‘Snowpiercer’ 1×02 Review – Prepare to Brace

Prepare to Brace review Snowpiercer
Melanie in ‘Prepare to Brace’ (Image: Screengrab)

The second episode of Snowpiercer, titled ‘Prepare to Brace,’ made the train experience a serious loss. We got some more queer characters as well as a bit of information about why Mr. Wilford wanted a passenger’s murder to be solved ASAP.

TNT provided me with a free screener of Prepare to Brace for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

As I mentioned in my review of the series premiere, the events of the TV show, while not directly related to the Snowpiercer movie, occur before everything went very wrong on the train. The title ‘Prepare to Brace’ perfectly fit what happened in this episode. Things are going to grow worse for the residents of Snowpiercer and they better be prepared if they want to survive.

From what I could understand, due to the train’s momentum, there’s a high chance of causing avalanches in the terrain the Snowpiercer’s currently traveling through. While the vehicle was able to handle the first avalanche, Melanie/Mr. Wilford was warned about there being a bigger one along the way and slowing down the train was a recommendation she should consider.

Well, Melanie, for some reason, didn’t agree to slow down the train and that ended up costing her dearly. ‘Prepare to Brace’ showed all of the cows in the train freezing to death due to the avalanche damaging the compartment they were in.

One of the interesting things about the Snowpiercer series is that we will get to see things change from bad to worse. The cows dying was only the beginning for what’s yet to come. Also, due to the food and other resources becoming even more limited than before, it’s always the Tailies who have their stuff cut down first. Lowered resources aren’t going to sit well with a community that’s more than ready to fight for their lives.

In a sense, I can feel for Melanie. Running Snowpiercer and ensuring a delicate balance is maintained isn’t an easy task. Also, she’s isn’t happy about how the process of bringing people back from hibernation isn’t working perfectly (the bodies have started to decompose).

I still don’t know what Melanie plans to do with The Drawers. Does she want to put random people to sleep for a couple of years to save resources? I have no idea.

Furthermore, not only does she have to keep the Tailies in check she also has to make sure the first-class passengers remain comfortable and don’t demand to see Mr. Wilford and blow Melanie’s cover. Chaos has been bubbling for a very long time on Snowpiercer, and it’s going to erupt soon.

As for the murder-mystery aspect of the narrative, we saw Layton teaming up with Bess. Visiting the Night Car is when Layton got the lead he’s been waiting for. Layton’s ex, Zara, ended up telling him that Shaun (the guy who was murdered) was likely a snitch because he got perks other lower-class people didn’t.

It was easy for Layton to connect the dots. He realized the reason Mr. Wilford wanted the mystery solved had to do with Mr. Wilford being afraid of what Shaun might have told the murderer before dying. I enjoyed Layton using that piece of information in front of Melanie as a trump card only for Melanie to smack it down.

While Melanie appreciated Layton’s detective skills, she made sure to tell him not to forget that the only reason he’s still alive was due to Mr. Wilford. She told him that the murderer was still on the train and it was in Layton’s best interest to find the criminal as soon as possible.

In my opinion, Jennifer Connelly is killing it in her role as Melanie/Mr. Wilfrod. She shows the character’s vulnerable side where necessary, and when it’s time to be tough, you can tell Melanie can be ruthless when push comes to shove.

Other thoughts and questions:

  • Remember the cannibalism storyline from the movie? The series kept it.
  • The series also kept the highly addictive drug called Kronole.
  • ‘Prepare to Brace’ showed John Osweiller to be a queer character. Now, seeing him give the Tailies medicine and other stuff in exchange for sexual favors wasn’t a good look. But that’s just the kind of character he is. Anyway, don’t worry about poorly written queer representation because Snowpiercer has queer characters on the good side, too.
  • The special room in the Night Car for helping people with their emotions reminded me of the A.I. from indie sci-fi movie Aniara.
  • I have to say that the scene where the little girl was going to be punished by having her arm frozen off didn’t sit well with me. Even though the girl’s mother stood up to be punished in her place, I was expecting more people to offer their arm up to save the girl. Aren’t the Tailies all about sticking together and stuff?   
  • Seeing Layton go through so much trouble and physical pain only to see him fail to send a message to the Tail was sad.

Did you watch ‘Prepare to Brace’? What did you think of it?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

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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