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saoirse

S01.E03: Access Is Power

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Layton descends into the black market with Till, searching for both the killer and a valuable commodity for his revolution. Melanie stages a prize fight to distract the passengers from mounting class tension.

Airing Sunday, May 31, 2020.

 

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Interesting things: The 3rd Class and the Tailies make up 70%  of the passengers or roughly 2100 people.

That guy really doesn't seem afraid to murder as many people as he wants, especially since everybody should be on edge with the detective snooping about. 1st class girl is involved up to her eyeballs. A lot of people have died in the last 2-3 days.

If the train uses those tracker chips to determine who should have access to what cars, it is stupid not to log who is where and deactivate them when that person dies.

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This show reminds me of Battlestar Galactica on a train. What it's lacking is the strong characters. 

Edited by Superclam
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Well, I have suspended all disbelief in anything regarding the train itself, and am now focusing solely on the murder plot, with all the assorted characters involved along the way.  Sort of like 'Murder on the Orient-African-TransSiberian-Amtrak Express' (not in that order, of course).

"Mr. Wilford"  definitely needs to upgrade his security force.  The poor schmuck guarding the witness was too stupid to notice someone approaching him in the corrdior and paid the price. Who was that killer?  Have we seen him already?

Melanie's comment, "God, I wish I was wealthy."  was interesting.  Does she not have privileges that they do?

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5 minutes ago, Dowel Jones said:

Melanie's comment, "God, I wish I was wealthy."  was interesting.  Does she not have privileges that they do?

Ahw said she wished she was welding... 

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What exactly is "The Night Car?" I keep hearing The Night Car over and over again but I'll be damned if I know why it's called that. Is it because the people who live there work at night? Like at the club/bar? There are 1,001 cars on this train, surely they would need more than one car for those people. Or do they just keep saying Night Car Night Car because the writers think it sounds cool? I'm leaning towards the latter, unless someone can enlighten me.

And again, this recurring problem with the value of money or, in this case, a gold ring. I'm not sure how people "pay" for things in a post-apocalyptic world. You see the brakeman trading drugs for sexual favors but what is anyone going to do with a gold ring? 

I get that the story can't be the train itself, as it was in the movie, because it wouldn't sustain a series. So they're trying to do a story within a story with this murder investigation. The problem is, the train stuff keeps getting in the way. And I'm less interested in the murder investigation than I am about this world in general.

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I think this was a good episode, they definitely explained away some of the questions we have been having here.  First Class Lawyer did confirm that the wealth of the first class passengers did indeed fund the building of the train.  So they definitely paid for the great majority if not all of the train.  It makes sense then why they continue to get the good treatment and good food.  They're like the benefactor of an opera house in the olden days, for their contributions they get the privilege of sitting in the good box, "which shall be kept open [for them only] at all times".

So Third Class and Tail comprise 70% of the people on the train.  Are there a lot more Tail people secreted somewhere that we haven't seen?  I'd say there were 100 of them at most.  

This episode also confirmed that Wilford was at one point an actual person.  I wonder what happened to him and whether anyone except that Head Engineer knows about it.  Melanie announced to the staff about Mr. Wilford's comments/wishes and no one said anything.

Unclear why the Train allows the Janitors to have so much power.  They now know that this Terence guy is the kingpin of the illegal drug trade.  Why not take him into custody?  And why allow the doctor guy to continue working knowing that he is the source?

The First Class passengers watching the Fight, it was exactly like rich Roman citizens watching gladiators battle.

23 minutes ago, Dowel Jones said:

"Mr. Wilford"  definitely needs to upgrade his security force.  The poor schmuck guarding the witness was too stupid to notice someone approaching him in the corrdior and paid the price. Who was that killer?  Have we seen him already?

Melanie's comment, "God, I wish I was wealthy."  was interesting.  Does she not have privileges that they do?

The killer is the bodyguard of the First Class Lawyer's family.  The one in the background always giving interesting looks to First Class Daughter.  Will be interested to learn about his motive.

She definitely did say she wishes she was welding alongside the other workers.  Which implies that she comes from a background in the trades and was elevated into this hospitality position.  Maybe she is Wilford's daughter or something.

