TV Review: Snowpiercer S1E3 Access is Power


In the third episode of Snowpiercer, “Access is Power,” Layton descends into Snowpiercer’s black market with Till, searching for both the killer and a valuable commodity for his revolution. Also, Melanie stages a prize fight to distract the passengers from mounting class tension.

The third episode is a strange one to watch as its themes touch upon the real world chaos we’ve been surrounded by these past few days.

Melanie and those in charge’s control is slipping and that’s being noticed by the ticketed passengers. Much like a certain Cheeto colored elected official, the plan is to distract the masses with a prize fight, gambling, and a speech by Wilford. The episode is striking as it an “extinction event” is touched upon as the train hits some technical issues.

It’s hard not to watch this episode and think about the protests filling the streets across the United States, the attempts at distraction and controlling the narrative by the media, and COVID that still spreads undaunted.

Of course the fight goes off the rails resulting in a riot. That too feels like it reflects the real world as the rich and powerful watch the masses destroy each other for entertainment. With this segment alone, the show begins to touch upon it’s promise, though does so slowly.

The “detective” aspect of the show moves forward bringing in the concept of the train’s black market and an illicit drug trade based on the drug used for those in suspension. And all of it feels like it comes quickly as we’re also treated to the serial killer among the train. While this plotline all felt shoehorned in to the previous two episodes, now things feel a bit rushed as the reveals come quickly.

And underneath are the continued steps to the revolution which is underplayed and teased out slowly. And that’s one of the more fascinating aspects of the show. Some of it feels like its pace is rather quick while other aspects drag out creating a tone that’s all over. It touches upon class warfare and then at other times focuses on a police procedural. The show feels like numerous concepts mashed into one and none of it stands out. But, much like the Snowpiercer itself, the show might need to be judged by how the episodes come together as opposed to each individual car.

Overall Rating: 7.15