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TV Review: Snowpiercer S2E5 Keep Hope Alive

Snowpiecer Season 2 "Keep Hope Alive"

Snowpiercer‘s fifth episode asks you to “Keep Hope Alive“. It kicks off with Josie in Big Alice’s train taking advantage of their advanced medical knowledge. But, her mission is clear in that she’s gathering intelligence as to what’s going on and passing it along. What’s big is the episode opens up with us knowing there’s cracks in Wilford’s train and among his people. It’s the first real solid sign his control isn’t absolute.

From there, things get interesting as Wilford is pining for Miss Audrey. He’s stuck on her and his behavior is reflecting that and the choices he’s making. There’s the music he’s playing throughout the train. We get to see there’s some quirky aspects of Wilford like a book club. Such a club would normally feel like a way for individuals to come together for enjoyment. With Wilford, there’s an ominous aspect to it.

An ominous is a great word to describe a lot of the episode. Its major aspect is Wilford and Miss Audrey getting together. Each has an agenda to gain an advantage over each other. But, it’s the visuals that really stand out. Miss Audrey’s walk to Big Alice through the people of Snowpiercer and Wilford getting rid. It’s a reminder there is still a ruling class to the train. They live in a different world than those who suffer. Audrey walking through the tail of Snowpiercer flanked by its inhabitants who suffer is a fascinating visual and one that’s a stark reminder of the underlying themes and issues of the show.

It’s also an episode where you begin to question the leadership of Snowpiercer. There’s issues when it comes to Melanie and there’s a tough discussion and decision as to what to do about it. Their decision and what they do is one that makes the viewers wonder if these are the best people and if their power is getting to them. They may talk about democracy and a train ruled by the people but their actions makes you wonder about their commitment to that.

The episode is an interesting one as the season moves along to the end of it. There are so many plotlines dealt with, each in a subtle way that moves things forward and builds on the political intrigue. It’s an episode of moves on a chessboard until its final few minutes that feel like something out of a gangster film. There’s so much here that it’s difficult to go into them in a review without ruining things. Every aspect of the show’s season are touched upon and moved forward… a lot. This is an episode where so many loyalties are shown and Wilford’s reach is seen. It’s an episode that doesn’t quite stand on its own but is so key as the season begins to wrap up. It’s key to set things up for what’s to come.

“Keep Hope Alive” is a fascinating episode in that it has so many moments that’ll get you to say “holy shit”. It’s one that’s full of so many interesting and key moments, it begs to be watched again to see it all come together and play out. And every actor delivers in their roles. They play things so well, whether it’s hiding their plans, or showing what they’re really thinking on their faces.

“Keep Hope Alive” is a hell of an episode. It’s one that brings a lot together and you’ll want to watch it again. Bravo Snowpiercer, your second season has taken what made the first solid and improved upon it in every way.

Overall Rating: 9.0

TV Review: Snowpiercer S2E4 A Single Trade

Snowpiecer Season 2 "A Single Trade"

Warning: “A Single Trade” features suicide and may be upsetting and triggering to some individuals.

Snowpiercer continues to shake things up in its second season. It has added layers and take the series beyond it’s simple class struggles. “A Single Trade” does all of that and more as the two trains come together for a celebration. The train is on schedule to make contact with Melanie through balloons and Andre has invited Wilford and some of his guests to celebrate the achievement.

“A Single Trade” continues the dance between the two trains as each attempts to gain an advantage over each other. Andre sees the event as a chance to possible turn a member of Wilford’s train. Wilford sees it as a chance to be proven right and to see hope dies. But, there’s so much more when it comes to Wilford in this episode.

We find out that Wilford has had a past relationship with Miss Audrey. He doesn’t just want “his train”, he want Audrey as well. In their past, Audrey was an escort and Wilford had paid for her services and apparently grew an attachment. As the episode progresses we get better understanding of that and we learn so much more about Wilford due to that.

