has been severely under-utilized so far while Till’s investigation felt like busywork and did absolutely nothing to help the momentum of the series. The reveal of it being the pastor last week was also quite obvious.
Still, the ending leaves the door wide open for a wild episode to follow next wee.