If you haven’t seen SNOWPIERCER yet, it’s a post-apocalyptic story about a train that holds the last remaining survivors of humanity that must keep moving or it will freeze. At the end of the first season, we learned that there were actually two last trains in the world … until they smashed into each other and combined into one. So now we are back to one last train, though it is longer than it was before. This new paradigm has allowed the show to bring in a whole host of new characters and plot lines, moving beyond the class warfare of season one. With all the new stuff on the menu, the third episode of SNOWPIERCER’s second season felt like an appetizer. It was a strong episode, but it left me eager to see what happens next because it ends at a point where things can move in a bold new direction for the series.
However, before we can get there, we get some welcome expansion into the Big Alice characters. Most of the attention is given to Wilford, who is becoming a fascinating big bad. Sean Bean’s performance hits the right notes of intelligence, menace, and insanity. While I really enjoyed Daveed Diggs’ performance in Season 1, he thus far has been a bit outshined by Wilford. In many ways, this is due to the script, as I feel Layton is having a hard time shifting from revolutionary to leader (at one point, the characters even recognize this). Layton does come up with a good idea in this episode, which at least gives him more of a purpose.
Alexandra (Melanie’s daughter) is the emotional center of the episode, as we finally get to see her play something other than ‘angry teenager.’ I enjoyed her arc, but it was the minor characters that really interested me. I’m fascinated by the big frozen henchman guy (humorously named Icy Bob). I think big things are in store for the character in the future.
Shifting back to the Snowpiercer, this episode doesn’t neglect the characters who appeared in season one. I’ve always liked the guy who goes in when there is a breach on Snowpiercer, though he has had very few appearances. This episode brings him back, shows us more of his crew, and gives them something to do that will likely play a role in the plot. Speaking of plot, Till’s mystery continues to move forward slowly. I’m not sure how integral to the plot this thread is, but I’m thankful for the writers for giving Mickey Sumner something to do, as she continues to be a strongpoint of the series. For some reason, I really like Roche. Mike O’Malley makes the most of his screen time, adding some heft and humor to the role. Finally, Ruthie is given a bit more of an arc this episode as well. She can border on annoying, but this episode was a highlight for her.
Episode three definitely moves things forward, but can be frustrating (in a good way) because the episode ends right when things promise to get really, game changingly awesome. In the meantime, fans of the series will enjoy the character development and the opportunity to catch up on some old friends.
The third episode of season 3 will air Monday, February 8th at 9:00pm ET/PT on TNT in the United States.
Check back next week for my thoughts on the 4th episode of the series.
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