WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 3 “Access Is Power,” of Snowpiercer.
Bit by bit, Snowpiercer is unraveling clues surrounding the murder mystery plaguing the Great Ark. Following Andre (Daveed Diggs) being brought up from the Tail as the lone cop on board, he’s been working his away from car to car, sniffing around Third and Second Class to reveal bigger forces at play than just random killers.
The previous episode placed a spotlight on cannibals in the shadows and as Andre and Till (Mickey Sumner) make the rounds again, a new detour confirms the dark truth about a secret addiction running rampant on the train.
This revolves around the drug known as Kronole, which as we know from the movie is a flammable substance made from toxic, industrial waste. It could be kept as balls and inhaled to produce hallucinogenic effects. Now, fans are learning the backstory of it and how it’s being used to create addicts in what seems to be a sociopolitical statement on the real-world drug trade and who really profits off it.
In “Access Is Power,” Till finds out from her girlfriend Jinju (Susan Park) that Nikki (Madeleine Arthur) is awake. She and Andre head to question her as Nikki was sedated in the Drawers for a murder years before — one which has been repeated on Sean Wise. When they get to her, though, they’re shocked to see blackened gums, decaying skin and someone in a zombie-like state. These are all side effects of severe Kronole use and when Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) comes to defuse the situation, they realize the doctor, Klimpt (Happy Anderson), is keeping secrets.
It turns out his sedating serum is the base from which Kronole is made and he’s been skimming off the top, trading to the Janitors in exchange for supplies. They then use the liquid to make the drug, while Klimpt tries his best to not let his prisoners wither away. However, Andre and Till realize while he’s complicit, he’s in the dark on Kronole itself. In fact, the elites, on the whole, are clueless because while they think the drug is new on the market, Andre reveals it’s been peddled in the Tail for over “two revolutions.” Ironically, Till’s colleague, Osweiller (Sam Otto), has been trading it for sexual favors as poor people use it as a painkiller. It numbs them emotionally and physically, so this feels like cops who allow the drug trade once they can benefit.
Andre’s clues, deciphered from Osweiller, take him to the head janitor, Terence (Shaun Toub), during ‘Fight Night,’ an MMA brawl-for-all to distract the masses from potential extinction-level events and uprising lower down. He ditches Till and discovers that Kronole isn’t being sold for money or favors or goods alone, but for access. It’s the ultimate currency downstream and why Sean was so important. At first glance, it seems like Sean may have been killed because as a Wilford spy, he was gathering intel to send back, but with his knowledge of all cars, he might have been a middle-man. He could have been working distribution with Terence’s crew or maybe for, as Andre discovers, higher powers manipulating the lower-class by turning them into junkies.
The episode ends with Andre trading his wedding ring to Terence so he could transfer a biometric chip to Josie (Katie McGuinness) via a kiss when he visits the Tail door. He knows something’s going down soon and there are hints Melanie might be willing to cut the Tail free after an avalanche damaged the Ark. It’s clearly an insurance policy for Josie to escape because Andre knows time’s against him if he’s to catch the mastermind behind the whole Kronole plot and the destabilization of the social pyramid.
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.
Snowpiercer's third episode revealed a shocking secret involving the sinister addiction the train's lower-class is tangled up in.