Truth be told, I’m writing this recap as the world around me is pretty much falling down on itself, so it’s hard to even justify taking the effort to dig into any sort of entertainment right now, but my brain could use a little distraction for the next hour as I write this up, so here we go, I guess.

We’re now into the third episode of Snowpiercer, “Access is Power,” and its title is very revealing, as the theme of access is crucial for various characters this week, and it really feels like things are being to ramp up story-wise, both in terms of Layton (Daveed Diggs) solving the murder aboard the titular transport, and the mounting tensions amongst the various passengers, and what they would do to get themselves into certain parts of the train or to get their hands on items only available on the black market of the Snowpiercer.

When this series started, we learned goes into maintaining some semblance of status and lawfulness as Mr. Wilford so desires. But through the opening monologue, we see the idea that people don’t exactly adhere to the rules of the Snowpiercer, and perhaps there’s been a lot more co-mingling between the passenger class system than those in charge would like.

Sensing some dissension amongst the First Class passengers, Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) decides to move up the barbaric Fight Night as a distraction, which provides Third Class passengers with the chance to move up to Second Class if they can survive the barbaric battle. But the event is only a small part of the happenings in episode 3, as Layton discovers that there’s an underground drug being peddled aboard the Snowpiercer called Kronole, which happens to be connected with Klimt, the doctor in charge of the sleepers who are stuck in stasis inside the drawers.

As it turns out, Sean Wise, the deceased gentleman whose limbs and genitals were removed, was connected to the distribution of Kronole, and as Layton questions the head janitor Terence, who just so happens to have his fingers in a whole lot of pots, he tells Layton that he knows the man who was with Sean just right before he died: a Vin Diesel-esque dude, who just so happens to be guarding one of the elite families, The Folgers, on the titular train.

Speaking of The Folgers, during Fight Night, poor Nikki (the gal who witnessed the first murder aboard the Snowpiercer and had just recently been brought out of her medically induced sleep coma), happens to stumble into the event, which happens to coincide with a sneaky look between the Folgers’ daughter LJ (played by Annalise Basso, who some horror fans might recognize from Ouija: Origin of Evil and Oculus) and the weird family body guard, which was definitely a huge red flag.

The other red flag of the episode came in the final few moments when the mysterious body guard brutally murders several people, and makes his way into Nikki’s room, which can only mean all sorts of bad news for that poor girl who has been through nothing but hell already.

A few other developments from episode 3 that definitely have some strong potential include the challenges that Melanie and the crew of the Snowpiercer are faced with following the devastating breach from last week’s episode. Many are encouraging Melanie to disconnect the tail section of the train, which of course would kill everyone tucked away there, but she’s not ready to give up on the Tailies just yet, which is extremely intriguing since it seems like the obvious fix and would greatly benefit the rest of the passengers. I also enjoyed that we got to see Breachman Till (the stellar Mickey Sumner), and truthfully, the more time we spend with her character on Snowpiercer, the happier I am as a viewer.

And in line with the episode’s title, we also see just exactly how those who may lack the social power to move about freely are able to do so through a bit of ingenuity.

Truth be told, the script for “Access is Power” was a bit silly and obtuse at times, where it just felt like some of the narrative pieces of the Snowpiercer puzzle were presented to us, but they just felt conveniently placed, as opposed to naturally locking together. That being said, I’m still enjoying Snowpiercer for what it is (a police procedural wrapped up in a social thriller), and based on teasers, I still feel like there’s a lot to look forward to once the Revolution finally comes about.

[Photo Credit: Above photos by Justina Mintz.]

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    After falling in love with the horror genre at a very early age, Heather Wixson has spent the last decade carving out a name for herself in the genre world as a both a journalist and as a proponent of independent horror cinema. Wixson is currently the Managing Editor for, and was previously a featured writer at and where her online career began; she’s also been a contributor at FEARnet as well as a panelist for several of their online programs.

    Wixson recently finished her first book, Monster Squad: Celebrating the Artists Behind Cinema's Most Memorable Creatures, and is currently working on her second upcoming book project on special effects artists as well.

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