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

What exactly is "The Night Car?" I keep hearing The Night Car over and over again but I'll be damned if I know why it's called that. Is it because the people who live there work at night? Like at the club/bar? There are 1,001 cars on this train, surely they would need more than one car for those people. Or do they just keep saying Night Car Night Car because the writers think it sounds cool? I'm leaning towards the latter, unless someone can enlighten me.

And again, this recurring problem with the value of money or, in this case, a gold ring. I'm not sure how people "pay" for things in a post-apocalyptic world. You see the brakeman trading drugs for sexual favors but what is anyone going to do with a gold ring? 

I thought "the Night Car" was the nightclub/bar car.  Where Zarah works and where they had the fight.  I agree that I would think there are lots of bar cars.  On a cruise ship that holds 3000 passengers there are usually at least 20 places where you can get a drink, I would imagine that there have to be multiple night cars on this train.

I thought the Night Car was in Third Class?  How come at the end of the fight they were talking about how the border to third class was open but they would have to walk since the transport system was broken?

Since dollars don't have much meaning, I would imagine there is some kind of barter system, and a ring could always be traded for something else, like favors or better food or more hot water in the shower, etc.  It would just keep getting passed amongst people for whatever the recipient thinks it merits.

I do think one of my issues with the Tailies demanding equality for all is that as we have been told, without the First Class money, there would be no train.  So everyone would be dead without the First Class passengers paying for the construction of the train.  I think that alone entitles them to better treatment.  We have seen that others work in exchange for their place on the train, like Zarah.  But what do the others do?  There's a whole bunch of Tailies that seem to do absolutely nothing but plot to overthrow the train and resentfully sit in the darkness.

We saw Josie this episode comment about how Mr. Wilford hadn't uncoupled them yet.  That suggested to me that at least some of them are aware that they are still there purely on the goodwill of the train directors.

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1 hour ago, Dowel Jones said:

Who was that killer?  Have we seen him already?

You see him a lot standing near the Lilah (red-headed former corporate lawyer) and LJ (red-headed bored daughter who wants to slum in Third Class and eat noodles there) family. (The family was also seen in this episode in the casino car and watching the fight from above. LJ, the daughter, is always cutting looks toward him and in fact did so when the witness wandered into the car where the fight was taking place. Not exactly sure who he is in relation to the family.

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But what do the others do?  There's a whole bunch of Tailies that seem to do absolutely nothing but plot to overthrow the train and resentfully sit in the darkness.

It's possible they could be put to work but the show has not explained whether they don't have the opportunity because there aren't enough jobs to go around, or whether the people in charge just don't want them.

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Not exactly sure who he is in relation to the family.

Per blackwing, he is their bodyguard.

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1 minute ago, iMonrey said:

It's possible they could be put to work but the show has not explained whether they don't have the opportunity because there aren't enough jobs to go around, or whether the people in charge just don't want them.

I don't think they have jobs because Ruth (?--fur-wearing woman who makes dramatic announcements to the Tailies) said some thing like "unlike the rest of us, you don't have to ..."--I don't remember how she put it but I had the strong impression she was saying they were basically skimming off the system as opposed to perpetuating it.

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I thought "the Night Car" was the nightclub/bar car. 

Oh. So Night Car = Night Club. I get it. 🙄 Still. Only one nightclub car out of 1,001 cars?

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2 hours ago, blackwing said:

So everyone would be dead without the First Class passengers paying for the construction of the train. 

I had a thought last night that perhaps some of the brilliant engineers and such who designed the train and its route realized what was going on, and put themselves to developing ground based shelters for the majority of the world that didn't make it on to the train.  It would be the height of irony if the train finally stopped, for whatever reason, and the occupants found themselves stranded, with no possible rescue, in a world that has passed them by.

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3 hours ago, blackwing said:

Will be interested to learn about his motive.

I think Tiara Girl is sitting on it.

 

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20 minutes ago, Netfoot said:

I think Tiara Girl is sitting on it.

