TV Review: Snowpiercer S1E7 The Universe is Indifferent


Layton is free and the trio at the head of the train needs to decide what to do. Do they tell the train the truth about Wilford? Do they do something else? Melanie has a card up her sleeve to handle Layton and plays it in this intriguing episode of Snowpiercer entitled “The Universe is Indifferent.”

With an opening in engineering, Melanie has declared Miles, Layton’s son, will be the apprentice to take the position. It’s clearly a trap as both a hostage and bait to capture Layton and more than likely route out more insurgents.

Layton is free and Melanie is smart enough to know that he didn’t get out on his own. What’s interesting is, you’d think there’d be more security, at least cameras, on this train to help them figure out the answers as to what happened.

The episode is full of intrigue as Layton attempts to seek allies in the Third Class train and the Night Car. Then there’s also the recruitment of Miles. A plan is hatched to get Josie to Miles and interestingly, there seem to be quite a few folks in on the plan. It’s a fascinating turn of events as you realize how deep and spread the revolution is and who’s in on it.

“The Universe is Indifferent” also focuses on Ruth, a character who has been close to the spotlight but not quite. She had her moment calming the train and this episode gives us more. She’s a bit of a mystery character. Kind of a second to Melanie her loyalty and her thoughts have been a bit of a mystery. It’s hard to tell exactly where she lies and what she’s thinking. And here, we find she’s a key figure in what she’s lobbied to do.

The episode is an interesting one. Melanie attempts to bring control to some aspects of the train all the while those around her plot. Her control is tenuous at best and like a mad despot, we see moves in an attempt to cement her power. Imposing fear among the tailies, threats to other passengers, and black bag renditions to “Hospitality.” We can see those around Melanie questioning her rule beyond those we know of. You can see the unease all around her. The show about class shifts a bit to a focus on rule.

What’s interesting is the show subtlely makes Melanie’s views make sense. She sees the train as a system that is designed to function a certain way. “The train demands it.” What the tailies represent, what Layton threatens, would undo that equilibrium and stability. We also get to see that Melanie is more than willing to get her hands dirty to achieve what she wants. This is the episode where she goes from a simple bureaucrat to a despotic ruler. But even in her actions, we still get some sympathy, She has issues with what she’s done giving her a bit more depth than someone who’s just clearly and singularly evil.

And Melanie’s actions also has the show shoving Bess further into action. She’s been an interesting character who has shown real growth over the season, the person who’s eyes are opened about the injustice around her.

Out of the episodes so far, this is one that has really stood out. It begins to bring together so many of the plotlines that began to be seeded from the beginning. The show is finally on track and things are a bit clearer as the pieces of the puzzle come together.

Overall Rating: 8.0