Snowpiercer Episode 4 Without Their Maker Review And Recap- Murder Is Sealed With A Kiss
A fast-paced Snowpiercer Episode culminates in the “drawering” of a major character and the solving of a murder. What’s next for the second half of the season?
Snowpiercer Episode 4 was as much a heist as a police procedural. It delivered the kind of tense justice we have been craving. It just did it in only four episodes. What the remainder of the ten-episode season one of Snowpiercer will look like remains to be seen., The abrupt end of the murder mystery leaves the door open for anything.
Josie uses the chip to contact the outside world and develop a communications chain that will be essential later. It was fun to watch but really just a bit of filler for the episode. The only real moment of importance here was the proof that chips open doors, and there are still men who leer at women even in the future.
Melanie continues to be an enigma. At times, alone in her room with Bennett(Iddo Goldman), she looks like a brainy college student. Once she dons the classic blue Hospitality garb though she becomes an ice queen clinging to control. That need gets her in trouble as her delay in questioning the First Class Fight Night attendees gave Erik a chance to hide. Layton was right to be angry. Just like in the current news, there are those who are afforded time before they are questioned or charged, and others are never given that same courtesy. Real-life and life aboard the train are not fair.
Indignities abound on the Snowpiercer. It’s not just food and comfort, but art as well that is restricted to the wealthiest. The train is the result of absolute classicism. You either have, or you have not. Layton, upon seeing masterpieces like the Girl With The Pearl Earring, is disgusted. Art should belong to everyone, but that is the problem with systematic racism. Only those with time and opportunity can enjoy it. Everyone else is too busy just putting food on the table and trying to survive. In the case of the train, they never see the light of day.
Snowpiercer Episode 4 demonstrates even more inequities and failures onboard the train. Guns aren’t allowed by anyone except the bodyguards for the First Class riders. Even the Brinkmans and Jackboots don’t have them. It seems insane that First Class has that much pull. Additionally, beekeeping did not go well. After only a few years the hive collapsed. What happened to the bees? Was it yet another extinction-level event? Little touches like this keep the mythos fresh and evolving.
After an exciting chase, Eric was eventually caught and hacked to death. In the world of Snowpiercer, there is no brutality to great. He had Jinju at gunpoint and did shoot at the Brinkmans, but by the time they converged on him, he was subdued. They certainly didn’t need to kill him. All the blood flying was a nice gory touch and a fitting end for his gruesome character. It is too bad that Matt Murray(Erik) didn’t get more screen time, however. Not only is he a nice bit of eye candy, but his stone-cold stare was a good contrast for Layton’s fire. In a brief bit of exposition delivered by LJ and her parents, we also learned a great deal about the complex man.
Eric practically raised LJ. He was a lover of music and animals and had a rough childhood. This vicious man did have a tiny soft heart. Erik saved a cat against all odds and chose art as one of his few possessions. He may have become a murderer, but there was something untouched that remained. LJ took advantage of both his violent side and that good side by manipulating him into helping her torture and kill those men. His killing of the guards, technician, and Nikki was out of necessity and misguided love, not pleasure. The same is not true for LJ.
The most compelling sequence of Snowpiercer Episode 4 was the disturbing and bizarre scene between LJ and Layton. A cat and mouse game ensued with LJ deflecting as many questions as she answered. She played one of Eric’s records, Sealed With A Kiss by Bobby Vinton, and made a clumsy attempt at seduction. When that didn’t work, she switched to bartering. Mistakenly she believed Layton’s only motivations were self-preservation. People like her will never understand people like him. His job is to protect and serve first.
Annaliese Basso was spectacular this week. She has been strange and flippant in previous episodes, but tonight she was able to release the reigns. Her LJ is so entirely devoid of remorse or fear it is captivating. This is what “influenza” taken to the extreme looks like. She is slated for eight more episodes, so luckily, we have not seen the last of her. Her storyline may seem resolved, but there is so much more possibility open to her angelic-looking villain. Her childhood needs to be explored. The birth of a killer will be interesting to watch.
Layton solved the murders. It had nothing to do with drug slinging or secret-keeping. It was only the actions of a lovesick puppy with a violent streak controlled by a “blue-eyed firsty girl.” Eric wasn’t born a killer. He learned to use his violent tendencies for battle before the freeze and protection after. LJ, on the other hand, was a monster. She took pleasure in other’s pain. As connected as the Folgers are, it will be interesting to see what happens to her(if anything). For Layton’s reward, he got a sip of sedative-laced Saki. It hardly seemed fair, but Melanie knows he sees too much and already guessed there was no Mr. Wilford anymore.
In the end, it is just one more POC being shelved by an elitist white. Layton was too good at his job. The only difference here is Melanie claims to need his talents. She really thinks her betrayal of Layton is for the survival of the train. Melanie can’t risk the rest of the train, finding out and losing control. It is out of her hands, though, as the enterprising Tailies have a new communications source and know he’s missing. It’s only a matter of time. If she thought Layton was angry and hard to control before she hasn’t seen anything yet.
“Systems resist change, even without their maker.” Jinju’s words spoken at the beginning of Snowpiercer Episode 4 are relevant to the series and in our current world. Most of us just want to carve out our slice of happiness. A few good among us tries to make the world a better place. For most, change is scary. The status quo fights against that change. Sometimes, though, it is necessary to make the world a better place. Melanie may think she has a handle on Layton and the Tailies now that the crime is solved, and he is “drawered.” If history shows us anything, it is that eventually change is gonna come. Catch up on all our Snowpiercer coverage here.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.