 

Hmm... Killer Bodyguard does seem a bit enamored of her.  Seems like the classic "falling in love with the help" scenario in the making.  But it really does seem to me that First Class Daughter has the hots for Layton.  She seems like she was leering at him.

I don't know what to make of her.  It seems obvious the show wants me to root for Layton, and therefore if she is going to ally with Layton then I should be rooting for her.  Then we see her revelling in the brutality of the fight, lording over all the peons like the queen, dropping her crystal champagne goblet and smashing it to the floor two floors below in a display of welathy excess.

Above all, she reminds me of Lindsey Lohan, which inspires instant disgust.

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I thought it was funny that everybody but Melanie thinks that uncoupling the Tailies car would solve all their problems. I wonder if this has more to do with the Capitalism analogy.

It was stupid that the recently thawed out girl could just walk into the fight. Everybody wanted to be at the fight, but probably couldn't get in. 

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3 minutes ago, blackwing said:

But it really does seem to me that First Class Daughter has the hots for Layton.  She seems like she was leering at him.

She hammed that up to such a degree it was awful. I dunno if she is just a bad actress or whether she was following the director's instructions. Either way, she wasn't wearing a sandwich-board to declare her interest, and that was all.

Let me guess. She will make some sort of over-entitled play, get snubbed, then be all like "Daddy, the tailie put his hand up my dress!"

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 It seems obvious the show wants me to root for Layton,

And yet . . . I'm not quite there. The martyrdom he has when it comes to being a Taillie is rather offputting IMO. He's being overly abrasive with the very people who could help him accomplish his goals, to his own detriment. Throwing his weight around and demanding to see Josie, for instance. That felt like a very foolish waste of a favor. 

I frankly identify more strongly with people like Zarah who jumped at the chance to get the hell out of the tail and move up to third class, while her peers jeered at her for turning her back on them or whatever. I don't think there's anything particularly noble about staying put in the tail. 

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Throwing his weight around and demanding to see Josie, for instance. That felt like a very foolish waste of a favor. 

Well, he did pass her the access key into her mouth with the french kiss.  He makes for kind of an odd main character, because he's train detective, an oppressed tailie, and is simultaneously plotting a revolution.  He's wearing several hats.

We learned that there are sidings on the track, they were talking about uncoupling the tail and moving it onto a siding.  Makes sense because you don't want to run into it when you come back around.  But how were they going to push the cars onto the siding?  For that matter, how are the able to turn the switch when everything in the outside world is supposed to be frozen solid?

Another thing we learned is that the cop shook hands with (apparently) the real Mr. Wilford before boarding.  I hope we don't have to wait several seasons to find out the truth here.  Did the real Mr. Wilford die?  Or is Melanie simply representing him on this particular train (one out of ten, I think it said in the book)?

I guess Melanie is supposed to be evil personified, but I can't help feeling there's some good in her somewhere.  Maybe I'm not supposed to think that, I'm not sure.

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4 minutes ago, rmontro said:

I guess Melanie is supposed to be evil personified...

I don't get that impression of her. I think she is more clued-in than anyone else on the train, certainly more than any of the staff. She doesn't appear to be 'evil'. More pragmatic, sure. I think she basically does what she believes must be done to preserve the train, and therefore, the remainder of humanity.

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34 minutes ago, rmontro said:

I guess Melanie is supposed to be evil personified, but I can't help feeling there's some good in her somewhere.  Maybe I'm not supposed to think that, I'm not sure.

Everybody wants to uncouple the Tailies except Melanie. Melanie seems to be playing the long game while everyone else is thinking in the short term. Maybe the Tailies are the key to humanity surviving off of the train.

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If you uncouple the tailies, won't that car just sit there until the next pass? Leaving a car on the tracks seems like a bad idea if you want to avoid a future crash. Of course, I suppose we'd employ more of the 'hand-wavium' we already have going on on this show.

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16 minutes ago, saoirse said:

If you uncouple the tailies, won't that car just sit there until the next pass? Leaving a car on the tracks seems like a bad idea if you want to avoid a future crash. Of course, I suppose we'd employ more of the 'hand-wavium' we already have going on on this show.

