DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Snowpiercer episode “The Last to Go” has spoilers. Prepare to brace and proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, passengers of the Eternal Engine! “The Last to Go,” Snowpiercer‘s second episode of the season, falls flat compared to its predecessor. Perhaps it’s because I find LJ and Osweiller’s relationship quite dull in the grand scheme of things. It’s underwhelming, and, admittedly, Snowpiercer falters when it relies too heavily on soapy drama.
Layton’s apparent prophetic abilities are also a tough pill to swallow. In a show that prides itself on its scientific foundation, the strange trip down fantasy lane feels contrived and derivative. Countless shows have explored the “seer” storyline and branched into fantasy. The science/sci-fi elements are critical to why I love this series.
Of course, Bess writes Layton’s visions off as a side effect of losing oxygen, and perhaps Snowpiercer will explore that. Here’s hoping.
Besides a few bumps, there are great moments in “The Last to Go,” notably the show’s dive into Javi’s PTSD and, similarly, Asha’s trauma.
Ready to dig deep into “The Last to Go”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Ruth (Alison Wright), who’s providing the narration for this episode. She watches while some of Wilford’s guards escort Javi (Roberto Urbina) to an undisclosed location to tinker with what looks like a laser gun. Wilford’s latest weapon, undoubtedly a “welcome home” gift for Layton.
So, Ruth attaches a note to an adorable rat and sends it scurrying through the vents. Pike (Steven Ogg) receives said letter and learns about Wilford’s deadly invention.
Meanwhile, Wilford (Sean Bean) luxuriates in the bathtub with Kevin (Tom Lipinski) and Mrs. Headwood (Sakina Jaffrey) as his audience. We discover Mr. Headwood, unfortunately, passed on, hence why Mrs. Headwood clutches his shoes in remembrance.
Wilford’s excited to test the electrical waters regarding his new toy, and, according to Headwood and Kevin, everything’s going off without a hitch thus far.
Later, we see Layton (Daveed Diggs) observe while Josie (Katie McGuinness) tends to a slumbering Asha (Archie Panjabi). Josie rattles off a list of Asha’s ailments, including the possibility of radiation poisoning.
Layton wants to discuss that kiss from earlier, but Josie waves it off as insignificant. Layton reminds Josie he has a baby on the way with Zarah. You know, the one who essentially condemned Josie to death; no biggie.
Layton returns to the engine for Ben’s (Iddo Goldberg) data reveal from his sojourn outdoors. Bess (Mickey Sumner), Alex (Rowan Blanchard) and Josie are also present. Unfortunately, Ben’s findings don’t showcase much beyond what they already know — it’ll take at least a century for that part of the world to reheat thoroughly.
However, the Horn of Africa looks promising and might yield the most significant environmental changes, enough to get everyone off the train. Layton proposes they reunite with the rest of Snowpiercer, inform the passengers about the hunt for New Eden and transport them to the Horn of Africa.
Layton wakes Asha for a chat, but the latter almost takes him out again in the process. She’s in survival mode! After Layton hands her a glass of water, she reluctantly introduces herself.
Then, Layton takes Asha to her quarters while Bess guards Miss Audrey (Lena Hall), who transforms into Miss Nosy. But Bess reminds her she lost all informational privileges when she sided with Wilford.
Ah, weapons tests. Nothing says “I have a tiny cucumber” more than a good old-fashioned weaponry test. Wilford, Kevin and Mrs. Headwood enlist Javi’s aid in preparing the new weapon for testing.
Pike visits Ruth and returns her rat buddy. He proceeds to fuss over Ruth’s safety, but she’s starting to believe she can’t do much while in hiding.
Suddenly, a power surge sweeps the train, signifying the success of this weapon test. Wilford, Kevin and Headwood rejoice, but Ruth fears the worst.
Meanwhile, in the Night Car, Osweiller (Sam Otto) proposes to LJ (Annalise Basso). He pulls out all the stops — admittedly, it’s pretty damn romantic. That said, I couldn’t care less about this storyline. While I can tolerate Osweiller (maybe it’s the beautiful singing and piano-playing), LJ consistently rankles, proving time and again she only truly cares about herself.
Anyway, LJ insists they announce their engagement to Wilford. He’s like her second dad!
So, the newly engaged lovebirds tell Wilford the excellent news, and, in true Wilford fashion, he takes the wheel. Wilford decides they should marry later that day in an opulent affair to elevate passenger morale. Always the showman, that Wilford.
Even the flyers advertising the nuptials refer to it as “A Loyal Wedding”! This subservient bulls**t needs to go bye-bye.
Meanwhile, Pike pulls Zarah (Sheila Vand) aside in third class and asks her to arrange a meeting between Javi and Ruth. However, Javi hasn’t made conversation with anyone since Jupiter attacked him.
