Even though I was looking forward to watching a Melanie-centric episode of Snowpiercer, ‘Many Miles from Snowpiercer’ didn’t meet my expectations.
A writing trope I don’t like is characters hallucinating about other characters and having conversations. Such interactions are not ‘real’ and basically bring nothing to the overall narrative or character development. ‘Many Miles from Snowpiercer’ had Melanie hallucinate about Wilford, Layton, and Alex as she tried to address numerous issues while surviving for a month in an isolated research station.
The episode opened well enough. We saw Melanie ride a snowmobile toward the research station. Of course, it broke down some distance away from her destination and she had to trek on foot. I rolled my eyes when the snowmobile stopped. It’s something that happens in almost every fictional show to amp up the tension.
Anyway, I did like the writing team not wasting any time to bring in a bit of creepiness in this week’s episode. Melanie found the bodies of dead scientists at the station. Following Melanie’s journey as she learned more about the three scientists and how two of them were forced to kill and eat the third for survival was quite intense. With her food supplies limited due to an avalanche (again, I rolled my eyes at such a plot-induced disaster), I was anxiously waiting to see if Melanie would have to start eating dead human meat, too.
But my worries were soon swatted away when Melanie found a colony of rats at the station. Apparently, the rats survived due to a nearby thermal vent. So, yeah, Melanie didn’t have to resort to eating human meat.
I wonder what the rest of the fandom thinks about the thermal vent and the existence of rats for Melanie to eat. It came across as plot-induced convenience to me.
As for the hallucinations, Wilford mocked Melanie and pecked at her insecurities. Layton provided support and told her to survive at any cost. He also talked about how starving would make Melanie realize what the Tailies had to experience on Snowpiercer. Alex encouraged Melanie whenever she was doing tech-related work.
Frankly, I could have done away with the hallucinations. If Melanie was supposed to hallucinate, she should have had conversations with the dead scientists as she slowly lost her mind. Also, a more interesting choice would have been Wilford and Melanie having some kind of radio communication channel. Melanie could have ignored Wilford’s calls at first. However, being alone and hungry without any human interaction would have forced her to talk to Wilford even if everything he mentioned involved belittling her attempts to save humanity. But, alas, I’m not a writer on Snowpiercer.
I did like the flashbacks, though. Since the first season, we know that Melanie realizing Wilford was only looking out for himself is what led her to steal the train. ‘Many Miles from Snowpiercer’ gave us the details. The scene where Wilford had his guards shoot the scientists that Melanie wanted just to show her that he was in charge of everything was quite intense. Melanie had to start the train without Wilford on it to ensure everyone’s safety, even if it meant leaving her daughter behind. In my opinion, she made the right choice.
Anyway, with how things ended in ‘Many Miles from Snowpiercer’, I guess Melanie should get ready to wait another month for Snowpiercer to pick her up?
With only four more episodes left, I have no idea how the writers will conclude everything or if we will be getting a third season.
Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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