DISCLAIMER: This recap of Snowpiercer episode “Our Answer for Everything” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, occupants of the Engine Eternal! Full disclosure: I went into “Our Answer for Everything” with lowered expectations. Last week’s outing with the sublime Jennifer Connelly would be impossible to top. She’s too good. That being said, tonight’s episode ups the ante regarding action and thrills. Layton’s train is fraying at the seams and class unrest comes to a boiling point. Alison Wright delivers her best performance to date as Ruth reckons with her actions. I love that Snowpiercer is forcing its characters to “face the music,” so to speak. Actions have repercussions. It’s not always pretty, but I’m glad that both Melanie and Ruth are receiving the redemption arcs they deserve. It’s proof that even good people make disastrous mistakes.
Ready to delve into “Our Answer for Everything”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Bess (Mickey Sumner) on narration duty for this week. We see the slaughtered breachmen are laying neatly in a row. She talks about how violence is our knee-jerk response to everything. The Freeze took out millions of people, but the eight murdered breachmen were eliminated by humankind. Boscovic (Aleks Paunovic) is sobbing in the corner. He’s the only breachman to survive the massacre. Amid the flurry of killings, Bess finds a button with the letter “W” engraved on it. Clearly, the perpetrator was a Wilford fan.
Next, Pastor Logan (Bryan Terrell Clark) is attempting to comfort the heartbroken Boscovic. Layton (Daveed Diggs) and Roche (Mike O’Malley) are also present. Layton tries to ask Boscovic a series of questions, but the latter rebuffs him. Boscovic is quick to assume that someone from the Tail is at fault. Bess urges Layton and Roche to leave. She’s got this, boys.
Then, Bess speaks with Osweiller (Sam Otto) and LJ (Annalise Basso). As per her usual, LJ gives Bess some ‘tude. Osweiller is actually helpful. He knows someone who may be connected to the Wilford button. Her name is Katya (Yvetta Fisher) and she owns a shop that sells various trinkets.
Meanwhile, Layton, Roche and Zarah (Sheila Vand) learn from Ruth (Wright) that Miss Audrey never returned the previous night. She decided to stay aboard Big Alice. They muse whether she might be compromised by Wilford. After all, she still has yet to get Snowpiercer access to Big Alice’s comms.
Later, we see Miss Audrey (Lena Hall) soaking in a luxurious bath. She’s nestled cozily in Wilford’s quarters. Bennett (Iddo Goldberg) is incessantly attempting to call Wilford (Sean Bean). Good ol’ Willy decides to toy with our Ben. Finally, he picks up. Ben, Layton and Ruth are waiting to speak with Audrey. Wilford ushers her out of the bathroom. Audrey claims she’s fine, but who knows if she’s under Wilford’s sway? The plan is to retrieve Melanie that night.
Now, Wilford doesn’t trust Audrey. Not yet. He believes she has ulterior motives. I think at this point Audrey is still Team Snowpiercer, but that looks like it’s about to change. Meanwhile, Alex (Rowan Blanchard) is being left in the dark as far as Wilford’s plans are concerned. Sykes (Chelsea Harris) is now his right-hand woman. Everyone on Big Alice heard the sirens from the previous night when Snowpiercer was attacked. However, it’s unclear to Alex whether Wilford facilitated said attacks.
Meanwhile, Pike (Steven Ogg) isn’t in a good headspace. Murdering Terence really messed with his mind. The Last Australian (Aaron Glenane) and Z-Wreck (Kwasi Thomas) know that tensions are steadily brewing between the Tail and the other classes. Some folks believe the Tail staged the breachmen massacre. So, the pair decide to embark on a sojourn to third class to ensure that some of their own i.e. Lights makes it home safely.
Next, Boscovic stumbles upon The Last Australian and Z-Wreck in the third class dining car. He wholeheartedly believes that Tailies are the culprit. Suddenly, he viciously attacks the duo. Thankfully, Roche and Ruth step in just in time. After Boscovic is sequestered away to cool down for a bit, Ruth calls Roche by his first name — Sam. Sam! I prefer Roche. It sounds sleeker. Ruth reveals that Wilford asked her to join him on Big Alice. She refused him. At one point she would have been elated to be by his side. But things have changed.
Then, Osweiller and Bess waltz into Katya’s car. The older woman hawks her wares to other passengers. They’re mostly knickknacks and tchotchkes. Bess finds a jacket that boasts those Wilford buttons. Katya reveals that she sold a jacket yesterday to an opulently wealthy, statuesque woman.
Later, Layton gives the train announcements. He addresses the horrendous string of murders from the night before. Layton makes sure that the Tail’s collective name is stricken from the list of suspects. No one else will defend them, so he must. However, we see third and second-class passengers turning on members of the Tail during his speech. Afterward, Ruth cautions that Layton’s eloquent words may not have the effect he intended.
Now, we see Audrey and Wilford chatting it up. Wilford wants Audrey to be with him. He wants his girl back. Wilford procures the small wrench that Audrey had on her person during their dinner. When she was trying to hijack Big Alice’s comms for Snowpiercer. He asks her whether she stayed on the train so she could finish her mission. Audrey reveals that she feels an inexplicable pull toward Wilford. Despite everything he did to her, she had to come back. Wilford’s not buying it. In order to garner his approval, she must pass the test.
