Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Smolder to Life

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If "revolution" was the theme of Snowpiercer's inaugural season, Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 2 makes a good argument for this season's to be "resurrection" or even "redemption."

Resurrection is the more obvious with Mr. Wilford and Alex Cavill's presence stirring up ghosts for Melanie and other Snowpiercer citizens. Not only that, but Josie's miraculous survival and the signs of The Freeze coming to an end both echo a sentiment of rebirth.

But redemption is thick in the air as well.

As Audrey points out, no one's hands are clean. The choices people make moving forward are what they will be judged on, and opportunities abound for atonement.

Alex and Mel - Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 2

Big Alice has proven to be a double-edged sword for the people of Snowpiercer, but Melanie in particular.

While the supply train carries equipment and supplies that could bolster and improve multiple systems aboard Snowpiercer, it also poses a threat to the democratic ideal they fought a war for.

For Melanie, it brought Alex back into her life just as she'd come to accept her daughter's death, but it also brought Wilford, the reason Melanie left Alex behind in the first place.

Your brilliance is exactly why we're here. It's just unfortunate that your projects always seem to require leaving someone behind.

Wilford

Even more significantly, the encounter with Big Alice forced Melanie to go outside, caused Snowpiercer to come to a full stop, and allowed her to observe the world without the perpetual motion survival requires.

It allowed her to see snow falling; something thought impossible in the sub-arctic temperatures of the Freeze.

Consulting - Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 2

It provided hope. I hope that the people of Snowpiercer will be able to venture out, off the train, and recolonize the Earth. I hope that the world could return to life again.

Just the fact Big Alice exists provides hope that there might be other trains out there. Other survivors also believe they are the last ark of humanity.

Melanie also has hope now that she can make amends to Alex. There was nothing to be done for a relationship with a dead daughter. But a live one -- even one who seems to hate your guts -- has the potential to grow to care again.

Layton: Your daughter okay?
Melanie: She's cruel. She's confused. She hates me.
Layton: So she's a teenager.

Of course, Alex is also a huge vulnerability for Mel. One that both Wilford and Alex recognize and will probably exploit.

Alex: He warned me about this. He said that you hold back, it's your main move. He said that there's two different types of people in this world. There's dreamers, and there's schemers. And the dreamers can build the world up but the schemers slither their way through.
Mel: What do you think?
Alex: I think he says a lot when he's high.

The only comfort I take is that so far, Alex appears to be quite clear-sighted about many things, including Wilford himself.

Looking for Answers - Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 1

The only thing she is really triggered by is Melanie. At the same time, she acknowledges her mother's abilities, albeit grudgingly, and wants to be let into Melanie's thought process.

It's important to note that we have yet to see Alex in a physical confrontation.

The fact that she was prepared to razor blade Layton indicates she's probably killed before. But Wilford goes out of his way to remind her that Icy Bob and Sykes have her back.

Also, she was definitely upset by Kevin's exit in the bathtub. Yes, she let Wilford carry it out, but she clearly wasn't happy about it.

You showed them we were hungry, Kevin. That's a secret. It's a vulnerability.

Wilford

I suspect Jupiter has had several meals of this ilk in the past seven years. Since Big Alice doesn't have livestock cars, fresh protein is probably hard for the pup to come by.

Wilford's Sign - Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 2

The cult of Wilford is as fascinating as it is horrifying, considering their first act was to mutilate Lights' hand.

I thought the Tea Room philosophy is a unique take on religious worship in such a confined space as Snowpiercer.

Till: And the tea cup?
Pastor Logan: Whatever faith you stand at, you see our cup from a different angle. Same cup, cracked and wise. Just a reminder.
Till: We all contemplate one god?
Pastor Logan: Put another way, we're all crammed in here together so we better get along.

I don't remember the Tea Room playing a large role in Season 1, although it might have been a setting for a scene with Jinju. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

But revealing the Tea Room's purpose and nature to the audience after Till's investigation begins casts a much more sinister light on the attack in hindsight.

Attacking Lights (or anyone) near the Tea Room, assuming they had been there to pray or meditate or perform a religious ritual, violates the sanctuary assumed by places of worship.

Ready for the Summit - Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 2

The welcome Wilford receives -- including that bizarre greeting from LJ -- set off Till's alarm bells, and it should be a warning to Layton as well.

Melanie already knows the danger of giving Wilford a stage. She knows the power of his charisma.

As a case in point, Ruth is ready to fall to her knees in adulation because he remembered her name and noticed her hair had changed.

One will recall that he had no idea who Ruth Wardell was when Alex gave her report on Snowpiercer on Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 1.

The warm reception in Third is in stark (lol) contrast to the silence in the Tail. If Wilford plans to win hearts and minds on Snowpiercer, he'll need to focus on the Tail. They owe him nothing and do not bow to his temple.

Monarch of the Train - Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 1

The most interesting moments for me involved my least favorite character, Zarah.

From the beginning of the series, she has been hard to like and even harder to sympathize with.

Layton: I was thinking, this kid's going to need a name, right?
Zarah: Pretty sure that's how it works.
Layton: If it's a girl, how do you feel about naming it after your mom?
Zarah: And if it's a boy?
Layton: Trotsky.
Zarah: We'll talk about this later.

Even landing in a First Class car because of her pregnancy was a distasteful turn of events and one that bodes poorly for Layton's leadership.

Let me tell you something, Layton. All this personal shit? It ain't making your democracy any easier to believe in.

Z-Wreck

To have her discover that Josie somehow survived her interrogation car being flooded with outside air was the karmic supernova.

Setting out to kill her immediately was the predictable path. That she was able to pull herself back from that course of action was both surprising and delightful.

Coy Zarah - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 3

To actually tell Layton about Josie, sending the father of her child hurtling to the bedside of another woman? Well, that's just a huge play at redeeming the character altogether.

Hello, Redemption theme.

Hey, Zarah? We're proud of you.

When you watch Snowpiercer online, note who else you think is in line for a redemption make-over.

Roche? Pike? Osweiller?

Brakeman Osweiller - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 2

The biggest question I have, now that we're a couple of hours into this new season, is where Miles and Jinju have gone?

Obviously, Layton's going to have the Headwoods look at Josie. Will that be the vulnerability he lays at Wilford's feet?

I'm also a little unclear as to how Snowpiercer (with Big Alice attached) can release all the data-gathering balloons Melanie wants all over the globe AND return to pick her up in a month. Has anyone got ideas on this? Itineraries? Schematics?

All this hope is pretty intoxicating. I can't help but feel that the two trains' combined populations won't deal well with a disappointment.

What do you foresee on this new track? Hit our comments with your best theories!

Smolder to Life Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

When Alex was old enough, she helped me hose down the ash pits. And I'd warn her, like my dad warned me, of the heat lurking inside, ready to smolder to life, like a visit from a ghost. These are her revolutions now, on Snowpiercer, one thousand and thirty-four cars long.

Melanie

Alex: He warned me about this. He said that you hold back, it's your main move. He said that there's two different types of people in this world. There's dreamers, and there's schemers. And the dreamers can build the world up but the schemers slither their way through.
Mel: What do you think?
Alex: I think he says a lot when he's high.