Still plagued by visions of “New Eden,” Layton researches the tree he keeps seeing. Miss Nosy, a.k.a. Miss Audrey, asks him incessantly about what he’s looking for, but Layton remains mum.
Finally, he finds it — a Dragon’s Blood Tree.
Layton tells Bess about his visions and their link to the Dragon’s Blood Tree, which flourishes in the Horn of Africa. Coincidence? Or a hallucination fueled by a lack of oxygen to the brain? Bess believes Layton should keep his visions to himself, lest the masses ridicule him.
Meanwhile, Wilford and Kevin prepare for LJ and Osweiller’s impending wedding ceremony. Kevin believes there’s no such thing as “too much red,” signifying his bloodlust. Ick.
Osweiller expresses his annoyance with LJ regarding Daddy Wilford’s involvement. All Ozzy wanted was an intimate gathering with him serenading LJ on his guitar. Now Wilford’s morphed their wedding into a political event. Osweiller storms out of his and LJ’s quarters in a huff.
Zarah tries to get Javi to talk to her; however, he’s still shaken after the dog attack. Zarah switches tactics by addressing Javi as an engineer, ordering him to report to the first-class dining car. Javi does as he’s bid.
Later, after chatting with LJ and reassuring her, Wilford visits Osweiller. He not-so-subtly threatens to crush Osweiller’s beautiful piano-playing fingers.
Then, Wilford grabs him by the family jewels and squeezes. He demands Ozzy do the same. Just two grown men, gazing into each other’s eyes while simultaneously squeezing some fleshy gemstones. To say this moment is one of Snowpiercer‘s strangest and most unexpected would be an understatement.
Javi finally reunites with Ruth in the first-class dining car, under the guise he’s there for Wilford. Ruth attempts to coax information out of Javi, but he won’t budge. When she tries to touch him, Javi recoils, clearly suffering under the weight of his PTSD. My poor baby Javi!
After Javi flees, we see Wilford officiate the wedding between Osweiller and LJ. Meanwhile, Pike, Ruth and Lights (Miranda Edwards) track down Wilford’s electromagnetic device located where the two trains connect. This placement ensures Layton cannot reconnect and blasts him to kingdom come.
Lights gets to work in disarming the weapon.
Kevin spots Javi in third class while en route to Big Alice’s engine. Javi’s alibi appears pretty solid, but Kevin rallies his guards and insists on making the trek to where Wilford’s device sits.
Once they catch wind of Kevin’s approach, Ruth decides to fall on her sword so that Pike and Lights can keep tampering with the weapon.
So, Ruth sits at the table in the first-class dining car and waits for Kevin’s arrival. She reassures him she won’t put up a fight, and he can arrest her without lifting a finger. Kevin returns to the wedding and silently informs Wilford of Ruth’s capture.
Asha discloses her story to Layton, revealing how much she’s lost over several years. Her nephew died four years earlier from thyroid cancer, leaving her alone to battle the elements. Panjabi delivers the goods here, and she fully embodies Asha’s trauma and grief with subtlety and rich nuance.
Lights and the gang inadvertently set a countdown on Wilford’s device, meaning it’ll fire in two minutes. While they frantically concoct a plan to dispose of the weapon, Wilford sits across from a caged Ruth. He plans to remove her arm as her punishment, and he’ll ensure Headwood amputates it past the point where a prosthetic is possible.
Pike, Lights and Strong Boy (Kurt Ostlund) decide to push the device off the train, through the doors where tee vessel would connect with Layton’s pirate train.
Once the weapon reacts after the two-minute mark, we see another power surge rock through Snowpiercer. It also affects Layton’s train, providing a beacon to Wilford’s location. Now they can surprise him!
Meanwhile, Wilford gathers everyone to bear witness to Ruth’s punishment. Mrs. Headwood slathers on the necessary ointment and prepares Ruth’s arm for removal. Just as she’s about to expose Ruth’s arm to the freezing outside world, Layton whizzes past them. They’re back!
Wilford shoves Ruth’s punishment on the backburner and orders his lackeys to assemble for battle.
Panjabi, Urbina and Wright are the highlights for me, and I hope we get more scenes with these characters. Additionally, I’m praying for a Jennifer Connelly appearance at some point, but I won’t hold my breath. I’ve accepted Melanie’s passing. I assume we’re getting flashback sequences with Connelly in the future.
“The Last to Go,” while a bit rocky, sets the stage for the reunion between Layton and Wilford. Whether Snowpiercer blesses us with a satisfying payoff in that regard remains unknown (until next week).
Snowpiercer airs Mondays at 9 pm on your TNT affiliate.
- RESIDENT ALIEN Season 2B Gets Release Date and Out of This World Trailer - July 1, 2022
- Daniel Beitchman Talks BOY VS. FLY and Providing Lighthearted Escapism - June 30, 2022
- SDCC 2022: Apple TV Plus Makes Grand Comic-Con Debut - June 30, 2022