Welcome to Snowpiercer Explained, the next in a long line of explainer columns about our favorite shows. With TNT dropping a new show into the Snowpiercer universe, we’re riding along to help you keep up with the mythology and filmmaking of this post-apocalyptic freight train. This installment covers episode eight, “These Are His Revolutions.”
Welp. The game is up for Melanie (Jennifer Connelly). In Snowpiercer’s eighth episode, titled “These Are His Revolutions,” the train learns that she killed Mr. Wilford before the engine even left the station. She built the train, and she wasn’t willing to let a so-called “fraud” like Wilford get in the way of her ambition to save mankind. But do Melanie’s ends justify the means?
According to Melanie, the real Wilford wanted to use the train as a vessel for drinking, gambling, and fornicating. He wasn’t cut out to be a leader. His presence and authority would have got in the way of her grand plans to save the world someday. Trying to reach that goal has warped Melanie for sure, but her decision to toss Wilford aside makes sense. Her tendency to kill innocent people, on the other hand, is questionable.
It’s going to take a miracle for Melanie to get out of her current predicament. However, maybe the shocking revelation that Wilford is still alive will be enough to restore some order of balance to the train. That’s assuming that the revolution doesn’t usher in a new age of equality and fairness for the disenfranchised passengers anyway. Or maybe she’ll find some unlikely allies.
The show is a soft prequel to the 2013 Snowpiercer movie, so it’s only a matter of time before Wilford appears. He’s alive and well in the film, and the continuity of the lore confirms that his arrival in the show is inevitable. To explain his survival after being left for dead, the source material is key.
In the graphic novel Snowpiercer: The Explorers, a second train called Icebreaker roams the tracks, keeping passengers alive. The show makes no mention of another train, but the existence of one is the only justifiable way to explain Wilford’s survival. Furthermore, it gives the TV series an outlet for introducing a new crop of characters and expanding the universe.
“These Are His Revolutions” teases a showdown between Melanie and Wilford down the line. Melanie’s story about building the train makes it clear that she resents her fraudulent male counterpart. He’ll want revenge for being left in the cold to die, and Melanie wants the recognition she deserves. Until then, the real Wilford is the only person who’ll be able to appease the First Class passengers who demand retribution against Melanie.
When Wilford eventually joins the Snowpiercer crew, he’s going to need Melanie to keep the train running smoothly. If he’s the hack she says he is, he won’t be able to make the engine function. Melanie has the knowledge, and she’s the key to humanity’s future survival. Her absence in the movie suggests that her future isn’t a long-term one, but she won’t go down without a fight.
This episode once again suggests that Melanie and Layton (Daveed Diggs) will become strange bedfellows. His attempted coup is off to a disastrous start and he might need her expertise. It’s also worth bearing in mind that his son is locked in the engine room, and the driver is loyal to her. Melanie, meanwhile, needs allies more than ever. Now that she’s lost control of the train, siding with an uprising might be the only way to restore enough order to put her plans in motion again.
The show has a class revolution on its mind, but it also proposes that unity between people is essential. Melanie and Layton represent opposing ideologies, but they share enough common beliefs to find some common ground. If Wilford arrives soon, they’ll surely find some companionship in the form of hating a mutual enemy.