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 4: A Single Trade Recap

Snowpiercer S2Ep4 Layton & Wilford

In season 2 episode 4, Snowpiercer throws a party and invites the gang from Big Alice over to wait with them while they send up another weather balloon to collect data. Once the balloon has done its work, Melanie is meant to collect the data from the research station, proving she’s still alive and has reached her destination. As the party approaches, emotions run high and tempers flare. Miss Audrey attempts to dance away her nerves, but the dancing seems to affect her more like the cursed child from The Red Shoes, as she spirals back into Wilford’s toxic orbit.

Josie was wrong last week, when she compared Layton to politicians and revolutionaries. He’s still treating the train like it’s the beat he worked as cop and the other passengers as if they’re either other cops, criminals or criminal informants. He’s thinking like an emotionally distant head detective or chief of police, putting his problem solving efforts into foreign relations and law order. In this episode, Audrey’s status moves from fellow cop to criminal informant, while Zarah figures out how to get herself off Layton’s informant list and back into the coworker category.

Layton needs to figure out that he’s the mayor of a troubled small town, soon, and begin to work on his domestic policy, regardless of Wilford’s shenanigans. With Melanie and Jinju MIA, Till, Zarah and Ruth might be the only people who fully understand the ways he’s dropping the ball, since the Train Detective and Hospitality serve the whole train and see the full extent of the friction between the factions each day.

This is another episode that deals graphically with suicide. Please take care of yourselves and consider carefully what you watch during these dark times.

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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 3: A Great Odyssey Recap

Snowpiercer S2Ep3 Mel & Alex

Season 2 episode 3 is another tense episode of Snowpiercer, as the characters prepare for Melanie’s solo trip to the research station. Wilford does everything he can to jeopardize her mission, short of outright sabotage, and seems like he might be holding that Icy Bob card in reserve for later. Till continues to investigate Lights’ case while also keeping an eye on the overall mood of the train. When Josie and Layton talk, she shows her usual pragmatism.

During the episode, Snowpiercer leaves the worldwide loop of track she’s followed for the last 7 years. She gives up comfort and familiarity in order to pursue an even larger goal than season 1’s war for democracy- the recolonization of the Earth. But Wilford hopes the chance for a new homeland will give him an opportunity to get rid of his perceived enemies so he can take back complete control of both trains. His dream is to spend the apocalypse toying with the trains like a cat with a mouse until everyone is dead.

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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 2: Smolder to Life Recap

Snowpiercer S2Ep2 Layton & Melanie

In season 2 episode 2 of Snowpiercer, we discover that when Melanie explained why she left Wilford on the side of the tracks 7 years ago, she underplayed how terrible life under his rule would be. In fact, I have a feeling we’ve only begun to learn how much worse life on Big Alice has been than life on Snowpiercer. Wilford appears to be a combination of a bloodthirsty cult leader like Charles Manson and a ruthless tech billionaire who only values competition and his own desires.

Smolder to Life brings us a hostage exchange, a promotion, a summit meeting, a death, a resurrection and a maiming. Ruth finally comes face to face with Wilford and LJ learns the value of work as a commodity.

Pay attention the characters’ hands in this episode. There is a strong motif focusing on hands as the symbols of the person and the body. Individual passengers, cars and mechanical parts make up the train as a whole and losing even one can make the crucial difference to the survival of the train as a whole. In the same way, hands are a crucial extension of each human mind and body. Losing all or part of a hand makes a huge difference in an individual’s life and potentially in the life of the entire train. Taking away the thumb of the wrong passenger could someday mean the difference between the life and death of everyone on the train, when they aren’t available to provide their expertise.

This is also a bloody episode. Following the trail of blood gives insights into character motivations and blind spots. Early on, Mel speaks about fire while there’s also blood in the room. The two are often symbolically linked, since both are red and blood contains the spark of life.

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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 9: The Train Demanded Blood Recap

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In Snowpiercer’s penultimate episode of the season, the train’s class war ends and power is transferred to a new regime, but not before more intrigue and tragedy occur, turning the tables around and then around again. Layton and the engineers pull off a daring feat to win the day. It’s a tightly constructed episode that’s one of the best of the season.

Recap

Melanie gets the opening voiceover:

“I thought I could let him go. Over time, with miles traveled, I thought I could strip Wilford away. Shed his rules one by one, and finally, his mask, until he was just a logo on the wall… I thought I could create a kinder, gentler world, but the train demanded otherwise. The train demanded blood… I fed her. And now they will. Until we reach our final destination, everyone the same in pain and doubt. Holding our losses close, on Snowpiercer, 1,001 cars long.”

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 8: These Are His Revolutions Recap

Snowpiercer S1Ep8 LJ & Javi

Revolution comes to Snowpiercer in episode 8, along with the truth about Mr Wilford’s fate. Melanie is taken into custody by the jackboots and everyone finally has to choose their side. Miss Audrey finds a fabulous outfit for the occasion and LJ fires the first shot before things take their bloody turn.

Recap

Ruth has the voiceover this week. At first it appears we’re viewing a commercial for her posh Bed & Breakfast from the Old World, but before long the ways she’s been changed by life on the train sneak in. This is the Ruth whose Hospitality protocols include freezing off the arms of children in retaliation for their attempts to make a better life for themselves, not the Ruth who takes in strangers from the storm and gives them personal attention even though they don’t have a reservation.

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 7: The Universe Is Indifferent Recap

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Episode 7, aptly titled The Universe Is Indifferent, brings us not just the fridging of Josie, but the actual freezing, at the hands of her fellow white woman, Melanie Cavill. Though she dies so that others can live and emote, Josie goes out calling for justice and a sense of morality based on what’s right and wrong, rather than moral relativism based on convenience.

This might have the most self-aware fridging in TV history, given the way Snowpiercer narrowly avoided the Bury Your Gays trope. Josie could have saved herself by giving up the name of Bess Till, a lesbian character, probably dooming Bess to death instead, but she refused to betray another woman the way Zarah betrayed her. (Zarah is pregnant and her unborn child was threatened, so that’s a different issue.)

Josie hasn’t been one of my favorite characters, but she went out fighting for the greater good even beyond the needs of the train, proving she was the conscience of the Tail all along. I respect that. Before she died, she passed the role of Train Conscience on to Bess. Let’s hope Bess can rise to the occasion. And stay alive.

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 6: Trouble Comes Sideways Recap

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In episode 6, Melanie saves the train from derailment and a workers’ strike, Andre tries and fails to assassinate Melanie, and the train has a party. It’s another busy day in the life of Mr Wilford and the Train Detective, odd couple of the apocalypse.

However, the train is bleeding and none of Melanie’s fixes address the underlying causes.

Recap

Snowpiercer S1E6 Oz Finishes Shaving

Oz gets the voiceover this week. It’s the morning after Till knocked him out so she could help Josie save Layton. He seems not only recovered, but feeling good after his ordeal in the Drawers and wherever he disappeared to while she was gone.

Oz is in his tiny, industrial gray cabin, shaving with a straight razor.

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