What to Watch Verdict
A killer episode filled with some questionable decisions from one Andre Layton.
🚄Thank god for the women on this train.
🚄Good twist on the Wilford plan.
🚄Josie. Is. A warrior.
🚄Wilford making them read Rebecca and thinking the husband is a hero is [chef's kiss]
🚄Big cold man is a nice cold man.
🚄Whatcha doin' Andre?
🚄I really, truly, hate Zarah.
This post contains spoilers for Snowpiercer.
Check out our last review here.
“Our people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray. Turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold.”
This week’s Snowpiercer hits hard. “Keep Hope Alive” doesn’t just explore the validity of little white lies when it comes to maintaining morale. It also gives us an intimate look at the toll that hope can take on those who are expected to provide it at any cost. The train just survived a war and immediately marched into a new one when it was boarded by Big Alice. Each class was promised something it hasn’t yet received — including the Tail — and everyone wants answers. Meanwhile, Layton’s just trying to keep things on the literal track long enough for Melanie to save humanity.
Each day, he learns more and more about why Melanie was the way she was when she ran the train. Then again, his morality may be different if he didn’t have Zarah hissing in his ear.
Zarah Ferami (Sheila Vand) has always been a difficult character. It’s a feat, given the fact that she’s surrounded by countless other unlikeable people. But most of those people, no matter how unlikeable, still make choices to help other folks when the chips are down. Zarah cares about Zarah, and that’s the end of the list. So, it’s no real surprise that when Terence (Shaun Toub) stands in the way of Pike’s (Steven Ogg) drug trade, she tells Layton it’s time to off the guy. Let’s not pretend for a moment that it was about Josie’s safety — we’re all smarter than that. It wasn’t enough that Zarah got her killed the first time, she also nearly killed her herself the second go around, and followed it up with a threat about what would happen if Josie (Katie McGuinness) got in the way of her safety.
Zarah is manipulating Layton (Daveed Diggs) the same way she’s manipulating Ruth (Alison Wright). The only difference is her manipulation of Ruth benefits more than just her.
Outside of Zarah, though, the women of Snowpiercer really are doing the most. With Wilford’s nefarious plans starting to unfold behind closed doors, everyone steps up to the plate. Josie is on Big Alice undergoing painful surgery without meds so she can spy for Layton. Miss Audrey (Lena Hall) heads back to the arms of her abuser to attempt to open up communication with Snowpiercer without his knowledge. Then she stays behind despite Wilford’s first major move in the war unfolding because she hasn’t completed her mission yet. Bess Till (Mickey Sumner) is the only one with her head still on the train as she fights to find out who assaulted Lights (Miranda Edward). Meanwhile Ruthie is finally getting the opportunity to step into her own.
Turns out, Ruth Wardell just needs to know that she’s needed. Wilford is great at making people feel that way — it’s a key to his manipulation tactics — so it’s no wonder she worshiped him the way that she did. Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) never would have lost her to begin with if she’d just let her in on the plan before the uprising began, and she could be a powerful tool to Layton if he’d just stop with his games. Hell, if it weren’t for Melanie asking her to look after Alex and Zarah’s fake praise, Ruth might have said yes when Wilford (Sean Bean) called her aboard when his plan was set in motion. But Melanie did, so Ruth didn’t, and three cheers for that.
While the world’s last remaining hope remains MIA off Snowpiercer, Wilford manages to make his first real move. He was due for one, to be honest. It was a refreshing switch to see Layton and the people of Snowpiercer win the first two rounds, but it was time for the megalomaniac to get a win. Josie does manage to get a warning to the train, but it’s the wrong one. Wilford wasn’t sending the Jackboots after the people of Snowpiercer. He was sending spies to murder the Jackboots. His success means that a significant force in the train’s defenses has been hobbled, but it seems short-sighted considering an entire revolution just went down.
Wilford’s win aside, Till is going to be big mad now that she’s back to square one. Then again, one has to question this Priest. I might have some biases against the clergy myself, but Pastor Logan (Bryan Terrell Clark) showing up exactly when Till needs him, allowing Wilford propaganda in his church, and already questioning if Layton is the right one to lead so early on makes ya wonder. Sure, he could just be a nice pastor man speaking his concerns. A big part of me hopes that Till gets someone to trust in all this before she snaps completely. But I don’t trust ‘em.
Pastor Logan does have one thing right though: Andre Layton is lost. He took over Snowpiercer to create a different tomorrow. He put himself in charge to make different choices from Melanie, and to make a more fair and equal train. An assassination spits in the fact of all of that and Pike, for all his flaws, is right to be mad as hell at his “leader.” When the war was raging on Snowpiercer, Andre was forced to make a difficult decision and decouple the cars that held the prisoners from Third and the Tail. Terence’s murder smacks different, and it’s critical that it be acknowledged in his narrative in the near future.
At least he has the women around him to keep the world running.
Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.