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S01.E07: The Universe is Indifferent

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Melanie intensifies her search for Layton as he plots to weaponize her secret.

Airing Sunday, June 28, 2020.

 

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Josie shattering her hand to fight Melanie was badass. I hate that she's gone but at least she went out fighting.

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Josie died a badass death.

it looks like both Bess and Ruth are choosing their sides in the upcoming revolution.

It seems Mr. Wilford existed at one point but doesn’t exist any more.   As for how long he’s been dead it’s hard to tell but it is safe to say that Melanie has been running the train for a long time but is also running out of rope to hang herself.   Between The issues with the Folgers,  the rumblings in third class and the general problems with the tailies she is losing control fast.   

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This show is quickly devolving into sex and violence, with a side order of backstabbing.

I was surprised that Josie is gone.

The episode did give you a semi-decent glimpse of the train route map. I manipulated the colors to make the lines stand out better.

2062405007_SnowpiercerMap4.thumb.jpg.150da350da183e2afe873a98888acab6.jpg

The map has some really sharp turns for no reason.

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So . . . there is nobody to root for? Melanie felt so bad about freezing and smashing Josie's finger it made her throw up? Oh, poor boo! Are we supposed to sympathize with her? When Josie smashed her own hand and attacked Melanie I was shouting for her to kick her ass!

Why would they choose a child to intern as an engineer? Wouldn't choosing an adult make more sense? Is this like Willy Wonka's candy factory, where they want a child they can mold into their own image rather than a grown-up who would want to do things their way? Or are they just trying to manipulate the tail?

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My first thought when Layton approached LJ at the end was that LJ already basically knew Melanie and Mr W were one and the same. I remember Melanie and LJ having a fairly coded conversation at the time of LJ's release back into 'society' that made me think LJ knew and Melanie knew that she knew, hence her 11th hour reprieve. But maybe it was something ELSE that LJ had over Melanie and now she has 2 pieces of leverage over her? 

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

Is this like Willy Wonka's candy factory, where they want a child they can mold into their own image rather than a grown-up who would want to do things their way? Or are they just trying to manipulate the tail?

I think both. I think he’s a pawn for the tail and I also think they’re trying to indoctrinate him, or at least get him away from the stirrings of rebellion in the tail & third classes.

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Melanie was really walking on the dark side of her personality this episode, threatening a pregnant woman and freezing fingers.  I kind of wondered what the point of smashing Josie's finger was, once she had froze it solid?  The finger was dead by that time anyway, smashing it off was only doing her a favor at that point . 

Things are unraveling fast for Melanie, I'm beginning to wonder if Jennifer Connelly was only signed on for one season.  I also wonder where the series goes once everyone knows there is no Mr. Wilford - unless he emerges from the drawers for the cliffhanger.

Odd that Layton is telling LJ his secret, he must be using her to spread havoc in the first class.  

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

So . . . there is nobody to root for? Melanie felt so bad about freezing and smashing Josie's finger it made her throw up? Oh, poor boo! Are we supposed to sympathize with her? When Josie smashed her own hand and attacked Melanie I was shouting for her to kick her ass!

Why would they choose a child to intern as an engineer? Wouldn't choosing an adult make more sense? Is this like Willy Wonka's candy factory, where they want a child they can mold into their own image rather than a grown-up who would want to do things their way? Or are they just trying to manipulate the tail?

A little bit of one a little bit of the other.   With Miles Melanie thinks she can manipulate the tail into compliance but her on prejudices are getting in the way.   Josie all but activated him and she misjudged how loyal most of them are to each other.    As for how young he is she has plenty of time to teach him just how to run the train and focus on everything he needs to know about engineering and use a child’s mind to fix problems she might have missed.  

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3 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

A little bit of one a little bit of the other.   With Miles Melanie thinks she can manipulate the tail into compliance but her on prejudices are getting in the way.   Josie all but activated him and she misjudged how loyal most of them are to each other.    As for how young he is she has plenty of time to teach him just how to run the train and focus on everything he needs to know about engineering and use a child’s mind to fix problems she might have missed.  

Since Layton and Josie are using Miles for the inside, why in the world would Josie have outed to Melanie that she’s basically his mom?

 Perhaps we’re supposed to believe there’s a solid spy network informing from the tail?  Otherwise, how will Miles now be effective?

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1 hour ago, AryasMum said:

Since Layton and Josie are using Miles for the inside, why in the world would Josie have outed to Melanie that she’s basically his mom?

I'm also surprised Melanie wasn't suspicious about how Josie's hand got frozen the rest of the way.  All she had to do was ask the guards if anyone went in there and Till would be exposed.

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5 hours ago, iMonrey said:

So . . . there is nobody to root for? Melanie felt so bad about freezing and smashing Josie's finger it made her throw up? Oh, poor boo! Are we supposed to sympathize with her? When Josie smashed her own hand and attacked Melanie I was shouting for her to kick her ass!

Why would they choose a child to intern as an engineer? Wouldn't choosing an adult make more sense? Is this like Willy Wonka's candy factory, where they want a child they can mold into their own image rather than a grown-up who would want to do things their way? Or are they just trying to manipulate the tail?

I agree, there are less and less people to root for.  I guess I'm rooting for Jinju?  And the English Engineer?  I still like Melanie, it's a tall order to hold the train together and she's doing the best she can.  She knows that the Tail is in turmoil right now and she's barely hanging on to Third Class. 