I think that was explained on the show and also mentioned just up above... they were planning on moving the tail cars to a siding.  Therefore these cars wouldn't be there the next time the train came along the same stretch of track.  As mentioned above, I don't know how they would move the tail cars to the siding... does each car have some kind of propulsion system?  Is there some kind of magnet system on the sidings to move the cars aside?  I'm not sure.

 

4 hours ago, iMonrey said:

And yet . . . I'm not quite there. The martyrdom he has when it comes to being a Taillie is rather offputting IMO. He's being overly abrasive with the very people who could help him accomplish his goals, to his own detriment. Throwing his weight around and demanding to see Josie, for instance. That felt like a very foolish waste of a favor. 

I frankly identify more strongly with people like Zarah who jumped at the chance to get the hell out of the tail and move up to third class, while her peers jeered at her for turning her back on them or whatever. I don't think there's anything particularly noble about staying put in the tail. 

I agree that it's unclear whether Layton is supposed to be a likeable hero.  I don't think I like him either.  He and Zarah were married, or at least engaged.  She wanted to take a job to move to Third Class.  Either he wasn't allowed to go or he didn't want to go, but she chose to leave.  I don't understand why he wouldn't want someone he loved to want to make a better life for herself.  She was given an opportunity and she took it.  I contrast that to Mia's parents, who were overjoyed that she got the apprenticeship, even if it meant they would never see her again.

Plus he's only working with the authorities purely so he can pass information back to the Tail and further the revolution.  What is Josie going to do with the access chip?  Does the access chip open the door from the Tail to third class?  Wouldn't there be guards there at all times?  We saw what happened the last time the Tailees tried to fight.

I'm not sure if I find any of the characters likeable.  Except well maybe the head engineer who knows Melanie's secret, and Till, who is only just doing her job and truly seemed to want to help the dethawed criminal.

Exactly how many First Class passengers are there?  I think we only have really been introduced to the Redheaded Lawyer and her family, and the Asian couple, I think the guy was playing strip poker with some fellow female passengers this episode.

 

1 hour ago, rmontro said:

Another thing we learned is that the cop shook hands with (apparently) the real Mr. Wilford before boarding.  I hope we don't have to wait several seasons to find out the truth here.  Did the real Mr. Wilford die?  Or is Melanie simply representing him on this particular train (one out of ten, I think it said in the book)?

I guess Melanie is supposed to be evil personified, but I can't help feeling there's some good in her somewhere.  Maybe I'm not supposed to think that, I'm not sure.

I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Wilford is in suspended animation in the Drawers while they work out a cure for whatever ails him.

I don't think Melanie is evil either... I think she does view keeping the train running as some kind of duty that was entrusted to her by Mr. Wilford.

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5 hours ago, blackwing said:

I do think one of my issues with the Tailies demanding equality for all is that as we have been told, without the First Class money, there would be no train.  So everyone would be dead without the First Class passengers paying for the construction of the train.  I think that alone entitles them to better treatment. 

The only reason the First Class passengers have better treatment is because they have a small army protecting them from the working class and the rabble.  Their money, past and present, means nothing at this point; the train is totally a barter economy. 

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2 hours ago, rmontro said:

But how were they going to push the cars onto the siding?  For that matter, how are the able to turn the switch when everything in the outside world is supposed to be frozen solid?

A proper railroad siding would have connections at both ends of the siding, so that the train, in a normal world, could reverse and push the tail cars onto the siding after it had passed the junction.  The entire series assumes that whatever the track is made of is strong enough to withstand temperatures of -130, so of course the switches would work, too.  In real life, steel rails do crack in harsh temperatures.

 

"The only reason the First Class passengers have better treatment is because they have a small army protecting them from the working class and the rabble. "

And that is one of the main tenets of Marxism, coincidentally.  The working class and the rabble here on the train could wield substantial power if they refused to work for the First Class passengers.  First Class probably has no idea how to grow food or keep the train operating.  At least in theory.  The goons would likely come head hunting, but then you have your revolution handed to you on a plate.

