Snowpiercer 3×01 Review – “The Tortoise and the Hare”

Tortoise and the Hare Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1 review
Layton and his crew going over data in ‘The Tortoise and the Tree’ (Screengrab: Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1)

The season 3 premiere of Snowpiercer, titled ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’, offered an exciting beginning to a new chapter in Layton’s mission to find someplace for humanity to restart.

With the previous season ending with Snowpiercer traveling the world to analyze certain potential locations where the climate could be growing warm enough for humans, I wasn’t expecting ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ to begin the latest season with a six-month-long jump. A lot’s changed for Big Alice as far as the living conditions were concerned. I think Joseph could do something to make life better for the passengers if he wasn’t so obsessed with getting Snowpiercer back from Layton and saving Audrey.

Of course, the resistance still existed inside Big Alice. I was pleasantly surprised to see Ruth being the leader of the resistance. Her current role made sense for her character. The resistance needed someone hopeful right now and not necessarily a fighter. Ruth’s trust in Melanie and Layton’s plan to find a warm enough place was helping keep everyone’s hopes up. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if hope continued to wane down the line. Even Pike questioned whether or not Layton would return for them all.

Also, I can’t wait to see Joseph’s reaction when he realizes that Ruth’s leading the resistance against his dictatorship. He’s very impressed by the charts the “mystery” leader left behind as Ruth ran away before his troops could find her.

Joseph’s clearly planning something. He wants everything to go back to how it once was. He didn’t even detach the First-Class carriages even though Big Alice was running low on power. As far as he’s concerned, him capturing Snowpiercer isn’t a question of if but when. Failure isn’t an option for him at this point.

And right by Joseph’s side, enjoying his new role as Head Evil Minion, was Kevin. While I wouldn’t be sad to see Kevin get what he deserved for being such a horrible person, I kind of enjoy seeing him being all excited to do Joseph’s bidding. Kevin’s connection to Joseph continues to be a weird mix of loyalty, fear, and sexual attraction. And I’m here for it.

Taking about weird connections, Audrey’s in the same boat as Kevin. Six months of being away from Joseph did nothing to help her break free from Joseph’s psychosexual hold on her. Audrey’s annoyingly loyal to Joseph and I was glad Bess decided to knock her out when she tried to sway Alex and compromised Snowpiercer.

Funnily enough, Martin’s revealed to be a stowaway on Snowpiercer. Apparently, he was taking a nap and didn’t realize he had left his husband and children back in Big Alice. As of watching the premiere episode, I don’t have anything against Martin. He seems to be trying to do what’s possible to find a way to return to Big Alice. But I would like him to pick a side and stick with it. Either he’s with Layton or against him.

Syke’s loyalty to Joseph seemed to be wavering. So, hopefully, spending some more time with her and realizing that Audrey’s not really his friend will help Martin see just how messed up it is to want Joseph to continue running things.

I think the episode did a good job of jumping between what was happening inside the two trains. As Joseph and Kevin tried to capture the leader of the resistance, Layton and his crew (Josie, Ben, Alex, and Bess) worked on Melanie’s plan while also trying to figure out a way not to overheat and permanently damage Snowpiercer in the process.

I liked seeing the little argument Josie had with Layton. I could understand where she was coming from. Josie didn’t plan on being involved in a mission to find a warm place. Her goal was to rid Snowpiercer of Joseph. She got involved in the current mess due to certain events. I got why she questioned Layton’s decision to keep working on Melanie’s plan.

One could argue that Layton was looking at the bigger picture, trying to find a way for humanity to begin building again without being stuck in an ever-moving train. However, Josie’s opinion was valid, too. There’s no guarantee that Melanie’s mission would actually lead to the results they were hoping for. And the longer they stayed away from Big Alice, the longer their friends in that train had to keep resisting Joseph without them.

Now, does a livable location exist out there? I do think so. And I also think Layton and his crew will be able to find it. The search might take them a few more episodes, heck it could even take them all the way up to the season 3 finale, but it will happen considering what was shown in ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’.

After rescuing Ben (who fell into some kind of nuclear facility while collecting snow samples), Layton decided to search the premises. And that’s how he got to experience two very interesting developments. Layton found a mystery woman who had somehow managed to survive while living at the nuclear plant. He Layton also got mysterious visions of a Dragon Blood Tree while he was running low on oxygen.

Due to Layton finding a survivor, I think it lends some credibility to the fan theory that Melanie managed to survive as well. And with the Dragon Blood Tree being native to the Socotra archipelago (according to Wikipedia), I guess Layton and his crew will be headed there soon?

If that particular location does end up being warm enough for humans, I hope the writers share why Layton saw it in a vision. Did he figure out the coordinates while repeatedly going through the collected data without him fully realizing what he just did and his brain was trying to relay the information through a vision? I highly doubt the writers will treat Layton’s vision as some kind of divine intervention due to plot convenience.

Some other thoughts and questions:

  • I’m kind of here for Ruth and Pike becoming a thing.
  • Kevin sniffing the person giving away free hot baths to those aiding the resistance made me laugh.
  • Do you think Melanie’s still alive?
  • Poor Javi. I hope someone rescues him from Joseph soon.
  • I don’t know about you, but Ben was quick to stop Josie from leaving Snowpiercer to help Layton.
  • Is Joseph having certain experiments being conducted on a pregnant Zarah? Is she going to give birth to a baby that’s resistant to the cold? Ha!
  • Here’s to hoping the writers have a plan for LJ and Oz this season.

What did you think of ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’?

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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