In the second episode, we saw Wilford talk a member of his train into slitting his wrists killing himself. In this “A Single Trade” it’s revealed that he did the same with Audrey and she survived. It’s hinted at that Wilford is into serious masochistic things and his relationship and obsession with Audrey is destructive and even more abusive than initially hinted at. It also potentially gives Andre and Snowpiercer an advantage. The question is, will Andre take advantage of that hurting Audrey and forcing her to relive her trauma and put her in further danger.

The episode does so much more than that not only shaking some dynamics up on Snowpiercer, especially when it comes to the investigation over the attack but also introducing us to new members of Big Alice. It expands the cast in an organic way and makes all of those new characters important and key. Will any be turned. Will any of them do the turning? It’s an episode about relationships in numerous ways both real and fake.

“A Single Trade” is a fantastic episode. It not only gives us a well-choreographed dance between the two trains but it also builds tension. Will the contact be made with Melanie? Will Andre’s “hope” win out or will Wilford be right? There are so many small details to the episode that adds so much to the series and characters. This season continues to exceed the first by taking what worked and adding so many more aspects in a logical and organic way. Nothing feels forced, Snowpiercer continues a smooth ride along the track.

Overall Rating: 9.0


If you or someone you know is struggling with feelings of depression or suicide, please seek help by contacting

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

or

Text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741

TV Review: Snowpiercer S2E3 A Great Odyssey

Snowpiecer Season 2 "A Great Odyssey"

Snowpiercer‘s second season has changed up the dynamic a lot with the promise and hope that the world is warming. “A Great Odyssey” focuses on the next challenge, Melanie heading to the tracking station. It’s an interesting episode. You’d think the two trains might work together based on this glimmer of hope. But, reality has the leaders of the two trains still sizing each other up and attempting to gain some advantage.

The episode really gives the series a chance to examine Melanie and her daughter Alexandra’s relationship. Reunited after all this time, it looks like Melanie will be leaving her again, which is a very interesting direction to go and delivers a very human focus.

The episode also opens with a bit of a deeper look at Icy Bob and the “sacrifice” he has made. In an address by Wilford to his train, we see some of the experiments done to Bob and it’s presented in a way that it’s for the good of the people and train. It’s an interesting spin and we can see the propaganda that Wilford is shoveling to his own train. It also shows how sadistic he is.

The ties into some ways with what happened in the tail of Snowpiercer. There’s still the question as to who attacked and cut off the fingers of one of the individuals so that it looks like a “W”. Is this someone attempting to shake things up? Is this someone who really likes Wilford? It also could be something else completely. But, the latest revelation is another group within Snowpiercer and this one worships Wilford and is waiting for him. It’s an interesting new addition to the world of Snowpiercer.

But what really stands out about “A Great Odyssey” is its blunt reflection of our real world. At the heart of this season is a megalomaniac who is attempting to reject science to keep their control. It’s hard to not watch the show and think of current leaders who reject data on COVID, climate change, and a whole host of issues, just so that they can keep some control and enrich themselves.

The episode is an interesting one overall. It gives just the right amount of time to each of the many plot threads the second season has picked up. “A Great Odyssey” delivers some solid tension as the train itself is tested in its abilities. While not the strongest episode this season, it’s still an important one that helps drive the greater narrative.

Overall Rating: 9.0

TV Review: Snowpiercer S2E2 Smolder to Life

Snowpiecer Season 2 "Smolder to Life"

Warning: “Smolder to Life” features suicide and may be upsetting and triggering to some individuals.

Snowpiercer‘s second season’s second episode is an interesting one as each train attempts to gain intelligence about each other. “Smolder to Life” is a dance of sorts as Wilford and Andre do what they each can to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each other.

Each side has a hostage to work with, Kevin with Andre and Melanie with Wilford. But, there’s more than that, each side also has issues with worship and loyalty. There are those among Snowpiercer who worship Wilford. A person who thought dead and has arisen has certain religious aspects to it. And there’s Melanie’s daughter who is clearly not sure what to think of her mother and her abandonment issues.

