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Criticism | ‘Expresso do Amanhã’ returns with competent 2nd season and shocking twists

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After the shocking events of last season, the second season of “Expresso do Amanhã” not only had countless answers to answer, but also some details to work out. After all, Cycle One left out major anthropological critiques of the comics and the acclaimed adaptation of Bong Joon-ho to turn a social pyramid into a murder-mystery marketing story that has nowhere to go. Thankfully, the performance of the protagonist’s cast – especially Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly – managed to eclipse a considerable amount of slippage and keep us true to the post-apocalyptic storyline until the long-awaited return of the real Mr. Wilford, creator of the vast machine that contains the last living humans on the planet.

The new episodes of the series are, in short, infinitely better than those of the previous iteration, not only for the solidity of the main story, but for the good use of the necessary shock which analyzes the tensions between social classes and the evils of predatory capitalism – in addition to opening discussions on authoritarianism, despotism and fascism. Everything is funneled into the central character of Joseph Wilford, played by the always impeccable Sean Bean. Years after making his “ Game of Thrones ” debut as Ned Stark, betting on a more heroic side of his career, Bean played the psychotic creator of the Snowpiercer with surgical precision, instilling resentful hatred among audiences that just kept growing, chapter after chapter. . More than that, the actor built a poisonous, passive-aggressive personality that never made him feel bad, but just someone who threw wood on the fire and watched, placidly, everything s ‘collapse in flames.

Now attached to Big Alice, the supply train that eventually crossed the path of the main locomotive, the inhabitants of Mechanical Eden realized that the peaceful days were far from stable. Andre (Diggs), struggling to keep chaos from setting in and joining Melanie (Connelly), albeit with one foot on his back, realized that something was hiding in the dark and that secrets undisclosed could defeat anything he and the Fundistas fought for. conquer – that is, a condition of living alongside the first and second classes. Creating wear and tear on those who did not want to leave the comfort zone, he resorted to old enemies and forged a strong alliance that, for a while, worked – at least until Wilford did. his last movement and regains control of the train.

In a way, showrunners Josh Friedman and Graeme Manson realized the mistakes made earlier and put more effort into a strong cast and multifaceted characters whose traumatic stories seem to explain each of the twists and turns presented clearly. The most engaging plot, at first, is limited to the troubled “mother-daughter” relationship between Mélanie and Alex (Rowan Blanchard). Mélanie abandoned the young woman to save the last vestiges of life on Earth, believing that she had condemned her to a tragic death; but fate ends up playing with her and brings her daughter back in a moment of pure anguish – at the end, saying goodbye to her again to make sure there is a future off the train.

On another spectrum, narrative irreverence takes shape in a political polarity that spans each of Snowpiercer’s 1,034 wagons. On the one hand, André manages to gain enough intrepid and ambitious followers to support him; on the other, Wilford, posing as a demagogue, rekindles the flame of a darker, more segregated time to conquer the people through empty promises, seeing them as prey and using enviable elegance and arbitrary charisma. to show “who is the real owner”. He also uses the deep wounds he inflicted on Miss. Audrey (Lena Hall), owner and conductor of the sleeping car, in her favor, returning her to a toxic and abusive relationship.

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In fact, the best-built character is that of Ruth Wardell. Played by the hard-hitting presence of Alison Wright, Melanie’s former replacement started out as a ruthless subordinate to the laws promulgated by Wilford and, after witnessing the cruelty of the man he saw as a deity, s’ is turned into a rebel and stood firm in fair morality, take Layton’s side and be banned for composting Big Alice (even murdering one of the guards to regain control of the main locomotive and save Melanie, who has migrated to one of the outdoor facilities to collect data on the Earth’s atmosphere). Wright’s surrender, which takes the upper hand with indescribable force, plunges into an architecture of ups and downs that only add layers to a passionate and controversial personality.

While the script appears to be more cohesive and imperative compared to the earlier chapters, the directing also shows more affection for intimacy and dramatic theatricality, even slipping into the usual field-to-field constructions of American productions. Nothing is daring enough to create a new form of television, but neither does it deign boring formulas, thus providing a competent portrayal of chaotic barbarism and bittersweet peace.

The new season of “Expresso do Amanhã” touches precisely on both critical and technical issues, learning from mistakes of the not-so-distant past and promoting a more incisive exploration of this epic dystopia. Already renewed for a third cycle, one can only imagine what awaits us in the future – and a possible conclusion of the series.

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