Television

Snowpiercer Episode 7

Snowpiercer Episode 7 The Universe Is Indifferent- Review And Recap- Miss Audrey’s Bad Religion

The train requires sacrifice, and Snowpiercer Episode 7 took a big toll as everyone prepares for war.

As a chamber piece, Snowpiercer has always been successful. The train is 1001 cars long, yet we have seen very few of those cars. It isn’t integral to the story what the bowling alley or chicken coop looks like. The cars that matter are shown intimately. The people that interact there are shown in hyper-focused because they drive the story. At the back of my mind, as I watch each week, I wonder about the other train riders. Who are they? What do they care about? Would they be willing to fight with Layton? Snowpiercer Episode 7 gave us a glimpse of those others, and most of them are scared.

Incredible performances by leads Jennifer Connelly(Melanie) and Daveed Diggs(Layton) give us nuanced characters that are incredibly complex. Both are relatable, and as they dance around each other, everyone else’s allegiance becomes pressing. Melanie and Layton are two sides of the same coin. The brio behind each leader’s actions is similar if the behavior is different. Good writing makes a small story more weighty. Snowpierecer Episode 7 felt like it was leading to a bombastic conclusion. TNT’s Snowpiercer is a chamber piece aboard a doomed Titanic. Writer Kelly Masterson who also had a hand in Snowpiercer, the film knows how to write small stories that feel huge. In that smallness, sympathy grows; for Layton, Bess, and even Melanie.

Melanie is losing control of the train. Whether she is the right person to lead or not is irrelevant, her time is running out. That’s the problem with leaders; they begin to believe they are the only ones who can rule. That arrogance leaves them vulnerable to desperate and unhappy people. Some are desperate for power like the Folgers, others for equality like the Tailies. Regardless of their motivations, desperation looks the same, and it is dangerous. Snowpiercer Episode 7 is the beginning of the end of the train as we know it.

Snowpiercer Episode 7
Courtesy of TNT ph: Justina Mintz

The three engineers on board the Snowpiercer are the only ones who know about Mr. Wilford and his absence. They are loyal to each other, but Javier is beginning to question their decisions. He is the lone dissenting opinion. Roberto Urbina(Javier) is quickly growing into one of the most interesting new characters. How did he become part of the inner circle? Has he always known about Melanie? Will Bennett and Melanie turn on him if he starts making waves. There are very few engineers on board the train, and every one is necessary. Now that Miles has started his apprenticeship, he eventually will be a fourth. Assuming he gets that far, though. Is this minuscule group all that keeps the train running?

Melanie’s beginning to lose control. Terrance isn’t afraid of her. He is a pragmatist who knows she needs him more than he needs her. For that matter, the Folgers also believe that. They are conceited and think they should be in charge. They’re short-sighted but powerful enough to make waves for Melanie. Both factions want the preservation of their way of life. The Janitors deal in information and opportunism—the Folgers deal in social clout. The Folgers have a lot to lose. The Janitors can quickly rebuild. Both are enemies of Melanie and, therefore, inadvertent allies to Layton.

Melanie next interrogates Zara, who has always been weak, and she gives up Josie. Josie immediately gets taken for questioning, and Melanie resorts to torture when it becomes clear Josie will not talk. Poor Layton and Josie only got one night of happiness before she died. With Zara carrying Layton’s baby but betraying Josie, it will be interesting to see how Layton responds to her moving forward. He loved Josie, but Zara is carrying his child. It means he has, even more, to lose.

Everything Melanie has had to do is affecting her physically. It also is distinctly possible Melanie is sick, and that is why she is fast-tracking Miles. She’s running out of time. Intimidation and threats aren’t working anymore. Coupled with a coup in First Class and Layton’s rebellion, she needs all the help she can get. The responsibility she carries every day is cracking that perfect facade. Ruth isn’t the only one to see the stress. Soon she won’t be able to hide from anyone.

