Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 5 Recap: Justice Never Boarded
In the fifth episode of TNT’s Snowpiercer, tensions between Third Class and First Class are boiling as Melanie stages the trial of the Snowpiercer killer. Third Class threatens a work stoppage, demanding representation on the jury, and Melanie makes a fateful decision about which side to favor.
Third Class Tensions
Stuck in the drawers, Layton dreams about the Tail and of the dead girl Nikki as Miss Audrey narrates how she mistook her ticket on Snowpiercer as freedom. Audrey says they are tired of Mr. Wilford’s injustices, and Third is ready for a revolt against the train’s unfair system.
In her cell, LJ tries talking with Roche as he eats, but Roche isn’t interested. Melanie and LJ’s parents arrive as the former explains LJ will stand trial, expected to speak on her own behalf as ticketed passengers render a verdict. As the Folgers are escorted back to their quarters ahead of the trial, Roche and Melanie acknowledge there’s little chance ticketed passengers will convict the girl, and if they don’t, there could be an uprising in Third as the victims all came from there.
In the Tail, Josie receives a message from Astrid requesting her presence uptrain. Josie puts a chip in her bracelet that will allow her access. Elsewhere, Brakeman Till is receiving a Second Class chip (inserted into her hand) thanks to Jinju acting as Surety for the Upgrade Applicant, which means Jinju accepts liability for Till’s conduct during her probationary period now. The two are then left alone to celebrate Till’s new access to Second Class “and all the entitlements therein.”
In their quarters, the Folgers are discussing the pending trial when LJ makes an odd, but apparently common, request to play with her dad’s fake eye, including popping it into her mouth. Lilah takes the eye away and LJ asks her parents if they know she was forced by Erik to participate in the murders. Her father reassures her they do.
Melanie goes to speak with Audrey in the Nightcar. Audrey calls the trial a joke because First and Second will be acting as judge and jury when it was three Third Class members who were killed. Audrey demands a new tribunal consisting of one representative from each class including a delegation to observe the trial.
Later, Dr. Klimpt tells Melanie he isn’t sure if Nikki would have recovered her mental state had she not been killed. Melanie wants the doctor to work harder on bringing those who have been in the drawers out of their suspended-animation state without them being traumatized. Jinju asks Melanie if she’s considering the new tribunal Audrey mentioned, and Melanie says LJ may actually get what she deserves.
Ben and Javi are worried that there could be an even greater class divide if Melanie allows the tribunal to have equal representation among the classes. Melanie takes Ben aside so they can hook up and work out some stress. Afterward, they discuss what they miss about the world before the freeze and before Snowpiercer. Later, Melanie announces to the train that Mr. Wilford has accepted Third’s petition for a new tribunal, with one name drawn randomly from each class.
Meanwhile, Josie has once again joined the sanitation crew in order to speak with Astrid. Astrid comes to her this time, switching clothes with Josie so she can speak with a janitor about Layton’s disappearance. In the hospitality office, Ruth expresses her displeasure to Melanie about Wilford disrupting the rules and the train’s order. In Third, Osweiller and Till collect the Third Class delegation for the trial.
In their quarters, the Folgers discuss LJ’s trial. Lilah doesn’t agree with Robert that the tribunal will go in LJ’s favor. Robert tells Lilah to leave it to him. In the drawers, Layton dreams more of the Tail, including memories of when he led a charge against the “psycho kill cult” of cannibals in the early years of the Tail section. Elsewhere, Josie searches for information regarding Layton’s whereabouts. She eventually meets Terence, who agrees to help Josie check out the drawers to see if Layton is there.
A handful of First Class citizens share their concerns with Commander Grey, who are considering an uprising of their own against Wilford and Melanie. An informant tells Melanie, saying the commander didn’t agree or disagree with them. Melanie doesn’t have much time to deal with the matter, however, as LJ’s trial is about to begin.
During the trial, Roche, Dr. Pelton, Jinju, Audrey, and more provide testimony and damning evidence against LJ and her direct involvement in the killings. As the majority of the focus is on the trial, the janitors steal Dr. Klimpt’s keys and break into the drawers along with Josie and Terence. As Josie searches for the drawer Layton might be in, Terence and his people steal supplies and then leave Josie by herself.
When Melanie confronts Lilah, mama Folger reveals that LJ is the one who put out her father’s eye with a fork when she had a tantrum at seven years old, and even then they protected her, and they will continue to do so. When LJ takes the stand, she says that Erik had a power over her and made her watch him do terrible things. She then drops a bomb that Sean Wise was an informant for Mr. Wilford, much to Melanie’s horror, who has no way of knowing what secrets the dead man spilled before Erik and LJ killed him.
The Importance of Discretion
After opening a couple of the drawers revealing Tail children being held in suspended-animation, Josie finally finds Layton. As the tribunal breaks to discuss, Melanie and Jinju talk about LJ revealing the news that Sean was an informant. Melanie sends a message to Ben and Javi. Meanwhile, Till and Osweiller check out the drawers when they notice the entry door has been damaged. Till knocks Osweiller out when he attacks Josie and helps her get Layton out of there.
Back at the trial, the tribunal declares by unanimous decision that LJ is guilty on all counts. On Melanie’s orders, Ben sends a message from “Mr. Wilford.” The message reads that due to LJ’s young age, her sentence will be commuted and she will be released to her parents’ custody, enraging Third Class.
Till helps Josie get Layton partway through Third before saying she has to get back. Josie takes Layton to Zarah and says she needs to hide him. Elsewhere, Melanie privately tells LJ about the importance of discretion. LJ says Wilford looked out for her so she’ll look out for him. When Till gets back to the drawers, Osweiller is gone. Back with Zarah, Layton finally wakes up.
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