Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 4 Review: A Single Trade


A whole lot of dysfunction comes to light on Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 4, and it’s clearly meant to evoke some strong reactions from the audience.

While most of the dysfunction is directly linked to Wilford, the fact that the revolutionaries of Snowpiercer haven’t had a chance to mourn or heal is starting to show through the cracks of their allegiance to Layton and his democratic experiment.

Then there’s Till’s investigation, which seems as hobbled by her own trauma as by the lack of leads.

Well, at least we found out where Miles has been and what he’s been working on, right?

I know it’s a new season and new seasons bring new faces (even in an enclosed environment like Snowpiercer). Still, I’m always a bit suspect when an entirely new character is introduced into a plot that involves unknown assailants.

It was a running joke on Lucifer‘s early and more procedural episodes that the first person questioned on the scene of a crime always turned out to be the culprit.

Billions of souls have left us, Bess. It’s because we’re so few that the survivor’s guilt feels hell-unbearable.

Pastor Logan

In much the same way, I’m giving Pastor Logan a lot of side-eye these days. Granted, Till is spending a lot of time in his Tea Room train car, but he seems to have a lot to say without actually saying anything.

Till’s new role as Train Detective is a heavy responsibility to lay on her shoulders when she’s still reeling from the one-two punch of the revolution and her break-up with Jinju.

It’s not surprising that she’s having some emotional dysregulation in the face of all these pressures.

From breaking down in tears at the Tailie shrine (which, it occurs to me, could only have been created sometime after the revolution since the Tailies wouldn’t have had access before) to having her foot “slip” right into Boki, Till’s kind of all over the place right now.

I used to know what was true. What wasn’t. Where I belonged. Now I have no one.


The Tailies who jumped Boki aren’t necessarily thinking clearly either.

I mean, even if you believe the breachmen attacked and mutilated Lights, why would you go after the biggest one?

As I’ve mentioned before, Boki’s considerably taller than all the other breachmen. Even black bagged, Lights should realize he wasn’t one of her attackers.

But they’re scared, and even Josie’s message that they must stand by Layton isn’t landing the way you’d expect.

Another thing I didn’t expect was for her presence to be quite so messianic as the Tailies have turned it into.

The rhythmic beat they saluted her with as she was wheeled through the border cars was a powerful moment that was very likely reported and described to Wilford.

If the Tail sees her as their true leader, her transfer to Big Alice puts her squarely in Wilford’s grip.

And as he holds thrall over most of First, Second, and Third, that bodes very badly for Layton.

Despite these potentially crucial shifts in geography and influence, Layton’s plan still progresses quite successfully.

Melanie’s uplink is a huge win.

This is our leap of faith. We want to make inroads with his crew. Show them what freedom looks like so that Wilford can’t demonize us.


Getting Tailies to connect with Wilford’s guests is another. (Amelia’s expression at finding another Aussie was incredibly heart-warming.)

And having Miss Audrey agree to cozy back up to Wilford is probably the biggest gamble of the lot.

Audrey’s been in a rapidly spiraling panic since Big Alice bit Snowpiercer in the Tail.

Having her voiceover the opening scenes and her dance bookending the narrative sharpens the focus on her and indicates her importance to the plot.

Every day, every one of us makes a trade. A pencil for a pen. An apple for an orange. A dance for a smile. But these trades don’t always go the way you plan. You give more than you get. Terms change. You wind up having to trade with yourself. I staked my future on a single trade. A life with him for a place on this train. It’s been nineteen revolutions. No matter how far I traveled, I should’ve known Wilford would find me. On Snowpiercer, one thousand and thirty-four cars long.


Her relationship with Wilford is obviously the stuff of legend and rumor since Layton knows she’s vital to his plan.

Layton: You meant a lot to him.
Miss Audrey: I spent years washing my hands clean of him.

But, as we see, the power dynamic between the two is incredibly complicated and vicious.

What struck me most was that when they are finally alone, Wilford reaches for her, not for comfort or desire, but to stroke the scar on her arm where he had her cut her wrists just as he had Kevin do.

And yet, he needs her to dominate him. He wields unnatural power over her and then demands that she subjugate him.

She’s a poem. You hear me? Witchy bird of grace that holds the soul of the train. She’s a key.


Wow. Zarah’s expression kind of said it all.

Actually, Audrey’s expression when she looked back at Zarah said it all.

Audrey: It paid in gold but I lost everything and now you’re asking me to reopen Pandora’s box?
Layton: If we had you in his ear, to gain his trust, to steer him. We will help you. All of us. This is the cause now, Audrey.
Audrey: I’ll do it but not for any of us. Not for the science or Melanie’s mission. This one’s for me.

But to get back into Wilford’s confidence, she’ll need to let him have that control over her again that once made her slit open her veins for him.

It’s more than a dangerous path to walk; it’s practically guaranteed catastrophe. If not for Layton’s plan, then definitely for Audrey’s mental health.

Alex: I remember you. Lilah Junior.
LJ: It’s LJ. I remember you too. You’re Melanie’s daughter. You were such a dork.
Alex: You were such a bitch.
LJ: Accurate.

Ever since Alexandra Cavill appeared on-screen, I’ve been waiting for her and LJ to cross paths, and it played out so much better than I could’ve predicted.

The only two teenage girls on the collective train, both cut loose from their mothers in this frozen, apocalyptic landscape.

And they manage to bond over a nice view, an encyclopedia, and some weed.

Love. It.

(Also, is LJ getting her encyclopedias from Pike? And, if so, what is she trading him for them?)

As you watch Snowpiercer online, what are your predictions for Josie’s recovery and how Wilford will treat her?

Who is really pulling the strings with the Wilford cultists and the breachmen?

Will Audrey be able to keep it together?

What is Layton’s next move? Wilford’s?

Let’s hear it all in the comments!

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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