Snowpiercer 3×04 Review – “Bound by One Track”

Bound by one track Snowpiercer Season 3 episode 4 review
Alex talking to a hallucination of Melanie in ‘Bound by One Track’ (Screengrab: Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 4)

The fourth episode of Snowpiercer season 3, titled ‘Bound by One Track’, was basically about a bunch of characters being haunted by past trauma.

Even though we didn’t get the actual Melanie returning to the train in the current episode, at least she got a lot of screentime by appearing as a hallucination for Alex and Joseph to interact with. ‘Bound by One Track’ gave us more information about the type of life Alex spent without Melanie on Big Alice. Joseph took a young Alex under his wing, but it came with certain issues. We knew that Joseph sacrificed a certain amount of passengers to ensure the survival of others aboard Big Alice. ‘Bound by One Track’ offered more details about said event.

With the Snowpiercer and Big Alice continuously running on the same set of tracks over and over again, I think it made sense for the writers to revisit the three cars Joseph let go of years ago. I liked how the Snowpiercer finding the three cars fit the narrative. The past and future of the Snowpiercer were connected with the track. Everything’s basically in a loop. Snowpiercer was bound to meet the three cars sooner or later.

I don’t know about you, but Alex wanting to accompany Ben and enter three cars made sense for her character. She wanted to confront her past and bring some closure for being forced to leave her best friend Shiloh all those years ago. Joseph tested every one on Big Alice to determine their strength, stamina, and skillset. Shiloh and a bunch of other people didn’t make the cut. And so, they had to be sacrificed. Joseph disconnected the three cars from Big Alice while the passengers inside were asleep.

This episode made me feel sad for Alex. The world becoming frozen took away a lot from her. She lost her grandparents, her best friend, her mother, and, in a sense, the bond she shared with Joseph. Alex’s all alone right now. That’s why I’m hoping Melanie returns soon.

The conversation Alex had with Melanie about Alex’s conflicted emotions for Joseph was quite interesting. Joseph’s like a father to Alex. But he’s also a villain. It made sense for Alex to hate and love him simultaneously as she helped Layton make their way to the Horn of Africa to save humanity.

My only gripe with ‘Bound by One Track’ was the fact that Alex was having a handful of conversations with a hallucination of Melanie. I’m not a fan of characters having entire talks with basically themselves and writers presenting said scenes as character development.

Even Joseph thought he was talking to Melanie while he tried to figure out the location of the Snowpiercer as he sat alone in his jail cell. He even called out to his own hallucination of Melanie to help him after Roche’s attack.

I just can’t make myself care enough for fake conversations happening in TV shows.

Roche trying to deal with the death of his wife is something I want to see more of. He’s definitely got a lot of anger toward Joseph. Having tried to kill Joseph in this episode, I wonder if Roche will try again down the line. Let’s see.

Also, fingers crossed that Bess manages to help Roche mend his relationship with his daughter Carly. I think that Carly not wanting to spend time with him made sense. Being young, Carly wanted Roche to provide her with support so they both could begin their healing journey together after losing a loved one. However, Roche’s in no position to offer support to Carly right now and that understandably made her mad.

Talking about family, I was surprised to learn that a pregnant Zarah agreed with Joseph’s plan to have the Headwoods experiment on her unborn child. I thought the experiments were happening without Zarah’s consent while she was unconscious during her medical checkups. If I was in Layton’s shoes, I would have been angry, too. Administring gene therapy to possibly have the unborn child be resistant to freezing cold, similar to Josie, was a bit too much for Layton. Here’s hoping the experiments don’t cost Zarah and Layton losing their child before birth.

Another surprise involved Pike not being willing to follow Layton’s lead. I wasn’t expecting Pike to show resistance to Layton coming back. There’s tension between the two and I’m interested in seeing how it will pan out. Pike even told Ruth that she should be the one leading the passengers of Snowpiercer.

Asha also had her own demons to deal with. Having spent years on her own, she felt claustrophobic inside Snowpiercer. Not only that, apparently, as far as she’s concerned, she didn’t deserve to be saved by Layton. So, I’m looking forward to learning more about her past and why she thought such a thing.

As for Asha continuing to lie to the passengers about the existence of New Eden, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone catches on to her deception. She’s trying to do Layton a favor because he rescued her and she understood the importance of hope. However, Layton’s put Asha in a very risky position. Someone like Pike should be able to see right through her if they’re able to talk to her alone for a minute or two.

Also, I’m still waiting for Asha to meet Joseph. He’s someone who doesn’t want Layton finding a way for humanity to live outside the train. And Asha, due to the hope she inspires, is likely an annoyance he would like to silence. 

All in all, ‘Bound by One Track’ was an okay episode. I enjoyed watching it, even though I rolled my eyes at the fake conversations.

Also, Alex remembering what Joseph had taught her about feeling and visualizing the internal workings of the train made me chuckle. The scene made it look as if Alex had somehow managed to activate her Byakugan! Ha!

Bound by One Track Snowpiercer season 3 episode 4 review
Alex visualizing the train’s internal structure in ‘Bound by One Track’ (Screengrab: Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 3)

What did you think of ‘Bound by One Track’? Do you think Asha will be able to keep lying about being from New Eden?

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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