The resistance is on the move aboard the Snowpiercer, but the long, 10-mile march from the tail to the engine is proving even more perilous and costly than Andre Layton may have bargained for in “There Are His Revolutions.”
LJ, of all people, made for the perfect messenger to make contact with Miles in the engine and confirm Mr. Wilford’s absence. Not only do the Folgers trust their daughter, but LJ delighted in causing the ensuing chaos as she taunted Melanie while exposing the secret in front of the whole first-class dining car.
It resulted in a quick reversal of fortune for Melanie, who found herself in the same position Josie was last week, strapped to an interrogation desk. There, she was a captive audience for Ruth grappling with her world being shattered by the news her messiah never boarded in the first place, that the man she’d pinned all her hopes on was nothing but a charlatan, and that Melanie was the real “man behind the curtain” the whole time.
Lucky for Melanie, a gullible guard allowed her to signal a lockdown up in the engine before Ruth’s seemingly unilateral decision to sentence Melanie to death. But when Javi predictably became a turncoat, Bennett locked him out too, leaving only himself and Miles in the engine. For now, Miles is probably meant to just sit and wait until his fellow tailies arrive and then let them in, but if he finds out his adopted mom Josie was murdered, he could end up making a rash and potentially disastrous decision.
Nearly everyone has now chosen a side with Bennett and Jinju appearing to be Melanie’s only allies while even Roche joined Andre and Bess. Osweiler is the rare player on the board whose allegiance at this point is unclear. He’s rejected the Tailie and Third-Class alliance, but it’s a mystery whether he’ll side with Melanie, side with the First-Class insurgency, or choose a third option. Even Dr. Klimt is seemingly cooperating with Team Layton. Meanwhile the newly reawakened Pike, in a scene quite reminiscent of Cypher’s betrayal in The Matrix, has chosen Commander Grey and Ruth’s side. Terrence, ever serving his own interests, is likely to play all sides and back whoever wins.
It’s a bit disappointing to see Melanie’s lack of contingency plans. She still controls the engine, which is an important long-term advantage, but it’s unclear how Bennett can best exploit it other than bluff by threatening to kill everyone by stopping the train. Even if he momentarily did so to demonstrate his sincerity, would anyone seriously believe he’s ruthless enough to let everyone die? And Bennett can’t leave the engine to rescue Melanie from the interrogation room, leaving Jinju as her only known ally who can move freely throughout Snowpiercer unless Osweiller declares himself for Team Melanie.
“There Are His Revolutions” was an action-packed episode with action scenes that were a mixed bag. The strobe light effect used during the battle in the night car was distracting and felt like it was more the product of disguising logistical weaknesses in the production than enhancing the scene. It’s disappointing then that this felt like the battle the production team was most excited about. If this series does continue into future seasons, they’re going to have to figure out how to better stage battles within the limitations of the confined spaces of this train. As the big, featured battle of the episode, the night car sequence mostly fell flat.
It’s also a bit of a bummer that Pike has been out of the picture for so long since his betrayal might have carried larger personal stakes and made a more interesting reveal if he’d been a character we had been following this whole time.