Snowpiercer 3×08 Review – “Setting Itself Right”

Setting Itself Right Snowpiercer Season 3 episode 8 review
Ruth comforting Layton in ‘Setting Itself Right’ (Screengrab: Snowpiercer Season 3 episode 8)

With only two more episodes left, Snowpiercer season 3 episode 8, titled ‘Setting Itself Right’, focused a lot on Asha. And I have to say I was a bit disappointed with how the writers decided to handle her story arc.

I didn’t do a recap video or even a written review for episode 7 because I found it to be quite boring. I’m not a fan of characters having conversations with the hallucinations of people they knew. And with episode 7 having Layton in a coma and interacting with altered versions of familiar faces to find a way back to consciousness, I couldn’t help but groan at my TV screen.

To be fair, episode 7 did give us a couple of story developments. Zarah told Josie that she should pursue her romance with Layton because Layton and Zarah were better off as co-parents instead of an actual romantic couple. Joseph revealed that the mysterious signal he picked up a while back was likely coming from Melanie. And, the biggest revelation of all, we finally got to learn why Layton saw the Dragon Blood Tree in his vision.

‘Setting Itself Right’ expanded on two particular story threads from episode 7. We saw Layton come clean to Asha about his vision. He also tried to make sure Joseph wasn’t trying to trick them by using Melanie as bait.

One of the things I have been looking forward to this season was the writers finally explaining the Dragon Blood Tree in Layton’s visions. The last thing I wanted was Layton’s vision to be some kind of divine intervention. Fortunately, Layton’s vision was explained to be connected to the image of the Dragon Blood Tree he saw on a calendar when he met Asha. For some reason, his mind had grasped onto said image and his need for hope used the image to trick Layton into thinking he was seeing a place suitable for human civilization outside the train.

Even though Layton confirmed his suspicions with Asha, I understood where she was coming from when she said the real reason behind Layton’s vision didn’t matter. Even though it was a fake vision, it was still powerful enough to give the passengers of Snowpiercer some much-needed hope. That’s why Layton had to complete the current mission to travel to the Horn of Africa.

‘Setting Itself Right’ focused a lot on Asha. It opened with Ruth taking her to the gardening and agriculture sectors to help her find a purpose while living in Snowpiercer. Asha’s voiceover talked about how her grandmother used to say that even when everything’s going wrong, there’s no need to worry because there’s a chance that things falling apart was a way to set everything on the right path.

Asha also shared her dark past with Ruth and why she’s been hesitant to relax. As far as Asha’s concerned, all good things came to an end. Asha’s led a difficult life, trying to survive inside a nuclear power plant. However, Ruth tried to assure her that things were different on Snowpiercer because Ruth had seen the kindness of humanity firsthand during troubling times.

In a way, ‘Setting Itself Right’ was about showing that Asha had grown to believe in what Snowpiercer stood for. Asha stepped up big time to save everyone on the train when it encountered a massive cloud of toxic gas. In her opinion, her life was worth sacrificing to help Layton continue his mission to find New Eden. Also, I think, deep down, Asha knew she wasn’t meant for the type of lifestyle she was supposed to live inside the train. The world inside Snowpiercer just wasn’t for her. She had changed too much after losing everyone at the nuclear reactor and living on her own for years.

While I understood Asha’s decision from a narrative point of view, I have to say I wasn’t happy to see her being written off like that. I wanted Asha to stick around for a bit longer. I wanted her to interact with Joseph and Melanie (if she’s still alive out there). I feel killing her off was a waste of an interesting character.

As for Layton trying to figure out whether or not Joseph was tricking him and his crew, I couldn’t help but trust Joseph when he said he had no idea the train would meet a cloud of toxic gas. I mean, there’s no doubt Joseph’s crazy. But he’s not crazy enough to risk the safety of the train to such an extent that he himself gets killed or injured.

However, coming to Joseph sharing information about the mysterious signal, I do feel he’s definitely playing some kind of game with that one. Even though I’m not a fan of Zarah as a character, I enjoyed her little conversation with Joseph over why he decided to share said piece of information at such a time. According to Zarah, Joseph was trying to find a new way to disrupt the inner politics of Snowpiercer. He was expecting Melanie to hopefully serve a challenge to Layton because she’s such a wildcard.

Due to the train needing to travel through toxic volcanic gas, all non-essential personnel was asked to wait inside their rooms. Such an announcement led to Roche spending time with his daughter Carly while Bess invited Audrey to come and wait out the toxic gas in her room.

I liked the bonding moment between Roche and Carly. Both of them needed to realize they had to support each other after losing a loved one. Here’s hoping nothing bad happens to Carly as the series continues. I say this because she can be used to hurt Roche as well as Alex (her new friend).

As for Bess spending time with Audrey, I don’t know about you, but I feel the writers have been struggling to figure out what to do with Bess. Apparently, she’s been failing at confronting her past self. As a Brakeman, she was quite violent and had hurt a lot of people over the years. She’s been doing good around the train as Layton’s partner when it came to detective work, but her past still haunted her.

Audrey helped Bess face her past by using her weird Genjutsu ability. Is the show ever going to properly explain Audrey’s unique skill? Hmmm.

Anyway, fingers crossed the psychological session between Bess and Audrey opens the door to an actual character arc for Bess. Also, I guess Bess and Audrey are a romantic thing now? Is Audrey really over Joseph? Has she really switched sides? I can’t say for certain.

And speaking of switching sides, the news of Melanie being alive led to LJ, ever the opportunist, deciding to restart her connection with Joseph. The way she agreed to let Dr. Headwood slice off a big chunk of skin from her thigh as a tissue sample made sense for LJ’s character. She’s clearly serious about showcasing her loyalty to Joseph. I wonder how much longer she will be able to operate like this. LJ can’t continue to switch sides whenever convenient, right?

Some other thoughts and questions:

  • Similar to his ex-partner Bess, the writers don’t know what to do with Oz either.
  • Even though Zarah told Josie that Layton loved her, I wouldn’t be surprised if Josie experienced conflicting feelings about getting back with Layton after she had Ben hooked up.
  • I’m definitely interested in seeing if Zarah and Layton’s baby daughter will exhibit some kind of cold-resistant powers before the end of this season.
  • Sykes helping Javi overcome his fear of dogs was nice.
  • Who the heck is Mrs. Headwood experimenting on now? Is it Kevin?
  • I do think Melanie’s still alive.

Did you watch ‘Setting Itself Right’? Did you enjoy 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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