Snowpiercer Recap: Where's the Beef?

This week on TNT’s Snowpiercer, as the tail paid a “significant” price for the attempted insurrection, Layton started rounding up clues as he continued to navigate up-train.

With rough weather brewing but Melanie refusing to decrease speed, things started off a bit icy between Layton and Till, whom he had clocked in the course of saving her life as a hostage. Leaving the breachmen’s office to head to third class, Layton took notice of a tailie working sanitation detail. He and Till then confronted at a noodle shop the tunnelman who found murder vic Sean’s body, in the course of routine maintenance — but Till silenced the man when Layton began asking about the checkpoints between classes.

Till then brought Layton to the relatively (improbably?) cavernous Night Car, where Miss Audrey (played by Lena Hall), who runs the place, is belting, “Say It Ain’t So Joe.” When done, she brings Layton in back to show him “what we do here,” revealing that the Night Car isn’t the brothel that everyone assumes, but instead offers the means “to heal.” Zarah brings Layton into one of those meditation rooms, where he closes his eyes and recalls, among other things, the afternoon when he proposed marriage to her in bed. Triggered by the potent memory, the two have sex in the meditation room, after which Zarah shares that Sean Wise had been a snitch for Mr. Wilford, in trade for perks such as winning the “baby lottery.” But before she and Sean could make a baby, he got whacked.

And on that note, it’s autopsy time. In lieu of a proper M.E., Layton and Till take turns noting Sean’s injuries — which suggest he was choked/tortured prior to having his penis chopped off. After which, his arms and legs were severed with what looks to have been a cleaver. That led them to the butchers working the cattle car. But before they could make any headway, the train’s speed triggered an avalanche that set in motion a series of crashes that shattered the cattle car windows, near-instantly freezing to death the butchers and all of the poor, poor cows. In the wake of that “extinction event,” Jinju explained that in addition to food, the livestock provided fertilizer for crops, methane and so much more. Needing to divert power for repairs, Melanie orders a rolling blackout (starting with, of course, the tail) and the rationing of running water for others.

Till cued Layton to simply pin the murder on the dead butchers and claim his third-class perks, but he said the cop in him wants to get the right person this time — and as Till observed the killer clearly got off on the castration, while the amputations lacked emotion. Meaning, Sean was killed by one person, and then chopped up for scrap meat by another. (As in the movie, yes, cannibalism is a thing, Layton affirms, sharing the story of how a “kill cult” in the tail had to be neutralized years ago.)

Returned to the brig for the night, Layton pulled out the pen and piece of wire that he pinched (and, um, hid) over the course of the day. He ripped off a length of shirt and drew on it a diagram of the train cars he has seen; he then picked his cell lock and drew a mark on the floor outside, that the tailie working sanitation would see, pointing him to the piece of fabric on the floor. When the jackboots led sanitation around, Layton leapt out from around a corner and took a beating to create a distraction; alas, the tailie couldn’t quite reach the note left for him on the floor.

Afterward, Melanie lectured a beaten and bloodied Layton about how Snowpiercer survives thanks to “a balance of need and greed and speed,” and how “Mr. Wilford is awake 21 hours a day to keep the goddamn heat on!” Layton suggested that is why Sean Wise was so important as a rat for Wilford, and that Melanie & Co. don’t so much care about solving the third class passenger’s murder as learning what secrets he might have spilled while being tortured.

“So don’t you lecture me about balance,” Andre roared. “My people found ours years ago.”

Elsewhere this week:

* Though Ruth sought to take the “significant arm” from Winnie, the young girl who during the revolt grabbed the breachman’s severed hand and used it to open the biometric door lock, the lass’ mom instead took responsibility and offered hers. As the woman suffered in pain after having her frozen arm shattered off, her son “serviced” Breachman Osweiller in trade for a glob of a pain-relieving drug known as Chronole.

* Young Miles bid mother figure Josie a bittersweet goodbye when he was chosen for the apprentices’ education program.

* Dr. Klimpt continued to oh-so-slowly bring Nikki out of her drawer-induced slumber….

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