We had two episodes of Snowpiercer this week, so enjoy the double review!

Episode 9: The Show Must Go On

Now that the great W runs the train, he wants to rule it with the most heinous micro-management style. Going as far as looking at private medical records. Creating a new census to put passengers back in “their” place as the lines have gotten “muddy.”

Engineer Javi is transferred to Big Alice to break up the Engineering crew and Alex is not too pleased. We finally get to see where Layton has been since the change of power. He at least is working and alive, but in what is called the Swamp, it’s the compost station for Big Alice.

Plans Coming To Light

As Wilford plans to open up car 272, a carnival with puppet shows to his own ego to drive his propaganda. He is also planning a special guest dinner in the first-class dining car with the assistance of Ruth. Who’s the esteemed guest might be? Well, you might have guessed.

It’s Layton’s inner circle, LJ, Oz, and of course Audrey. For me, she has lost the title of Miss as she has gone to the other side, therefore not worthy of the respect given.

ph: David Bukach

Dinner with the Devil…

First-class is totally decked out it almost seems like a completely different car. The table is set the tickets have been handed out and the guests arrive.

I’m assuming that the legal age for drinking is irrelevant anymore as Lj and Alex both enjoy adult beverages. As Wilford goes around the table to figure out the “worth” of his guests.

  • Lj paints herself into a corner about her murderous spree from the previous season and how the impostor Wilford (Melanie) changed the verdict.
  • Oz comes to his girlfriend’s rescue saying how she has learned from her past and is now part of the working classes. He also unbeknownst to everyone shows Wilford that he like Audrey can perform for him as a singer and piano player striking tone in the hearts of the guests. Wilford sees their response and is none too happy.
  • Wilford gives Till the opportunity to become his council. Eventually taking her down train to find his loyal subjects about to be killed by “lung of ice.” She advises against it but Wilford throws the switch anyway.
  • Alex finally loses it and starts to explain what Wilford’s census is for. How on Big Alice, he had half of the passengers killed just to better use resources. He has her thrown in the brig. Oddly, she was sent to the bring on Big Alice and not the closer one in 2nd. She also tries to warn everyone that Wilford doesn’t want to go back to get Melanie. Since the Engineers have tried to keep secret that they lost contact. (Probably when the transmitter broke)
  • Zarah gets kind the short end. It’s just thrown out that she is Layton’s partner and how she will have a choice soon under the new regime.
  • Ruth has the hardest decision to make. Wilford only needs one Head of Hospitality. He gives Ruth the job IF she addresses the train that they are not going back for Melanie. She refuses paraded thru the cars out of uniform to work in the Swamp with Layton.
ph: David Bukach

Mucking In The Swamp

As we found out Layton is working literally in shit conditions even having to sleep in his new workspace. as he is sifting the garbage he is saving small items as if he was in the tail again that could be useful towards his escape.

Before Ruth joins him, he has 2 visitors. Wilford being the first, trying to goad him on but the other was very unexpected. Josie now learning that she is an improved version of Icy Bob goes and tests out her new abilities. now if this is how she got down to Layton we don’t know. but he tells her to bide her time again for her moment.

After Dinner “Festivities”

There is an orgy going on in Wilford’s cabin. With all the debauchery that you can imagine. Javi of course has to listen to it all with the Control Room doors wide open and he is visibly uncomfortable. Thru the drunken revelry, he hears over the radio that Melanie makes contact. Before anyone else like a sloppily drunk Wilford can hear. He shuts off the coms and asks to use the restroom and delivers a message to The Swamp in a lipstick container which of course would get noticed. Ruth picks up the note shares it with Layton and let’s just say, shit is about to go down!

Episode 10: Into the White

We finally get the opening monologue from Alex. She speaks about what she had to endure. She did her best to be a loner until she met the people of Snowpiercer. It interrupted by “Daddy Dubs” talking trying to manipulate her into renouncing those people. Instead she appreciates the things she saw: Women with authority, leaders listening to others rather than tyrannical rule. She hope to walk away and break the cycle.