Edited by Dowel Jones
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On 6/1/2020 at 10:23 PM, Dowel Jones said:

A proper railroad siding would have connections at both ends of the siding, so that the train, in a normal world, could reverse and push the tail cars onto the siding after it had passed the junction.  The entire series assumes that whatever the track is made of is strong enough to withstand temperatures of -130, so of course the switches would work, too.  In real life, steel rails do crack in harsh temperatures.

I was under the impression the train could not stop or it would freeze.  So I'm not sure that it could reverse.  I guess stopping and quickly reversing doesn't count.  I don't think the switches working in that temperature doesn't fit in with the rest of the story, but I guess we have no choice but handwave it. 

On 6/1/2020 at 10:02 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

The only reason the First Class passengers have better treatment is because they have a small army protecting them from the working class and the rabble.  Their money, past and present, means nothing at this point; the train is totally a barter economy. 

Maybe the First Class passengers brought certain goods aboard that ensures their continued affluence.  Maybe it was a condition of their boarding, or was at least suggested.  Maybe they even have metals, materials, or technology that could be useful in certain emergencies.  

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Ruth is played by Alison Wright, who played Martha on The Americans. Fun!

I keep wondering to myself whether I could manage third class on this train or whether I would be happier in second 😉 

Started watching this in a "What the heck, didn't see the movie, it's got a good cast" kind of way, but I have been in since episode 2. One of the things I like about it is how it's treating a murder investigation in a SF setting (and near-future SF, my preferred kind). One of my favorite structures in the murder mystery genre is "Characters realize they need to talk to X"; next scene, characters are talking to X. That can give a very satisfying forward drive to the story, but I also like how they mixed it up a bit this ep to explore a less straightforward narrative and still move the plot forward, especially as we saw Mr. Murdery McMurderer in action at the end. (I had been watching that character and wondering what his deal was -- he clearly had something going on -- so now it will be interesting to learn exactly what that was.)

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10 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

The only reason the First Class passengers have better treatment is because they have a small army protecting them from the working class and the rabble.  Their money, past and present, means nothing at this point; the train is totally a barter economy. 

So... they paid in advance for a product/service, but it's perfectly fine to refuse to provide what was promised. Thanks for your prompt payment, Jack, but I'm OK, so you can go suck salt!

10 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

A proper railroad siding would have connections at both ends of the siding, so that the train, in a normal world, could reverse and push the tail cars onto the siding after it had passed the junction.

Or just go in at one end, and out at the other, dropping the tail section along the way. (No reversing, or even stopping.)

Since this is essentially killing the tailies, why not simply kill them and reclaim the space on the train for later use?

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Why would they have saved Miles' hair in a bag? No wonder Layton jumped to the wrong conclusions. I mean, it was probably there only to serve as a plot point so that Layton could have that scene, so - sloppy writing. I can't think of any reason they would have saved the hair. Are they making wigs on the train? Stuffing pillows?

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30 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Why would they have saved Miles' hair in a bag?

When you are in a (permanently) closed environment, every single thing becomes a non-renewable resource.  Every empty tin can, bottle or chewing-gum wrapper, every piece of string, every pint of pee. Save everything, because you never know when you might desperately need it.

But I gotta admit, keeping haircut snippings is a bit of a stretch...

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

I can't think of any reason they would have saved the hair.

Hair (nitrogen rich) mixed with dung makes a great fertilizer.

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7 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Are they making wigs on the train?

They could be, honestly. With wealth often comes vanity. I read an article by a plastic surgeon about how his wealthy clients are begging him to nip, tuck, and Botox them during quarantine - "I'll fly you here on a private jet to do a face lift." I assume there's a salon car on the train, so wigs aren't far off.

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I liked this one, probably because it focused a lot on the mystery more than the class and the revolution stuff, which I think is a more interesting premise, I always like stories that are "its a mystery story, but in some kind of fantastical location" stories and it allows for a lot of world building. The class stuff isn't uninteresting or anything, and its pretty much inevitable in this setting, but I am more interested in the murder mystery. 