At this point, I don't understand why she just doesn't decouple the Tail.  She certainly has enough reasons to.  Sure, Third Class might be slightly upset but at least Third works for their room and board.  She wants to find Layton?  All she has to do is to tell the Tail to produce him.  He clearly has had help and is still communicating with them.  Just announce to them to get the word out that if Layton doesn't surrender himself, then the train will "accidentally" lose the last five cars or so.

I used to like Till but she has clearly sided with the Tailees and I don't understand why the guards wouldn't have reported her.  Or why Ossweiler still hasn't reported her.  Jinju suspects her, even though Melanie doesn't, and this makes Jinju the smartest person on the train.

I've always disliked Ruth and now she is going to turn against Melanie, for what?  Just because Melanie was too tired to listen to her?  And because somehow she envisions herself as the new Voice of the Train?  Such a petty woman.

I started to sympathise a little with the Tailees until the Doctor said she wants no classes and no borders and then another one said they want equal labor and equal rations.  What on earth have 95% of the Tailees ever done for the Train?  It seems like only a handful are sanitation workers, what kind of labor are the rest of them going to do?

I don't understand how Lilah Junior isn't killed the minute she steps foot into Third.  And the Night Car, where Nikki Genet worked, at that.  I also don't understand what the big deal is about "TH3 SECRET!!!!"  All Melanie has to say is that Mr. Wilford is ill and that he asked her to keep his confidence until he can recover.  Why does Layton act like it's going to destroy the train?

And good riddance Josie.  She did go out fighting, but I had gotten so annoyed with her.  Aren't any of them going to question how she got out of the Tail?  How about reviewing security camera footage and tracking her movements?  

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47 minutes ago, blackwing said:

I don't understand how Lilah Junior isn't killed the minute she steps foot into Third.  And the Night Car, where Nikki Genet worked, at that.

Yeah, that bothered me, and no one seemed to recognize her either. Given that there probably isn't a lot of interesting news, I'd imagine she'd be quite notorious. If I were in her situation, I'd stay in my parent's cabin for a few months at least. 

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15 hours ago, Empress1 said:

I think both. I think he’s a pawn for the tail and I also think they’re trying to indoctrinate him, or at least get him away from the stirrings of rebellion in the tail & third classes.

I think it’s a combination of things but the main reason to me would be he’s young but they have no foreseeable end in sight for the current state therefore they need someone young to take over when the more senior engineers inevitably die or become ill.  They have to keep moving and there’s a lot to learn. 
 

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Since there are only three episodes left in the season and since we saw Layton saying he has Miles in the Engine and they are ready to go, I'm assuming they start their assault next episode.  So now Lilah Junior knows that there is no Mr. Wilford.  So what?  What's she going to do?  Tell people in First Class and get them too to join the revolution?

My fundamental reason for being annoyed with the Tailees and Third Class complaining that they don't have bowling alleys is that without the First Class passengers, there would be no train.  The one lady from a few episodes ago said that she put in $400 MM for her place on the train.  We know that First and Second class combined constitutes 900 people.  Let's say there are anywhere between 100 to 300 First Class and everyone .  That's a capital outlay of between 40 to 120 billion.

For the Tailees (and those of you) who keep saying "all should be equal, money no longer has any meaning, people and their skills are the human capital now"... I think the flaw in that argument is that it's not that simple.  The First money not only went to the building of the train but I would presume the investment included an understanding that people would be onboard to keep the train running.  The Second and Third class passengers presumably applied for a place on the train.  In exchange for a place on the train, they agreed to perform certain designated services.  So my view is that these people were hired to do a job.  In lieu of salary, they get room and board.  Some people's jobs are harder than others, which presumably differentiates between Second and Third Class.

Yes, it's been seven years, but they could have either contributed 400 million or they could agree to do their jobs.  It's not slave labor... we saw in this episode that Ruth has a day off.  If people were worked hard and taken advantage of in Third, then we wouldn't have a Night Car where seemingly everyone is always relaxing and having fun.  It just doesn't seem like life is THAT bad, considering that the alternative would have been that they would be frozen.  

So now Third Class has decided it's not good enough and they want more.  Well, that's no different than you or me deciding that we hate our jobs.  If I hate my job and am very disgruntled, I would quit.  But then, I stop getting paid.  Third Class was basically hired to do their jobs in exchange for their "salary" of a place on the train.  If they decide they no longer want to do their jobs, then they can quit.  But there is no alternative, since they have no place to go.  So to me, when the alternative is death, it just doesn't seem like they are that bad off.  As I said, it seems like the Night Car is always packed, and Audrey puts on some shows of horrible singing and dramatic acting, which they seem to find entertaining.

I guess I really don't understand why Till and Ruth are joining the revolution.  And I truly don't understand why the Folgers are joining the revolution.  Why do they want to remove Melanie?  They got everything they wanted.  Lilah Junior still walks the train.  Because they think Ruth will be better?

I'm expecting to be really annoyed during the last three episodes, but I'm too far into this to not see how it ends.

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25 minutes ago, blackwing said:

I'm assuming they start their assault next episode.

Yeah, they just have to find out where the wide-screen TVs are stored.

22 minutes ago, blackwing said:

I'm expecting to be really annoyed during the last three episodes, but I'm too far into this to not see how it ends.

I'm pretty much with you on this. Frankly, I don't see how a satisfactory conclusion can come about without some extreme plot contortions.

 

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And good riddance Josie.  She did go out fighting, but I had gotten so annoyed with her.

I bet Astrid's pretty peeved as well. Now she's stuck in the tail.

