Monday, March 29, 2021

REVIEW: 'Snowpiercer' - Layton and His Allies Search for Hope During Wilford's Reign of Terror in 'The Show Must Go On'

TNT's Snowpiercer - Episode 2.09 "The Show Must Go On"

Wilford presses forward on his endgame, as Layton sinks to new lows.

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 Show Must Go On" was written by Zak Schwartz & Kiersten Van Horne and directed by Clare Kilner

Ruth talks about hope in this episode's opening narration. It's a concept utilized by both Melanie and Layton when they led the train. They wanted to channel that energy to win over the people of Snowpiercer. They used it effectively in order to accomplish their various missions. It's a powerful motivator. But now, Wilford leads in a different way. He intimidates and rules through fear. His reign of terror was pretty bleak leading up to this point. This episode basically solidifies that the train can sink further into the bowels of depravity and despair. This has to be the moment of grim darkness so that the moment of hope that arrives in the end is effective. The audience has already seen the train drive past Melanie as she hopes to be picked up at the end of her time away collecting climate data. That journey has left her very limited for this overall season. The show hasn't even caught up to that moment in time. It simply sets expectations for what could happen when that finally arrives. Alex is in the brig. However, she will be back in the engine pleading for her mother once more. Layton and his allies are aware that Melanie is still alive. Hope is still on the horizon. Wilford hasn't crushed all of these dreams quite yet. And yet, he still wields his power with absolute viciousness. He doesn't care who has been loyal to him in the past. It's all about whether or not he sees a role for someone in the future. He is making that assessment now. He needs to know who remains loyal to the train and who is still conspiring against him. Layton and Ruth are sentenced to the compost. It's a place meant for them to suffer. However, they still provide a service to the train. It's a dirty job. It's something that still allows all of this to function. Meanwhile, Roche has been put in a drawer. That removes him from the situation altogether. Of course, that decision may come entirely from Wilford needing his most ardent enemies to suffer. He needs to gloat that he has been victorious. He could plan his takeover so effectively with no one being the wiser. He still has plans that are a mystery. The experiments on Josie are still just coming to fruition now. Layton gets to see her again. He sees the miraculous progress that has been made. However, her body has been changed. She must remain in this role knowing that she has something of value to provide. She doesn't understand it. Everyone is waiting for their time to strike. That takes patience and understanding of the mechanics of the train. Wilford can still unveil new sections of this world that have never been explored before. A carnival arrives to sell his propaganda. He believes that mission will easily be sold and digested. LJ is the audience he targets. She is the perfect example of someone loyal to him and never questioning his ambitions. The majority have to fight in order to prove themselves. That is the situation they find themselves in. Audrey is by Wilford's side because she did what he asked. She is seen as a traitor. There is no evidence to the contrary so far either. Meanwhile, Ruth chooses a side even though she is meant to remain neutral as the head of hospitality. She can't betray Melanie. She can't deceive the train. She suffers and is ridiculed as a result. Layton still offers her hope though. Some characters are placed distinctly in a holding pattern here. This is Wilford's victory lap. He gets to celebrate the grandiosity of what he has achieved. The pieces are moving against him. He helps facilitate some of them as well. He has made mistakes because his ego is incapable of seeing the morality someone else displays. Till has questioned herself in that regard. She pales in comparison to the monstrosity that now rules over the train. She sees that up close. He kills the people who killed for him. His allies in this regime change are slaughtered simply because it helps him further cement his hold over the people. It's horrifying. But again, that moment of hope is struck. Javi gets that message. He knows exactly where Layton is and how to deliver a message. That's the moment Layton has been waiting for. He gets the signal. Now, everyone has to deliver in service of Melanie. It may not work. And yet, she has become the ultimate symbol of hope. She has survived off the train. Hopefully, that will be the future for many more. They simply have to survive the upheaval aboard this place for a little while longer. They don't know how the train will react. Layton has allies though. That's much different than subjects who fear Wilford. That is how they stand opposed. The resolution will be messy regardless though. That is always the stakes of this new world even though they desperately cling to the idea of something better and more just in the horizon.