Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 10: Into the White Recap and Analysis

Snowpiercer S2Ep10 Layton, Miss Audrey & Conversation Axe

“Okey dokey, let’s go make coup.”– Boki

In episode 10, it becomes clear that for Wilford, the one currency of value in the Freeze is pain. That’s what allows him to hold onto his train and his order. Without the threat of pain, people might do whatever they want. Such as pirate one of the train’s engines.

In episode 9, Wilford held out restored order, fresh food, the carnival and the glamorous dinner party as examples of rewards that cooperative passengers could expect under his rule. But positive rewards aren’t his natural style and he couldn’t maintain the good times he’d implicitly promised with those rewards. They all sank into negative experiences: Wilford’s order comes with heavily armed Jackboots distributed throughout the train; his abundant fresh food comes with a census and a questionnaire that will determine who lives and dies; the carnival is a just a delivery system for his propaganda, specifically that he won’t be returning for Melanie and no one will be leaving the train, ever; and he used the dinner party as a trial and sentencing for Melanie and Layton’s co-conspirators.

The message should be clear to anyone who’s paying attention- Willy’s World is a dangerous place, with monsters lurking around every corner. No one is safe and no one can be trusted. But the 3rd class masses aren’t ready to pay attention to the realities of life under Wilford yet. Many of Wilford’s loyal 1st class supporters are now ironically dead by his own hand. With one pull of the lever, Wilford dispensed with the witnesses who could confirm that he ordered the Breachmen murdered. The Jackboots won’t talk and no one will believe Till- she didn’t even see the murderers’ faces.

Which brings us to episode 10, which mirrors the point we were at last season at the beginning of the finale. Just when Layton and the rebels had won the war and started to figure out how to run the train, the engine picked up mysterious signals that turned out to be Big Alice, which captured Snowpiercer. By the end of the episode, Alex had boarded her and Melanie was on the outside, discovering that it was snowing.

In this episode, Wilford has won complete control of the train. But just as Layton continued to work with Melanie after he took over, Wilford finds that his own victory is hollow without the approval that Layton enjoyed. So he keeps a few of Layton’s key people close- Bess, as an advisor; Zarah, as a Madonna-like symbol of hope; LJ, for her youthful admiration; and Javi as the engineer.

Wilford is a psychopath- don’t try to make sense of his skewed perception of reality. In his mind, he’s plugged the same or similar people into what he sees as stereotypical roles that they’ve previously filled, helping to prop Layton up.

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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 9: The Show Must Go On Recap

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In episode 9, it’s all fun and games until Wilford gets everything he’s ever wanted. Or as close to it as he can get on Snowpiercer, anyway. After outsmarting Layton and taking over the train in episode 8, it’s time for Wilford to remake Snowpiercer’s social order in his own image. He dealt with the top names on his hit list last episode, without unnecessary fuss. Now he takes his time, toying with targets culled from the list of Layton and Melanie’s closest friends and family.

Except Ben. Melanie’s closest confidante spends most of the episode in Snowpiercer’s engine. Out of sight, but not out of mind.

Wilford can’t bring himself to dispense with Layton, who he’s sentenced to work in Big Alice’s compost, the worst job on the trains. Wilford is troubled by the loyalty and even love many continue to show Layton. He needs to know the secret of his rival’s success. He’ll never truly be the winner if someone else on Snowpiercer has something he doesn’t.

Episode 9 is full of surprises, most planned by Wilford. Let the games begin and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 8: The Eternal Engineer Recap

Wilford lends Josie a hand.

Snowpiercer S2Ep8 Layton & Wilford

In episode 8, The Eternal Engineer, Wilford makes good on his promise to burn down the world if that’s what it takes to regain control of Snowpiercer. Snowpiercer experiences catastrophic failures which her leaders soon realize were caused by Wilford. Unfortunately, only Wilford can repair the damage. They have no choice but to invite the devil himself onto the train and into the engine room.

By the end of the episode, it was clear to me that there’s only one engineer who knows Snowpiercer backwards and forwards and her name doesn’t start with a “W”. However, that doesn’t stop the (relatively) bloodless coup the train has been heading toward for 9 episodes, ever since Javi first picked up unusual signals on the radio at the end of season 1.

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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 7: Our Answer for Everything Recap

Snowpiercer S2Ep7 Alex, Wilford, Audrey- Big Alice's 1st Family

Episode 7 returns to Snowpiercer, the train, after a field trip to Breslauer Research Station in the Rocky Mountains to visit Melanie in episode 6. Snowpiercer is in the Himalaya Mountains in Asia this week, in the process of turning around so that it can retrieve Melanie from her mission. The trip through Earth’s highest mountain peaks is surprisingly smooth, considering the tough time the train has had in the Rockies in both seasons. No bracing required.

Instead, the turbulence is all inside the train, where most of the hour is filled with aftershocks from the murder of every Breachman except Boki in episode 5. Till continues her investigation and finally finds a couple of suspects. 3rd class boils over and takes their dissatisfaction with Layton’s government out on any Tailies they can find. Pike is still in the midst of his breakdown over Terence’s death. Ruth, Roche and Miss Audrey realize they’ll soon need to choose a side in the Wilford-Layton war that’s brewing.