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For the Tailees (and those of you) who keep saying "all should be equal, money no longer has any meaning, people and their skills are the human capital now"... I think the flaw in that argument is that it's not that simple. 

From the beginning, I've though it was problematic that they introduced the tailees as stowaways who jumped the train. I think it makes their cause less sympathetic. The movie didn't have that problem: the tailees were simply the lowest class passengers. The words "ticketed passengers" were never used in the movie to makes any such distinction. (There was some dialogue at the end that implied the tailees might have been stowaways but it was never explicitly stated so.)

Of course I suppose it comes down to your personal sense of morality and what people "deserve" in this kind of situation, but I'm finding it hard to sympathize with or justify their plot. They jumped on a train they had no business being on and now they are demanding equal rights. The world doesn't work that way now, I don't see why it would work that way under this situation. Yeah the alternative was certain death, but nobody said life is fair. 

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They don't seem to be very creative in solving their problems.  Melanie is worried about revolution in the Tail, and that the janitors in Third class are corrupt.  Why not offer Layton a swap?  She'll arrange for them to all move to Third and take over the janitorial services, while the current janitors are exiled to the Tail.  Makes the Tailees happy and solves her janitor and drug problem.

But Layton is right - there is plenty of room on a 2001 car train for them to be moved out of the baggage car. Whether they paid for, or applied for a ticket, after 7 years it's just inhumane to treat them like they have been.

They can't just detach the Tail - they would encounter it the next time past (3 months?) and derail.  By then it would be frozen solid to the tracks.

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8 hours ago, HeatherRuns said:

I think it’s a combination of things but the main reason to me would be he’s young but they have no foreseeable end in sight for the current state therefore they need someone young to take over when the more senior engineers inevitably die or become ill.  

It really is a combination of different things.  They need to look for the future (have the next generation of engineers), they want to indoctrinate him to their way of thinking, and they want to use him as leverage against the Tailies.

 

3 hours ago, blackwing said:

And I truly don't understand why the Folgers are joining the revolution.  Why do they want to remove Melanie?  They got everything they wanted.  Lilah Junior still walks the train.  Because they think Ruth will be better?

The Folgers were irritated that LJ was even found guilty - they didn't want third class represented on the jury.  Melanie tried to find a balance between appeasing third class and first class, and she ended up pleasing nobody.  They probably figure they can control Ruth better.  They want to depose Melanie and put their own candidate in there, one that would be more beholden to them.

That doesn't mean Ruth will do a better job by any means, but revolutions don't always make sense.

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

I bet Astrid's pretty peeved as well. Now she's stuck in the tail.

From the beginning, I've though it was problematic that they introduced the tailees as stowaways who jumped the train. I think it makes their cause less sympathetic. The movie didn't have that problem: the tailees were simply the lowest class passengers. The words "ticketed passengers" were never used in the movie to makes any such distinction. (There was some dialogue at the end that implied the tailees might have been stowaways but it was never explicitly stated so.)

Of course I suppose it comes down to your personal sense of morality and what people "deserve" in this kind of situation, but I'm finding it hard to sympathize with or justify their plot. They jumped on a train they had no business being on and now they are demanding equal rights. The world doesn't work that way now, I don't see why it would work that way under this situation. Yeah the alternative was certain death, but nobody said life is fair. 

I think Astrid is back in Third Class... when they came to get Josie for interrogation, Josie was back in the Tail.  So presumably she and Astrid swapped back.

Interesting about the movie... I haven't seen it yet and will have to check it out, I'll watch it after this season is over.

57 minutes ago, meep.meep said:

They don't seem to be very creative in solving their problems.  Melanie is worried about revolution in the Tail, and that the janitors in Third class are corrupt.  Why not offer Layton a swap?  She'll arrange for them to all move to Third and take over the janitorial services, while the current janitors are exiled to the Tail.  Makes the Tailees happy and solves her janitor and drug problem.

But Layton is right - there is plenty of room on a 2001 car train for them to be moved out of the baggage car. Whether they paid for, or applied for a ticket, after 7 years it's just inhumane to treat them like they have been.

They can't just detach the Tail - they would encounter it the next time past (3 months?) and derail.  By then it would be frozen solid to the tracks.

I agree that I don't understand why she just doesn't fire the janitors.  She had already threatened to send some Third Class to the tail.  Why doesn't she follow through with it.  Also, is Janitor and Sanitation the same thing?  We've already seen that at least three Tailees work in Sanitation - The Last Australian, the other guy, and the "sick" guy that Josie replaced.  Why not have more Tailees do Sanitation or Janitor?

But I don't agree that "it's been 7 years" so the Tailees deserve more.  What have they ever done for the train?  Do we know how many of them are actually willing to work on the train?  Are there lots of Tailees asking for jobs and a move to Third?  I guess we don't know... and to me it makes it seem like the Tailees are just mooching off the train, they don't do anything for their food and yet have lots of complaints.

The only examples I think we have of people moving from Tail to Third are Astrid and Zarah.  Zarah is despised by the Tailees, she is viewed as a traitor for having left them and taken a job in Third.  For some reason, it seems like Astrid also moved but nobody hates her, in fact, she seems to be this beloved figure amongst the Tailees.  And Layton flat out rejected a move to Third.  He said he wanted to go back to the Tail and that he would be viewed as a traitor if he left.  So my conclusion from that is that the Tailees want to be treated the same as at least Third but they aren't willing to do any work.  Hard to feel any sympathy for them when they complain that they don't get to use the bowling alley.

