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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 8 Recap and Analysis – The Eternal Engineer


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In this week’s episode, we get a glimpse into Sam Roche’s family life as we see him in the role of dad and husband, further explaining his reasoning for fighting the good fight. We also see more of Josie’s recovery, how Snowpiercer handles a major water crisis, and a power shift that rocks everything sideways.

Be aware that this post contains major spoilers for Snowpiercer Season 2, Episode 8: The Eternal Engineer.

“We’re lighting red lanterns for Wilford because we’re afraid of each other,” Roche says in the first few minutes of the episode.

This episode was especially powerful because you can feel the pain in Roche’s words as he starts to realize that everyone — even his wife — seems to have switched over to the dark side. Wilford has charm, but it’s sickening just how much power he has over the Snowpiercer passengers. And it’s about to get worse.

This is a fairly simple and straightforward episode as it does little more than establish Wilford’s unyielding control over everyone, and it just leaves you with an empty feeling the whole time.

“What is it about recent history that’s so freaking hard to remember?” Roche had some great quotes in this episode, but that one is one of my favorites. Also: “We’re one dirty look away from a civil war.” The guy seems to be the voice of reason in that dad kinda way, and I can appreciate that.

We heard Wilford comment during the last episode that the doctors needed to get Icy Bob ready for something, and now we know what that was.

Snowpiercer experienced some catastrophic water leaks and busted pipes that Ben and Javi realized were caused by a faulty intake vent on the outside of the train. When they sent Breachman Boki out to fix it, he brought back a giant railroad spike that was obviously stuck into that vent on purpose. After seeing the proof of that sabotage, Boki pledges his life to Layton. Score one for Layton!

But Javi soon figures out that the spike did more than hold that intake vent open. It also damaged a hydrogen sensor on the inside, causing the relay for the “God Module” to burn itself out. And I’ll give you three guesses as to where they’ll find a replacement module. Yep, they’ll need to get Wilford to fix it.

So, as you can imagine, Layton and his team are in quite a pickle, but they have a plan. If they let Wilford into the engine room, his supporters on Snowpiercer will go NUTS with excitement — maybe even leading to an uprising. But if they let him in to fix the damaged part and don’t tell anyone, then there will be no conflict and the episode would just be vanilla. The End.

No! Of course everyone finds out Wilford is on the train! Thanks to a lone worker who spots Wilford, word starts to spread, but it doesn’t have to spread far. After Wilford fixes the part, he sneaks around Layton and Javi to grab the PA mic and announce to all of Snowpiercer that he has just saved the day.

It was a grand production, complete with a forced engine shutdown, lots of sparks, and a few below-the-belt jabs at Layton, but Wilford did it again. The man successfully infiltrated Snowpiercer’s engine room, put on a hell of a show in front of everyone, and ended it with his own epic epilogue. Aaaand scene!

Josie’s synthetic skin grafts turned out amazing. Her skin is almost 100% healed and she discovers a foreshadow-tastic ability to withstand the outside air, much like Icy Bob could do with his own synthetic skin. Can’t wait to see where that goes! Won’t it just be something if she’s the one who has to go off the train to save Melanie?

Sadly, it seems that Miss Audrey has full-blown defected at this point. Josie even calls her out on it when the two meet up. “You’ve defected,” she says right to her face. But Audrey counters with “I’ve returned.” I’m not convinced that she’s not still playing the long game with Wilford, hell-bent on destroying his psyche when she finally reveals that she’s been playing him the whole time, but we’ll see if that theory holds.

Former Brakeman Oz and LJ have turned into a thing. I’m not sure where that’s going, but it can’t be good. However, LJ’s friendship with Alex is still tugging at the back of my mind, so there may be hope for LJ yet.


So with Wilford saving the day and practically everyone on Snowpiercer falling for his charm, Layton is taken away in cuffs to Big Alice, Roche decides to accept Wilford’s olive branch (for now?), and Wilford is in Snowpiercer’s driver’s seat once again.

“Mr. Wilford, you have the train.” Ben’s words are haunting, but they’re perfect for the conclusion of the second straight episode dominated by Wilford.

So we have two episodes left, and they’ll both be shown on the same day after a brief hiatus next week. So let’s take this extra time to reflect, fellow Snowpiercer fans, and rest up for those final two episodes on March 29th. We have to see what happened to 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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