Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Now, this not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following is laden with spoilers for TNT’s sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Not much is known about Bess Till‘s (Mickey Sumner) life prior to The Freeze. We do know that she was a police officer at the Detroit Police Department before boarding Snowpiercer. After The Freeze, she worked as a brakeman under Lead Brakeman Sam Roche (Mike O’Malley) and alongside fellow brakeman John Osweiller (Sam Otto).
Bess was comfortable in her position amid the seven years Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) was in power. That is until she met Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs), a Tailie who was appointed as train detective. He was asked by Melanie to investigate a series of brutal murders that occurred in third class.
After an initially rocky encounter with Layton, Bess learned to work with him. The pair uncovered quite a bit regarding the murder investigation. Bess discovered that Osweiller was involved in dirty dealings, so she endeavored to make sure he’d be reprimanded for breaking the law.
Later, Melanie sentenced Layton to the drawers after he discovered she was really in charge, not the elusive Mr. Wilford. Bess jumped in to save Layton and Josie Wellstead (Katie McGuinness). In addition, she knocked Osweiller unconscious in the process so he couldn’t impede their escape.
Meanwhile, Bess became romantically involved with second-class train chef Jinju Seong (Susan Park). Bess wanted to keep their relationship under wraps, while Jinju hoped they’d be exclusively in the open. Layton and Josie were enmeshed in a years-long revolution in the making. Their objective was to ensure that the Tail received equal rights and joined the same playing field as their first, second and third class counterparts.
Eventually, Bess became a willing participant in Layton’s revolution. This led to her breakup with Jinju, who was content with how things were. Their differing views brought about the split.
Later, the revolution overtook the train, and Melanie was subsequently dethroned. Layton promptly replaced her. Melanie returned to her place as an engineer in the Engine Room while Bess was promoted to train detective. Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean) unexpectedly returned at the end of the first season. During season two of Snowpiercer, Bess worked alongside Layton to make sure that Wilford didn’t cross the line.
Now, as the show nears its second season finale, Bess is trying to keep the peace aboard Snowpiercer all while protecting the occupants from Wilford’s scheming, volatile ways.
The Real Deal:
Bess is the real deal. She’s immensely thoughtful, empathetic and very clever. When her eyes are opened to the mistreatment of the train’s lowest class, she makes a valiant effort to side with the oppressed and ensures that everyone’s equal. At face value, Bess appears to be a tough, no-nonsense brakeman who’s rough around the edges. However, beneath that stoic exterior lies a beating heart that’s chock full of love for her fellow humans. Bess is a big ol’ softie. In addition, she’s incredibly loyal to her friends and loved ones as is evidenced by her wholehearted support for Layton. Her moral compass is second to none.
Bess is inquisitive. She questions the status quo and is genuinely devoted to making things better for the passengers. Her inquisitive nature certainly comes in handy as the newly appointed train detective. She thinks outside of the box. Not to mention, she’s physically formidable. Bess’s fighting skills are song-worthy. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to encounter her in a dark alley. She’s a badass in every sense of the word.
Why She Matters:
Why does Bess Till matter? She’s a tough-as-nails, be-kind-but-take-no-sh*t detective with a penchant for honesty and a heart full of love. Additionally, Bess is part of the LGBTQIA+ community. What’s lovely about Snowpiercer is that nobody aboard the train makes a fuss about her being with women. To them, it’s natural. This series is set in the future, so I hope we’re going in that direction. Anyway, she provides much-needed representation in that respect.
So, be like Bess. Question everything. Fight for what’s right. Join the revolution and stand tall against oppressors. Love whoever you want without an ounce of abandon. Put egotistical maniacs in their place. Oh, and never trust a shady preacher. Chances are they still have Wilford on the brain.
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