As far as detaching the tail... I would think there has to be a siding that the train can divert through and detach a car or two at the end.  It seems like the train has to always keep moving otherwise it would have stopped before it got to the bridge last episode.  So cars in the middle have to be repaired while in motion, but no reason to believe why they couldn't just drop the last few cars off at the siding.  Either that or just use an RPG and blow it up.

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I have always been kind of meh on Josie, but damn that was a badass way to go. That looked awful, but she really went out swinging. 

They finally decide to do the obvious, recruit third class into their rebellion, and third class makes a lot of solid points. How will they function? How will they get all the way up there with so few resources? Who will actually be running the train? 

Melanie is going darker and darker as she watching her carefully ordered train going off the rails, metaphorically and last week, almost literally. She has always been morally grey, clearly, and done deeply questionable things, but it just keeps getting worse. Personally torturing people and threatening to tear babies out of their mothers stomach against their will is...a lot. She also needs to really start reading the room, she has been making a lot of bad choices based around short term clean up as she tries to keep her secret, which is leading her to make bad choices in the long run. Getting LJ off murder charges solved a momentary problem, but that also leaves an unpredictable element like LJ running around (and it seems like Layton might turn her love of chaos and violence against first) and seriously upsets everyone, especially third. Even if the train almost derailing might have put a band-aid on thirds anger, this is still going to be a problem. And now, her snapping at Ruth in her frustration is going to probably lead to Ruth supporting this coup against her, when she was originally going to tell her what was going on. Smooth move, Mel. 

 

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31 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

I have always been kind of meh on Josie, but damn that was a badass way to go. That looked awful, but she really went out swinging. 

They finally decide to do the obvious, recruit third class into their rebellion, and third class makes a lot of solid points. How will they function? How will they get all the way up there with so few resources? Who will actually be running the train? 

Melanie is going darker and darker as she watching her carefully ordered train going off the rails, metaphorically and last week, almost literally. She has always been morally grey, clearly, and done deeply questionable things, but it just keeps getting worse. Personally torturing people and threatening to tear babies out of their mothers stomach against their will is...a lot. She also needs to really start reading the room, she has been making a lot of bad choices based around short term clean up as she tries to keep her secret, which is leading her to make bad choices in the long run. Getting LJ off murder charges solved a momentary problem, but that also leaves an unpredictable element like LJ running around (and it seems like Layton might turn her love of chaos and violence against first) and seriously upsets everyone, especially third. Even if the train almost derailing might have put a band-aid on thirds anger, this is still going to be a problem. And now, her snapping at Ruth in her frustration is going to probably lead to Ruth supporting this coup against her, when she was originally going to tell her what was going on. Smooth move, Mel. 

 

I'd like to know if Melanie is going to wonder how Josie managed to freeze her whole arm.  Her wrists were chained to the ring on the table so there's no way she would have been able to get to the freeze gun.  Wouldn't you think that the first thing Melanie should be doing is asking the guards how Josie managed to get the freeze gun?  "Oh, Brakeman Till went in to talk to her."

This episode was clearly set up to show that Everybody Hates Melanie.  First Class doesn't like her.  Second Class people like Till and perhaps (not sure what class they are) Ruth and the doctor don't like her.  Third Class clearly hates her.  So one by one, the Tailees are acquiring their sympathizers.

Ruth is in way over her head.  She ran a B&B and all she is good for is just attending to the needs of her rich customers.  There's a huge difference between "Yes Mrs. Folger, I will ask the Swedes to not be naked in the sauna" and actually running the train.  What does she think Melanie does all day?  There's no way Ruth could adequately run the whole operation.

Since we've been talking about how money has no value... seems like everything is free for the First Class.  But what about Second and Third Class.  When the Irish guy and Ruth went on their lunch date in the Ocean Car... do they pay?  Is there some sort of money system aboard the train?  We were previously told that the biggest asset on the train (by the drawer doctor) is "Access" and that people trade and barter for access.  So how are Second and Third Class paying for their food?  Do they accumulate some kind of credits that they can save up for a drink in the Night Car or a fancy lunch in the Ocean Car?  Otherwise, why aren't those places crowded at all times?

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Did Melanie admit to Josie that Mr. Wilford was dead or not really?  

Why didn't Josie spray Melanie with the freezing air instead of trying to wrap the hose around her neck?

If Mr. Wilford was actually dead, everyone of the train should be grateful that Melanie is trying to keep the train moving and people in line.  This could go south really quickly without anyone in charge.

 

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1 hour ago, blackwing said:

There's no way Ruth could adequately run the whole operation.

They could rename it to the Classless Habitat in Absolute Zero and see how long it lasts.

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I believe I remember that someone in a 3rd class dining car mentioned that they pay with 3rd class credits.

I wish they would show us how society functions normally before they burn it all to the ground. It might help us sympathize with the people trying to change things and understand what those changes might look like.

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2 hours ago, Dminches said:

If Mr. Wilford was actually dead, everyone of the train should be grateful that Melanie is trying to keep the train moving and people in line.  This could go south really quickly without anyone in charge.

 

Yes.  I just don't understand why Layton thinks this information is going to destroy society.  He was talking about how Melanie Cavill is behind the curtain, a clear reference to the Wizard of Oz.  So is there the suggestion that Mr. Wilford is this revered and beloved figure?  The way they all talk about him, it's almost like it's a cult.  So supposedly if the information comes out that Mr. Wilford is fictitious or dead, is that going to be the catalyst for people rioting?

Regardless of whether it's Mr. Wilford or Melanie, clearly somebody has been doing a good job of making sure the train operations run smoothly.  I don't understand why it's supposedly going to be such a big shock that Melanie is in charge.  Somebody has to be.  

