Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 7 Recap: The Universe Is Indifferent
In the seventh episode of TNT’s Snowpiercer, Melanie intensifies her search for Layton, who is weaponizing Melanie’s secret, and Third Class faces a reckoning when Layton presents them with a choice.
Young convicted killer LJ introduces this episode, narrating that “to be human is to be self-involved” and how it’s in our nature to behave as though the universe revolves around us, but in contrast, the universe is indifferent and has its own plans for us. At the front of the train, Javier is ranting to Melanie about Layton being on the loose knowing her big secret that Melanie is in charge of the train and Wilford is gone. Ben disagrees, thinking Layton will just go into hiding, but Javier feels they should come clean and tell the passengers its just the three of them running the train before Layton can. Melanie says Layton will hold onto the secret until he figures out the best way he can use it.
Melanie takes to the intercoms to announce that in light of one of their Engineers dying during the recent crisis, young Miles will be fast-tracked to the Engine as an apprentice. Ruth tells Melanie after that Miles is being pushed up the ladder a bit too fast. Melanie tells Ruth to enjoy her day off. Elsewhere, Josie and Layton discuss the new announcement being a trap. On the other hand, they finally succeeded in getting a Tailie right into the nerve center of the train. Layton warns Josie that she can’t go see Miles; Josie argues they have to make contact with him.
Melanie, Jinju, and Dr. Klimpt work together to figure out how Layton escaped the drawers and who could have helped him. The doc reveals that several bags of suspension drugs are also missing. Melanie has Terence brought in for questioning, who says he met Layton once when the latter questioned him about the murders. After a few threats, Terence says if Layton comes to him, he can bring him to Melanie. In Third, Josie and Layton enjoy their brief moments of romance and “normalcy” before they receive a note under the door telling them that Layton’s ride is on the way and the two have to separate once more.
Miss Audrey welcomes back “the great revolutionary” Layton when he’s secretly wheeled back into the Nightcar. Elsewhere, Ms. Gillies introduces the class’ guest, Ben, as everyone congratulates Miles on his new apprenticeship. Strolling around on her day off, Ruth runs into Commander Grey, who commends her actions during the crisis and how they all appreciate everything she does. He then asks if she would like to have lunch with him.
Jinju tells Till that Layton is loose and asks her where she was two days ago, telling her girlfriend that there are things happening Till isn’t aware of. Till denies knowing anything and takes off for her shift. Back in class, Ben chats with Miles about his worries over being separated from the other kids, and how that’s the life of an Engineer. Suddenly, Miles throws up after eating an orange he was gifted. Ben and Gillies take Miles to the clinic, but Dr. Pelton won’t let them enter the exam room with Miles (though they can see through the door’s window).
Back in Third, Layton is making his pitch for Third Class to throw their weight behind his plans. Audrey calls him a liability as a fugitive. Audrey wants war without bloodshed. Layton tells Audrey to bring him the key people she trusts because he has a story to tell. Back in the clinic, Miles realizes that his mom, Josie, is one of the masked nurses in the room. She apologizes for making him sick but needed to let him know that the revolution is happening. Miles says he’s ready before the pair says their goodbyes before Josie quickly leaves.
During their lunch date, Ruth admits to Grey that it’s been a while since she’s dated. She also reveals that in the old world she had a B&B and that a strange man turned up one day with no reservation or luggage. He’s the one who told her about Snowpiercer, the great machine he was building, and gave her a job — that was how she met Mr. Wilford. Ruth asks Grey why he asked her out now since it’s been two years since his wife died. Ruth soon figures out that the date is also meant as an ambush as the Folgers walk in, saying they need to talk about how Melanie has too much power and influence with Mr. Wilford.
Grey and the Folgers think it’s time for a change and want to know if Ruth is willing to step up to replace Melanie. Grey tells Ruth he’s only considering this because of his faith in her. Meanwhile, Melanie goes to Zarah’s quarters to talk about Layton and reveals she knows Zarah is pregnant and reminds her that being able to have kids on Snowpiercer is a privilege that can be taken away before demanding to know who helped Layton escape.
