If anyone could fix the environmental crisis it would be Melanie. If anyone could singlehandedly captivate an episode it would be Jennifer Connelly.
Miles From Snowpiercer was a beautifully built episode. Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 6 was perfection from top to bottom. Like some of the best singularly focused jewel box episodes, it provided backstory in an emotionally resonant way. Just as Sissy Spacek shone in Hulu’s Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 7 The Queen, Connelly ruled this episode. It was poignant, action-packed, thoughtful, and managed to fit an avalanche of exposition in without dumping it on us like yesterday’s garbage.
It takes a light touch to accomplish so much with virtually one character and a single setting. Director Leslie Hope created a stellar episode that rests solely on Connelly’s shoulders. Hope knew just when to zoom in on that lovely haunted face and when to pull back and reveal the stark landscape building an intimate experience that is a highlight of the series. Meticulously paced and balanced, Hope makes the most of her fantastic talent and remarkable set.
Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 6 filled in so many of the nagging gaps in the greater story. We know what happened to Wilford and Melanie’s relationship, even if we still don’t know the nature of their relationship. The jury is still out on whether or not they were ever romantic. My gut says no, however. He likes his women a little more compliant and wounded. Melanie is too hard to control. There’s appeared to be a mentor/mentee relationship. He liked her mostly practical mind. She liked the idea of saving the world and getting out of her small, poor home.
Clever writing produced details that seemed to leak out effortlessly rather than be forced. Melanie is freezing, lonely, scared, and starving. That makes her mind susceptible to hallucinations and revelry. Some are comforting and helpful, as in Alex and Layton, while others are glimpses into the arrogant, cold mind of Joseph Wilford. In season 1, Wilford’s absence was largely a mystery. In Snowpiercer Season 2, Melanie’s true deception was revealed. We now know precisely what caused the rift between them. This megalomaniac never cared about people beyond the power they could give him. Making the world habitable even better was never a concern. Maintaining control was. When he shot the geneticists and their families, it was the last straw.
Melanie, on the other hand, is both pragmatic and self-sacrificing. She left her child and parents behind because she honestly believed leaving Wilford was humanity’s only hope for a better future. His thirst for power was already at a ten with no end in sight. If he was left on the train there would be no chance of anything good remaining. Melanie paid the ultimate price for the greater good. Wilford wouldn’t sacrifice a pint of his favorite gin to save another life. He is a small picture thinker. His picture is minuscule. It includes him. Melanie is a big picture thinker. She is thinking about the long-term survival of the race because she hopes for a better future for everyone. The more time Alex spends with those on Snowpiercer the more she realizes what a monster he really is.
We saw how several people made it to the train departure, including Ben, Layton, and Javi. Presumably, Ruth and Miss Audrey were too busy setting up their departments to make an appearance, but Miss Audrey, in particular, would have been intriguing to see interact with Wilford. The Night Car has become her domain. I wonder what her thoughts on his concept for the place were and just how different it became?
Melanie had to face the loss of hope once again in the weather station. A family chose to end things on their own terms than continue fighting. This is an affront to everything Melanie is. She would never give up. It looks bleak for Melanie, but as she found out in Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 6, life always finds a way. Adaptation and perseverance are two of life’s biggest weapons. Snowpiercer is barreling ahead without her now, but I doubt very seriously she doesn’t find a way to board her again soon. It’s only a matter of time. It is possible to live on the outside of the train, although it is challenging. If anyone could survive, it would be Melanie. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to waiting a whole year for the train to pass by again.
We know what happened to Melanie and why the final ping didn’t work in the last episode. Technical difficulties caused the whole system to go down. She was able to fix it, though, so what happened after Wilford ordered the execution of the Breachman and the end of Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 6? Clearly, communication is down, and Javi and Ben are no longer running the train. Wilford appears to have everything he ever wanted. He has the train, his girl, and all the power left in this god-forsaken frozen world. Wilford doesn’t want Melanie to get back on the train with her model for hope. He doesn’t want those on Snowpiercer to have hope because that’s the only thing that can defeat him.
Next week should shed light on what Wilford has done to wrangle control away from Layton and his group. For their sake, I hope everyone’s all right. The future hangs in the balance. Catch up on all our Snowpiercer coverage here.
- I miss Miss Audrey’s songs. Please let her be safe.
- Has Alex been removed from the engine room too? If so, who is running the train? Wilford isn’t capable of it long-term.
- I heard mouse tastes just like chicken.
- A small colony of just six mice can expand to 60 in just three months. Surely there are enough mice there for Melanie to make it until Snowpiercer comes back.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.