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Photo: TNT

Television

‘Snowpiercer’ season 3 episode 8 review: ‘Setting Itself Right”

Is there someone else out there in Snowpiercer?

No sooner does the train lose another passenger then they may have found another. But is the vehicle spotted on the tracks by the end of this week’s episode really Melanie or are we about to meet someone new? “Setting Itself Right” was an intense hour that took Snowpiercer through dangerous, new terrain and tested its passenger’s abilities to overcome their fears.

As expected, Wilford’s detection of someone out there — maybe Melanie — moving along the track drawing down power proved too tempting to ignore. Especially when it’s tracked back to near the Rocky Mountain test track Melanie was last seen. But even Wilford seemed surprised to find hundreds of kilometers of toxic, volcanic chemicals that would “burn your lungs right out” directly in our survivors’ path. The exterior of the train proved capable of withstanding the chemicals, but a leak near the meat and agriculture section of the train threatened to deplete vital resources until Asha sacrificed herself to save the day.

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After last week’s less-than-stellar detour into Layton’s subconscious, it was great to see the series get back on track and tell a high-stakes suspense story that is still centered around characters. Javier overcame his fear of Wilford’s dog Jupiter to save Sykes while Bess allowed herself to be truly vulnerable with Miss Audrey giving herself a much-needed emotional release.

Whether this relationship blossoms into a full-blown romance or remains platonic, I’m liking the direction the writers are taking with them even if the setup in prior episodes was handled clumsily. Even Sam and Carly Roche are starting to heal from the loss of the family’s matriarch with a lovely scene where the two sing and dance along to Roxy Music’s “More than This.”

But while the Roches and Bess Till are healing, LJ  was having part of her thigh flayed by Dr. Headwood. These two remain Snowpiercer’s two most wonderfully weird passengers, and I love that they’ve found each other. At this point, we’re only aware of Headwood’s experimentation into enhancing skin to survive the frigid post-Freeze environment. So was this skin donation just contributing to that research? Given the successes of Icy Bob and Josie — along with the related experimentation performed on newborn Leanna — I can’t help but wonder if this will go towards something else.

snowpiercer 3.8.2

Photo: TNT

Speaking of Leanna and her mom, Zarah’s willingness to trust Wilford, of all people, to hold the baby so soon after the Pike incident opens up interesting avenues to explore regarding their dynamic.

But there was one plot point that confounded and disappointed me, the decision to kill our newest wild card passenger so soon. Asha was teased in the season premiere and as early as the marketing trailers for the new season and yet was kept to the background until being quickly dispatched. It seems like a waste of a unique, new character with a very different perspective than the crews of Snowpiercer and Big Alice.

“Setting Itself Right” opened up a lot of new directions to explore. Whether that be relationships between unlikely character pairings — like Bess and Audrey or Zarah and Wilford or LJ and Dr. Headwood — or introducing interesting mysteries regarding the chemical storm the train encountered and who is in that manned vehicle at the end.

Everything points to the passenger being Melanie, so it’s likely not going to be Melanie. Could this relate to those marauders Asha casually referred to episodes ago that nobody has brought up again since? It would be nice to have Asha around to tell us more about what Snowpiercer’s survivors don’t know. Oh, well. This week continued the search for Melanie and restored Andre Layton’s faith that the best is yet to come. Hopefully, that will prove true for the show itself.

snowpiercer 3.8.2
‘Snowpiercer’ season 3 episode 8 review: ‘Setting Itself Right”
Snowpiercer S 3 E 8: "Setting Itself Right"
"Setting Itself Right" opened up a lot of new directions to explore. Whether that be relationships between unlikely character pairings -- like Bess and Audrey or Zarah and Wilford or LJ and Dr. Headwood -- or introducing interesting mysteries regarding the chemical storm the train encountered and who is in that manned vehicle at the end. This week continued the search for Melanie and restored Andre Layton's faith that the best is yet to come. Hopefully, that will prove true for the show itself.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Opens up new, interesting story possibilities
LJ and Dr. Headwood are wonderfully creepy oddballs
Tight suspense
Strong character development
Asha died too soon and feels like wasted story potential
7.5
Good

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