**This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of “Snowpiercer.” Proceed with caution.**
In the immediate aftermath of last week’s ceasefire, Ruth Wardell (Alison Wright) once again dons her enormous fur coat and returns to the Tail Section to carry out justice. While several of the men are sentenced to “the drawers” — cryogenic hibernation in literal morgue drawers — Ruth orders one Tailie to lose her arm. It is Winnie (Emma Oliver), a little girl who was directly involved in the uprising that killed six guards. But her mom, Suzanne (Sarah Strange), begs to be punished in place of her daughter. Ruth accepts the sacrifice and Suzanne loses her arm. She spends the rest of the episode in and out of consciousness as Josie (Katie McGuinness) nurses her injury.
Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) talks with her engineers about the upcoming section of track as Snowpiercer barrels through a mountainous region of the Yukon. Sections of the track deteriorate more with each revolution around the globe. Today, the train’s movement is setting off one avalanche after another.
Jinju (Susan Park) and Dr. Klimpt (Happy Anderson) are still working to wake the wrongfully convicted Nikki Genêt (Madeleine Arthur), but it isn’t going well. In her sleep, she keeps mumbling just one word: Nightcar.
Layton’s (Daveed Diggs) investigation into the murder of Sean Wise continues. Layton and Till (Mickey Sumner) venture to Third Class to talk to Jakes Carter (Brent Stait), the tunnelman who discovered the body under a floor panel below Ag-Sec — the Agriculture Sector. They also visit the Nightcar, Miss Audrey’s club of “ill repute.” Audrey (Lena Hall) wants Layton to understand what they really do in the Nightcar, which isn’t actually a brothel and sends him into a room with prime suspect Zarah (Sheila Vand), who also still happens to be Layton’s ex.
Later, when they meet up with Dr. Pelton (Karin Konoval) for Sean’s autopsy, they look at how his limbs were removed and as they talk about cleavers and hacksaws, Layton just has to laugh. “You guys really don’t go there?” he asks. Till knows he’s suggesting cannibalism, but she laughs it off because they don’t do that “up here” and mentions the rumors about the tail section. He tells her those weren’t rumors and the kill cults stopped once a group of Tailies killed the leader and ate his heart.
Before they can make it to Ag-Sec, Snowpiercer heads directly into a major avalanche and the impact promised by this week’s title finally hits. A cattle car takes a direct hit, the windows smash and all the cows and a couple of butchers are frozen to death within seconds. Repairs will be complicated and will require rationing power and water to different sections of the train. Melanie, Jinju, and Bennett (Iddo Goldberg) decide to limit water to second and third class and eliminate it from the Tail altogether. But they also know they need to keep the Tail Section appeased.
This sends Ruth back to the Tail again to announce the kids who have been chosen for the Apprenticeship program. They pick three, one of which is Miles (Jaylin Fletcher). He knows what’s at stake and plans to be one of Layton’s people uptrain, so that he can pass information back for the coming revolution.
Layton and Till manage to get into a freezer and find the compartment where someone stashed Sean’s missing limbs. Till says it doesn’t matter since the butchers are dead now, but Layton says the murderer wasn’t a butcher. While it turns out the butchers were selling off meat from his arms and legs, that doesn’t explain the castration. Till tells him to pin the murders on the butchers, accept his reward, and live a better life. He says, “I guess I’m still a cop after all.”
But the truth is he still wants to help his friends. That night after he’s locked back in his holding cell, he makes notes on a scrap of cloth torn from his shirt, picks the lock, and gets out into the hall where he creates a diversion and gives one of his Tailies a chance to pick it up. In the process, he gets beaten bloody, is locked back in his cell, and gets a lecture from Melanie about order and balance. Layton says that order is achieved through informants and the only reason she cares about who murders Sean is that she needs to find out what information he spilled while he was being tortured, and who he told.
And so, the plot thickens.