Layton finally makes the obvious connection, that if he wants a revolution to take down the 1% the Tallies need to band together with the other proletariat in third class, maybe even second class. If they all just stop doing anything (as it seems like the 3rd and 2nd class passengers are the only people that actually do anything, while the Tallies sit around being oppressed and the 1st class sit around being rich) and demand a more egalitarian system, what are the rich people going to do? Would security be willing to join if they got more stuff too? So maybe Layton should stop telling everyone he meets to fuck off? 

So we get confirmation that Mr. Wilford was a real person at some point, or still is but is incapacitated. Is he secretly in long term storage for some reason? Is he sick or dying, or did he go nuts and Melanie pulled a coup? I dont think Melanie is necessarily the bad guy, even if she isn't the good guy either, its kind of hard to tell. 

The logistics here are basically nonsense, but I am enjoying the ride...pun intended. 

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With the track conditions, stress cracks in the train, food issues, etc., it becomes clear that adding the number of people in the end cars had an impact on the environment of the train.  Carrying that many additional people added weight and made demands on limited resources.  I don't really see the end goal of the tailies because it's not like there are resources that are in abundance to the point that they will sustain everyone (including the extra numbers that jumped onto the train) in unlimited quantities for a significant amount of time.  I think what they really want are REFORMS of the system.  If so, Layton should be making alliances and demonstrate that the other classes need the talents and skills of those in the train tail rather than incite a questioning of why the other classes need to provide for them-especially as there are increasing issues with the infrastructure itself.

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On 6/2/2020 at 8:54 AM, Netfoot said:
On 6/1/2020 at 10:02 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

The only reason the First Class passengers have better treatment is because they have a small army protecting them from the working class and the rabble.  Their money, past and present, means nothing at this point; the train is totally a barter economy. 

So... they paid in advance for a product/service, but it's perfectly fine to refuse to provide what was promised. Thanks for your prompt payment, Jack, but I'm OK, so you can go suck salt!

"Mr Wilford" and his staff are doing their utmost to provide everything that was promised, and have been doing so for seven years.  So I'd say they've gotten pretty good value for their money.  But at the point where we're dropped into the story, their money is worthless.  The 2nd and 3rd class people aren't working for a paycheck, they're working for room and board and a place on the train.  And that's the only thing that's worth anything anymore. 

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I don't think they resolved what happened with the medical technician, did they?  Melanie asked him what he did, and he told her.  He took the "embalming fluid" and traded it to others.  Somebody (I was unclear on exactly who) synthesizes it and makes this drug out of it.  This drug is being traded and bartered on the black market for access and whatnot.  Med tech says he did it so people would give him things in return, like an extra pillow for his charges, or something like that.

So, if they need this embalming fluid to make the drug, is Melanie going to prohibit this guy from continuing to give it to them?  It sounded like there was no other source for whatever compound they need as a base to make the drug.  Isn't that an easy way to stop this drug trade?

9 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

"Mr Wilford" and his staff are doing their utmost to provide everything that was promised, and have been doing so for seven years.  So I'd say they've gotten pretty good value for their money.  But at the point where we're dropped into the story, their money is worthless.  The 2nd and 3rd class people aren't working for a paycheck, they're working for room and board and a place on the train.  And that's the only thing that's worth anything anymore. 

So let's say you have worked hard your whole life and you live in an enormous mansion with acres of property.  It is well stocked with food and is self-sustaining since you also grow a lot of your food and you have an abundance of chickens.  You have employees to help you out - they take care of your kids, they grow the food and maintain the chickens, they cook the food, and they take care of the grounds.  Your house is huge, so you even provide housing for all of your employees, you have a dormitory-style house on your grounds.

One day you discover that there is a whole group of people who have been living in the woods on your property.   At first they are content to live in peace, they find what they can to eat and they bathe in the creek that runs through your land.  But then they decide it's not good enough.  One of them, let's say she is named Zarah, approaches you and asks for a job.  She says she will help in the kitchen.  You agree and give her a room in your employee housing.  Others also want a room in the employee housing but either they don't have any skills to provide or you don't have room for them all, so you say no.  They get resentful.  Then one day they decide that they are tired of living illegally on your land.  They decide that nothing is going to be good enough until they are allowed to live alongside you in your house and enjoying all the luxuries of life that you have been living.  Because IT'S NOT FAIR.