After an outstanding performance last week, Allison Wright(Ruth) continues to give a heart to Hospitality’s second in command. Ruth had experience in the hospitality world before Snowpierecer. She met Mr. Wilford when he stayed at her Bed and Breakfast. He hired her on the spot and thus began her servitude to the train. She is a lonely person, though. Commander Grey(Timothy Murphy) takes advantage of this and invites her to dinner to meet with the Folgers. Unfortunately, they misjudged her loyalty to Melanie, and she leaves. An ill-timed confession to Melanie later left Ruth rattled. Melanie’s arctic control is thawing and giving way to fiery frustration. She lashed out at the wrong person at the wrong time. Ruth would have remained loyal if Melanie had not lost her temper. The Folgers may have found the controllable paper leader they were looking for.

Layton has stopped thinking and is acting. He has an explosive secret that could threaten the entire way of life on the train. Melanie is a villain, but she probably isn’t the worst one. I can think of a few worse in First Class. The entitlement of the Folgers could be much worse. They are entitled, unfeeling, and willing to do anything to protect L.J. even when she doesn’t deserve it. They also lack any experience running the train or governing a population.

The trusted circle in the Night Car are all afraid. Some are afraid of actual violence, but others are afraid of change. It is scary. The idea you could lose what you have, even if it is very little, is terrifying to many of the Third Classers. That is the biggest obstacle Layton needs to overcome. When you have something to lose, even something tiny, it makes it hard to fight for change. Fear of change, even change for the good, is a powerful emotion.

Everyone sacrificed in Snowpiercer Episode 7. For some, it was the sacrifice of a pawn. For others, it was a life. Duty and sacrifice get bandied around a lot. That is the main difference between Melanie, the Folgers, and Layton’s group. Everyone has a competing idea about duty. Who do you have an obligation too? The train, civilization, or as Josie says, the weakest among us. If we are our brother’s keepers, we are responsible for both their care and their mistakes. Brinkman Bess Till realizes she has a duty to justice. She knows what Melanie is doing to Josie, and the others is wrong, but she can’t reconcile her commitment to protecting the train as a whole. By the end, she seems to have chosen Layton’s side when she delivers Josie’s message to him.

A brilliant closing sequence utilized the two Broadway stars in the cast of Snowpiercer. Miss Audrey, Lena Hall, who won a Tony for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, delivers another haunting song to close the episode. A cover of Frank Ocean’s Bad Religion showcased the talented singer’s strengths. As her soulful voice soars, everyone present is affected. A gorgeous and straightforward mirrored set allows Diggs to show his pain. It was dramatic, and as the notes swelled, Layton played his last card. He told L.J. Melanie’s secret. The enemy of my enemy has become his friend.

The need to sacrifice is strong in some. What are you willing to give up to protect those you love or support a cause? Josie was willing to give up her hand and ultimately her life for the Tailies. Melanie has given up a carefree life for one of civil servitude. Terrance has sacrificed his soul(assuming he had one once), and Miss Audrey has given up on the idea of peace. There is a storm coming on board the Snowpierecer. Just as the one on Earth rages the one growing in many of the 1001 cars is fierce and can’t be stopped. Catch up on all our Snowpiercer coverage here.

Stray Thoughts:

  • What did Josie tell Miles before she left the infirmary? When the time comes will he be brave enough to follow through on his part?
  • Did Josie get the chip to someone before she was captured?
  • The lyrics of Bad Religion are perfect for this episode’s conclusion.
Taxi driver
Be my shrink for the hour
Leave the meter running
It's rush hour
So take the streets if you wanna
Just outrun the demons, could you?
He said "Allahu akbar"
I told him, "Don't curse me"
"Bo Bo, you need prayer"
I guess it couldn't hurt me
If it brings me to my knees, it's a bad religion, ooh
This unrequited love
To me, it's nothin' but a one-man cult
And cyanide in my styrofoam cup
I can never make him love me
Never make him love me
Love me, love me
Love me, love me
Love me, love me
Love me, love me
Love me, love
Taxi driver
I swear I've got three lives
Balanced on my head like steak knives
I can't tell you the truth about my disguise
I can't trust no one

1 comment

  1. Quick comment: Bess Till is a “Breakman” not a “Brinkman” just fyi…i liked this take on the episode though

    Reply

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