If you didn’t hate Wilford before, you surely do now in a devastating Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 8 that changes everything.
It’s fitting that Sam Roche provided the opening voiceover. He has been the calm voice of reason for nearly two seasons. Even when he wasn’t Team Layton, he was always team peace. The heartbreaking end of Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 8 means the end of peace and potentially the end of Roche.
Sam Roche’s wife is right to be terrified. If Wilford takes the train, he could destroy her whole family. Roche argues that Wilford may offer stability, but he does so with intimidation and torture, while Layton only wants a better world for everyone. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes the “good guys” don’t win.
Since the trains were linked, Layton has been losing control of the train. People are scared, and when they are afraid, they are dangerous. Wilford’s arrival marks the return of a folk hero of sorts for them. His persona is larger than life and entirely false. Wilford’s ascent to the head of Snowpiercer was unfortunately inevitable. His rise to power is about manipulation and deception. He is willing to employ tactics Layton is not. Wilford was never playing fair.
Too bad those that follow him don’t realize how close they came to dying so this monster could reclaim control. They mean nothing to Wilford, regardless of what he says. They are nothing more than tools to be employed and exploited. LJ and Oz’s hard-boiled egg meal is ironic because the old saying rings true for Wilford. Sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. The omelet in question is, of course, unquestioned power. Wilford’s backstory and rise to power have been fascinating to watch because it closely mirrors what can happen in the real world. Dictators rise using the same ploys. This focus on Wilford increased the tension more than even the revolution last season because the parallels made the story assessable.
Everything with Wilford is smoke and mirrors. He is willing to sacrifice anything in his pursuit of control. He is brilliant, and Layton is no match for his Machiavellian machinations in large part because it would never occur to Layton to endanger innocents intentionally. Everything you need to know about him is in the interaction with Breachman Boscovic. The venting problem on the train requires someone to dislodge it outside the train manually. Boscovic is the only one left qualified, but Layton asks him instead of commanding him. He meets the man with respect and is met with hostility until Boscovic sees for himself what Wilford commanded Icy Bob to do. I am curious what his loyalty to Layton will mean for the future now that Wilford is back in charge.
A new day and another new problem aboard the train. This time there is mass flooding caused by a vent being sabotaged. That problem also is causing the train’s engine to malfunction. Wilford sent his frozen beast out to jam a bolt in the vent. He doesn’t need Icy Bob anymore because Josie is an upgraded version. Everything was a well-orchestrated ruse designed by Wilford to seize Snowpiercer. He created a situation where they needed his part. He refused to give it without coming on board too. Once there, it was a certainty. Snowpiercer had already started to turn red; his presence was the push they needed. Again Layton’s innate goodness is a weakness Wilford takes advantage of.
Daveed Diggs showed a rare vulnerability tonight in his defeat. Diggs has always played Layton with extreme altruism and reasonability. Tonight he showed pain. The Hamlet actor always has a ton of charisma. In Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 8, he showed sorrow. Wilford shouldn’t gloat. He has neutralized Roche, Layton, and Miss Audrey, but he underestimates Boscovic, Ruth, and Zara. There is also the possibility that Miss Audrey isn’t as on board as she seems. For everyone’s sake, I sure hope so. However, Lena Hall makes an outstanding villain. She is a frightening joy to watch. Wilford may have control of the train now, but there are enough of Layton’s allies left; he won’t have an easy time maintaining it.
There was a lot of talk about mirrors and illusions this week, and most of it was directed at Josie. Wilford and the Headwoods have altered Josie physically. Wilford and Miss Audrey are trying to change her mind. Miss Audrey tells her, “the future is yours if you just look in the mirror.” Is that a coded message, or is she telling her the rebellion is already over?
As the flare burned over the train and Layton was restrained, everyone’s hopes were squelched. Those who know better know Wilford offers only oppression and danger. With only two episodes left, we will have to wait a little longer to see if Melanie manages to get back on board. Likely we won’t see that until the season finale. At the very least, Wilford should watch his back because Josie and Alex could be a formidable duo he wouldn’t expect. The enemy of my enemy and all that. You can find all our Snowpiercer coverage here.
- Now that Josie understands her skin is impervious to the cold, what will she do? I have no doubt Wilford intends on weaponizing her like he did Icy Bob. He will find her much harder to turn, though.
- The ultimate opportunist Osweiller and murderess LJ are a match made in Hell.
- With Wilford back in charge, the Janitors should rise again. What does this mean for Pike, who is both a Tailie and hated by Terrance?
- For such a complex train, the computer system is awfully simple. Also, what was the plan if Big Alice never existed? Did they not have any of these problems in the years before Layton caught up to them?
- Does Wilford have enough control to force all of the Tailies back into the Tail? It will be hard to unring that bell.
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.