Then, Wilford leads Audrey to none other than Kevin (Tom Lipinski)! I was under the impression he bled out in that bathtub. We see bandages on his forearms. Apparently, his frazzled mental state is in dire need of rejuvenating. That’s where Audrey comes in. Wilford wants Audrey to fix Kevin.
Next, Layton finds Pike chilling in third class. Pike is distant and offputting. He reveals that Layton now owes him. Layton attempts to assuage Pike’s nerves but to no avail. Audrey learns that Wilford made Kevin slit his wrists in the bathtub. It’s evident that Audrey’s own pain is catching up with her. However, she switches on the Audrey Charm and goes into grief counseling mode. Well, except she tells Kevin that Wilford only made him do that out of love. He loves Kevin! You must wade through the pain to get to the other side. That’s what abusers tell you — that they do wretched things because they love you.
Meanwhile, Bess pays Eugenia (Amanda Brugel) a visit in the first-class dining car. Layton retrieves the coat she purchased from Katya. Sure enough, it’s bereft of a button. Bess notices that Eugenia has concealed a bruise circling her eye with makeup. That would be the result of breachmen retaliating against getting murdered. Eugenia played a vital role in the attacks, so Roche carts her off.
Later, Lights and Winnie (Emma Oliver) seek refuge in the sickbay. Third and second-class occupants are now storming the hallways calling for Tailie blood. Ruth and Zarah also hide away in the sickbay. Winnie is terrified of Ruth. If you’ll recall, Ruth amputated the arm of Winnie’s mother by exposing it to the well-below freezing temperatures of the outside world. Her mother perished due to said amputation. Ruth remembers the incident but is initially bewildered by the little girl’s response. Winnie flees the scene. Ruth decides to pursue her. Pike is taken captive by the angry mob.
Now, Layton learns that a Tailie was kidnapped. He leaves Bess to chase after the infuriated masses before someone is killed. Bess is going after Pastor Logan after she discovers that he essentially orchestrated the massacre. Ruth finds Winnie huddled in a small room. She sincerely apologizes for cruelly taking Winnie’s mother away from her. It’s a beautifully acted scene by Wright. We see Ruth really redeeming herself for her grievous transgressions.
Meanwhile, Audrey is still coaching Kevin. She tells him that his willingness to do anything for Wilford is a gift. It’s freeing. After some coaxing, Kevin is a new man. His mind is healed and he’s ready to serve Wilford. All good ol’ Willy asks is that you suffer for him. Because through suffering, there’s reward. Audrey is thoroughly Team Wilford. Uh oh. She brings Kevin to Wilford. Audrey orders him to lick Wilford’s shoe. To fall prostrate before him. Wilford is happy to have his gal back in action. They smooch for a bit.
Next, Ruth discovers that a Tailie was taken as a hostage. She insists on joining Layton in the rescue mission. Bess finds Pastor Logan in the process of praying. She asks him if it was all a lie. The whole “religious” thing was a scam. A front. Logan reveals that he never lied to her, but he wanted her to see the truth for herself. The train needs Wilford. So, he was at the helm of the murders. Bess launches an attack against him.
Later, Layton and Ruth find the malicious mob is sacrificing Pike. They’re about to expose his arm to the frozen elements. Layton urges them to take his arm instead, much to Pike’s dismay. We see them seize Layton. However, just as they’re about to commit the act, Ruth stops them. She delivers an impassioned speech about not resorting to violent crime. That Layton is their leader, and if they want change they must address it in a civilized manner. Once the crowd learns that brakemen are swiftly approaching, they disperse. Ruth saved them!
Now, Bess is distracted by an elusive attacker outside Logan’s quarters. During her scuffle with this new assailant, Logan mutters a quick prayer, puts a bag over his head and invites the cold air to freeze his noggin. Suicide by freezing. Bess knocks her opponent unconscious and finds Logan with said bag over his head. However, she’s too late in removing it, because he dies right then and there.
Then, we see Roche joining his wife Anne (Elaine Kao) and his daughter for dinner. There is a flurry of crimson lights emanating from various train car windows. According to Katya, people light red candles in honor of Wilford. It’s part of a vigil. Anne wonders if they should light a candle. Roche is on the fence about it. Wilford, Audrey and Alex observe the display aboard Big Alice. Wilford is ecstatic to see the public are choosing him. Alex has reservations. Layton and Zarah also witness the spectacle from their car.
Episodic MVP goes to Alison Wright, without a shadow of a doubt. Getting insight into Ruth’s redemption arc and her journey is so vital to understanding her character. Her scene with Winnie is utterly gutwrenching. It’s subtly nuanced work on Wright’s part. Not to mention, the plot chugged forward in “Our Answer for Everything” as a resolution regarding Wilford’s plant came to fruition. I had a bad feeling about that pastor from the get-go. He gave off a shady aura.
I thought it was interesting that Logan also mentions Wilford’s belief that you can only obtain true peace through suffering. It’s the abuser’s siren song. Part of me thinks that Audrey has her wits about her, but she’s playing the long con. The only way to get close enough to him is to go big. That being said, I also wouldn’t be shocked if she really was under his influence. It’s not uncommon for people to return to their abusers.
Do you think that Audrey is really on Team Wilford? What’s happening with Melanie right now? Will Wilford finally seize the opportunity to control Snowpiercer now that he has so many vocal supporters? Join me next week as I recap Snowpiercer, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Snowpiercer airs Mondays at 9 pm on your TNT affiliate.