47 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

I believe I remember that someone in a 3rd class dining car mentioned that they pay with 3rd class credits.

I wish they would show us how society functions normally before they burn it all to the ground. It might help us sympathize with the people trying to change things and understand what those changes might look like.

I agree.  From what I can tell, Third Class people have jobs on the train, but when they aren't working, they spend all of their time either eating in the Third Class Dining Car or at the bar in the Night Car at all hours of the day and night.  There's things in the Night Car like a prostitute service and some kind of zen meditation service.  And they apparently have good noodles.  So why does Third act like they have it so bad?  

I suppose the murders and the freeing of Lilah Junior were upsetting.  But honestly, if Third wanted justice they could have easily taken Lilah Junior in the Night Car and killed her.  They didn't.  So I'm not buying that her trial was that upsetting to them that they are now willing participants in the revolution.

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On 6/29/2020 at 1:28 AM, AnimeMania said:

The episode did give you a semi-decent glimpse of the train route map.

Which raises a question about the origin of the train.  How did they build this gynormous route over the entire world?  It travels all through the US, down through Central America and circumnavigates South America, returns to Alaska, crosses into Siberia and on to Southeast Asia, where it crosses over to Australia and New Zealand, etc., etc,.  All the handwavium in the world isn't going to build bridges to cross those oceans.  Wilford Industries couldn't have sold the excursion as the luxury cruise of a lifetime without a route already in place.  Yet, the first episode gave the impression that the Tailies were storming the train at the last possible moment.  The megafreeze couldn't have happened that fast, because they couldn't build those bridges on the resulting ice in time.  And that's not even considering the effect on the rest of the world's population.

On 6/29/2020 at 9:53 AM, iMonrey said:

So . . . there is nobody to root for?

Always put your money on the bartender. 

On 6/29/2020 at 3:26 PM, blackwing said:

I don't understand how Lilah Junior isn't killed the minute she steps foot into Third.  And the Night Car, where Nikki Genet worked, at that.  I also don't understand what the big deal is about "TH3 SECRET!!!!"

I think that Melanie and her jackboots have buffaloed 3d class into submission so that they're afraid to touch anyone from First.  Certainly there's some rogues back there, but, as we gathered from the dialog, 3d is too afraid of losing what they have to join up with the Tailies.  Anytime you have an autocracy, you need an 'Other' to maintain your hold over the population.

10 hours ago, blackwing said:

Well, that's no different than you or me deciding that we hate our jobs. 

Except that, in the real world, at least the free world, getting fired for speaking out is a relatively minor consequence.  On the train, if you object to your treatment, you get brutalized or killed.

6 hours ago, blackwing said:

But I don't agree that "it's been 7 years" so the Tailees deserve more. 

As William Munny (Eastwood) rather memorably said in Unforgiven,"Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."  The lower classes are to the point of saying 'You have it, we want it'.  Whatever else they say is just a justification for that premise.

6 hours ago, blackwing said:

As far as detaching the tail... I would think there has to be a siding that the train can divert through and detach a car or two at the end. 

They did mention a siding in the last episode.

4 hours ago, Dminches said:

Did Melanie admit to Josie that Mr. Wilford was dead or not really?  

She did say that she inherited the train, so that was a telling statement.

 

Something else about the societal structure on the train puzzles me.  Wilford obviously built in the amputation locks and the portable freeze gun while the train was being built.  What kind of person thinks of this?  It's been said that he foresaw the freeze coming, but someone on the design committee felt that the train was going to be divided into distinct classes, and that first class would be lords above all (except the engineers).  Interesting.  The other thing is that all the jackboots seem to be rather young.  Were they recruited from paramilitaries? However, they, along with the other passengers, have aged 7 years since the takeoff.  What happens as they age out of their profession?  You have to teach some of those young children, starting at an early age, that the lower classes are The Other, and not worth your sympathy.  You have to train them constantly to protect their own in First Class, and follow orders no matter how brutal.  Scary.  Very Orwellian.

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29 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

I wish they would show us how society functions normally before they burn it all to the ground. It might help us sympathize with the people trying to change things and understand what those changes might look like.

I don't think they need to show how society functions normally before they burn it to the ground because they went to ridiculous lengths to hold the economic social order on the train in stasis to be similar to what the viewer is familiar with despite seven years passing.  In an apocalypse, its ridiculous that it hasn't already broken down. 

I even hand wave that the reason this show is set on a train is because Wilford or Melanie realized that needing a environment to survive in that required specialized skills of the upper classes as a deterrent to an uprising that would keep the status quo where they remained in power longer.

On 6/29/2020 at 6:26 PM, blackwing said:

At this point, I don't understand why she just doesn't decouple the Tail.  She certainly has enough reasons to.  Sure, Third Class might be slightly upset but at least Third works for their room and board. 

Third would be more than upset. They would become the tail.  If they cut loose the tail, third simultaneously becomes the tail and has seen that those in power are willing to cut the tail loose.

On 6/29/2020 at 6:26 PM, blackwing said:

I started to sympathize a little with the Tailees until the Doctor said she wants no classes and no borders and then another one said they want equal labor and equal rations.  What on earth have 95% of the Tailees ever done for the Train?  It seems like only a handful are sanitation workers, what kind of labor are the rest of them going to do?

