Snowpiercer was an exciting new series when it started almost two months ago. Its post-apocalyptic setting on a train was an effective mirror of our stratified world. Alas after the initial mystery of the ‘murder’ was solved by taillie detective Layton (played by Daveed Diggs) the story became muddled. Snowpiercer was always going to be about the insurrection of the downtrodden taillies and third class passengers against the powers that be. It has taken until Snowpiercer S01E07, “The Universe Is Indifferent”, for the series to get back on track. With just three episodes to go the story is finally focusing on the uprising that will surely come in the season finale. That said, the series is also slowly accumulating artifacts, mostly common sci-fi tropes, that at times makes it frustrating to watch. I am however a continued fan of Jennifer Connelly‘s depiction of the femme-fatale Melanie.
Episode 7 starts with Melanie preparing for the inevitable showdown with Layton. She is sure he knows the secret of Wilford’s death. Before he can use it against her she assigns Miles, a child from the tail, to become an engineer. Effectively making him a hostage. Josie does manage to briefly contact him and elicits a promise he will help them in a rebellion. Meanwhile Commander Grey and the Folders convince Ruth to plot against Melanie. Ruth tries to warn Melanie but she ignores her causing Ruth to consider the offer more seriously. The reason Melanie ignores Ruth is because she was in the midst of torturing Josie. Whom Melanie believes knows the location of Layton. Bess worries Josie might involve her own part in Layton’s disappearance and undoes one of her bindings.
The torture of Josie culminates in a frozen finger shattering, thus putting the show back on its previous gratuitous setting. When Josie undescapes her bindings a struggle ensues eventually causing the room to freeze by the outside air. Josie does, which does not nothing to lessen Layton’s hatred. What is also becoming gratuitous is the sex scene between Bess and Jinju. While they make a happy couple it is an obvious attempt at creating foreshadowing when one of them inevitable won’t survive until next season. Meanwhile Layton attempts to recruit third class leaders for his uprising. He succeeds when he iterates Melanie Cavill’s secret, thus ensuring the rebellion will inevitably be sparked. Now Melanie has to face the possibility the Folger’s will learn of her secret ensuring she has to fight on two fronts. All in all Melanie’s thin veneer of sanity appears to be slipping.
There are still a number of secondary story threads intermingling with the main plot. Layton relationship with Josie has come to an abrupt end with her death, but Melanie has also sent a pregnant Zarah to the tail. Terrence, the drug dealer, deftly manages to avoid retaliation from both Melanie and Layton. The former knows he was involved with Layton’s escape. Meanwhile, Javier, the engineer who is also in the know about Wilford’s death continues to complain about the risks associated with that secret. The glances he receives from both Melanie and Bennett marks him for death as well. The Folgers continue to be ostracized by the other first-class passengers. Which is not surprising as their daughter LJ was found with a box of severed penises in her bedroom. LJ is seen hanging around Audrey’s nightclub. During the last scene we see Layton telling her Melanie’s secret.
Conclusion to Snowpiercer S01E07
And so we have come to the end of episode 7 of Snowpiercer. With just three episode to go, there is a lot to get excited about. However, I do get the sense the writer’s struggle to keep the various story threads aligned. Twists and turns follow each other in quick succession for often no other reason than drama. Melanie psyche has taken a darker turn, but I wonder if there is any room for redemption. She does not fit the classic villain mold. In fact most characters move a lot on the good versus evil spectrum which can viewing Snowpiercer feel inconsistent. This was it for my review of Snowpiercer S01E07. If you enjoyed reading this article then please fill in the subscription widget on the right.