The population of Snowpiercer is spiraling and Layton still doesn’t seem to understand what’s happening. Unlike Melanie and Wilford, he’s not attempting to become the leader of the entire train or finding ways to restore law and order. The new version of freedom is sink or swim anarchy, which allows the people to oppress each other rather than the government doing it for them. The weight of accumulated grief, trauma and now the unfairness of his new government is bringing the population to a breaking point. Wilford is taking advantage of the chaos, but they might have reached this low without him. Layton seems just as traumatized as the others by his losses and the unrelenting pace of events.

This episode deals with suicide once again.

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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 6: Many Miles from Snowpiercer Recap

Snowpiercer S2Ep6 Wilford Pours Champagne for Melanie

In episode 6, we finally catch up with Melanie, who’s been on her own since she left for the Breslauer Research Station in episode 3. We follow the end of her harrowing journey to the station and watch her bring the research center back to life. Then she struggles to survive on her own in the harsh environment at 11,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains for a month. Her inner monologues are supplemented by flashbacks and present day conversations with the Wilford, Layton and Alex in her head.

There are more references to suicide in this episode. Please be cautious with your mental health.

Recap

Since Melanie is the only real person here, she gets the voice over:

“This cold isn’t something we can tame. We did this to our climate. Now only the Earth herself can restart her warm heart. I believe we can find her pulse again. And my biggest fear isn’t dying out here. It’s that the cold-hearted among us will crush that hope before I can prove it.”

Melanie’s volt sled breaks down within sight of the research station, so she takes as much of her cargo as she can drag with her and walks the rest of the way. By the time she reaches the station, a snowstorm is raging around her. She finds the dead, frozen body of one of the researchers outside the station’s front door. There’s a bullet hole in his head.

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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 1: The Time of Two Engines Recap

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Snowpiercer is back for season 2, with a bang, a few crashes, some frostbite and a bottle of Mr Wilford’s favorite Scotch. With the addition of supply train Big Alice to the Tail at the end of season 1, Snowpiercer is now 1034 cars long. The class wars continue, with a new twist- Mr Wilford has brought a class of elite tech geniuses with him who use scientific innovations to raise their possibilities above even the 1st class of Snowpiercer.

The crisis forces Snowpiercer to continue under martial law, but Andre still depends on and delegates to his council of advisors and department heads, so a democratic process is developing on its own, even without formal meetings. Thanks to Melanie’s tolerance of Snowpiercer’s trainwide black market and the Tailies’ development of independent governance, the train has always been more democratic than it appeared at first glance, especially economically, which means it already has a foundation to build from.

Snowpiercer’s population puts those skills to use now as they approach the need to become a unified population while facing a common enemy, in addition to coping with post war resource shortages and infrastructure damage. But will their numbers and sheer determination be enough to outwit Mr Wilford’s ambition and improved technology?

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 10: 994 Cars Long

Snowpiercer S1Ep10 Layton Till & Ruth

In episode 10, we reach the end of Snowpiercer’s season 1 revolution. The train hasn’t completed a full revolution across the Earth’s surface this season, but maybe we’ll make it the rest of the way in S2. S1 began with Snowpiercer somewhere between Alaska and Vancouver, BC, CA, then followed the train down through South America. It ends as the train approaches its own Mile Zero in Chicago. The train slows down and marks this moment on every revolution, because it’s where the passengers lives were saved but at the same time many, many other lives were lost.

It’s also where Melanie pirated the train from Mr Wilford more than 7 years ago. This is their first time passing through Chicago when everyone on the train knows it. As First and Second are mired in post revolution chaos, Third and the Tail enjoy the freedom to slow down and explore the entire train, rather than just struggle to survive. But a few Wilford diehards haven’t given up hope that their demi-god is alive and out there somewhere.

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 2: Prepare to Brace Recap

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In episode 2 of Snowpiercer, the Tail pays for episode 1’s rebellion with several men in drawers and the removal of a significant arm, as promised. The train travels through the tough terrain of the Cascadian Mountains in Western North America. Melanie refuses the engineers’ advice to slow down, leading to an avalanche and a broken window, both disasters in the -100° C weather. Meanwhile, Andre makes significant progress on the murder case and children are chosen for the apprenticeship program.

Recap

Josie gets tonight’s opening voiceover, spoken as Ruth takes an arm from one of the Tailies in punishment for episode 1’s rebellion:

“You’d think with all we’d lost that defeat would break us, but the only reason we’re here is we refuse to die in the first place. We’re as persistent as the cold, forever trapped beneath the ice. We keep our eyes on the floor, dig our nails in, and prepare to brace… They can take our limbs, our children, our leaders. They keep trying to take our dignity. Any survivor will tell you they check their dignity at Death’s Door. The more they steal from us, the more human we become. Humanity will fill our bellies one day, when we eat the rich of Snowpiercer, 1,001 cars long.”

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 1: First, the Weather Changed Recap

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Snowpiercer, the TV Series, is finally here, kids! After following a long and winding track road through two networks, two pilots shoots, two showrunners and two pilot directors over the course of several years, the futuristic scifi story based on a train perpetually circling the globe during a perpetual man made ice age has made it to our screens with a season 2 renewal already in the bag. And the show hardly even feels like fiction anymore.

Snowpiercer in based on the graphic novel series of the same name, by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette, which was turned into a 2013 film by Bong Joon-ho, starring Chris Evans. Bong Joon-ho is an executive producer on the TV series.

It’s important to note that the graphic novels and the film tell two very different stories, with totally different characters. Aside from the long train and perpetual ice age, the look and feel of the two differ completely. The TV pilot draws on aspects of both, but it tells a third story, as it should, since it’s working in a very different medium from either of the previous two versions.

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