You say, but wait!  I worked hard my whole life so I can have this house and this life. But then you find that the people are criticising you because you won't allow everyone to be equal and share in the same comforts that you have.  Why should one family get to live like kings when there are many times more that are living in squalor?  Is there a timeline on how long your family is allowed to live in luxury before you are required to share with others?  Is five years enough?  Your money built the house and acquired all the food and items to make the house self-sustainable, and that's great, but it's been long enough?  Now it's time for everyone to be treated equally?

Isn't that called "socialism"?

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1 hour ago, blackwing said:

Isn't that called "socialism"?

When I produce or provide everything, but it gets taken away by force of arms, so it can be shared out to people who produce or provide nothing? I thought that was called "communism."

There are people who worked and saved their whole lives long, and in the autumn of their years, pay a large sum of money into an all-inclusive retirement community. In return, the community is supposed to provide them with accommodation to the agreed level of comfort, meals of an agreed standard, a certain level of health care, etc. Timeline? As far as I know, the agreements are valid until the senior resident dies of old age.

I see the train as similar to this. 1st class paid in advance for a certain lifestyle ongoing, and as far as I am concerned, they deserve to have the bargain upheld. 2nd class ditto: different payment, different lifestyle, but a deal is a deal. The trespassers in your woods (or the tailies on the train) made no payment (cash nor services), no deal was struck, they have no right to accommodation, food, or anything. The fact that they were allowed to stay and provided with something to eat is due to the generosity of the train's administrators. Not due to any rights they may feel they have.

It always shocks people - especially Americans, who are real big on their rights - when they discover exactly how little they have a right to. I believe the big three we hear about are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. There is no right to food, water, housing, healthcare, education... You have the right to pursue these things, but not the right to demand that they be provided.

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53 minutes ago, Netfoot said:

As far as I know, the agreements are valid until the senior resident dies of old age.

Usually, but some nursing homes can and will evict the residents who cannot pay for their upkeep anymore. 

I find the dynamics of the train environment interesting in that, apparently, all the paying passengers were told at the beginning that it was an luxury excursion, not a lifeboat (which makes no sense, given the changing weather).  Just as with the practice of capitalism in the real world, either the industry has to start paying returns, or it needs a new infusion of capital.  Neither seems possible in this situation.  So, they paid up front with a massive infusion of capital in return for endless luxury and entertainment.  The problem, for all the passengers really, is that no one has any way of enforcing Wilford Industries to live up to their agreements.  The only power that each class has over the lower class and employees is a goon squad to enforce management's rules.  At some point that system will break down.

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So we get confirmation that Mr. Wilford was a real person at some point

Not necessarily. It's possible Melanie has hired someone to play the role. 

Spoiler

Although I suspect he did or does exist somewhere if they are going to to follow the movie.

 

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9 minutes ago, Dowel Jones said:

Usually, but some nursing homes can and will evict the residents who cannot pay for their upkeep anymore.

Yes, I know, but I was thinking of the case where someone pays $250K down, in return for lifetime support/upkeep. I believe that in such cases, the retirement homes are legally (as well as morally and ethically) required to hold up their end of the bargain.

20 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

So we get confirmation that Mr. Wilford was a real person at some point, or still is but is incapacitated. Is he secretly in long term storage for some reason?

I dunno. but

Spoiler

the IMDb page for the show does not list any actor playing the part of Mr. Wilford,

so jump to your own conclusions! 

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2 hours ago, Netfoot said:

I see the train as similar to this. 1st class paid in advance for a certain lifestyle ongoing, and as far as I am concerned, they deserve to have the bargain upheld. 2nd class ditto: different payment, different lifestyle, but a deal is a deal. The trespassers in your woods (or the tailies on the train) made no payment (cash nor services), no deal was struck, they have no right to accommodation, food, or anything. The fact that they were allowed to stay and provided with something to eat is due to the generosity of the train's administrators. Not due to any rights they may feel they have.

I agree... I feel like the Tailees seem to think they deserve better treatment out of some concept of rights, which is the biggest issue I have with the premise of this series.

 

1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

 It's possible Melanie has hired someone to play the role. 

