Monday, March 21, 2022

REVIEW: 'Snowpiercer' - Layton and Josie Attempt a Daring Rescue While Wilford Plots His Next Move in 'A Beacon For Us All'

TNT's Snowpiercer - Episode 3.09 "A Beacon For Us All"

Reunited with old friends, the train throws a party. But alliances are tested as the truth is finally revealed.

"A Beacon For Us All" was written by Aubrey Nealon & Michael Kraus and directed by Christoph Schrewe

Layton united the train. He did what Melanie and Wilford couldn't. Melanie gets to see it herself. And yet, history repeats itself. She once again takes control of the train and deviates from the expected course. Everyone has been completely devoted to New Eden. Layton lied to the citizens of Snowpiercer. He did the exact same thing Melanie did. She has some perspective on the reasons why that seemed like the best decision to make. She now broadcasts the truth. As such, warring sides form once more with Wilford loose as the complete wild card. It's completely crazy as the train prepares for its final turn to paradise. Everyone was led to believe New Eden was prosperous now. The train could stop and humanity could be stationary for the first time in years. That's the reality Layton sold. Plenty of people bought into the fantasy. He wasn't the only person to actively promote it either. It can't solely be blamed on the people who spent months on the pirate train either. Ruth was made fully aware of the situation. She still celebrates with a party. She wants this to be true. Everyone desperately wants that. Melanie can't accept the risk. Layton is risking a complete derailment for the idea of New Eden. He doesn't know if it truly exists. The data is inconclusive. The track was unstable years ago. That's why Snowpiercer has never driven it. It's dangerous. It's a huge risk everyone supported because of the dream Layton delivered. Of course, miracles do happen. Everyone was led to believe Melanie died. She was abandoned at the research station without any supplies to survive for longer than a month. Wilford left her behind to die. Even the passengers on the pirate train believed they had to honor her research instead of look for her. That was what everyone accepted. In reality, she's been living in suspended animation waiting for someone to notice her on the tracks. She could rig the system to wake herself up every once in awhile. However, the supplies she had took their toil on her body. It can all be fixed with three days of rest though. The wonders of medicine can achieve that. She suffers no side effects. She is immediately right back into the drama. She has to be because the engine is preparing for this big move. Wilford presents as the only rational person for doubting the ability of the train to carry everyone to salvation. Of course, he wants to maintain status quo for a completely selfish reason. He wants to be the one in charge. His health deterioration doesn't prevent him from making these power moves either. That's the cycle. It repeats even with the refreshing optimism that permeates throughout the train.

The idea of Melanie is much different than the actual person. She has taken on a mythic form. She exists as inspiration for the train as its citizens have largely forgotten how she was when she lived amongst them. They've gone through several revolutions since then. They've survived. They've each had to decide how far they'd go to achieve that. They need a reason to live. Melanie and Ben have found each other and can reunite as a couple once more. It's not that simple. The same applies to Layton and Josie's attraction. She believes they are too broken and giving of themselves to the mission to have anything left for each other. It may be nothing more than defensive posturing to ensure she doesn't get hurt again. Layton operates with more clarity even though it takes Ben telling him he should act on his feelings for Josie These characters want to embrace this happiness. They have achieved victory. Now is the time they should be celebrating. They don't have to fight for their lives any more. Of course, those dangers are all around them. Any twist of fate could turn lethal. That can shake their collective spirit in any number of ways. Melanie was a martyr for the cause. She has now been resurrected. That immediately gives her legitimacy when she makes her declaration. She wants the train to know they've been lied to by Layton. His allies immediately race to the engine. Javi feeling betrayed doesn't entirely work. Wilford and Pike were the only people previously seen as questioning Layton's story. Everyone else was written as believing in the nobility of the mission. Even Alex says the train isn't really a democracy. It's just a convenient story people like to tell themselves. They want to believe things are better because Layton is in charge. He isn't that lucky. It was all built on a lie. It all crumbles as soon as that is revealed. Alex wants a friend. This betrayal may destroy that. Melanie does what she believes is right. It still plays directly into what Wilford wants. He makes his big escape. That too was carefully planned. He orchestrated it thanks to Headwood and LJ's loyalty. No one can ever be distracted because that's when Wilford strikes. The too has happened before. That's the cyclical nature of life on Snowpiercer. That's the point. It's grown tedious. Melanie takes firm control over the narrative. It's just less potent because her character arc has been off and on for too long to be consistent at all.