The Show Must Go On
Episode 9 of Snowpiercer Season 2 begins with changes abound on Snowpiercer. With hope turned to fear, Wilford’s control has also brought with it a return to old ways. Unfortunately that also means Till, Ruth and the other rebellious members need to play their part for now and bide their time.
The next step in this plan sees Wilford “unmuddy” the train and bring things back into a class system as before. Ruth is teamed up with Kevin, who leads her into the interrogation room where all the hospital files happen to be stored in the boxes. Wilford wants to find out who’s fit for what task.
Javier is moved down the train to Alex, who’s less then enthused to see him. At the same time, Till is brought before Wilford but she keeps her guard up in his presence. He claims there was no crime on his train during his tenure, classing Till as an amusing anomaly and wondering what to do with her. Chillingly, Wilford also confirms that Roche and his family are locked inside the drawers.
Wilford brings Till to carriage 272 where Andre Layton happens to be working doing manual labour. At the same time, Josie learns more about her powers and what she’s capable of now.
After, we head back aboard Snowpiercer where the night train has been completely transformed into a funhouse with rides and carnival games. It’s a complete freak show, but something used to fuel propaganda – and Wilford’s battle against Melanie. “The engine will provide” is the mantra repeated by the puppets here, ending with a round of applause from some and others completely rejecting the notion. That is, until Wilford confirms that they lost contact with Melanie 10 days ago.
Back on Big Alice, Wilford visits Layton while he’s at work, antagonizing him about their differences in leadership. Layton holds the upper-hand, -at least momentarily – as he tells Wilford that the people will never love him like they do with him. Wilford however, brings up his current job role, shoveling wasye and tensions inevitably do spill over.
When Wilford leaves, Josie shows up and reveals her newfound powers to him. Layton doesn’t give up hope but does tell her she needs to stay where she is for now and wait for the right moment. Although they’re still together, he tells her to pass on a message – they’ll finish what they’ve started.
The big opening night for Willy’s Wonderland begins as Audrey sits with Wilford and the two sing together at the piano. This eventually culminates in a tense meal where those on Snowpiercer and Big Alice come to blows. Alex and LJ trade venomous verbal blows around Melanie’s ideals, leading Wilford to question them all over their loyalties.
It’s a tense affair, especially when it comes down to choosing the Head of Department. Wilford eventually decides that job should be Ruth’s. She’s shocked but inevitably there is a catch. In order to keep hold of this job, she needs to inform the train that they’re not going back for Melanie.
It’s a huge decision and one that eventually sees Ruth reject the offer. On the back of this, she’s forced to remove her jacket and give up the position she once held so dear.
With Ruth relegated down the train, Wilford instead gives Till a new role – his own personal advisor. He takes her down the train where numerous men are held up against the wall, ready to die. With a flick of a switch, she could kill them all and exact revenge. Till however, decides against this but is still forced to watch them all die when Wilford himself flicks the switch.
On Big Alice, Javier hears a transmission message from Melanie come in and quickly uses the bathroom to formulate a plan. Using lipstick, he writes a message and flushes it down the toilet, hoping that it’ll reach Layton and Ruth. Well, reach them it does, as they check the message and realize that Melanie is still alive. Time for a break-out!
The Episode Review
This episode is all about loyalty and it’s interesting to see this theme play out with the various different characters. Despite all the hostility and issues around the train, seeing Ruth and Till make their choices and stand by Layton no mater what is a really big moment. Especially for Ruth, who has always had dreams of being the head of hospitality and staying by Wilford’s side.
Her choice, deciding to put her trust and faith in humanity instead, is a great moment for her character and something that really helps develop her arc across this second season.
Alongside that too is Wilford himself, who realizes that the train has changed a lot since the last time he was on it. Snowpiercer is not the same pushover it once was and these men and women sure as hell won’t take to Wilford’s propaganda.
This sets up an intriguing conflict to come, with the finale poised to see all of this spill over in the most dramatic way possible. Bring it on!