I sincerely doubt that the tail has been given any meaningful opportunities to contribute to the train.  I think those who got out of the tail had something to offer (a skill or a bribe) and no one to leave behind or no one they were unwilling to leave behind.  Taking some of the kids from the tail for internships is likely more a carrot to give a glimmer of hope that things might someday change to keep the rebellions down than anything else. 

That parents are willing to turn their kids over for the hope that they will have a better life is a pretty good indicator that the tail isn't filled with a bunch of people that only want handouts.  Another is that they asked for equal work and equal rations.  That is a much better starting point than I want equal rations while not doing anything.  If they aren't capable of equal work, then teach them.

I also don't think the assumption can be made that they can't contribute.  These are not the dregs of the Earth that got on the train.  This is a cross section of people that were highly motivated to survive and managed to do so.  We know at a minimum there was a homicide detective among them, I don't think its unreasonable to think there are others with skills.

I think its more likely that there aren't enough resources to give into the tail's demands because the consumption of the rich is less in total than what they would need to make things more equal.  Or they know that changing the social order will have such push back as being "unfair" from the paying passengers that survival will be compromised in the upheaval that would come with a change.

8 hours ago, blackwing said:

For the Tailees (and those of you) who keep saying "all should be equal, money no longer has any meaning, people and their skills are the human capital now"... I think the flaw in that argument is that it's not that simple.  The First money not only went to the building of the train but I would presume the investment included an understanding that people would be onboard to keep the train running.  The Second and Third class passengers presumably applied for a place on the train.  In exchange for a place on the train, they agreed to perform certain designated services.  So my view is that these people were hired to do a job.  In lieu of salary, they get room and board.  Some people's jobs are harder than others, which presumably differentiates between Second and Third Class.

But when does it end?  When do the money people get the return on their investment and the work of running the train becomes the larger  investment.  Do they get to pass down their passenger class to the next generation, the one after that? 

The third class is effectively indentured servants for life.  The tail is being sterilized so they won't have any future generations that might be able have a better life. 

Maybe there is no plan for a future that is more equitable in terms of monetary vs human capital because humanity won't last that long, but with seven years having passed with the idle rich doing nothing and being able to get away with serial murder I can see how third and the tail would not be satisfied with their lot and want more.

6 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Of course I suppose it comes down to your personal sense of morality and what people "deserve" in this kind of situation, but I'm finding it hard to sympathize with or justify their plot. They jumped on a train they had no business being on and now they are demanding equal rights. The world doesn't work that way now, I don't see why it would work that way under this situation. Yeah the alternative was certain death, but nobody said life is fair. 

My personal sense of morality on this one is everyone "deserves" an opportunity to work / learn and better their situation.  I think the train has rigid social and economic structures that prevents this but gives the illusion of hope that voices will be heard or circumstances might change. 

As I said at the beginning of this post.  They worked very hard to start this show being very close to how the world works despite seven years passing since the freeze.  If I look at this from the perspective of each class, I can see that they all have some valid points.  But the tail is bearing the brunt of "life isn't fair" and I think seven years in a dark over crowded box car is long enough that I'd be thinking that its time to provide opportunities so they could better their situation.

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Last week I had an issue with Zarah knowing she is pregnant with Layton's baby two days after their sexual encounter. They have not said it is Layton's baby, but I think we are supposed to come to that conclusion. This week, Terence from Janitorial tells Melanie he hadn't seen Layton since the fight, five or six weeks ago, so I'm now sure it's Layton's child.

16 hours ago, blackwing said:

I'm expecting to be really annoyed during the last three episodes, but I'm too far into this to not see how it ends.

 

16 hours ago, Netfoot said:

I'm pretty much with you on this. Frankly, I don't see how a satisfactory conclusion can come about without some extreme plot contortions.

Me three, and I'm really irritated by it.

 

11 hours ago, blackwing said:

Since we've been talking about how money has no value... seems like everything is free for the First Class.  But what about Second and Third Class.  When the Irish guy and Ruth went on their lunch date in the Ocean Car... do they pay?  Is there some sort of money system aboard the train?  We were previously told that the biggest asset on the train (by the drawer doctor) is "Access" and that people trade and barter for access.  So how are Second and Third Class paying for their food?  Do they accumulate some kind of credits that they can save up for a drink in the Night Car or a fancy lunch in the Ocean Car?  Otherwise, why aren't those places crowded at all times?

When LJ's security guy got stuck in third after the fight, he paid with a first class drink token, so there is some type of money system.

10 hours ago, Dminches said:

Why didn't Josie spray Melanie with the freezing air instead of trying to wrap the hose around her neck?

Yeah, that was an example of stupid writing. It was completely illogical behavior.

I've come to the conclusion that, like the teenage psychopath Lilah Junior, I think I'm smarter than everyone on that train. From the first episode, they have repeatedly discussed Mr. Wilford, the train being 1001 cars long, the damn bees dying, and everything needing to be in balance.

First episode had someone in the Tail and an engineer discussing with Melanie that they were behind where they should be and both mentioned them separating the tail cars. Melanie decides to ration water instead. When the Tailies revolted years before the Tail wasn't detached, so why is that a fear now?

Since we have been beaten over the head with the 1001 cars, they are obviously all needed. It's probably as simple as needing a full 10 mile of train to keep the train moving because the first cars start up a hill and need the push from the middle and rear cars coming down a hill to keep pushing the middle cars forward, and then the first cars pull the middle and rear cars down the hill. If there is only 9.5 mile of cars, then there is a possible problem when things like the avalanche that took out the cattle car and the train loses too much speed to make it up the next hill. And/or the power created by the motion of the trains to keep the lights, water, heat, freezers, and drawers working comes from the friction of the track and it takes the full 1001 cars to fully power everything. It's too obvious, though, so it would be disappointing if that is the final take-away of the repeated comments about 1001 cars.