Plans Down In The Toilet

How far will we go?
ph: David Bukach

Layton and Ruth seem to have a decent workflow in the swamp. Even taking some pride in their work. during a meal break of the famous protein blocks. They discuss the fact that they have to not just stoop to Wilford’s level but go past it. The ever prim Ruth agrees and only to save Snowpiercer and Melanie.

After a very Hollywood-style escape, they find Alex in her small cell. Ruth lets her know that Melanie did make contact. The plan is to steal Big Alice to rescue Melanie. Alex lets them know there is a secret entrance into Wilford’s car / Control Room. She chooses to stay and play her own plan. Ruth and Layton sneak up into the car and use some of Wilford’s own toys to dispatch the guards quickly.

Javi says they have about 2 hours before the Rocky Mountain pass turnoff. He needs to notify Ben that Big Alice is under their control but not tip-off anyone else. A heartwarming scene is Ruth comes across Wilford’s gorgeous bathtub and Layton ever the gentlemen says ladies first.

I wonder if they taste like PB&J
The Famous Protein bars!

The Other Players On The Board

Josie gets a new prosthetic and talks about how as hard as it was for her out in the cold it’s a rush and she’s ready to go again. Alex finally goes uptrain the proverbially “Kiss the Ring” denouncing her mother and the rest of Layton’s supporters. She was able to whisper to Bess that Layon is coming and they are stealing the train.

Javi, knowing that Ben is being monitored, uses his past seven years of working together to tip him off that they in fact are going to turn the train. New supplies for the carnival are being passed over the border Ruth and Layton are sneaking thru inside the boxes. They meet Bohki and Lights in the carnival and come up with a plan to “Go make coup”.

“With pregnancy comes privilege” as the saying goes on the train. Wilford wants Audrey to act as Zara’s doula. But Zara isn’t having any of it! She calls out her old friend and confidant for switching sides but is interrupted by Bess and quickly takes a nap, via the right hook.

Ben knows that he is going to have to get rid of Sykes’ prying eyes in the control room. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well for him as Sykes is just as badass as we thought! Luckily they did hit the turn and the jolt knocked Sykes off balance and Ben knocked her out.

Tumultuous Turns And Tracks

As Wilford is being served his late-night snack from Alex and Lj the track is getting rougher and rougher. Alex calls up to Ben and lies that there is debris on the tracks. Lj calls BS saying she’s acting just like her mom did. Wilford pulls back the curtains and sees the 10 miles of train turning. Alex goes back down with Wilford and guards to his engine. but quickly grabs a razor blade as she did from her last assassination attempt.

They passed the pickup location and slowed the train down to give Melanie extra time. but Time is no on Javi’s side as the doors to Big Alice’s control room are thinner than Snowpiercer. With access to his control panel and Javi’s bleeding out from being attacked by Jupiter. Wilford goes engine to engine with Snowpiercer trying to speed up the train.

Finally, we are caught up to the ending from Many Miles from Snowpiercer so this wasn’t a dream like I thought. Wheels ablaze, the train leaves Melanie behind! Alex puts a plan into motion. She does her best to get close to W physically. In his world, Alex was just a tool used to get at Melanie. Alex plays up his sensitive ego to draw him closer and literally, goes for his jugular. The Headwoods stitch up the would-be-king as Alex sneaks up the undertrain and the reconvene in the carnival.

Cutting Off The Head Of Snowpiercer

So the plan is to take Snowpiercer’s engine and hobble Big Alice to go back and get Melanie. There is only one link that can break on lockdown, the aquarium. Thus making as Layton called a 10 car Pirate Train.

Meanwhile, the infuriated Wilford decides to send Josie the Ice Woman up the train to cripple the control room on the other end. The Doctors Headwood advise that she isn’t ready. He says lock her out and she can either succeed or die.

