War is coming, and Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 5 plants the idea that the battles may be fielded on more than one front.
The most obvious threat is that of Third united with The Tail against the ticketed passengers in First and Second. They have the combined forces of the military Jackboots and their armed personal security to defend them.
However, Cavill has now discovered the twin dangers of sedition brewing in First among the heads of the families and some sort of anarchist/nihilist bent to LJ Folger's motivations.
And if that wasn't enough, Javi's getting pretty fed up with being the proverbial third wheel up in the Engine Car.
If Sharma and Folger were to get Javi and Commander Grey on their side, an uptrain revolution might have a chance of succeeding.
Cavill: So they're talking about sedition. How did the Commander respond?
Colvin: Well, he didn't agree or disagree. Mostly, he just stared at us. Coldly. Which, I won't lie, is very effective.
No wonder Cavill needed a bit of stress relief mid-plot.
Of all the opposing forces amassing against the Head of Hospitality, it was Miss Audrey who fired the first warning shot here.
Serving a platter of feces and cockroaches was both dramatic and powerfully symbolic. I'd say there are very few demonstrations that could more aptly convey the wish for First Class to "eat shit and die" than what Audrey's minion delivered up.
Cavill: That stunt was beneath you, Audrey.
Miss Audrey: No, it really wasn't.
The fascinating thing about Miss Audrey is how she looks like a completely different character every time we encounter her. It's more than just clothes and hair.
We met her as a show-stopping songstress, crooning a heart-breaking ballad to a fixated audience.
Fight night saw her as ringmaster and crowd fluffer, a motivating figure directing the crowd's energies, always aware of the balcony observers and in tune with the groundlings looking for a night of distraction.
When Nikki got murdered, Audrey appeared in mourning garb, determined to find justice for her friend, pledging her support and that of Third to Layton's cause.
If you recall, Cavill witnessed that pledge. That, as much as anything Cavill feared about Layton's powers of observation, probably sealed his fate.
Audrey took the stand at the trial, once again shifting, chameleon-like, into the visage of the demure lady of quality to command the attention of those in First and Second.
You need to care about the lives of Third. Because seven days a week, three shifts a day, we keep the bearings greased and the cold at bay. We draw straws to have children, and we die from preventable accidents and diseases you get treatment for. I haven't come to this place easily. When we left Chicago, we needed Mr. Wilford's iron Order to survive. But, almost nineteen revolutions later, seven years... I know all of you. And I know we need to save our souls. Find your compassion. Send a message to this entire train that justice is not reserved for the rich. There can be justice for all. For Nikki. Her name was Nikki.Miss Audrey
With the stand as her pulpit and all eyes on her, she sounded her challenge to the privileged, slapped their faces with the glove of the proletariat, and immortalized Nikki's name all at once.
If Audrey were to appear at the onset of the revolution in full battle gear, having stripped the body armor off a Jackboot during a counseling session, I wouldn't even blink.
That woman is fierce.
Miss Audrey: Recommend a new tribunal.
Cavill: Or what?
Miss Audrey: Don't make me threaten you, Melanie. Third touches every system on this train. We will be heard.
Cavill's little problem in First Class probably shouldn't worry her as much as they do.
I'm not sure what "four hundred million in early investor status" really matters seven years into this endeavor.
At most, each Firstie probably has a couple of personal security. They could probably be subdued by Jackboots or have their contracts "renegotiated" into joining the train's militia.
And even the Folgers would have to realize that once the key barrier of personal protection is stripped away, they are a very small number of unskilled, pampered, and -- for the large part -- unlikeable ambulatory protein.
I have to assume that Mr. Wilford's almighty Order is what enshrines the classes in their social strata, allowing for some controlled mobility in cases like Till's where relationships create the opportunity to sponsor loved ones, or the apprenticeship program scooping young people out of The Tail.
Till: Wow, look at us. Made it three whole months before shacking up.
Jinju: Personal best for me.
I wonder what the limits are to sponsorship. Would a Firstie ever be able to help promote a Thirdie or Tailie that far uptrain?
Would they ever want to?
There are some good apples in First. Edith, the tribunal representative, seemed to have both a sense of humor and some actual integrity.
For the most part, though, the idle rich of Snowpiercer have been portrayed as either willfully callous and ignorant or shamefully entitled.
And then there's Ruth, whom I've given the benefit of the doubt in the past, inferring the existence of compassion from her flexibility on taking Winnie's arm.
That benefit's waning as she is fanatical about maintaining the Order and the rules upon which it relies.
Ruth: Doesn't Mr. Wilford understand you can't just change the rules?
Cavill: I guess they're his rules to change. He chose the will of the people.
Ruth: We don't have will. We have Order.
Her conversation with Cavill illustrates that her loyalty to Mr. Wilford will only remain true as long as the Order -- and her status within that Order -- is preserved.
I wonder if she would have been as happy to announce Wilford's decision to commute LJ's sentence if she'd seen the girl mimicking her father's eye in her mouth.
But the crazy is ripe in that household, isn't it? It's only outwardly obvious with LJ.
Robert's permissiveness is tantamount to a form of abuse, but without any option for proper therapy or genuine intention of ever denying her anything, it's clear the damage is irreversible.
Meanwhile, Lilah's obsession with perception and the struggle for power is its own sort of psychosis.
You don't see what's happening, do you? There's an idea traveling uptrain, Robert. It wants to live, this idea. It wants to set the train ablaze and all it needs it a spark. All it needs is to wrap its thick fingers around your daughter's throat and choke her out for the working man.Lilah Folger
They are, in essence, the plutocrats of Rome who couldn't see their demise coming (except that Lilah obviously does) until the city burned around them. And it's possible that LJ's the Nero to strike the match.
She said enough in her testimony to put Cavill on edge.
From that shake-up, we learned of "The List," which may or may not be the candidates for the Sleepers experiment.
Another possibility is that it's a culling order to manage resource depletion.
We didn't come this far, suffer this much, to give in to the same tyranny that destroyed us in the first place. Even on a frozen, dead planet, humanity needs hope.Miss Audrey
LJ says she's not talking but, now that Erik's gone, I sense she'll be looking for a new playmate and can't you just see her and Osweiller hitting it off?
Running in the background through all of these developments was Layton's suspension visions of Nikki and his role in ending the kill cult in The Tail.
He woke with the words,"Never again," chanting in his memory. Is this foreshadowing a new kill cult or something equally as dangerous to the people of the train?
When he told Till and Dr. Pelton about eating the heart of the cult leader, he didn't mention that he had single-handedly killed the man. He only stated that everyone had to eat a piece so that nobody could claim to be innocent.
I suspect that memory wasn't a random inclusion. I look forward to seeing where it leads.
There's no way you can skip watching Snowpiercer online this time.
Maybe replay LJ's testimony a few times and try to spot the moment Cavill nearly drags the kid off the stand to shut her up. Connelly's a master at making flat affect expressive.
At the midpoint now, the show is primed for an explosive and potentially terrifying final push to the finale.
Who do you think will survive the revolt?
How will Layton mobilize his supporters once he's recovered? IF he recovers?
How long do you think a Third Class general strike would take to bring First to its knees?
VIVA LA REVOLUTION!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.