Snowpiercer – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

A Killer Revealed

Snowpiercer returns this week with a slight change in tempo as the murder mystery draws to a close and in its wake, a glimpse at the future as the Tailies begin to work together and launch their attack against the rest of the train. With a big cliffhanger ending and some nice reveals along the way, Snowpiercer continues to deliver enjoyable enough drama, despite the anticlimactic way the murderer is revealed.

After a brief opening involving Brakeman’s partner Jinju, episode 4 of Snowpiercer begins with Melanie poring over the clues she and Layton have uncovered so far regarding Sean’s murder. However, their night takes a turn for the worse when Melanie receives a call about Nikki’s death.

On the back of this, Layton is awoken in the middle of the night to see for himself. Given the doors on the train are closed at night, they deduce that the killer must be nearby. However, the security team are none too happy about Layton joining them in this manhunt and he’s pushed aside for now. This brings him to Miss Audrey where he discusses Nikki. After some talking, she eventually decides to trust him.

Third class begin to rally under the leadership of Josie while Layton scoffs in disgust at the artwork on the walls in first class. Eventually he makes it into the dining carriage and immediately makes his presence felt. He confronts Ruth and asks where the bodyguards are. As he soon learns, one of the men, Erik, didn’t come back that night and it makes him a suspect.

In a bid to quell first class and stop them rebelling against Layton, Melanie feigns a call to Mr Wilfred and for now at least, Layton is okay to continue his investigation. Continue he does; rooting through Erik’s possessions, he finds a metal item that could have been used as the murder weapon. When the guards leave the room to try and find Eric, Layton gets talking to LJ and he learns she had him were having a secret relationship. It clearly goes deeper than that though as Layton deduces that LJ was the one working with Eric to kill. Instead of telling the guards, Layton decides to try and strike a deal with her.

The security guards head out and search for Erik through the carriages. Eventually they find him and, realizing his time is coming to an end, grabs Jinju and holds her hostage before slipping down to the lower levels. The stand-off soon comes to a violent end though, as the guards surround Erik and savagely beat him to death.

Understanding the truth, LJ and Layton exchange knowing glances…before Layton betrays her and tells them all that she’s the real killer. With the killer caught and the murder spree seemingly over for now, all that’s left is for third class – led by Layton – to rebel. Melanie informs the train what’s happened before sitting with Layton and sharing a drink together. When he questions when he’ll be returning to the tail, she tells him he’s seen too much.

Layton collapses on the ground and passes out on the floor as Melanie watches him. Down in the tail meanwhile, Josie receives another capsule and a message, this time reading “Layton’s missing”. As we soon see, he’s been thrown in one of the drawers, strictly off the books. Mr Wilfred wants him undamaged for something but as the lights go out, we’re left to wonder exactly what this means.

With LJ still alive and the conflict now turning to the Tailies attacking the rest of the train and usurping first class, Snowpiercer ditches its murder mystery and looks set to move much more definitively into action thriller territory. That’s good too because for the most part this crime drama has played out in a pretty unremarkable and formulaic fashion and this could just be the kick needed to add some excitement to the show.

On a side note, some of the music here feels ripped straight from Westworld season 3 – in particular Ramin Djawadi’s pulsating, bass drums. A small note but something that’s difficult to shake once you hear it. Still, Snowpiercer bows out with an enjoyable enough episode but it looks like things may be gearing up to become more exciting in the weeks ahead!


Published: 08 June 2020 at 10:18am on 

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