In this episode, Layton told the "leaders of Third Class" that he was put in the drawers for what he discovered and he thinks they already know. Melanie told Josie she inherited the problems of the train when she took over for Mr. Wilford, using specific words that didn't say she was now acting as Mr. Wilford but leading us to that conclusion. I no longer give a damn about Mr. Wilford, if he's on the train, if he's in the drawers, if he's addicted to the drugs, or maybe slumming back in the Tail because he wanted to meet The Last Australian. I simply do not care about the storyline and cannot think of a reason that will be revealed to change my mind.

I also don't see how telling Lilah Jr. about it helps Layton's uprising. If there was anyone on the train that didn't think she was a psychopath before, they now certainly think she got away with murder. There were people in First that got up and left when the Folgers sat down to eat, shooting them dirty looks on the way out. I don't see her knowing that Melanie is Mr. Wilford, if that's what she was told, will result in anything positive because I can't see anyone paying heed to anything she says. I'm hoping, but not expecting, Layton to tell her something different, which will ultimately help his cause.

Speaking of the teenage psychopath, she killed the damn bees somehow, took a piece of the apiary as a trophy, then used it to remove the penis of the men she killed, to keep them as trophies, because she's psycho. I have issues with the bees dying, which are probably as petty as my outrage of Zarah knowing she was pregnant two days after having sex with Layton, before it was clarified it was several weeks before, not days.

I'm not completely unreasonable here. I will accept that the bees were already enclosed in the train when the weather changed so drastically, so those bees were unable to follow the Tandoka Scale back to their home planet of Melissa Majoria. I have an issue with all of the bees being in the apiary at the same time.

There are eleven(?) cars of plants. Since everything is "in balance," as we are told continuously, so much so that Miles and Miles' hair clippings are kept, Josie is sent to compost and the methane is used from the cattle, I'm assuming that they are not using chemical fertilization. Even with manure fertilization, that would require the plants to be rotated to keep the soil healthy. A plant that leeches nitrogen will be replanted in the soil of a plant that deposits excess nitrogen, etc.  There would be plants needing pollinating everyday, yet none of the cars had bees being housed in a car at the time all the bees died. It also didn't sound like a hive collapse. It's just stupid, not the stupidest thing on the show, but irksome to me.

Speaking of manure, if Mr. Wilford hung around a better class of losers he would have made sure that the cows were fed the grain that would produce nice psychotropic mushrooms from the manure, and mix low doses into the Bug Bars keeping the Tailies too calm to form a rebellion. 
Since he didn't expect the Tailies in the first place, the shrooms could have been used medicinally, along with ayahuasca, in the Night Car. One of the cars should have "medical plants" to include cannabis and aloe to help the people in the Drawers not have ulcerations from bed sores, Red Clover for hot flashes, clove oil for toothaches, etc, but he appears to be an alcohol only man. Lilah Sr. could certainly use a bit of THC mixed into her dinner. None of it would cure the Lilahs of their psychopathy, but that Brakeman who traded drugs for sexual favors from the Tailes would probably be willing to use the ice-pick thingy Melanie used to give them lobotomies. 

Three more episodes...

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20 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

She did say that she inherited the train, so that was a telling statement.

I don't think it tells us much, that could mean anything.  I'm beginning to suspect a swerve here, and at the end of the season (or later) we might see the real Mr. Wilford emerge from the drawers.

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5 hours ago, rmontro said:

I don't think it tells us much, that could mean anything.  I'm beginning to suspect a swerve here, and at the end of the season (or later) we might see the real Mr. Wilford emerge from the drawers.

I have been saying from pretty much the beginning that I think Mr. Wilford is in the Drawers.  And especially after Melanie revealed that the Drawers was some kind of species preservation system.  He figured that he would ride it out in suspended animation until the world defrosts and Melanie and others can keep him safe.  I also would not at all be surprised if she is his daughter.  She said in the other episode that "I built this train" so she clearly is a skilled engineer.

In this episode, didn't others refer to her as an Engineer (besides English Engineer and the other one)?  I thought as far as the passengers were concerned, she is just the Hospitality Manager who communicates with Mr. Wilford.

18 hours ago, Christina said:

Since we have been beaten over the head with the 1001 cars, they are obviously all needed. It's probably as simple as needing a full 10 mile of train to keep the train moving because the first cars start up a hill and need the push from the middle and rear cars coming down a hill to keep pushing the middle cars forward, and then the first cars pull the middle and rear cars down the hill. If there is only 9.5 mile of cars, then there is a possible problem when things like the avalanche that took out the cattle car and the train loses too much speed to make it up the next hill. And/or the power created by the motion of the trains to keep the lights, water, heat, freezers, and drawers working comes from the friction of the track and it takes the full 1001 cars to fully power everything. It's too obvious, though, so it would be disappointing if that is the final take-away of the repeated comments about 1001 cars.

I also don't see how telling Lilah Jr. about it helps Layton's uprising. If there was anyone on the train that didn't think she was a psychopath before, they now certainly think she got away with murder. There were people in First that got up and left when the Folgers sat down to eat, shooting them dirty looks on the way out. I don't see her knowing that Melanie is Mr. Wilford, if that's what she was told, will result in anything positive because I can't see anyone paying heed to anything she says. I'm hoping, but not expecting, Layton to tell her something different, which will ultimately help his cause.

