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Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 4 Bound By One Track Review-Melanie And Wilford Affect The Train Dead Or Alive

Ghosts and memories collide in a powerful and shocking Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 4 that puts everything in perspective.

Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 4
Courtesy of TNT-pictured Steven Ogg

Melanie is everywhere and nowhere in Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 4. The ghosts of Snowpiercer’s past haunt Alex and Wilford for different reasons. When the train finds debris on the tracks, they have to make a decision. Spend twenty-three days going around the debris or moving it. Unfortunately, Alex knows what is on the track, and she is forced to face her demons.

What do you do when you can’t let go of the past? For some, memories remind us where we have come from and where we are going. They can bolster us in our darkest moments but just as easily drag us down in our weakest moments. It’s the difference between regret and acceptance. They are both in the same arena, but only one will prevent you from growing. The difference is Wilford thinks the negative emotions associated with remorse are pointless while holding on to your rage and blame prop you up. He doesn’t understand that the past and the future collide in the present, and even the great and powerful Wilford can’t stop it.

Wilford culled half of his crew on Big Alice years ago when Alex was young. Early on, he realized they didn’t have enough resources and tested everyone for intelligence, independent thought, physical strength, and stamina. Families were split up, and children sacrificed for the sake of those Wilford deemed valuable. It’s a cruel thing to make Alex be involved with. Wilford tried to lessen the blow with everyone by making them feel special. Those he hand-picked were indoctrinated to believe they were chosen and worthy. It’s not unlike what cult leaders do.

Alex feels guilty for leaving her friend Shiloh. While intellectually she knows she was a child and not to blame, emotionally, it is devastating. Having to face what happened to her friend is rough, and Rowan Blanchard(Alex) does a remarkable job this week reminding us that she may have the intelligence of an adult, but she is just a kid. Through Alex’s visions of Melanie, she understands what happened was not her fault. Mel helps her know that it is okay to hate and love Wilford. He acted as a parent to her, and she isn’t to blame for his sins any more than she can turn off the feelings of affection she has for her friend.

The train can get underway again once Alex can channel the best parts of her relationship with Wilford and figure out the clamping problem. That solves the immediate issue, but there are several more looming. First, Roche wants revenge for what happened to him and his family. Being drawered isn’t like sleeping, and he knows his wife didn’t pass peacefully. He tried to kill Wilford, but the man is as tough to kill as a cockroach, and he is in critical care but still alive. However, it did provide Alex a chance to realize that Wilford is a man no more or less than any other, and he is vulnerable.

Bess and Roche are a nice partnership, not unlike one a father and daughter would have. It is built on respect and care, and Mike O’Malley(Roche) and Mickey Sumner(Bess) are wonderful to watch together. Their growing relationship is a hallmark of the series that I am glad to see again. Hopefully, Roche can move past this for the sake of his daughter.

Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 4
Courtesy of TNT-pictured Archie Panjabi

The second problem is Javi. The poor man is haunted by Jupiter, Wilford’s dog that attacked him. It distracts him, it torments him, and it could make him a liability if he can’t get it under control. Unfortunately, he isn’t the only one who has PTSD. Asha saw and did things while surviving in the bunker that haunts her. She tells Bess she will keep their secret because she sees what the lie does for everyone’s souls. For now, that is enough for Bess to trust her, but I wonder how long she can keep this up? I also worry that Asha has things in her past that may hurt the group moving forward.

Layton and Zarah’s baby has been experimented on. Dr. Headwood did the same kind of cold gene therapy on their baby that she did on Josie. Layton is understandably angry, but Zarah justifies it by saying she is giving her baby a shot to survive since Layton is taking the train to such an unsafe place. She tells him that he has a choice to carry around that rage or accept what has happened. He accepts it for now, but that could change depending on what happens with his baby. It’s by no mistake that the scene in which Layton describes the tree vision to Zarah is bathed in a golden glow. Layton represents life and hope, while Zarah is the cold determination of survival. Both are needed, but they constantly war with one another.

Lastly, lovely Ruth and Pike finally connect. It’s been brewing for a while now, and we were rewarded for our patience. They seem like an odd couple until you remember Ruth’s story. She isn’t afraid of someone a little rough around the edges as long as they love her. Alison Wright’s Ruth has a soft quality in Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 4 that we have never seen before. Ruth is a complex character that has been built over time into a fan favorite.

Pike seems to care for her genuinely, but his reluctance to commit to a position on Layton’s team is problematic. He even goes so far as to suggest she should be in charge. Although often played for comic relief by Steven Ogg, Pike is dangerous. He has relationships that could be as useful as they are detrimental. I can only hope she can corral his more hazardous instincts. He has many secrets and is resourceful. He could be a valuable ally or a destructive foe.

Ghosts haunt everyone in Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 4. Things they have had to endure and things they have had to do distract everyone this week. They also laid the groundwork for growth. Snowpiercer is on a collision course with destiny, and I’m guessing it will require everyone to survive. Find all our Snowpiercer coverage here.

Stray Icicles

  • I ship Ruth and Pike so hard, but I’m afraid his self-destructive tendencies are going to get in the way.
  • What are these memories that Asha keeps having? Did she kill someone in self-defense, or is there something else that happened?
  • Where was Josie this week? She is an integral part of Layton’s team, and I worry she is spinning out after Layton and Zarah reunite.
  • Jennifer Connelly(Melanie) being back is great, but it does make it seem even more likely Melanie is gone for good. I would love to see Wilford’s face, however, if she returns in the flesh, all the time he has spent thinking about her.