It was never going to be long before Layton (Daveed Diggs)found out that the change in the train’s power-structure would prove more tenuous than he’d thought. After attacks on the Tailies that appeared to be the work of Breechmen, the fatal assault on most of the Breechmen is considered by some to be simply a case of brutal revenge – but Layton knows its all – somehow – the work of Wilford (Sean Bean).
But knowing and proving are two separate things and ensions are starting to mount. While Layton tries to put out the immediate ‘fires’, it’s up to Till (Mickey Sumner) to do the detective-work to find the chain of events…
On Big Alice, Miss Audrey (Lena Hall) must go to extreme measures to prove her loyalty… and as Snowpiercer reaches the corkscrewed pass through the Himalayas, how many of the passengers will see red?
Revolutions aboard Snowpiercer tend to put the ‘fickle’ in icicle and this week’s episode, Our Answer for Everything, the cracks have started to appear with Wilford exploiting the divisions that exist and turning them into potential chasms. For years Melanie pretended to be Wilford and maintained order, at a price of freedoms and equality… and now some crave that again instead of the uneasy chaos since Layton’s march up-train. Director Rebecca Rodriguez does a solid job of making sure every scene speaks to the precarious state of the train and its loyalties…
Snowpiercer seems to be getting a reputation for bringing back characters you presumed were dead and though Kevin’s survival (after what looked like a Wilford-controlled suicide in the bath a few episodes ago) is perhaps less startling that Josie’s reappearance, but it is the touchpaper for more character-development. Wilford tests Miss Audrey’s (Lena Hall) allegiances by having her bring back Kevin (Tom Lipinski) from his quaking mental precipice, knowing full well that – having endured the same herself – it will make or break her. The result appears to be successful for him, but the subsequent script and performance make sure her reasonings are deliberately ambiguous… has Audrey’s reliving of her trauma taken her back over to the ‘dark side’ or is just that good with her poker face. One hopes it’s the latter, though she’s certainly convincing… and ultimately generating a lot of resentment from Alex, who appears to be falling from favour.
Till’s investigations lead her to an unexpected source of the unrest (though perhaps not that unexpected as we had our suspicions of a certain character for weeks). Till is a character who has been trying to find a balance between morality and pragmatism – something spiritual as well as a physical code to live by and there have been several blows to that along the way. I hope she survives these traumatic times, despite being constantly in harm’s way as she’s the character with whom you would likely have the most sympathy.
Ruth (Alison Wright) also has a moment of redemption. It’s smart to remind audiences that way back in the first episode – in a scene largely lifted from the film – Ruth oversaw the punishment of the Tailies by authorising the use of freezing off a limb of a mother protecting her child. Things have changed post-revolution and realising just how much she traumatised the child – and sees Layton about to endure the same punishment – she finally breaks and says how barbaric it is and that the revolution, whatever one thinks of all the arguments – stands for something better than what existed before. It’s now clear that Ruth, once a devoted Wilford-acolyte, would find no peace on Big Alice.
Once again the Production Design and VFX departments do the show proud with the travel through the Himalayan region looking bleak yet beautiful and when the red lights are visible through the windows as the train works its way through a corkscrewed track, it’s atmospheric as well foreboding. And that’s what Snowpiercer is doing excellently at the moment – in every department – keeping a lot of plates spinning and increasing that tension with every scene. Right now, even with a third season given the green light, it’s impossible to know who is going to make it out alive…
- Production Design / VFX9