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Primetime Picks… 1/25/21

Jan 25 Posted by in Features | Comments

Tonight TNT’s Snowpiercer returns to kick off its exciting second season. If you haven’t already checked out the first season, I highly recommend doing so immeidately on either HBO Max or Blu-ray! Set in the not-so-distant future, the first season of Snowpiercer followed the lives of those aboard the ark-like Snowpiercer, a perpetually-moving train over 10 miles long, housing the last remnants of civilization after the Earth became a frozen wasteland. The train had a typical class system where the wealthy in first class lived in luxury with all of the creature comforts, while those in the tail were crammed into a single car and given very little food, supplies or rights. Former Tailie, Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs), had been called to the front of the train to help investigate a murder, but ended up uncovering something much more sinister.

For the past 7 years, Head of Hospitality, Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly), had been pretending to be the train’s creator, Mr. Wilford, giving orders and making proclamations on his behalf. However, she had stolen the train and taken off without Mr. Wilford on board. A war broke out on the train, with the those in the tail finally going through with the revolution they had been planning for years. Layton managed to settle things down and broker a fragile peace, getting the passengers to agree to a more democratic way of life aboard the train. However, just as Snowpiercer was about to embark on this new democratic experiment, the passengers were in for a big surprise. The 40-car supply train, Big Alice, suddenly appeared, attaching itself to the tail of Snowpiercer, bringing the train to a screeching and dangerous halt. Joseph Wilford (Sean Bean) had arrived, and he wanted his train back! While Melanie risked the cold outside to prevent an invasion, the doors between the trains opened to reveal Melanie’s long-lost daughter, Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard, Girl Meets World), with a list of demands on behalf of Mr. Wilford.

The second season picks up immediately where the first season ended. Melanie is still outside in the dangerous cold, unaware that her daughter is alive. Meanwhile, Mr. Wilford has threatened to leave Snowpiercer dead in the frozen water unless his demands are met. Those aboard Snowpiercer have just 12 minutes to fulfill his shopping list or else the train will quickly reach deadly temperatures, killing everyone aboard. While neither side wants to give in, it quickly becomes evident that Big Alice and Snowpiercer have now become one massive 1034-car train and both sides are going to need to work together in order to stay alive.

Big Alice is a supply train filled with many important replacement parts needed to keep Snowpiercer running. While Snowpiercer has all of the fresh food that the crew on Big Alice desperately need. However, that doesn’t mean that either Layton or Mr. Wilford have any plans of ceding control to the other. Mr. Wilford is a masterful manipulator and sadistic man who will stop at nothing to regain control of his engine. No matter what plans Layton and those aboard Snowpiercer come up with, Wilford always seems to be two steps ahead with his own evil machinations. Both sides need to be protective and not reveal any of their weaknesses to the other, who will most certainly jump at the chance to take advantage of the situation.

Assisting Wilford in his engine room is 15-year-old Alexandra, who seemingly has a strong loyalty to Mr. Wilford and a strong hatred for the mother who left her to die. Wilford has every intention of using this animosity towards Melanie to his advantage. Wilford also has his own Head of Hospitality, Kevin (Tom Lipinski), security chief Sykes (Chelsea Harris), and a pair of oddball but extremely-skilled mad scientists, the Headwoods (Sakina Jaffrey & Damian Young), and their monstrous creation/secret weapon, Icy Bob (Andre Tricoteux).

On the other side fo the train, Layton has to worry about the fragile state of peace aboard Snowpiercer, as well as those who may remain loyal to the iconic image of their savior Mr. Wilford—what they will do if there comes a time to choose sides?! Current Head of Hospitality, Ruth (Alison Wright), senses that Layton doesn’t trust her for this reason, and wants to keep her out of the loop during dealings with Big Alice. However, she insists her loyalty is to the train, and not to Mr. Wilford. Meanwhile, there’s still other crime happening aboard the train, and former Breakman Bess Till (Mickey Sumner) becomes the Snowpiercer’s new detective to investigate. The newly-conjoined trains also gives the Tailies a new role. They were once the rejects at the back of the train, but now hold the important position securing the border and dealing with any trade, which quickly leads to other issues and an internal power struggle.

The second season of Snowpiercer, while different in many ways from the first, is still just as compelling and exciting as the first season. There are lots of surprising twists and turns as the season plays out, with power struggles and fights breaking out both within and across the trains. The season introduces some great new characters, and gives some interesting story arcs to the characters we’ve already met last season. We also get to see what led to Melanie first taking control of Snowpiercer and deciding to leave Mr. Wilford and her own daughter out in the cold (literally). The addition of Sean Bean to the cast is excellent—he brings this amazing and creepy new dynamic to the show by adding a supervillain into the mix. Mr. Wilford is this despicable and conniving person who you just love to hate, and hope that people won’t fall for his lies and fake charm.

In tonight’s premiere, “The Time of Two Engines”, Mr. Wilford arrives and threatens Snowpiercer, so Melanie makes a move that can’t be undone.

Tonight, I’ll also be watching/recording The Good Doctor, All Rise, 9-1-1, 9-1-1: Lone Star, and The Salisbury Poisonings.