WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 2 “Prepare to Brace,” of Snowpiercer, which aired Sunday on TNT.
Snowpiercer’s murder mystery surprised those who thought the prequel TV series would revolve around the people in the lower-class tail section plotting a rebellion against the upper-classes, much like the plot of Bong Joon-ho’s 2013 movie where Chris Evans’ Curtis led the way. Instead, in the first episode, the only cop on the 1,001 car system, Andre (Daveed Diggs), was brought from the Tail by Wilford’s head of hospitality and voice of the train, Melanie (Jennifer Connelly), to solve a murder that happened some cars up.
As Andre began negotiating for rights for the Tail in return for his assistance, he also secretly began mapping the train so his people could take it. Still, the investigation has intrigued him because, instead of being a copycat killer emulating a murder that happened a few years ago as initially assumed, he’s learned that the person who was blamed and placed in stasis for the original murder, Nikki, was wrongly accused. That means the same perpetrator is likely responsible for both murders. And as Andre digs deeper in the episode, “Prepare to Brace,” he uncovers a gruesome secret that places everyone in danger.
The train’s hit by an avalanche that destroys the Cattle Section, affecting the Agricultural Section as a whole. The cows freeze to death and while that means less meat, it also means less methane and fertilizer. Coupling this with the train now having to slow down, less power’s being generated, so there are outages, and food and water are rationed for a foreseeable portion of the track. Of course, the Tailees are the ones who suffer most.
But the trouble caused by the avalanche enables Andre to scout around more, and while he might not be revealing how he’s piecing together clues, he reconciles his findings with information from the Tunnelman who found Sean’s mutilated body during maintenance. This takes Andre and Till to the autopsy room, and without a proper medical examiner on board, both of them make forensic conclusions about Sean’s limbs being removed.
Given the precision of the amputations, Andre thinks butcher’s cleavers were used to make the cuts. While they were refused entry before, the repairs from this new “extinction event” allow Andre and Till to search the Cattle Section, and as Andre suspected, they find body parts. Till’s eager to pin the murder on a butcher, but Andre not only reveals that butchers likely didn’t carve Sean up but that he was dead before his limbs were removed.
Andre then brings up a major thread from Bong Joon-ho’s movie: cannibals. He reveals “kill cults” might be operating again, recalling how there was one that was snuffed out in the Tail years ago. The Tailees ended the cult by killing its leader and eating pieces of his heart as a way to admit they were all guilty. Andre could be lying about this to intimidate Till, but if true, the cannibalistic network could still be alive in the shadows.
Andre also implies that the beef noodles Till ate earlier might actually be human meat, because ultimately, when people go hungry, humans are on the menu. In the film, Curtis mentioned he was part of the cannibalistic group that killed Edgar’s (Jamie Bell) mom with the chilling revelation that babies taste best. This is also why Gilliam (John Hurt), the spiritual leader of the Tail, gave up a limb — to feed the hungry and save baby Edgar. That convinced the group to stop eating each other, but as Andre now indicates on the show, they don’t know which car or which class could now be involved in cannibalism, endangering them all.
Snowpiercer stars Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Susan Park, Iddo Goldberg, Katie McGuinness, Lena Hall, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto, Roberto Urbina, Sheila Vand and Jaylin Fletcher. The series airs on Sundays at 9pm ET/PT on TNT.
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