Snowpiercer has been a fantastic show so far. There were plenty of moments it could have gone off the rails (pun intended). But it is obvious the creative staff headed by Josh Friedman and Graeme Manson considered the potential pitfalls. Viewers would quickly wonder why a super train driving through the now arctic wastelands of the Earth would survive but underground bunkers would not. So far Snowpiercer has shied away from answering any such questions and focuses only on character development. For as long as the creative staff can keep viewers vested in the story Snowpiercer will remain a success. From that point of view it feels as if we are to collectively hold out breath for what will be two whole seasons. Now, four episodes have passed and Snowpiercer has finished its first major story arc – the murder of two passengers.
It was L.J with the bee knife in 3rd
The conclusion of the murder mystery did not entirely satisfy me. Since the last episode we knew the first class bodyguard Erik was the probable murderer. That is confirmed in this episode when Layton is called upon the scene of the murdered Nikki. However, it is brakeman Bess (Micky Sumner) who deduces the killer must still be stuck in third class as the compartments were sealed off because of fight night. While Bess and Oz search through third class Layton and Melanie question the first class passengers. Quickly suspicion passes on to the Folger family bodyguard Erik, as he is missing. However, Layton also finds the Folger’s daughter L.J. suspicious, as she implicates Erik. Here the mystery is resolved in a way I had hoped it would not. The Folger’s admit L.J. has had a longstanding relationship with Erik.
What’s to come on Snowpiercer
They hint she was nearly abducted before boarding Snowpiercer and may have looked up at Erik. In a quiet conversation Layton challenges L.J. about who killed the two men and castrated them. He taunts her for having manipulated Erik into holding the men while she cut off their penises. However, L.J. admits to nothing. Instead we see Erik being chased through Snowpiercer. In a final showdown we see him briefly hold Jinju hostage before trying to cripple the train.
Erik is brutally stabbed to death by a half-dozen of Commander Grey’s security team. Upon hearing of the death of Erik Layton taunts L.J. who admits to the murders of in full view of her family. And so the mystery is resolved. I personally hoped the mystery would have propelled the series further, but there appears to be no significant story thread left. That is, besides the tailies revolting and taking over the train.
When does the revolution start?
This episode continues to show their preparations for just such a scenario. We see Josie (Katie McGuinness) join the janitors. With an implant given to her by Layton she makes contact with Astrid, a tailies who moved forward, to ask for help with their revolution. While her mission is a success she later receives the message that Layton has gone missing. You see after solving the murder Melanie poisons their celebratory sake drink. Something I saw coming when she put her hand on his shoulder. Before Layton falls unconscious she tells him she knows that he deduced Mr. Wilford is dead. In the final shot we see Layton being placed in one of the Drawers – suspended animation. Doctor Klimpt receives strict instructions that no harm should befall Layton.
Snowpiercer moves forward
And so Snowpiercer can only move in one direction – forward. Layton’s disappearance will no doubt serve as a rallying cry. However, the Tailies do have to tread carefully. They can all easily be killed by Commander Grey’s security forces and the whole aft section can be detached and placed on a sidetrack. Both scenarios will mean their end. Their only chance in a revolt is to capture something important so neither scenario can come to pass. We have six more episode of this first season to see how that will come to pass. I end this review noting how most actors have settled in their role. Their performance is less stilted than before. I think Jennifer Connelly‘s performance is especially praise worthy. I had begun to like her character during these last four episodes. Her sudden ruthlessness in poisoning Layton was nonetheless in her character of a femme-fatale.