Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Without Their Maker

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Oh, that was good. As far as detective plots go, Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4  was a satisfying and climactic confrontation, with LJ's crazy being witnessed by multiple parties.

Granted, part of me expected the murder mystery to span more than four episodes, but there will be significant fall-out from LJ's unmasking so the story's far from done.

Furthermore, as fun as it's been watching Layton toss the uptrain hoity-toities into a tizzy in the name of solving the mystery, Snowpiercer has never been a procedural.

Roche - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4

The murder was simply a device -- albeit a very entertaining one --  to spring Layton out of The Tail and further the true themes of the show: CLASS and REVOLUTION.

Systems resist change. Even without their maker.


To address the simpler topic first, a success revolt from The Tail needs more than the Tailies have or could possibly scrounge for.

Layton's plan has always been to seed the uptrain with their own people through the apprenticeships and, more recently, The Drawers.

The access chip he slipped to Josie is proving to be more than a key to train doors; it's the key to mobilizing and accessing resources, information, and -- most importantly -- hope.

Hope for the Tail and also hope for the Tailies who apprenticed out but who feel guilty for their new lives uptrain.

Josie - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 1

Josie's foray into Third to find Astrid was full of poignant moments to remind us what like in The Tail is like.

In case we'd forgotten Layton's reactions to food and sunlight on Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 1, Josie plays out the same reactions, sitting with Astrid, completely distracted from her mission for a long moment as she sees the outside world for probably the first time in seven years.

I wonder how neither Layton nor Josie suffered stomach aches from the real food after all the years of that calorie loaf sent to The Tail as well as the ration-cutting.

The crucial part of Josie's mission was in not being seen, but it's clear that she was multi-tasking mentally, hoping to catch sight of Miles or Layton, and she nearly blows her anonymity when she mistakes that boy for Miles.

Adapt. That's what humans do, isn't it? Our great leg-up? We roll. We hack. Knuckle down and change.


Her desire for invisibility is in stark contrast to all the other players who are seeking recognition and attention.

LJ Folger - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 3

Most obviously,  there's LJ Folger, the "blue-eyed Firstie" with serious dysfunction. (And I know it's a petty pleasure, but I felt pretty vindicated when Layton confirmed that "LJ" does indeed stand for "Lilah Junior.")

So, here's a girl born into opulent wealth but denied her an individualized name of her own.

She's "practically raised" by Erik, her bodyguard, a man with his emotional baggage, onboard an apocalypse-avoiding vehicle where there doesn't seem to be anyone else her age in First Class.

Or maybe the Folgers just don't socialize outside their strata of First. In any case, friends are not an option.

It's these times. Morality's a moving target.

Mr. Folger

And did you catch that moment on Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 3 where her parents forgot she was even in the balcony and might've left without her if Cavill hadn't called out, "Get home safe, LJ!" before she left?

Lilah Folger - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4

The horrifying realization for me about LJ was that SHE KNEW what the Third Class noodle vendor was using for "meat" in the soup and craved it, demanding it for lunch the very first time we meet her.

Now, whether Justice on Snowpiercer sees class or not will be for the next few episodes to demonstrate. My money's on lawyer mama Lilah arguing that LJ was traumatized by the Rider attack as a child and then manipulated/trained by Erik into becoming a killer.

She basically stated that The Freeze made everyone a potential killer on Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 2. Talk about foreshadowing.

My family may not think I'm capable, Melanie, but The Freeze taught us all we have the capacity to kill.


Still, the counter-argument (in my mind) would be that she's irrevocably damaged, so away to The Drawers, she goes.

I am very interested to see how the trial will be conducted. Does she get a jury of her peers? Will it be broadcast to Second and Third? Where will it take place? Who gets to be the judge? Will witnesses be allowed to testify?

Till On the Hunt - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4

Till and Jinju have a different perspective on being seen. It's fascinating that Till's the one reluctant to come out about their relationship, not because she's a lesbian cop, but because of the class difference between them.

A few weeks ago, the phrase "dating uptrain" would be nonsensical. Still, Snowpiercer has done a phenomenal job at immersing the viewers in the class system that dominates every aspect of life onboard.

I really want to like Jinju because she's calm and confident (except when in fear for her life, obviously) and genuinely seems to care about the people around her.

I know our chances of surviving are slim at best. All I can do about that is provide small moments of happiness.


Even when Erik's waving his gun around, she tries to de-escalate him by asking his name and connecting him to his thoughts of his girl.

And, maybe it worked because I don't have any other explanation for why a man who bludgeoned two people to death and then massacred Nikki in her hospital bed wouldn't hesitate to shoot his hostage to commit suicide by cop, err... Jackboot.

Solving a Mystery - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4

Oh, and while I'm talking about Nikki's death, did anyone else notice that the other two bodies were nowhere in sight and weren't even mentioned by Roche or Cavill?

It looks like Third Class noodles will continue their thriving business.

Back to business: my speculations on the identity of the first murder victim for whom Nikki was Drawered for may be a red herring. Layton's statement about "Third Class dicks" seems to indicate the first victim was as innocuous as Sean Wise.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong though, which would make me right in the first place. #lol

Cavill Playing it Cool - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4

LJ wants to be seen. Till doesn't. Cavill has a foot in both camps.

I wondered when Ruth fixed her lapel pin that one time whether Cavill wasn't subconsciously bidding for attention, turning Wilford's "W" into an "M" for Melanie.

When she sits down at the sushi bar with Layton and confronts him with the fact he's figured out what she really does for Snowpiercer, it's crystal clear that she's wanted someone outside her secret circle to acknowledge her -- to really see her for who she is -- for a long time.

I wear several hats. My department's responsible for smooth relations.


And then, having been seen, her sense of duty and responsibility kicks in, and Layton's dumped into the Drawers.

It was a stunning twist, but, in all honesty, it was the only possible thing she could've done to preserve the Order.

Layton in the Night Car - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4

As you watch Snowpiercer online, remember the numbers that they've revealed so far.

Snowpiercer carries three thousand souls, give or take a few frozen butchers and probably counting Klimpt's Sleepers.

Thirdies and Tailies make up SEVENTY percent of the train. And Miss Audrey has pledged her support to Layton, so if Third supports The Tail, the numbers are heavily in their favor.

The crux lies in whether the Jackboots reside in Second or not. I would suppose so as one of the rules of effective authoritarian rule is to keep the military close and loyal.

Layton: There are no guns allowed on the Snowpiercer.
Sharma: Our security was allowed to keep their sidearm.
Layton: The rest of us were disarmed to keep you safe.

So where do we go next?

With Layton in The Drawers (for now), where does the focus shift?

Let's see what you can uncover!

Hit the comments with your craziest theories!

Without Their Maker Review

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Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Systems resist change. Even without their maker.


Adapt. That's what humans do, isn't it? Our great leg-up? We roll. We hack. Knuckle down and change.