There’s an interesting dance between Wilford and his attempt to be worshiped and rule and Andre’s attempt to help spread democracy through Snowpiercer. It’s one man versus possibly the people, though things are up in the air as to which side some of the people are on.

What’s really interesting is what we learn of Wilford and Big Alice. We see the extent to which individuals on the train will sacrifice themselves for Wilford. We also get teases that as advance as their technology is, Wilford’s train may be having more issues than Snowpiercer. Starvation is teased as well as possible experiments on individuals. The hulk we saw in the first episode, we get a better idea as to why he can withstand the cold.

But, Snowpiercer has issues as well. An assault has occurred and “Smolder to Life” begins to mimic the first season in some ways. We see the show kick off a new arc beyond the issues the two trains combine face. The series could easily focus on just the two trains having to deal with each other. But, it expands beyond that to show how the new dynamic on the train is leading to new issues, new allies, and new dynamics. But, even that plays into the greater themes of the show. The murder could possibly be a caste thing and attempt to stir up trouble. It could also be Wilford attempting to stir up trouble.

And one of those new dynamics is the snow Melanie discovered in the first episode. What does it all mean? This is an interesting twist as it plays into things we see in other media, the film, the comics. It explains some things in some ways. It’s a hell of a shake-up of the series and where it’s going and also presents an interesting back and forth between Wilford, Melanie, and Andre in front of everyone. It digs into Wilford’s motivation. Did he create the trains to protect humanity? Was it so he can rule? Where things are going really digs into that simple question.

The episode is what individuals are willing to do for each other. Kevin’s sacrifice. Melanie’s sacrifice. They are for other individuals. One is a cult like zeal. The other is for herself and maybe for her daughter presented as something greater. We get to see the different approaches to this new world even further. In place of a ruling caste, we have a ruling individual. In each case the people are in the way. Each brings order and subjugation, though the alternative is full of questions and risks as well. We get to see how two individuals react and it seems the series looks to explore how that goes with the people as a whole. While not quite apparent, “Smolder to Life” may deliver an even more intriguing political allegory than the first season.

Overall Rating: 9.0


If you or someone you know is struggling with feelings of depression or suicide, please seek help by contacting

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

or

Text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741

TV Review: Snowpiercer S2E1 The Time of Two Engines

Snowpiecer Season 2 "The Time of Two Engines"

When the first season of Snowpiercer ended, the train was met by a mysterious second train. The impact was massive in numerous ways completely changing the dynamic of the world and what we know. “The Time of Two Engines” kicks things off with an episode full of action, tension, and a dance to show who’s in control.

Snowpiercer 998, cars strong vs. Big Alice, 40 cars long. The immediate impact by the introduction of this “super train” is seen right away. Snowpiercer’s power is generated by its movement. With it dead on the track, that’s no longer an option leading to the immediate threat of lack of power and the train and its people freezing. Its systems have been shut down as well, hijacked by the larger train. Big Alice shows its strength with an ability to give and take the live of Snowpiercer and the people within. And Big Alice has demands.

The train, which should be prepared like Snowpiercer, opens with a list of demands. Why do they need this items?

So many questions are raised within the first few moments of the newest season of Snowpiercer, not just by the demands of Mr. Wilford and his train but also some of its inhabitants. “The Time of Two Engines” is all about setting things up for the new season and showing who holds what cards and where the power lies.

The new train creates a massive dynamic change as well.

The tail is no longer the tail. It’s now the border between the two trains and groups. The tail is now one of the most important pieces of real estate in all of the trains. It’s a zone of defense. It’s a zone to prepare offense. The tailies are now the first line of defense against whatever Big Alice has waiting for them.

The episode is a fascinating one as the two worlds combat each other dealing with their new reality. Mr. Wilford wants his train back exclaiming Melanie stole it. Melanie exclaims there’s a new dynamic for the train and the people within and Wilford’s vision no longer works. The scenes between these two are full of information fleshing out the character of Mr. Wilford giving us a solid idea as to what type of person he is.

