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TV Recap: ‘Snowpiercer’ Episode 1.5 – “Justice Never Boarded”

With a murderer on trial, can justice be served when an insurrection is brewing?

Snowpiercer 1.5
Alison Wright stars as Ruth Wardell in "Snowpiercer"

This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of TNT’s “Snowpiercer.” Proceed at your own risk.

Out of respect for the ongoing protests, we did not recap last week’s episode, in which Layton solved the murders, identifying Folger security guard Erik as the culprit. Erik took hostages in the Night Car and was ultimately killed in the standoff, while teenage LJ Folger offered Layton access to a first class security badge if he kept secret that she was the real killer. Layton dropped the bomb to the Folgers and Melanie that LJ was the murderer, she was arrested, and Layton and Melanie celebrated over a sake. Still hopeful about returning to the Tail, Melanie let him know she couldn’t send him back because — surprise! She knows he knows her secret. So it was off to the drawers for our hero.

This week, Layton is still in the drawers and reliving the horrific experience of having to take down the cannibals in the Tail. Because, as we learned a few weeks ago, people in the drawers don’t experience nothing. There is something and it’s a different nightmare for everyone.

It’s the day of Lilah Folger Jr.’s murder trial and there are a lot of separate plans and plots in motion. Miss Audrey of the Night Car is determined to make LJ pay for murdering Thirdies, but of course First Class won’t hear of it. The three-member tribunal is made up of Firsts until Audrey forces Melanie to allow equal representation from all three classes. (The Tail doesn’t count, of course.) But it’s a decision Melanie struggles with, because Third is positioned to cause a lot of problems for First, and First thinks they’re secretly plotting sedition. There isn’t much that happens on Snowpiercer that Melanie doesn’t know about, and her spy lets her know there’s a plot brewing.

Snowpiercer Ep 5 scaled
Lena Hall and Jennifer Connelly star in TNT’s “Snowpiercer”

Josie gets word Layton is missing and there’s a plan to get her uptrain to look for him. Till and Jinju make their relationship even more official when Till gets upgraded to Second. The access this new status affords her will no doubt come in handy as the fragile peace between the classes breaks down.

We learn things we didn’t want to know about the Folgers in a disturbing scene involving LJ and her father’s glass eye. She turns on the wide, innocent eyes that have fooled so many, and says, “Please? Can I?” Robert pops the eye out of his head and she puts it in her mouth and plays with it while her mother looks on, annoyed. Later, Lilah tells Melanie that Robert lost his eye when LJ was 7 and stabbed it with a fork during one of her tantrums. Talk about a problem child. And to really understand the level of coddling this girl has had, Lilah says Robert held her through the tantrum, even as his eye was bleeding down his face.

The trial begins, the tribunal is seated and members of First and Third are allowed to watch in the First Class dining car. Roche testifies of finding two preserved penises in LJ’s jewelry box. Dr. Pelton gets a little dramatic when she reveals that Sean Wise was still alive when his genitals were “chopped off.”

Jinju testifies of being held hostage by Erik and claims LJ was also his victim. Miss Audrey testifies on behalf of third victim Nikki, and she asks the tribunal to send a message to the entire train that there can be justice for all. After a brief recess, LJ testifies on her own behalf. She says before Sean Wise died, he talked about having secrets. “But he would never spill them.” She addresses Mr. Wilford directly and apologizes for her part in what happened. “If the train shows me mercy, I promise to do my part for her too.”

While all of this has been going on, Josie teams up with Terrence and Annie of the janitorial staff and they help her access to the drawers, where she is certain Layton has been sent. Terrence and Annie load up on medical supplies and leave her on her own to search. She finally locates him and tries to wake him up too fast, sending him into seizures. Till and Oz happen to be passing by and notice something off. The find Josie, Till knocks out Oz and helps get Layton to the Night Car where Zarah can take care of him while he regains consciousness.

We don’t know how long the tribunal deliberates, but it sure doesn’t seem to take long for them to come back and pronounce their verdict. “Guilty,” Thirdie papermaker Walter declares. Third class cheers, First clutches their collective pearls, and they await Mr. Wilford’s sentence. Melanie and Jinju chat in Melanie’s office, and she sends a message to the front of the train. Reconvening for the sentence, Ruth gets Mr. Wilford’s note. “In light of the young age of the accused, Mr. Wilford commutes the sentence of the accused, remanding her to the custody of her parents.”

Before releasing her to her parents, Melanie asks LJ what Sean told her. But knowledge is power and, at this moment, the newly released murderer is the most powerful person on the train.

What did you think of this week’s episode, “Justice Never Boarded?” Now that LJ has been set free, what will happen next? Comment below and share your theories!


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Written by Karen M. Peterson

Karen Peterson is a writer from Southern California. When she is not at the ballpark cheering on her LA Angels, she can usually be found in a movie theater or in front of the television. Karen is obsessed with awards shows, and loves everything from the smallest indie film to the biggest of big budget spectacles. She is also unapologetically in love with Tom Cruise.


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