Layton sits down with Audrey and a group of others arguing about how to get what they all want. Third is okay with no borders and no classes, with equal work and rations, but they’re concerned about space. Layton says that First has a bowling alley; there’s plenty of space. Layton explains that he could bring an army of 400 and with the information he has, which had him thrown in the drawers, they could take the train.
Melanie, Till, and Grey’s Jackboots make their way to the Tail section to warn that if they try to revolt again, they will fail once more. Zarah is then brought in and identifies Josie as the one who helped Layton. Josie is taken into custody and Melanie has her locked up in the hospitality office. Till isn’t happy with it but leaves the room when Melanie asks to be left alone for the interrogation. Josie admits what she knows about Melanie’s secret and what happened to Layton, that Melanie can make promises she won’t keep. She then accuses Melanie of using Miles, whose blood mother died getting on the train and was taken in by Josie. Melanie says Miles is part of her family now, and says Josie can stay in his life if she makes the right choice.
Josie says she knows that Melanie must’ve had reasons for all of her terrible actions, but that deep down she has to know it was wrong. Melanie says that Snowpiercer was Wilford’s design; if she had created it, it would have been a more just world. But she didn’t, she inherited someone else’s creation. The person in power answers to everyone and her choices are made by the demands of the people and the train. Josie asks her what made her the way she is? Melanie realizes Josie will never talk and decides to begin torturing her by freezing her fingers and breaking them off with a hammer, starting with her pinky, ignoring Josie’s cries for her to please stop.
In the Nightcar, Audrey warns Layton they can’t trust Terence before they decide to meet up with him to talk. Terence admits he met with Melanie earlier and is not going to pick favorites. He says uniting the classes will never work; Layton reminds him of the will of the people. Terence still disagrees, based on numbers, and says to count him out of their revolution.
After torturing Josie, Melanie throws up in the bathroom. Till, sick of waiting, goes into the room to check on Josie and is horrified to see what Melanie has done to her hand. Josie tells Till there’s nothing she can do for her, but says Till she is one of them and Melanie doesn’t know that. Till says she’s a Brakeman and has a duty to the train, but Josie says her duty is the people and that she has to decide what’s right and what’s wrong, no matter the consequences. She asks Till to get a message to Layton, including how Zarah betrayed them and that she made contact with Miles. Till leaves before Melanie returns.
Before Melanie can reenter the room, Ruth catches up with her and attempts to tell her what happened with the Folgers. She isn’t able to get the words out, however, as Melanie snaps, saying she doesn’t give a shit about the Folgers and yells at Ruth to do her job and fix it. Ruth walks away. Obviously rattled, Melanie takes a moment before heading back to interrogate Josie and tells her she has to choose between Layton and Miles.
Melanie then realizes that Josie has used the canister to freeze her whole hand. Josie shatters her hand in order to break free from the restraints and attacks Melanie, attempting to suffocate her. Melanie manages to escape the room as the canister essentially breaks open, pumping the freezing air into the room and killing Josie. Grey shows up, angry that Melanie conducted an interrogation without him, and Till overhears Melanie tell Grey to take Josie to compost.
Till arrives in the Nightcar, crying, and informs Layton that Josie is dead. Farther uptrain, Ben delivers Miles to Melanie. Melanie tells him once he steps through the door, there’s no turning back, and that being an Engineer comes with sacrifices. She tells him that the needs of the train are more important than their own happiness, that as Engineers they keep the world alive. As Miss Audrey delivers one of her shows to the Nightcar, an anguished Layton grieves Josie. When he’s ready, he has LJ, who’s been waiting for one of her Third Class “experiences,” brought to him. LJ suddenly finds herself alone and face-to-face with Layton, who offers to tell the young killer the “dirtiest little secret on the whole damn train.”
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