Well, that just happened. After a season of class conflict bubbling up slowly while the focus shifted between a murder mystery and various train calamities, Episode 8 pulls a Game of Thrones and gives us its most violent, bloody, entertaining episode yet. You got the sense that things were going to get ugly after Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) killed Layton’s (Daveed Diggs) girlfriend in the last episode, but there’s no way you saw this coming. Things get real fast and don’t let up.
Throughout the series, Layton and Melanie have been playing cat and mouse. The most interesting thing about their game of chess is how understated it has been. Much is left unsaid. Connelly and Diggs’ acting skills effectively portray that they have something planned, but you don’t know what. As the push-pull between them has ebbed and flowed, they both seemed to be in control. That can only last for so long, and this episode finally reveals what the ultimate plan is, and whose plan is better (though there’s plenty of time to flip that around).
This episode effectively builds tension as things get closer and closer to boiling over. When it does, Snowpiercer doesn’t hold back. Some people have died so far (the show did kick off with a murder mystery), but this episode raises the casualty count exponentially and graphically. I doubt this episode would be cleared for network TV and I applaud the show for really going for it in this episode and not drawing things out unnecessarily for the sake of padding the season. It’s chock full of ‘action movie hero moments,’ and most impressively, they seem earned and not contrived.
The payoffs don’t end with the action. I’m not ready to recant my criticism of first class, but they finally get something to do other than whine. Wondering what the deal is with Mr. Wilford? We get some much needed information about him. Before screening the episode, I asked my wife about some long missing characters. As if by magic, they are worked in as well.
I’ve really enjoyed Snowpiercer so far, and the episode ends with enough uncertainty to make me want to watch the next one immediately. This episode ups the action considerably. If you haven’t seen an episode before but want to see a bunch of awesome craziness, you may want to check this one out. Just beware, if blood makes you squeamish, this may not be the episode for you.
The eighth episode will air Sunday, July 5th at 9:00pm ET/PT on TNT in the United States.
Check back next week for my thoughts on the 9th episode of the series.
Are you excited for this series? Are you liking it so far? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!