A murder trial and rescue mission takes center stage in a tense Snowpiercer Episode 5 that mirrors our turbulent status quo.
Art continues to imitate life in Snowpiercer. Humans are predictable. The rich believe they are entitled to their perks and must constantly push those below them down. If there is no second or third class, there can not be a first. That’s the real issue-coveting. You covet what you have just as much as what you want. If you are rich, you have little to worry about. If you are white on top of that and you are golden onboard the Snowpierecer or in current America, so it seems. Snowpiercer Episode 5 only proves some things never change.
Rebellion is coming. Everything needed for all-out anarchy is in place. The smart passengers see the storm coming. Lila Folger understands her way of life is being threatened. Most mothers would be distraught over their child’s behavior and worried about their future. For Lila, LJ is a commodity, not a daughter. She cares less about LJ as a person and more about her as a genetic heir. Melanie sees a growing threat in third but doesn’t understand how serious it is or how to balance the competing group’s demands. Audrey in the Night Car knows she can no longer be neutral. The power of the people is in numbers and need. She has the numbers and first-class needs them. If a true war began they have control and the smart ones in first-class know it.
Annalise Basso(LJ) continues to be a real standout, She is one sick twist and her father doesn’t just know it, he encouraged it. In a bizarrely captivating turn of events her father pops a glass eye out for her to suck only to learn later she was the one that poked dear old dad’s eye out in the first place. It is some first-class level nuts to go along with their first-class level status. Snowpiercer Episode 5 gave LJ another chance to flex her unhinged muscles.
After Miss Audrey successfully petitions Melanie for a new fair tribunal that includes a third-class citizen, a sham of a trial takes place. The tribunal heard testimonies from damning witnesses that lay out LJ’s depravity. She wasn’t just complicit but enthusiastic. They ultimately did the right thing and found her guilty. That wasn’t the end of things, however. Melanie is right to be concerned about the outcome either way. When LJ is found guilty, she has to employ her contingency plan. Her fellow engineers, including Bennett Knox, send a message to Ruth supposedly from Mr. Wilford commuting LJ’s sentence because of her tender age.
Melanie didn’t have a choice as LJ made it clear she has secrets that she can choose to spill or keep. Those secrets could upend everything she has worked for. For better or worse, Melanie is Mr. Wilford, and her conflicted concepts of morality versus control are threatening the precarious balance of the train dynamic. She thinks that just as she blew off steam with Bennett if she threw the third classes a bone with a seemingly fair trial, it will appease them. She doesn’t understand the power of hope. It can galvanize a community, and the lack of it can make people very dangerous. Third class and Tailies aren’t the only ones coming for Melanie. There is a reckoning coming from the front and the back.
Justice is a necessity. Every society should strive for it. It seldom comes cheap, and it’s always messy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. If your citizens began to lose all hope of equality or at the least safety, they have nothing to lose. The janitors led by Terrance(never Terry) learned this right away. Janitors’ are uniquely equipped for all kinds of criminal activity onboard the train. They have unrestricted access and are largely ignored. No one wants to look at the ugly side of life. That anonymity provides them unique opportunities. Josie was the beneficiary of that opportunity in Snowpiercer Episode 5.
She has finally found Layton, in the drawers. Josie has no choice but to remove him from the tubes. We know from a brief conversation between Dr. Klimpt, Melanie, and Jinju that this is dangerous, but Josie has no choice if she wants to rescue Layton. Unfortunately, Bess Till and Brinkman Ossweiller hear the commotion and investigate, resulting in Bess beating Ossweiller over the head and helping Josie and Layton escape. Before she can return for Ossweiller, he wakes up and runs off. Who and what he will tell spells big trouble for Bess and Jinju. Once the Tailies realize what has happened to Layton and the children, that may be the only impetus they need to launch their coup from the rear. Zara cares for Layton but has a severe self-preservation streak. I’m curious how far she will go to help him.
Lastly, what is going on in the drawers? Why are there children there? What is Locked-In Syndrome? How can Jinju be involved in this terrible experiment? It’s doubtful Bess knows what her girlfriend is up to. She has a strong moral compass that will have a big problem with what Jinju is doing. I’m worried these two won’t be happy long.
Snowpiercer Episode 5 was a big one for mythos and season wide story arches. Snippets of important information were dropped like breadcrumbs to be followed in between explosive plot beats. Bess and Jinju are cohabitating. Jinju has vouched for Bess to move to second with her. Bess’s indiscretions are Jinju’s and the scientist isn’t exactly keeping a low profile herself. With the aftermath of Layton’s escape and Ossweiler’s attack, they are in trouble after only one day in second class. Bennett and Melanie’s on-again, off-again relationship should pay huge dividends moving forward and the coup brewing in first-class is spy drama at its best.
I was reminded of a guilty pleasure, Sucker Punch, when watching Snowpiercer Episode 5. Scott Glenn’s character tells Baby Doll, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” The time has come for everyone to put up or shut up. Pick a side because something is coming. Some fires can’t be put out once there’s a spark. The only question is, will it consume the entire train? Knowing the timeline of the series versus the film, unfortunately, it appears this isn’t the catalyst for change. Catch up on all our Snowpiercer coverage.
- Nineteen cycles around the track equal seven years.
- Audrey, Jinju, and Bess are all in significant trouble.
- Ruth argues there isn’t room for justice and order. I would argue there can be no order with justice.
- If you were confused about what systemic racism was, look no further than Ossweiller’s speech in the Night Car to the third class attendees of the tribunal. He talked to them like dullards at best and animals at worse. Of course, their hygiene isn’t going to be as good as first and second class; they have minimal water to wash with. Third class riders have no access to education and are treated like beasts who will erupt in violence at any provocation. On the Snowpiercer, your skin color, gender, religion, and sexuality, don’t seem to matter. Money, however, absolutely does.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.