The episode is a dance between forces and personalities. Melanie representing Snowpiercer. Mr. Wilford representing Alice. Caught in between are the inhabitants of each train. The most intriguing factor is Melanie’s daughter, alive, she works for Mr. Wilford as his Engineer.

“The Time of Two Engines” is a hell of a start to the season. It takes the series in a whole new direction with a new, logical threat, while not missing its underlying themes established in the first season. It’s the strongest episode of the series so far and points to a fantastic season.

Overall Rating: 9.0

Snowpiercer Gets a Season 3

With the second season debuting next week, TNT has announced that Snowpiercer will be getting a third season. The show is based on the graphic novel series turned film that takes us to a frozen world where the last of humanity is aboard a train that can never stop.

The first season ended with the Snowpiercer being boarded by a larger train where the mysterious Mr. Wilford (played by Sean Bean below) resides.

Snowpiercer season 3

Snowpiercer Season 2 Departs January 25, 2021

Wilford Industries Hospitality and TNT have announced that Snowpiercer will depart for its second season on January 25, 2021.

First there was order. Then there was revolution. Now there is Mr. Wilford.

The revolution is not over. It has only just begun.

Set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland Snowpiercer centers on the remnants of humanity, who inhabit a 1001 car, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe. Class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival play out in this riveting television adaptation based on the acclaimed movie and graphic novel series of the same name.

TV Review: Snowpiercer S1E10 994 Cars Long

Snowpiercer

“It’s a brand new revolution.”

The revolution is over or has it just begun? The rebels have taken Snowpiercer and the question is, where does it roll from here? The order has been shaken and systems have been brought down leaving a vacuum to be filled.

The finale to the first season of Snowpiercer examines and attempts to answer these questions. Andre Layton is sort of in charge and we’re shown the type of man he is. It’s in stark contrast of what was happening in the previous episode as individuals jockeyed for power. Instead Layton has decided to rely on the leaders of each group, guild, and section in hopes of building a leadership council to guide the train in a new direction.

We also see what happens with a gap of leadership. Some individuals have created fifedoms taking over the space made by the first and second class passengers who were left to freeze in the previous episode.

Wha’s intriguing is some of the small details. Layton for example has washed up and still has blood on his head and wounds not covered. There’s also wording that’s used like Melanie describing her taking of the train as piracy which reflects on the tailies taking over.

But, the episode really brings things to a head with a surprise direction and unexpected turn at about the half way point. It’s difficult to describe the moment without spoiling the surprise and the excitement of it is about the discovery and sequence. It’s a “holy shit” sequence of events that shakes things up on multiple levels and for those who enjoy the comics and property as a whole is a direction that is both surprising and not.

The sequence events highlight Layton’s leadership as well, there’s tense moments. Between Melanie and Layton, the episode feels like it’s not putting fate in a higher power but in oneself and the others around you. It’s rejecting the god-like omniponence of Wilford for whom the train passengers should be greatful. Instead it’s about working on the future together, taking their fate into their own hands.

The season finale is a rejection of the past in many ways and what sort of future the train, and its passengers, can bring. With a hell of an ending and a nice reflection of the series beginning, this is a finale that really brings the series together in so many ways and opens up a world of possibilities not just for the television series but the property as a whole.

The first season was slow but as a whole, it’s strong than its individual parts. Much like Snowpiercer itself.

Overall Rating: 8.5

TV Review: Snowpiercer S1E9 The Train Demanded Blood

Snowpiercer

The ninth episode of Snowpiercer opens up with Melanie in chains along with a car of individuals. It’s interesting to hear her thoughts as to why she did what she did concerning Wilford and the train. Her hope was that over time people would forget and it’d just be a name. She had altruistic goals and we can see that in many ways, she is a good person and she shows empathy for those around her bleeding. Her focus is that of the train and it’s the train’s survival that matters.

But, what’s truly interesting is how quickly the train has fallen into a more fascist tendency, split between forces. As Melanie says, she tried to do good but, “the train demanded blood.”

