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 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 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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