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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 5 Recap and Analysis – Keep Hope Alive

Pastor and Till

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Any great story ebbs and flows, but this week’s Snowpiercer was certainly filled with more despair than normal.

This fifth episode of Season 2 focused on Josie’s communication line with Layton, Miss Audrey’s relationship with Wilford, and Till’s personal demons. Follow along below for a deeper dive into the latest episode.

Warning! This post contains mega spoilers for Season 2, Episode 5: Keep Hope Alive.

Josie’s synthetic skin treatments are advancing nicely as this episode fires up, but the doctors warn her that a more advanced surgery is needed to progress with the skin improvements. Meanwhile, she’s able to send small paper notes back to Layton on Snowpiercer to keep communication alive. But it’s her warning about Wilford’s big plans for Snowpiercer that has Layton on edge.

We see a softer side of Wilford (for only a moment at least) with the introduction of his book club for the Big Alice passengers. The book they’re reading is Rebecca, a 1938 novel by English author Dame Daphne du Maurier. It’s interesting to realize the parallels between this book’s classic story and that of Wilford’s infatuation with Audrey.

In the novel, the main character falls for a wealthy widower who can’t seem to shake his love for his first wife, Rebecca. In simplest terms, it seems that Wilford likes this story because he wants to abandon Snowpiercer for Audrey… or is it the other way around? Which one is his truest love?

Wilford sends a formal invite to Audrey for a dinner date on Big Alice, a move that worries some, but Layton uses it as an opportunity to find out more of Wilford’s plans. Audrey agrees, even going so far as to be instructed on how to reverse some wires in Wilford’s communication box to secretly broadcast back to Snowpiercer.

Despite the fact that there’s a LOT going on in this episode, I consider the threatened communication line between Big Alice (through Josie and Audrey) and Snowpiercer to be the main arc, so I’ll focus on that against chronology.

Main Story Arc
One of the biggest threats to that communication line is the drug lord Terrence. Layton allowed Terrence and Pike to keep trading weed and goods between the trains to keep the tailies motivated but when Terrence gets greedy with his share of the profits, Layton steps in. Terrence doesn’t think Layton should get any cut at all, while Layton insists on his offer of 60/40. Terrence really screws up, though, when he threatens to tell Wilford about what’s going on with the trade route line of communication. He hasn’t figured everything out completely with Josie, but Layton isn’t willing to take that chance.

Layton asks Pike to murder Terrence, and Pike initially declines, throwing back his agreement with Layton to be a better person and save the killing for battle. But when Pike hands Terrence a knife to make it a fair fight, Terrence instantly fights dirty, throwing a drink in Pike’s face and going for that first lunge. That’s all Pike needed, though, to do his job. He takes Terrence out in a rather spectacular way.

But that murder seemed to change Pike as he heads back to his bunk to shave his head Taxi Driver style. The dude is transformed into a bigger badass than ever.

So now that Terrence is dealt with, we have to worry about what’s happening with Audrey and Josie on Big Alice.

While setting up for the big surgery, Josie secretly hides her anesthesia so she can stay awake to listen to the doctors talk about Wilford’s plans. This is excruciating for her as she endures raw pain without crying out. Icy Bob taught her how to externalize the pain, so she follows his advice and makes it through, catching word of Wilford’s plan with the breachmen. She immediately sends a note to Layton that simply says “Tonight! Breachmen,” which Layton mistakenly takes to mean that the breachmen are working with Wilford to overthrow the train.

In fact, what the doctors were discussing was the assassination of the breachmen by one (or several) people who live on Snowpiercer. While these assassins were cleverly cloaked, I did catch a screen still that made me think Pike might be involved.

Wilford’s unbridled infatuation with Audrey is pretty creepy, but we do learn that Audrey once released an album with songs that were “mostly” about Wilford. So the feeling was once mutual, no matter how much Audrey seems to be over him now. Or, as we’ll see later, not over him.

Their dinner date goes well, but when Audrey tries her hand at sabotaging the communication box, she doesn’t get the chance she needs. But Wilford later realizes that she had messed with the box’s lock. He may be on to her.

We get some scary news about Melanie in this episode as her scheduled contact with Snowpiercer’s beacon never happened. Ben and Javi break the news to Layton that, even though they now have enough info to proceed with the weather monitoring, Melanie might not be alive anymore.

But here’s the thing: IMDB has already spoiled this surprise for us with next episode’s description that says “Melanie fights for survival in treacherous conditions, vying to do what others before her could not.” So this gets me super excited about seeing things from Melanie’s side at the research center (and finally a change of scenery from the trains!).

Bess Till

Till is going through some hard times, battling some demons that revolve around her suspicions of the breachmen and her inability to solve the mystery of Lights’ chopped fingers.

The Pastor gives her a reprieve, though, with a good old fashioned sparring match. I can’t help wonder about these snippets into Till’s story as they seem fairly random. But I imagine they’ll come together later for something epic.

The ever-loyal Ruth is torn when Layton suggests that she lie to the passengers about the whereabouts of Melanie. She agrees, for the greater good, and reluctantly relays the message that Melanie is alive and well.

In the final scene, we also see an important crossroad for Ruth. With Wilford’s overthrow plans falling into place, Ruth rejects Wilford’s offer to come across and stay on Big Alice.

Suspiciously enough, Audrey does the opposite and decides to stay with Wilford while Ruth locks down the connecting door. Does this mean that Wilford’s charisma and speech about Layton being a weak leader finally got to Audrey? Has she officially switched sides to return to the man she loves?

Or is she simply holding out long enough to gather more intel on the man?

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    Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and author of "AI For All," a guide to navigating this strange new world of artificial intelligence.
    He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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