Sunday, June 21, 2020

REVIEW: 'Snowpiercer' - Melanie Embraces Her Inner Hero to Prevent a Massive Derailment in 'Trouble Comes Sideways'

TNT's Snowpiercer - Episode 1.06 "Trouble Comes Sideways"

Hiding out with help from his allies, Layton lays track for revolution. Meanwhile, an engineering emergency threatens every soul on Snowpiercer, and Melanie is the only one who can save them.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of TNT's Snowpiercer.

"Trouble Comes Sideways" was written by Aubrey Nealon & Tina de la Torre and directed by Helen Shaver

The people who built and rule over an oppressive system are unlike to cede that power to those who want to reform it. Melanie puts on a show. She knows exactly how to persuade people that the hierarchy she constructed on the train is actually in their best interests. People doubt her methods and convictions at time. Sure, they do so through veiled asides about Mr. Wilford's leadership. So few people are actually in the know about the power structure of Snowpiercer. And yet, Melanie always manages to survive. Balance is maintained. The train hasn't derailed just yet. It takes a lot of hard and dangerous work to keep the system functional though. It's scary that there are only a select few who can do the necessary maintenance whenever a problem arises. Melanie, Knox and Avi are the only people who steer the train. The Breachmen are the only individuals who can brave the cold to make any necessary repairs. All of this comes on top of a pending strike in Third Class. So much of the conflict has been billed as the struggles of the Tail. They are the most abused in this system. They are those who are mistreated without any sense of humanity whatsoever. Third Class is starting to rise up as well. Layton has seen more of this world. He knows that more have suffered under Melanie's leadership. He only has some common sense in this episode though. His mind is clear enough to inform Josie about what he has discovered about Melanie. However, he then acts irrationally by choosing to confront Melanie. She believes he is in the drawers and unable to threaten her hold on power. Right now, she has to focus on the potential strike and the engineering disaster. That is her priority. She can handle both of them delicately and with the proper force too. Her words may not carry much weight in Third Class. However, she still wants to present herself as the voice of reason and not the show of force that the security detail would want to do to get everyone in line. She still fundamentally supports such violence though. The system has to work exactly as she designed it. But the more pressing concern is the disaster below the train that could easily lead to its derailment. It creates such an intense and immediate sense of urgency. The tension is increased. It's inevitable that the train will survive. That moment is incredibly clarifying though because it puts things into concise context about what is important for each of these characters. Till and Jinju may be keeping secrets from each other but they want this relationship to work. Layton could confront Melanie for what she did to him and everyone else in the drawers or he could spend his final moments with Josie. Ruth speaks on her steadfast belief that putting her trust in the people in charge is the best and most resilient thing a person onboard can do. Oz can admit that he does have emotions and isn't just the callous and corrupt officer tasked with keeping everyone in check. All of this enhances the audience's understanding of the humanity amongst these characters. They are fundamentally fighting for their survival. Threats are present amongst their population. A killer is still free after all. L.J. can still sow chaos even though she is less of a focus in this hour. Melanie remains the person in charge. Her grip on power seemed to be slipping. Audrey could make her move so the concerns of her people are known. But that all changes because of this potential disaster. Because Melanie gets to be the hero, she wins the good will of the people once more. She calms the class tensions just by ensuring their future survival. That may be all that anyone ultimately cares about. It's not about the consideration for one's community. It's all a selfish desire to stay alive even in a world that has come to an end. Melanie will always manipulate things to keep herself in this position. She is even making a move with Miles that could further enrage Layton. It's all precarious. The seeds of revolution are still present. The system has changed though. Stability has been restored even though it's unclear just how long this grace will remain. Layton continues to gain allies. This conflict still has to come to a head somehow. It's just also clear that the odds are stacked against them because Melanie believes in her cause. She plays the game effectively even though she can't always predict how others will react. Surprises are around every corner and that keeps life exciting onboard.