Monday, February 8, 2021

REVIEW: 'Snowpiercer' - Melanie Spends More Time with Alex Before Departing for a Risky Mission in 'A Great Odyssey'

TNT's Snowpiercer - Episode 2.03 "A Great Odyssey"

Melanie embarks on her most dangerous mission yet, while Layton reckons with his personal choices.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"A Great Odyssey" was written by Zak Schwartz and directed by David Frazee

Death is not as resolute as it once was. The whole world ended. Snowpiercer and Big Alice survived. For years, Melanie believes that Alex and Wilford were dead. Those fates have been reversed. The two trains have merged as one. They have to rely on each other in order to survive. Things remain tense. The border is still in the beginning stages of establishing trade. Meanwhile, Josie was believed to be dead. And now, she has been discovered to simply be severely injured. Again, the potential exists for her to make a miraculous recovery because of the scientific advances made on Big Alice. That may put into greater context what Layton is willing to do in order to protect the people he loves. The show didn't necessarily have to bring back Josie to make that argument. It's still effective because the audience already knows what that relationship is like. She was willing to die in order to eliminate the leadership of Snowpiercer. She failed. More citizens of the Tail did as well because of the war Layton led them into. He promised a better future. Things have certainly changed. The people just haven't formed their new government yet. The structures are still basically the same. Layton talks about having civilian oversight over all the decisions being made on the train. However, he has simply replaced Melanie as the leader. He is the one now in conflict with Wilford. That frees Melanie to explore her dynamic with Alex. They only have a little bit of time with each other once more. They admire how similar they are. And yet, they fear that's entirely because they were trained by the same man. Melanie became an engineer because Wilford took an interest in her. He has done the exact same thing with Alex. In fact, he hopes to manipulate that bond in order to keep Alex under his control. It seems as if there are no children aboard Big Alice just to ensure Alex is forever connected to Wilford. She has no other possibilities to form meaningful relationships. That is devastating. Melanie wants people to care for her daughter. She demands that as a priority. Alex is also given a lot of responsibility. She is driving the train as it embarks on this dangerous journey. The engineers don't know if it will be a success. It is perilous terrain. It's a route Snowpiercer has never followed before. Big Alice knows it is sturdy enough to travel. There is simply a difference between forty train cars and over a thousand. So much of humanity is allowed to survive and thrive once more because of this feat in engineering. Wilford demands everyone remain indebted to him for allowing them to survive the apocalypse. However, he continues to use oppressive tactics to ensure they fall in line. People on Big Alice are hungry because he demands that as the status quo. The supply ship has resources that Snowpiercer needs. Melanie needs every tool necessary to hopefully succeed in her mission. This task is all about securing the future. She must confirm her hypothesis while also mapping a potential colony that can allow civilization to form in the outside world once more. It's a noble goal. It just means separating from her daughter once more. It is agonizing for both of them. Wilford whispers in Alex's ear that messing up the navigation will allow her to spend more time together. Again, the story weighs the personal desires of those in leadership versus the importance of doing what's best for everyone they represent. Wilford wants the praise and subjugation of people. Everyone sees that. It's obvious. People still loyally follow him and praise his success. He still operates from that place of luxury. Melanie and Layton are still fighting for control in their lives. Melanie breaks off for this next adventure. It will be challenging for her to survive. Meanwhile, Layton has to represent all of Snowpiercer as its leader in order to battle Wilford. He hasn't exactly earned that support though which can allow many cracks to form as its clear that many people are failing to cope well with all the upheaval that has happened on this journey as of late. Layton runs to be with Josie when the train's fate is uncertain. She sees her face for the first time after her near-death experience. It's horrifying. Layton offers support. But again, so much has changed for him. He may no longer be the man and leader Josie can rally behind. Josie was left for dead. People accepted that fate. It's easier to do that then prepare for the worst in others. And yet, that skepticism is necessary because of the evil forces that still plot aboard the train. Wilford is the obvious example of that. He is the devil on Alex's shoulder. Melanie is the angel. That is still an odd position for her given the heinous things she has done in the name of survival. And yet, the train keeps on moving. Everyone is still alive. The stakes are intense for a moment. And then, equilibrium is restored with Wilford believing it will be more fun to deal with Layton this way instead of contending with Melanie as well. He may no longer have Alex's support though because she's fighting for her mother to return to her once more. That's the ideal of the future. It just means humanity's survival is at the complete whims of people caught up in increasingly melodramatic personal drama.