The episode has no problem delivering a brutal perspective from the first class. They’re willing to kill, even the innocent, to take on the “rebels.” The tailies and those in third are looked at as nothing more than workers to help keep the train running. They aren’t human, they’re a means for the wealthy to continue to live in luxury.

We also see the jockeying for power. Even those that are united to suppress the “poor” are tenuous allies at best. These are individuals who want nothing but power and to keep their positions. What the show does that’s solid is to keep viewers guessing. The first twenty minutes is full of twists and turns. There are double-crosses and ultimatums and you never quite know exactly whose loyalty is where.

While the first half of the episode sets up where things are as far as factions and the war, the second half is a gambit for the “rebels” to take on first and second class. It’s a massive gamble that could win the “war” for those suppressed, it also could kill the entire train. It’s an idea that feels a bit over the top for the more grounded last few episodes but it’s a great concept in how to win the war and deliver a blow to the suppressing class.

And the episode does a good job of emphasizing the brutality of that suppressing class. These are people who want to hold their positions no matter what and gain more power. There’s a cruelty to their nature that draws no sympathy. Unlike with Melanie, there are no redeeming qualities among them.

But then there’s the gut punch. With the plan in motion there’s a wrench thrown into it all. It’s a stomach sinking moment that will make you say “oh no.” It emphasizes the humanity of Layton where he recognizes the choices he has to make and the deaths it will cause. It also challenges our notion that he doesn’t have the “stomach for blood.”

And through those tears, there’s also some hope. It’s a bittersweet end to the episode full of lessons. In the end, Melanie’s worldview of difficult choices isn’t one that’s far off. Where do things go? We have one episode to find out.

Overall Rating: 8.4

TV Review: Snowpiercer S1E8 These Are His Revolutions

Snowpiercer

The opening of the episode is a fascinating one delivering a juxtaposition of the order the crew leadership believes in and the revolution that they face. It also emphasizes how easily everything can go off the rails, literally and figuratively. But what we really get is, the revelation that there is no god. Wilford doesn’t exist on the train and he’s a construct used to keep the train in line.

These are his revolution. 1,001 cars long.

It’s an interesting layered statement towards the beginning of the episode. Wilford has of course set the train in motion but also his decisions have lead to the current state of the train and the revolution from its passengers.

What’s interesting is how the episode pulls together decisions set up from earlier in the season. Melanie’s undoing is due to LJ whom she commuted. If she had not appeased the first class, Melanie’s undoing might not have been quite the same. It’s an interesting flow of seeing how leadership decisions can spiral and roll into something more.

The spiraling of things applies to the revolution spreading. Seeing it move from one car to the next is impressive. The coordination and communication are impressive. That goes beyond the tailies and their allies. It also applies to Melanie and those in the engine.

The episode lays things out there in an impressive way. We get the truth about Wilford. The reaction too is interesting and varied. We get the equivalent of having your reality completely shifted and the harsh truth revealed. That believing in a higher power has been a wasted exercise. Where it’s really interesting is how individuals react to the news, whether it’s to gain power or their personal impact finding out that things like an accolade from Wilford wasn’t real. But even with that, what Melanie reveals about the train and Wilford is unexpected and details that add so much. It also rocks Ruth an interesting way.

That religious theme extends to Layton. His return to the tail of the train has a Jesus iconography in its framing. His hair and robes blackened out initially. His welcoming back has a savior aspect to it.

The use of a red flag is an interesting one. The color is one that has been adopted over the years by revolutionaries and socialists and the tailies chanting “one train” has a sense of that want unity. There’s also the use of the color by Santa Ana where it meant “no surrender. no clemency.” Both of those historical uses feel appropriate for the goal of those rising up.

This is the episode where everything comes together and the action we’ve been expecting since the series begins starts to happen. It’s taken up to this point to get the pieces in place and set up the revolution. Now we get to see that revolution actually begin in all its bloody glory. As presented, it’s a logical leap and the series as a whole is better than the individual parts. It’s good to see sticking with the show has really begun to pay off.

Overall Rating: 8.35

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