All through the episode, Jennifer Connelly’s prowess as an actor is on full show, as Melanie has to tamp down her human facet and embrace the character she performs each time she ties her hair again and pulls on her hospitality smock. Connelly does an exquisite job in projecting Melanie’s intimidating coolness all through; irrespective of who she’s interacting with, be it Terence (Shaun Toub, appropriately slimy always), the tailies, or a defiant Josie (Katie McGuinness) within the interrogation suite. When she’s simply scheming for details about Layton, and making an attempt to seize Layton, she’s positive, however when she’s compelled to interact in Snowpiercer’s model of enhanced interrogation with Josie, the cracks start to point out within the character, however Melanie pushes by way of with iron self-discipline, even when it takes a really actual bodily and psychological toll on her. Josie’s making an attempt to guard her pal and lover; Melanie is making an attempt to protect the very prepare Mr. Wilford constructed, and as she tells Miles (Jaylin Fletcher), it’s a thankless, friendless job.
The interrogation scene in and of itself is a reasonably spectacular factor, because it combines each emotional drama and physique horror with out leaning too closely into Grand Guignol territory. Helen Shaver exhibits a lightweight contact with the precise disfigurement facet, however simply sufficient will get proven to get the purpose throughout, and when Josie shatters her frozen hand and assaults Melanie along with her stump, it’s a weirdly triumphant second, regardless of Josie sacrificing a hand in her effort to maintain Melanie from monitoring down Layton. It’s not typically that bodily disfigurement generally is a hero second (and, if she wished to, Melanie might have most likely gotten out of the cuffs with solely dropping a few fingers, nevertheless it appears to be like a lot cooler to smash a frozen hand in a single swift motion), nevertheless it’s completed properly right here, with a very completely different response within the viewers than the frozen arm punishment from earlier within the collection, or from the frozen head smash made well-known in Jason X. Shaver additionally exhibits a strong hand with the performers, notably Melanie when she’s having her non-public breakdown, Mickey Sumner when Until is having her change in loyalty from her companions in Second Class and the folks she comes from in Third, and Ruth as she has to decide on between her loyalty to Wilford and her personal need to be handled with the respect that she feels she deserves.
The script, from Donald Joh, makes it clear that there are enemies on all sides of Melanie, and she or he has to decide on who to go after and who to disregard (in the meanwhile). She ignores Ruth, not realizing that the Folger conspiracy to topple Melanie has additionally compromised Commander Gray (Timothy V. Murphy) and by extension essentially the most hardcore safety drive on the prepare. The Folgers scheming, and third class scheming, are issues that may be ignored, however when one of many sides has the navy behind them? That’s when Melanie’s place will get extra than simply sophisticated however legitimately threatened. On a prepare the place solely the tremendous wealthy and their bodyguards have weapons, making enemies of the one group with weapons is rarely a good suggestion, particularly in the event that they’re organizing with the prepare’s ersatz navy. Then once more, with the weapons saved by the tail and the power of Third Class passengers to chop off electrical energy, water, meals, and different important assets to the entrance of the prepare, Layton must be stopped, too.