This week’s episode of Snowpiercer is all about conflict, as revolution has finally arrived but we also see several other characters at odds beyond Layton (Daveed Diggs) and company waging their class warfare on those who wield more power and influence over the titular train.
Before we get into the revolution business at hand, let’s dive into all the other happenings going on in “These Are His Revolutions.” After her meeting with Commander Grey (Timothy V. Murphy) and the Folgers (Kerry O’Malley, Vincent Gale), Ruth (Alison Wright) finds herself front and center of a coup in First Class, as the elite passengers on Snowpiercer want to get to the bottom of just who exactly is running the train – Mr. Wilford or Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly), who just happens to always have a means of covering up the fact that the leader and creator of Snowpiercer isn’t actually aboard the train. The jig is up now, though, as everyone in First Class is officially onto Melanie’s ruse, and after some theatrics, Ruth and Grey have her taken into custody and brought to the Hospitality suite, which we know from previous weeks, isn’t good news for Melanie whatsoever.
With Melanie contained, Ruth sets out to see the truth for herself and as she storms the Engine room area, Wilford’s most loyal employee figures out that Melanie has kept her in the dark for the last seven years about just who is running Snowpiercer, and she is visibly pissed off. She eventually heads back to speak with Melanie and I gotta say, this scene between Wright and Connelly is easily one of the best we’ve seen during this entire first season of Snowpiercer. Just brilliant work from both actresses all-around.
In Second Class, the relationship between Breakman Till (Mickey Sumner) and Jinju (Susan Park) is on the rocks, with Till’s secretive behavior (which we find out is related to her involvement with Layton’s plans) causing a major divide between her and her girlfriend. Personally, I’m a bit bummed out about this development because I like Till and Jinju together, so I’m hoping things work out between them before we wrap up this season, because I want those crazy kids to make a real go at it for season two.
Now, time for La Révolution!
With Layton leading the charge, the passengers from the lower classes finally head into battle during “These Are His Revolutions,” with all the key figures ready to do their part. We’ve got Henry Klimpt (Happy Anderson) releasing several of the Tailies from his suspension drawers, but one interesting development is that one of the Tailies wakes up speaking Mandarin, which isn’t a language he even knows. At the same time, Layton makes his way to the Tail to assemble everyone, and with their makeshift weapons at the ready, they’re ready to do battle to the bitter end.
Episode 8 is easily this season’s most action-packed thus far, and while I won’t say that the fight choreography stands out as anything wholly innovative, things do get pretty nasty during a blood-soaked brawl in the Nightcar as well as an attack on the lower part of the train which involved several Tailies shooting metal stakes at the Snowpiercer security forces which was a pretty gnarly. I also dug how the Nightcar battle kicked off with an homage to Se7en, with some poor sap’s head left inside of a box for Grey and his cronies to discover, and Till was a total badass during this scene as well.
After the initial melee, one of the biggest developments in “These Are His Revolutions” is that Pike (played by the always awesome Steven Ogg, who some horror fans will recognize from The Walking Dead. Personally, I loved him as Trevor in GTA V.) has not only gone missing from his suspension drawer, but he’s now hanging out with a bunch of folks from First Class, eating some delicious-looking chocolate cake. As he greedily demands another slice, he tells his new friends that he has no problem delivering Layton to them, which of course means we’ve got a major double-cross on our hands.
Episode 8 ends with Layton looking like he’s in full-on Schwarzenegger in Predator mode, which means there’s more carnage to come before things wrap up in a few weeks. But if I were to try and capture the essence of what the theme of “These Are His Revolutions” is, it would be perfectly summarized in the moment when Ruth comes to the realization that there’s no Mr. Wilford to be found aboard the Snowpiercer, and she asks, “What will people believe in?”
It’s a real faith-shaking moment for her, akin to someone discovering there’s no God, and it’ll be interesting to see how that reveal will play out amongst all the other passengers once they get wind that their fearless leader and inspiration behind their survival is merely a myth at this point.