Snowpiercer, TV Shows

Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 2 Recap – Smoulder to Life


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After last week’s season opener, we can already see that this season of Snowpiercer is set to be intense. I made a few predictions in last week’s episode recap and I’m glad to say that a few have already come true, but we also have a few zingers thrown in this week to keep us on our toes.

Snowpiercer  | TV Series (2020– ) 60min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | TV Series (2020– ) Summary: Seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, the remnants of humanity inhabit a perpetually-moving train that circles the globe, where class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival play out.
Countries: USALanguages: English

So let’s take a deeper look at Snowpiercer‘s second episode of Season Two and discuss more of its meaning. As with all of these recaps, this article contains heavy spoilers.

Now that Layton is running things on Snowpiercer, he appoints Bess Till to take over his job as train detective. Her first case is to look into the maiming of Lights, who had her fingers chopped off with what thinks was an ax. We can’t help but chalk this one up to the lingering animosity between the front and back halves of the train, but we find out later that there’s much more to it than that.

You’ll remember in the last episode, the tailies were able to grab Kevin from Big Alice after he got carelessly greedy about making fresh fruit trades between trains. Kevin’s greed for a mango is the whole reason Pike and his crew were able to strongarm the door open and start the short-lived revolution that was ended by Icy Bob.

So now that Layton’s crew has Kevin at their disposal, they entice him with buffalo wings (I mean, that would totally work on me too) to get him to spill some secrets about Wilford’s train. We find out that there are around 100 crew members on Big Alice, Icy Bob’s skin is augmented with “synthetic stuff,” and everyone is starving.

Soon enough, Wilford proposes that the two trains make an even trade (Kevin for Melanie), which confuses Layton as he doesn’t believe Kevin is worth that much, but we’re about to find out exactly why Wilford wanted Kevin back so desperately.

In what could only be explained as awkward, Kevin is instructed to strip down and bathe in Wilford’s luxurious bath tub while Wilford asks him a few questions about his time on “the other side.” Kevin denies saying anything incriminating, but when Wilford strips down himself and enters the tub with Kevin, you can tell that Kevin understands what’s about to happen. After Kevin finally admits that he ate some of Layton’s offered chicken wings and that mango from Pike, Wilford hands him a razor knife and tells him that he knows what he must do. Kevin slits his own wrist in what can only be described as a methodical and emotionless completion of some type of understood agreement. So apparently, this has happened before to others, and Kevin knew it.

Alex and Melanie

It’s not really even the wrist slitting that was so disturbing in this scene, but the way Wilford unflinchingly sat in that same bloody water while his dog came and began lapping some up for himself. Gross.

One of the most interesting and important parts of the season was also revealed as we find out that Melanie’s snow sample she took from outside contains volcanic Ammonium Sulfate which Melanie believes is from the CW7 chemical that scientists used to block the sun and ultimately cause the frozen Earth scenario. So if the compound is flaking apart and falling to the earth, then that means there’s hope for a big thaw “in our lifetime,” she says. I’m going to take that as “during Season Three.”

Meanwhile, Zorah discovers something pretty incredible while working the medical wing: Josie is still alive, but no one knows it’s her because her entire body is so badly frostbitten from her tussle with Melanie in Season One. Zorah seems upset by Josie’s lingering life and tries to end it, but changes her mind at the last minute. I have a feeling that that will come back to haunt her later.

At this point, Melanie invites Wilford to a summit to discuss her scientific findings. As he enters Snowpiercer, there’s a frighteningly high number of people completely star-struck by the man, which goes to further cement the problem that Layton and Melanie will have keeping people on their side if a big battle were to happen.

During the summit, Melanie explains about the warming atmosphere (it’s only -86 degrees now!) and the possibility of warm spots on the planet that could once again support colonization. She proposes dropping someone off at the Rocky Mountain research station to conduct more testing, and Wilford realizes that she’s talking about doing it herself. She’s the most qualified, so it only makes sense. But Wilford thinks she’s up to something.

And he is not about to lose the entire world he built on those two trains to face the possibility of people leaving to warm, dry land again. You can tell by the look in his face that he’s scared to death of losing that power.

Overall, I think we’ve seen even more of both sides of Wilford in this episode, from his lack of a poker face and near breaking point in the heat of conflict to his cold, calculated methods of keeping the peace on his own train by literally ordering Kevin to off himself. His growing fandom on Snowpiercer is even more obvious as we see a large majority of people holding up the three-finger salute (making a W for Wilford with their fingers, a sign that we later find out is the reason Lights had her pinky and thumb cut off). I still hold to the idea that Wilford will not make it to the end of Season Three, but Season Two is all his.

So where do we go from here? IMDB already has a generic blurb out for next week’s episode: “Melanie embarks on her most dangerous mission yet, while Layton reckons with his personal choices.” With that in mind, let’s take a look at some more predictions for future episodes:

– Josie will revive enough to find out that Melanie is part of Layton’s BFF club now and not be on board with that. Conflict will ensue.
– LJ Folger is back at her spoiled brat antics, kissing Wilford’s ass for some unknown reason. I’m thinking she had something to do with the removal of Lights’ fingers.
– The look of contempt that LJ and Alex shared, plus Wilford’s last-minute change of plans for Alex’s planned assassination on Layton will be just two more pieces in the crumbling dam that will eventually lead to Alex leaving Wilford and joining forces with Melanie.

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Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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