Snowpiercer 3×09 Review – “A Beacon for Us All”

A Beacon for Us All Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 9 review
Layton tells Melanie they are going to New Eden in ‘A Beacon for Us All’ (Image: Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 9)

Snowpiercer season 3 episode 9, titled ‘A Beacon for Us All’, served viewers a penultimate episode that drastically changed things for Layton and his crew – again – as he tried to take everyone to New Eden.

With Snowpiercer trying to find the track tracer that Melanie’s in, ‘A Beacon for Us All’ opened with explaining how Melanie managed to survive on her own for almost six months. Turns out, she left the research center during season 2. Melanie then found a track tracer and used the suspension drugs to force herself into a hibernation cycle so she could survive without food and water.

Melanie would go to sleep for a week, wake up, try to search for Snowpiercer, and go to sleep again. Such a vicious cycle obviously took a toll on her body and mental health. Melanie was down to her last drops of suspension drug when Snowpiercer found her. I’m just glad the writers didn’t decide to kill her off.

I think Melanie’s reunion with a bunch of characters was handled well. I really liked Alex’s interaction with Melanie as she tried to quickly fill her mother in about what had happened while she was gone. Yay to Melanie and Ben being back together!

Of course, I was looking forward to seeing Melanie meet Layton and Joseph, and the writers didn’t disappoint. I could tell something wasn’t right during Melanie’s first interaction with Layton. She understood Layton needing to lie to the passengers of Snowpiercer about New Eden. Melanie had lied to people for years when she pretended Joseph was still running the train.

So, while Melanie wasn’t judging Layton, she still had her concerns about his plan. While Layton’s a man who inspires hope and encourages dreams (Joseph called him poet), Melanie’s a scientist. For Melanie, if certain numbers didn’t add up, there’s no need to go ahead with a particular plan and unnecessarily put people at risk.

There’s a reason Joseph told Layton about the mysterious signal pointing at Melanie. Joseph needed another scientific brain on the train, and Melanie was it. In a sense, I could understand where Joseph was coming from when Melanie went to meet him. Joseph reminded Melanie of how treacherous the track to the Horn of Africa was and that continuing such a dangerous journey wasn’t being justified due to inconclusive data. Joseph needed a wild card to create chaos and Melanie gave him just that.

At least Alex tried to reason with her mother. While Joseph talked about facts, Alex made a case for why it was important for humanity to not lose hope. Alex was right when she said that according to data, Melanie should have been 100% dead. But Alex and the others never lost hope and that’s why they were able to find her. According to Alex, being with Layton taught her that it was okay to occasionally take the leap of faith.

I’m looking forward to seeing Alex trying to balance the two sides of her thought process. She was trained as an engineer by Joseph (and had the potential to eclipse him and Melanie), but she had also picked up on the power of dreaming while being with Layton. And ‘science’ and ‘dreaming’ don’t always gel well together. The wrong choice, by favoring one side over the other, could harm Alex and put others in danger, too.

Melanie telling everyone that Layton had lied to them about New Eden was a predictable move. That’s why I think Layton should have tried to keep a closer eye on her. But, oh well, I guess such development was required to keep the drama going.

The train got introduced to yet another fight and I’m interested in seeing who will win this time. I think Snowpiercer and Big Alice will need to separate again during the finale. Layton will take his crew and supporters to New Eden while the others will stay behind. Also, I don’t know about you, but I think Snowpiercer should come to an end with the greenlit fourth season. While I enjoyed watching the third offering, I think it’s clear that the entire thing’s running out of steam. It’s always better to end things on a somewhat high note instead of dragging a series until no one’s actually watching anymore.

As for the rest of the characters, ‘A Beacon for Us All’ had Bess and Audrey become a romantic pairing. Frankly, I don’t care about them being together. I think Bess deserves someone better. The only thing interesting to me about this pairing is that I want to see Joseph’s reaction to Audrey moving on from him.

In other relationship news, Ben told Layton that he shouldn’t wait to tell Josie he loved her. I’m glad the writers didn’t decide to create some weird drama between Layton, Josie, and Zarah. It’s clear that Layton and Zarah didn’t want to rekindle their romantic relationship. But while Layton did confess his feelings to Josie, she just wasn’t ready to be in a proper relationship with him.

As far as Josie’s concerned, both of them had a lot on their plates already. Yes, they loved each other, but they needed to focus on other things. Layton had a baby daughter to raise and an important mission to take what’s left of humanity to New Eden. Josie’s had certain health issues to deal with. I’m surprised the writers didn’t do much with Josie’s body going numb and the emotional stress it was causing her. Maybe it will be brought back up again during the finale? Let’s see.

Oz got to see how dangerous LJ could be. I mean, he walked right into that one. He knew of LJ’s murderous past and yet he still married her. I laughed when LJ threatened Oz over trying to change her. LJ’s a survivor. If her survival meant she needed to take Oz off the board, she would do just that without hesitation.

With LJ playing a role in killing the guards keeping an eye on Joseph, I’m looking forward to seeing how those two will continue working together to undermine Layton and Melanie. I don’t think Melanie and Layton are fully prepared for what Joseph’s got planned. He’s aching for revenge and wants his train back. The stage has been set for a dynamic season three finale!

What did you think of ‘A Beacon for Us All’?

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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