Zarah decides she will stay behind and keep an eye on Wilford. He will do nothing to hurt her and she knows this. As Josie gets suited up she gets a pneumatic breach spike that she will need to pierce Snowpiercer’s engine window. Her suit is much better than Icy Bobs, it even has a helmet. I think her whole body is covered in fact.

Going out for a walk
ph: David Bukach

Ben was able to get on Coms in Josie’s helmet asking for help to unhook the Aquarium car. Ruth goes back for her teals and is threatened by a cattle prod toting Kevin. and yes it was so worth seeing her vindication on a slime ball like Kevin

At the aquarium car, Layton plays his ace showing Wilford that they have Audrey. Bohki is hurrying to get cars unlinks while Wilford’s jackboots are running towards him, and it is not a fair fight! Layton threatens to kill Audrey and Wilford calls his bluff “in front of god and all the fish!”

A thud comes from outside the car, it’s Josie! She’s using the pneumatic piston to break the glass! Once it’s breached you watch as the water quickly turns into ice expanding and shattering the car and freeing Snowpiercer from the rest of the train. Ruth from the Big Alice side of the train watches Snowpiercer pull away and she realizes she’s in big trouble!

Miles Away From Snowpiercer Again…

Layton and Alex go back to the research outpost to find it empty and cold. They even find the survival tent but inside they don’t find Melanie but she took the few batteries she had to keep the batteries safe. running on a slow charge, saving the science! Alex comes across Melanie’s diary and it’s obviously addressed to her. We hear Melanie’s voice talking about using up her resources. She chose to put on her suit and walk out into the cold and be at peace. She told her daughter to learn to love those around her.

With the science inputted into the big computer on Snowpiercer. Layton wants to get “their train” back. We get another one of the animated sequences as we’ve seen at the beginning and end of the past 2 seasons. where the story goes next who knows?

Final Thoughts And Theories On Season 2

As a whole, Season 2 did a wonderful job at building characters! We took a step back from the Melanie and Layton heavy first season and realize the show just like the train is only as important as its people. All in all, some plots just didn’t work out like LJ and Oz stepping up. But how Wilford’s new female lapdog will develop into the third season might just pay off from the budding romance we have already seen in the janitor’s closet.

Josie’s plot was so darn drawn out I would have liked to condense it into a few longer segments over say 3 episodes. Ruth had a great redemption story and I can’t wait to see what the blowback will be for her. I’m going to say it’s going to cost her a limb. Pike kind of faded out so who knows if or how he will bounce back or will he become the seedy underbelly of Wilford’s train? Zarah was just, there, lets hope the writers give her something next season.

Miss Audrey the turncoat had a very quick 180, which was disappointing. I would have liked to see her play her own long game. How she will react to being the prisoner on the pirate train is a whole other story. Alex’s story also was a bit on the nose we kind of saw this coming from 10 miles away or at least 1034 cars. Bess had a great build up but after the pastor’s death again it just fell off.

Don’t get me wrong the acting was top notch for everyone but the fact of only 10 episodes really doesn’t help with tying up loose ends.

The Three Faces Of Snowpiercer

Andre Layton: Daveed Diggs brought his calm and collected gravitas to the small screen yet again. when he was in a room he owned it whether you knew it or not! The subtly he had with his quiet expressions was masterful.

Melanie Cavill: With her feature episode I raved about her acting. Jennifer Connelly can do no wrong and I’m looking forward to seeing how they incorporate her into season 3. I’ll assume we are getting more flashbacks.

Mr. Joseph Wilford: Sean Bean only having 10 episodes was the prime example of how to be a genius social engineering psychopath! His performance a masterclass in villainy. There was never once where I had a moment of maybe he would turn around. It was always about him and his ego. It might have taken 20 episodes for characters to blossom but Wilford came out as the sharpest rose in the bouquet from day 1!

So, what did you think of this season? Have you enjoyed Snowpiercer since episode 1? Are the writers at TNT on track for the already announced and currently filming season 3? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or head on over to our THS FACEBOOK and make sure to follow me at OFF THE CUFF GAMING on Facebook