“These Are His Revolutions” is where we begin to see the results of what Snowpiercer has been building towards all season. Layton sets his plan in motion with effects that are felt from the very front of the train to the back.
The first step of Layton’s plan uses LJ Folger to reveal Melanie’s secret to the first class passengers. Besides sowing chaos in the front of the train, it also causes Commander Grey to reduce the number of his black-clad Jackboots at the rear of the train as he shifts forces forward. Melanie is put into custody and shackled to the same desk in the Hospitality office where she interrogated Josie last episode as she awaits execution.
“I built this train … Wilford sold tickets.” Melanie tells Ruth her version of what happened to Wilford but as with her explanation of the drawers to Layton, Melanie has every reason to spin a self-serving tale. According to Melanie, Wilford was a rich asshole who didn’t believe humanity could be saved so he wanted to just party hardy for as long as possible before the end. If true, it goes a long way towards explaining the train’s class system so Wilford and the other rich people could live in luxurious first class while the second and third class passengers were effectively their servants until the end came. Melanie claims the train wouldn’t have even lasted one revolution around the world under Wilford so she left him behind to die when the train started. Her story is consistent with things Melanie has said before so it’s plausible and for now I’ll take it as at least mostly true. Since Wilford’s death happened offscreen, I’m not assuming he’s really dead either.
Layton’s revolt only gets as far as the Night Car where they engage Nolan Grey and his Jackboots in bloody close quarters combat. Layton knew there would be casualties but he is clearly shaken by the losses among the Tailies. Pike may be right that he’ll crumble if the losses are too great.
- Before things turn bloody, Till has a moment with Jinju. They both realize the other one has been keeping secrets. Till has chosen her side but Jinju asks Till to not make her choose between the train and her. The break in their relationship may be unfixable. Jinju is definitely Team Melanie though so she may go to Till to save Melanie.
- So Melanie had a daughter. That may explain her almost maternal interest in Miles and why she didn’t use him as leverage against Layton. That and the story plot required Miles to be in the engine.
- Ruth and Grey are the new power couple of the train. Both are invested in maintaining order but Ruth is also a zealot about the myth of the great Mr. Wilford and that’s dangerous. She won’t even consider that any part of Melanie’s story is true (other than admitting that she’s responsible for Wilford’s death) so she’s ready to execute one of the very few people who knows how to keep the train running.
- So the Brakemen are the train’s police force but Wilford decided he needed a separate force of riot troops, i.e. the Jackboots. Did he expect the lower class passengers to revolt at some point? (Remember the Tailies were last minute stowaways so they weren’t part of the train’s planning.)
- Pike recovered from the drawer pretty fast. Layton was in a drawer for a fraction of the time and he took a while to be coherent. And what’s with Strong Boy suddenly speaking Chinese?
- Engineer Bennett has locked down the engine with himself and Miles inside. Unless Bennett is a complete idiot, he at least suspects that the things happening right after Miles was promoted to the engine aren’t a coincidence.
- The title of this post is a play on a song title that I couldn’t resist.