Monday, March 15, 2021

REVIEW: 'Snowpiercer' - Wilford Enacts His Grand Plan to Regain Control of the Entire Train in 'The Eternal Engineer'

TNT's Snowpiercer - Episode 2.08 "The Eternal Engineer"

An engineering catastrophe on Snowpiercer forces Layton to make a difficult choice, one that might cost him everything.

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.

"The Eternal Engineer" was written by Renée St. Cyr and directed by Rebecca Rodriguez

The leadership of Snowpiercer is powerless to stop Wilford in his pursuit of regaining control of the engine. They are completely at his mercy. Moreover, his influence is too widespread for them to mount a successful resistance. Some people have found their place on the new power structure of Snowpiercer. LJ knows exactly how to conduct herself as part of the janitorial staff once the water emergency occurs. She has that certainty now. She has been allowed to have this reinvention. She and Oz can form a little unit of love. Meanwhile, so much animosity still extends to the Tail. They are still oppressed and abused in this system. They have Layton's trust. And yet, his power is quickly dwindling. That was clear in the conclusion of the previous episode with the majority of the train choosing Wilford. That reflects the overall mood. Wilford takes action to make it a reality. He can do so swiftly and effectively as well. He positions himself as the hero who can save the train in its time of need. He is willing to risk complete destruction and extinction of the human race in order to secure his grip on power. He sabotages the eternal engine. He knows its precise weaknesses. The only way to keep the train functioning is to reach out to him for the part and the expertise. Sure, it's incredulous that Snowpiercer doesn't have a replacement part for the engine that has been overloaded. That further highlights how Big Alice was always meant to be the supply ship. Wilford has all the tools to survive. Meanwhile, Snowpiercer has done so successfully for seven years according to his strict hierarchy. And yet, Layton came along and represented something new. He brought back a sense of good into the world. Roche has been inspired by Layton's leadership. He chooses a side in this conflict. The Brakeman and Hospitality are meant to remain neutral. Their loyalty is to the preservation of the train. That doesn't actually occur in practice though. People have their own opinions. They act on whose leadership they trust. It ends up being costly for Roche. That was inevitable the moment that he was the character providing the narration for the episode. That doesn't always signify tragedy. It's meant to highlight which character is going to be important in the episode. Roche loses just as much as Layton does. And yet, his punishment is immediate and secretive. His family is fridged. It's devastating. The Doctors Headwood have the same technology. Their advancements in science have been used to mount this chaos and destruction. Icy Bob is pushed to the brink of death because it advances Wilford's agenda. That's all that he cares about. He doesn't care who he hurts in the process. He simply must be at the helm of the train once more. That's the exact position he is in as well. Everyone is powerless to stop him. The leadership of Snowpiercer can't keep news of his arrival a secret. They have to rely on him. They can't accept certain death. It's a complete loss for them personally though. Their leadership has failed. Wilford exerts his punishment. Him having this victory right now basically ensures that the rest of the season will unveil some twist that could dramatically shake up the power structure once more. And yet, he continues to craft a convincing argument. One where the average citizen of Snowpiercer has no idea what he has done to ensure he remains popular. Boki knows that the train was sabotaged. He still risked his life in order to remain of service. He acknowledges that Wilford isn't loyal to anyone even though he demands the same from those who serve his train. He is incredibly possessive. He shouldn't have expected everything to have remained the same on Snowpiercer. The engine had to create many solutions to keep the train running. They need his help now because his sabotage is too severe. The entire train gets pulled into this rush for salvation. As such, everyone believes that they too contribute to the actions needed to save all human life. That positions Layton as the greatest threat to survival. He has done nothing wrong. And yet, he ends up in handcuffs at the complete mercy of those who have immense hatred towards him. It's Wilford's justice. Some people fall in line with that adoration. It may be a ruse. It especially seems hard to believe with Audrey. But she hasn't presented any action in which the audience can believe her motives. The narrative is probably complicating her decisions too significantly. As a result, it will feel like a muddled and unconvincing mess regarding whatever happens next. But the opposition still has allies to strike against Wilford. That feels inevitable because of the structure of the season. However, Melanie is still left on the outside while the resistance is scattered in order to prevent any uprising from occurring. It seems like Wilford has won. The villain has succeeded. And now, the final act will reveal just how capable everyone else is in standing against that in the fight for something more honorable to break through in this bleak world. It's still an overall mess. The storytelling patterns are evident. That sets up expectations that will either work or fail completely.