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Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1 The Tortoise And The Hair Review-A Strong Opener

Where there’s a spark, there will eventually be fire and hope burns bright in even the coldest spaces on Big Alice as it lumbers to catch up and overtake Layton’s train in Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1.

Snowpiercer 301: Daveed Diggs

TNT’s sci-fi series is back with a solid premier. Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1 set the stage for a jam-packed season full of intrigue, action, and lots of bitter cold. The early complaints to Snowpiercer were its pacing. The murder mystery of Season 1 failed to keep some viewers interest. There was also a lack of identity to the train and its characters. Those complaints were somewhat valid in the early days. The series had a surprisingly slow start for a world that had the majority prebuilt for them, courtesy of Bong Joon Ho’s film that the series is based on. But, as with most things that require some patience, the payoff is worth it. After two complete seasons, these are people we are invested in. The trains and the promise of a hot zone are intriguing, and the stakes have been raised.

At the end of Snowpiercer Season 2, Layton and his small crew, with the help of Josie, broke free of Big Alice and the majority of the cars to look for Melanie and proof of the hot zone. Most of the rebel heavy hitters were on board Snowpiercer, including Bess, Ben, Layton, Josie, and Alex. They also had a few hostages in Miss Audrey, Sykes, and Martin. Unfortunately, stuck on Big Alice were Ruth, Pike, Zarah, and Javier, who is not dead but seems to wish he was. However, Wilford’s mad scientist managed to put him physically back together, if not mentally.

Six months after the trains separated, the action picks up, and neither is flourishing. In typical Wilford fashion, he is ruling through fear, pain, and intimidation while demanding loyalty while Layton and his small crew offer hope. Snowpiercer Season 3 is everything fans of the film and the series have been waiting for. The mutiny of Season 2 has given way to a full-fledged cold war, and Wilford may have the resources but not the fidelity he needs.

Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1
Snowpiercer 301: Sean Bean

Mr. Wilford’s “let them eat cake” philosophy continues on board Big Alice. He no longer has the class system to keep everyone in check. Instead, he uses pain, degradation, and humiliation to break people. When that doesn’t work, he employs his dog Jupiter and his henchman Kevin who is only too eager to dole out punishment. Chaos suits Mr. Wilford despite the rigid class structure he initially set up and plans on reinstating once the trains are connected again.

Until then, Wilford has been searching for the head of the resistance. He has no idea that Ruth, along with Pike, has kept hope alive. Furthermore, he has no idea Ruth is even on the train. She has been moving and hiding just out of reach, keeping track of Snowpiercer, and working the system to keep everyone as healthy and strong as possible until Layton returns. Ruth has come a long way from the chirpy authoritarian who believed without question her role in Hospitality was for the train’s good.

Alison Wright has crafted a brilliant character who has made a monumental shift in perspective. She isn’t just a member of Layton’s team. She is a leader and is willing to sacrifice to keep it going. That is a far cry from who she once was. Wilford is closing in, though and her latest move came in the knick of time. The Second Class Water Master gave out bath privileges to the resistance. Kevin used Oz and LJ, who is now running the Night Car, to find that out and brutally punish him and the resistance member by dousing them in filth from the sewer. It’s an effective but vicious deterrent. In the process, Wilford got dangerously close to catching Ruth.

Zarah, who has consistently proven herself to be a survivor, is helping Wilford. As we find out in the end, she has allowed Wilford’s mad scientist to experiment on her baby. Likely this is some cold genetic modification similar to what was done to Josie. How this will affect the baby and what Layton will think once they are reunited remains to be seen, but I doubt he is thrilled. Zarah is one of the most interesting characters and easiest to dislike because she chooses to be selfish and myopic at every turn.

When she left the Tail at the beginning for a chance in Third Class, she never looked back and didn’t feel guilty. Now she collaborates with Wilford and is naive enough to trust that the doctor has her baby’s best interest at heart. It’s foolish at best and downright dangerous at worst.

Layton is still searching for Melanie and proof that the Earth is heating up. Layton, Alex, Bess, Josie, and Bennett have been systematically ruling out all of the potential hot spots. Unfortunately, they haven’t found anything positive yet, and tensions are running as high as the hot engine, which wasn’t designed to run this light and stop this often. Ben fell through the ice on the latest stop for ice samples, and Josie and Layton are forced to try and rescue him. Alex and Bess have to get Snowpirecer moving to vent the heat and then reverse the train to pick Ben, Layton, and Josie back up. It’s a risky plan, but Layton refuses to leave any man behind.

The dynamics of the train engine have always been a point of intrigue. The science behind the engines and the complex systems necessary to keep all cars going has been as much a character as the humans on the train. Now that the trains are separated, that is even more true.

Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1
Snowpiercer 301: Lena Hall, Chelsea Harris, Stephen Lobo

Unfortunately, while Layton, Ben, and Josie are away, Miss Audrey, with the assistance of Martin, stage a coupe and knock out Bess. Curiously Sykes(Chelsea Harris) doesn’t stop Miss Audrey but doesn’t participate either. It will be interesting to see which side she chooses when the trains are united. There is only so long she can remain neutral.

Lena Hall(Audrey) was impressive in Season 1 but found her footing in Season 2 once she and Wilford reunited. Hall’s Audrey is nearly unrecognizable as the therapist turned Night Car manager and freedom fighter. She has lost touch with reality. Hall deftly navigates Audrey’s delusional swings allowing hints of the emotional damage she must have endured years before to surface.

Ever resourceful, Bess is able to come to and find a way out of the engine compartment to take back the train while Audrey is reminiscing about “Daddy” and smoking her last cigarette. Bess(Mickey Sumner) is no longer a reluctant member of the rebel faction. She is Layton’s partner and a capable fighter. She knocks out Martin and takes the train back from Audrey. Briefly, Alex was conflicted about who to believe but elected to trust her mother and Layton over Audrey and Mr. Wilford. Alex is an interesting and complex character who has been forced to adapt quickly. First to losing her mother, and next to aligning herself with the resistance against the man who essentially raised her for years. Rowan Blanchard(Alex) keeps Alex young and impressionable, which lends a lived-in quality to her performance. That allows Alex to read more believable.

The biggest mystery reveals itself by the end of Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1. While Josie was hauling Ben back to the train, Layton explored the facility Ben fell through. One of the walls was blood-stained, and some of the equipment was still working. Someone wearing a cold suit attacked him, but he managed to not only defeat them but find a way to replenish his suit. Before he passed out, he had visions of a desert landscape with alien-looking trees and shrubs. After his suit powers up, he brings his attacker back to the train instead of leaving her. Archie Panjabi joins the cast, and who she is and how she survived will be one of the many mysteries to unfold in Season 3.

Visually Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1 continues to impress. The snow and ice-packed devastation of once-great cities are stunning and horrifying. Anyone who has experienced subzero weather can tell you that cold is as beautiful as it is deadly. The enhanced attention to the world outside the trains makes the closed set on board feel desolate, claustrophobic, and joyless.

Our favorite passengers are back with a vengeance in Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1, which delivered on all the promises of the first two seasons. Trains on a closed loop can only avoid each other for so long. The inevitable fight is looming, and maybe there is hope for the Earth yet. Find all our Snowpiercer coverage here.

Stray Shards Of Ice:

  • Who knew Oz could play the piano. There might be a lot more to this opportunist than we thought.
  • I desperately want to see if he or LJ can sing?
  • Why is Layton having visions of a warm, dry place? Snowpiercer has always been rooted in science. Will this new plot beat take things in a supernatural direction?
  • What is the IV that poor Javier is hooked to? Does it keep him compliant or is he being expirimented on too?