True... she could have hired someone.  But I think it seems evident that at one point, there was an actual living person, either that was Mr. Wilford or that was someone pretending to be him.  It seemed clear to me by the way she was splicing together parts of an old speech of his that the passengers are familiar with his voice, which is why she wanted to make sure a new speech from him is perpetuating the idea that he is still alive and in control.

I am entirely prepared for the reveal that he is in suspended animation in the Drawers, and that maybe she is his daughter.

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8 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Not necessarily. It's possible Melanie has hired someone to play the role. 

That's possible, I suppose.  But she was piecing together that speech from what was apparently a speech given by the real Mr. WIlford.  So I think it's more likely that he did or does exist somewhere or at some time.  Maybe he's in a drawer, or has died, or never made it onboard.

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On 6/1/2020 at 7:40 PM, blackwing said:

 

 

I agree that it's unclear whether Layton is supposed to be a likeable hero.  I don't think I like him either.  He and Zarah were married, or at least engaged.  She wanted to take a job to move to Third Class.  Either he wasn't allowed to go or he didn't want to go, but she chose to leave.  I don't understand why he wouldn't want someone he loved to want to make a better life for herself.  She was given an opportunity and she took it.  I contrast that to Mia's parents, who were overjoyed that she got the apprenticeship, even if it meant they would never see her again.

Plus he's only working with the authorities purely so he can pass information back to the Tail and further the revolution.  What is Josie going to do with the access chip?  Does the access chip open the door from the Tail to third class?  Wouldn't there be guards there at all times?  We saw what happened the last time the Tailees tried to fight.

 

If they mentioned it I missed how long it was before Zarah realized she was in a shelter living at the whim of  goons who could amputate limbs without even a trial? By the time Mia's parents acted it had been 7 years as detainees with a recent example that their status was lower than zoo animals but rather in line with animals kept alive just to feed the important exhibits

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On 6/2/2020 at 8:54 AM, Netfoot said:

So... they paid in advance for a product/service, but it's perfectly fine to refuse to provide what was promised. Thanks for your prompt payment, Jack, but I'm OK, so you can go suck salt!

Or just go in at one end, and out at the other, dropping the tail section along the way. (No reversing, or even stopping.)

Since this is essentially killing the tailies, why not simply kill them and reclaim the space on the train for later use?

It's the apocalypse. The survival of the species is a little more important than honoring contract law. It's fair to say that the firsties are owed something for their funding of the train, but palatial apartments and a beach are not it. And "fair" has to take a backseat to "survival of the species". If losing the beef car could be an "extinction event", then clearly the resources are stretched a little thin. Supporting the lavish lifestyle of the firsties take sa lot more resources than just giving the tailies some decent food, especially since plenty of the tailies seem to have useful skills.

On 6/4/2020 at 1:24 PM, blackwing said:

I agree... I feel like the Tailees seem to think they deserve better treatment out of some concept of rights, which is the biggest issue I have with the premise of this series.

 I think it has more to do with the reality of everyone on that train possibly being the very last of humanity. Rights or no rights, it just makes sense to find a way to integrate everyone into the ecosystem of the train, even if means the firsties can only go to the sauna once a week or have sushi once a month 🙄 (really, this is actually what really challenges my ability to suspend disbelief--the Noah's Ark of humanity with a sushi bar?).

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On 6/4/2020 at 11:31 AM, Netfoot said:

 

It always shocks people - especially Americans, who are real big on their rights - when they discover exactly how little they have a right to. I believe the big three we hear about are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. There is no right to food, water, housing, healthcare, education... You have the right to pursue these things, but not the right to demand that they be provided.

And those are in the Declaration of Independence which does not legal status-it was the justification for the war that we were already righting.  Much confusion amongst some people about the differences between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution...

Although we have not discussed this and the show hasn't focused on it-how would the third class passengers, who are working at manual jobs, feel if the tailies got the same benefits without providing the work?  Just asking.

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Except that at least some of the tailies are working. They have the worst of the worst jobs-sanitation, and who knows what else? So I think if they were upgraded to third, they’d probably also be put to work but more menial I guess.

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