Snowpiercer Episode 5 Recap: 'Justice Never Boarded'

Audrey and Melanie discuss

Source: TNT (Image credit: TNT)

When Snowpiercer decided to put Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) in a drawer four episodes into the season, there were some understandable questions. Namely, what's the series going to do without its main character for any length of time? "Justice Never Boarded" proves right out the gate just what the writers had planned with such a bold move.

The thing is, a revolution is never just about one moving part. By (quite literally) stuffing Andre in a drawer, it gives the show opportunity to shine a light on the other factions who are going to make this uprising possible.

This week's big focus? The Night Car.

Miss Audrey (Lena Hall), the bold and beautiful head of The Night Car, is done with watching third class be treated as less-than. They're the people who keep the train moving and the heat on, but their deaths and their pain don't matter. Their voices and votes remain unheard. The death of young Nikki Genêt (Madeleine Arthur) sparked a renewed fire for equality, and Audrey is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish it.

After going so far as to threaten Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly), Miss Audrey accomplishes a big first step towards her goal: she convinces the head of hospitality to redraw the tribunal meant to deliver a verdict on young LJ Folger (Annalise Basso). Who (since you've watched last week's episode) you now know is an absolute sociopath. Rather than feature an all first-class jury, the tribunal will be made up of one member from each class.

For the majority of the episode, it seems as if justice might just be served against LJ. There's even a box of severed penises to prove her guilt. You'll need to watch the episode on Sunday to find out whether or not that comes to pass, though.

The Tribunal

Source: TNT (Image credit: TNT)

There's an unlikely pairing in "Justice Never Boarded." While on her mission to find Andre, Josie (Katie McGuinness) runs across one Bess Till (Mickey Sumner). Now, it's worth mentioning here that Bess believed Andre to be back in the tail, as did everyone who wasn't Melanie or the good doctor. Though Bess is now under a probationary period while moving into second class with the lovely Jinju (Susan Park), her ethics won't let her just leave Andre in the drawer. What unfolds after Bess finds Josie huddled in Andre's compartment just furthers the notion that she's about to grow into one of the series' more complex characters.

The Night Car may be the "Switzerland" of the train, but it proved itself a formidable foe in the uprising that will inevitably unfold as the series progresses.

She'll do so alongside the impressively complex Melanie. Last week we saw her put a man into a forced coma without a hint of shame. This week, we watched her cry on her lover's chest at the thought of bringing actual justice to someone in first class. The character is clearly deeply responsible for the deplorable level of classism that takes place on what became her train, but there's a lot of levels that we're going to get to dig into as we follow her journey.

"Justice Never Boarded" added several new cogs to the complex clock that is Snowpiercer. While Andre may be out of harm's way for the time being, he's still out of commission for the foreseeable future. The Night Car may be the "Switzerland" of the train, but it proved itself a formidable foe in the uprising that will inevitably unfold as the series progresses. Miss Audrey and her ilk are fearless, spurred on by the fact that there's not a soul on Snowpiercer whose secrets they don't know. Meanwhile, the Tailies remain quietly in the distance, waiting from the go-ahead from Josie. Generals and battalions are clearly forming in the 1,001-car train, and first class will do whatever it takes to squash a revolution before it begins.

The Folgers are formidable, to be sure. They were ready to have Melanie murdered at the sheer thought of charges being pressed against their daughter. While both parents maintain a fox-like cleverness about them, there's only so much they'll be able to do against the brute force should The Tail and third class rise up together. With Bess' voice now tentatively residing in second class, there's a strong possibility some of them join the fight as well.

There's an intricate story unfolding in Snowpiercer . Like the train itself, each strand of the web is contributing to keep the overall machine rolling. There's a large ensemble of characters for a season with only ten episodes, but everyone who's spent more than a few moments on screen has a clear and present purpose to the overall narrative. I get the sense that the series will remain both complicated and intricate in its storytelling, and I mean that as the highest compliment.

Amelia Emberwing

Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.