So last week we had Lilah waxing philosophically about being on Snowpiercer, "1001 cars long".  I can't even remember, who else has done the intro?  Each week we are obviously supposed to understand the motivations between various passengers on the train.  Has Ruth gotten her turn?  Curious about what is going on in that vapid head.

I agree that if this were to make any sense, nobody in First would give a crap what Lilah Junior has to say.  She's a murderer, they all know it.  She tried to kill Layton when she was caught.  But of course, in order to create THE DRAMAS, once Lilah Junior goes back to First after eating her noodles in Third, she will tell people, and of course they are all going to feel betrayed that "Melanie LIED to us!  Time to get rid of Melanie!  Let's help these Tailees destroy our posh way of life!"  Because they are stupid.

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Personally, I have very little respect for Mr. Wilford if this confederation of dunces is what he hoped to repopulate the world with if the freeze lifts.  After years, perhaps decades when (if) it actually ends, did he really think that this group, whose main talents seem to be debauchery and  Lord of The Flies level treachery, will be able to create anything but a communal burial mound?

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19 hours ago, blackwing said:

So last week we had Lilah waxing philosophically about being on Snowpiercer, "1001 cars long".

I don't read too much into the "1001 cars long" bit.  It strikes me as just a gimmicky way of opening each episode.

 

19 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

Personally, I have very little respect for Mr. Wilford if this confederation of dunces is what he hoped to repopulate the world with if the freeze lifts.

Considering all of the hate, division, and backbiting going on in the real world right now, I'd say Mr. Wilford recreated human society pretty well.  Warts and all.

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You know, having Daveed Diggs in this cast somehow makes the truly horrible singing that they've subjected us to this episode exponentially more awful.  Can we come up with some reason that Layton has to be the entertainment in the Night Car?

2 minutes ago, rmontro said:

I don't read too much into the "1001 cars long" bit.  It strikes me as just a gimmicky way of opening each episode.

I'm waiting for them to steal the BSG opening credits where they give a count of survivors and start numbering the cars left as everything goes to shit..  

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 I also would not at all be surprised if she is his daughter.  She said in the other episode that "I built this train" so she clearly is a skilled engineer.

But didn't she say something like "I wish I was born rich" or something? Wouldn't she have been born rich if she was Wilford's daughter?

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I have not seen the movie, read the graphic novel/source material, or read any reviews other than this forum, nor have I rewatched any episodes. Here is my speculation about Mr. Wilford:

***

He is from an alternate universe that operates in four dimensions. As part of his Masters thesis, he researched probable causes of apoplectic demise. For his Doctorate, he created microverses of the earth, which are contained in shadow boxes like ant colonies, or globes like snowglobes, and created different crisis for each one to see how the humans could survive. There was one for the The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, one for the wheat blight, one for the dust bowl, one for the Spanish flu and a follow up of a contagious virus in 2020, and the one shown on the show, global warming. 

Since they are microverses, a minute in his real time is equal to a year in each microverse, and he is able to jump in and out of the shadow boxes by teleporting to specific leylines. That's why Ruth found a strange man without a car or luggage showing up at her B&B, why they need ten miles of train, and why it was a concern in episode one when they were behind where they needed to be. As long as the train is moving, it doesn't seem like it would matter where it was on the track, but if it doesn't cross a leyline at a certain time, then Mr. Wilford is unable to land on the train as opposed to the frozen ground. The need to cross the leylines also explains the map someone posted that shows some weird sharp turns that do not make any sense to those of us in this reality.

The theory gets stupider...

As part of his research, he must allow the subjects to act of their own free-will without his involvement. After realizing the human race is too stupid to not destroy the train during their efforts to advance their personal needs, and just cannot get along, he is left with no other option then to arrive, all Gandalf-the-White-like with a staff that shines a bright light throughout the train, all Godlike:

giphy.gif

He then bellows, which reverberates throughout all 1001 cars of the train:

"If you do NOT stop fighting this instant, I will pull this car train over and put all of you out on the side of the road track!!! Anyone who does not want to live under my rules is free to leave. Raise your hand and a Brakeman will lead you to the last car and you will be disconnected at the first side rail we cross!"

He then returns to his reality where he grumbles about mankind, bitches about not using mice or ants like normal people, and downs half a bottle of Jack Daniels.

/End

This petty bitching was brought to you by chronic insomnia but not drugs (because I don't have any) and not alcohol (because Mr. Wilford drank it all). I'm hoping the last episodes drive the show home, but right now, it doesn't look like it will happen.

 

 

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On 7/5/2020 at 10:59 AM, Netfoot said:

You forgot to mention Bigfoot's role!

 

Funny you should say that because the Abominale Snowman snatched Mr. Wilford from the tracks and took him to his lair deep in the mountain to live as his pet. He renamed him George.

giphy.gif

 

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On 7/2/2020 at 7:53 PM, ParadoxLost said:

You know, having Daveed Diggs in this cast somehow makes the truly horrible singing that they've subjected us to this episode exponentially more awful.  Can we come up with some reason that Layton has to be the entertainment in the Night car?

I'm waiting for them to steal the BSG opening credits where they give a count of survivors and start numbering the cars left as everything goes to shit..  

Perhaps a production of Hamilton?

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So . . . there is nobody to root for? Melanie felt so bad about freezing and smashing Josie's finger it made her throw up? Oh, poor boo!

Just watching this show now, and that made me so mad. Fuck you, Melanie!

Also, I'm mad they killed off Josie. I liked her and Layton's relationship.

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