“Justice Never Boarded,” this week’s episode of TNT’s Snowpiercer, ended up with me having more questions than before. But since the episode was focused more on class warfare than the train itself none of those questions was about why they’re on a train.
This week we had the tribunal for LJ Folger, teen aged first class passenger and thrill killer. The whole thing was a rather odd affair. Ruth presided, there were jurors and witnesses, but there was no prosecutor or advocate for the accused. The head brakeman presented the evidence against LJ so I suppose he may have been acting as prosecutor but it wasn’t clear, at least to me. It’s already established that LJ’s mother was a lawyer so why not have her give the stirring closing argument in her daughter’s defense?
But the biggest question about the tribunal is the jury. It originally was supposed to be composed of first and second class passengers with no representation from the third class passengers. That’s a system guaranteed to increase tension between the passenger classes, especially in a case like this where victims are from third class and the accused killer is from first class. Is that intentional or did no one think that one through?
Melanie Cavill had to scramble to placate both third class and first class. No matter how the tribunal turns out one of those groups will turn against her. She changed the jury system to have one juror each from first, second, and third class. But after that jury found LJ guilty on all counts, the benevolent Mr. Wilford commuted her sentence and remanded LJ to the custody of her parents. So in the end, the Folgers (and presumably the rest of the first class passengers) were placated but third class was riled up since a guilty verdict without consequences isn’t really justice. Does Melanie figure she can handle a revolt from third class better than a revolt from first class? Or is she that worried about what LJ knows?
Speaking of Melanie and Wilford, I still think there was a Wilford. This episode shows that she is simply not a Machiavellian schemer and manipulator capable of pulling off the deception needed to get the train financed and built without anyone realizing that there was no actual Wilford. If that’s where the show goes then the writers have done a terrible job showing Melanie’s ability to do it.
If the drawers are experimental, what was their intended purpose? Resource conservation by keeping some passengers asleep so the sushi and smoked salmon last longer? First class passengers sleeping through the freeze while the lower classes keep the train running?
The more she talks, the more Ruth sounds like Tilda Swinton’s character from the movie. (I’m sure that’s not coincidental.). At one point in the episode I was expecting her to do a riff on the “be a shoe” speech.