I guess Mr. Wilford didn't think rich people would murder each other.
— Layton in First, the Weather Changed

Andre Layton is the male protagonist in TNT's Snowpiercer. He is portrayed by Daveed Diggs.

He is a quiet thinker who spends his days tending to his cage of rats. He is a prisoner barely surviving the harsh conditions in the tail end of the train and a reluctant participant in a struggle that could upend life on the train.

Following his success of solving the murder aboard the train, Layton figures out the mystery surrounding Mr. Wilford. In an attempt to protect her identity, he is suspended in the drawers by Melanie Cavill.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Andre Layton boarded Snowpiercer along with Zarah Ferami, after convincing her to give up on joining family members to die alongside them.

The two of them became Tailies. At one point he became an active part of stopping a cannibal kill cult that developed in the Tail Section, an experience that still haunts him.[2]

Throughout The Series[edit | edit source]

Recruitment[edit | edit source]

Layton's world is turned upside down when news that he is a homicide detective is spread throughout the train by his ex-wife, Zarah. Hospitality recruits Layton shortly after to solve a death on board. Layton is initially reluctant to help, citing that they most likely have a copy-cat killer on board. Realising that this is his chance to alleviate some of the conditions in the Tail, Layton tries to bargain with Melanie Cavill — the head of hospitality — for third-class immigration status and rations for the Tailies; she refuses to accept his conditions, however.

Whilst at the middle of the train, Layton is privy to the agricultural carriages, and questions Roche as to why the Tailies are starving when there is adequate amounts of food to go around. Melanie interjects and cites that it is part of Wilford's order — there must be a balance. Layton again tries to bargain with Melanie but is unsuccessful.

Shortly after, Layton and hospitality are alerted to a riot in the Tail — Layton has been expecting this, but did not think it would come so soon. The guards are able to suppress the riot, but suggest that six Tailies die given six guards died too. Layton is able to bargain for peace, agreeing to solve the murder if none of the Tail are killed; secretely, Layton tells Pike he will use this opportunity to canvas the train.[3]

Solving the Murder[edit | edit source]

Layton in the nightcar with Zarah.

Despite promising to use his position as Train Detective to help the Tail plan their revolution, Layton does take his position seriously and attempts to solve the murder. He is assisted by Till, and the two talk with numerous passengers aboard the train. Eventually, they begin to suspect the butchers, with Layton suggesting that Sean's missing limbs are being used in the kitchen as food; Till rejects this idea, however, branding it ridiculous. During their investigation, Till takes Layton to the Nightcar in a bid for him to better understand Nikki's job.

Later, they find the missing body parts behind a vent in the butcher's fridge; they summise, however, that the butcher came second, given the torture Sean endured during his castration. He later realises that Sean was a Wilford informant and was tortured for the secrets he knew.[4]

Layton and Till eventually realise that Kronole is a street-drug synthesised from the suspension drug used aboard Snowpiercer, and that this has caused Nikki Genêt to fall into Kronole withdrawal. Layton is able to eventually tie one of the janitor's, Terence, to Sean Wise's Kronole business, and finds out that Sean — along with another man — bought Kronole from him the night of his death. He later relays this information to Melanie and Roche.[5]

Layton is furious when news of Nikki Genêt's death reaches him. He questions why Melanie did not act on the description he had given her previously — Melanie remarks that she was waiting until the morning. Layton finally realises that the killer must be from First, given the schematics of the lockdown during Fight Night; Melanie agrees to allow Layton to question First.

Layton questions First, and LJ Folger reveals that her bodyguard, Erik, did not return home that night. After numerous hours of questioning, it becomes clear that LJ is behind the murders and Erik is her puppet, doing as she pleases. She is arrested after attempting to stab Layton.

Following this, Melanie realises that Layton has figured out that Mr. Wilford is fiction, and the real leader of Snowpiercer is Melanie; he reamarks that a myth is a powerful thing, but Melanie has him suspended in the drawers in an attempt to protect her identity.[1]

Planning for a Revolution[edit | edit source]

Whilst investigating the murder, Layton begins gathering objects such as a pen and wire. He uses these to draw a map of the train on a torn piece of t-shirt, using the wire to pick the lock on his cell after dark. He escapes his room and leaves the torn map of the train on the floor near his door, in which he knows a member of the Tail will walk past soon after. He distracts the guards in an attempt to allow the man to pick up the map, but is badly beaten in the process.[4]

Layton and Josie talk for the first time since Layton became detective.

After Layton gains knowledge of Sean's Kronole encounters from Terence, he bargains his ring for knowledge about the Train's security. After he begs Melanie to let him see Josie, he tells her that "only doors separate us" — a clear indication that the security between classes is only doors. He further orally exchanges a pill containing an unknown substance.[5]

Escaping the drawers[edit | edit source]

Shortly after Layton's incarceration within the drawers, mention of his absence spreads throughout the train, eventually reaching the Tail. Josie rightly believes Layton to have been suspended within the drawers and leaves through sanitation to find him. She is eventually able to find him and brings him out of the drawers, taking him to Zarah for protection.[6]

Layton, fearing he will be silenced, tells Josie about Melanie.

When Layton wakes, he is disorientated but blames Zarah for ever involving him in Sean Wise's murder case. Nevertheless, Josie arrives shortly after and takes him to medical to have a consultation with Dr. Pelton. On the way, Layton tells Josie that Melanie is the mysterious Mr. Wilford, but warns her to keep it a secret. Layton is furious with Pelton and believes her to be working with Cavill, however it quickly becomes clear that she sides with the Tailies. Pelton reveals that there is a blacklist — enemies of the state — and both her and Layton are on it. Furious, Layton steals the access chip he gave Josie and goes to hunt down (and kill), Melanie.

He arrives at the broken carriage and holds Melanie at knifepoint, revealing that he knows about the experimentary status of the drawers. She assures him that it is not what he thinks, and that they are a lifeboat for humanity to survive the freeze. He accepts this, and allows her to leave to fix the hydraulics. He later retires to Pelton's chambers with Josie where the two have sex.[7]

Layton spends the morning with Josie, and the two listen to Melanie's announcement that Miles has been chosen as the next engineering apprentice following a previous death. Layton struggles reasoning with Josie when she expresses her desire to meet with Miles, despite it clearly being a trap. Layton is picked up moments later and taken to Miss Audrey in the Nightcar.

Layton tells Audrey to gather her most loyal, and supportive, friends as he has something to tell them. He has trouble convincing her that he is worth the time, however, but is eventually able to convince her to convene her most trusted allies. When she does, Layton has trouble rallying them to his cause, but after he announces a new plan for a revolution, he is able to garner their trust. He does not succeed, however, in convincing Terence to join him, but is made aware that Melanie has tried to tempt Terence into betraying Layton.

Layton is bereft when he hears the news of Josie's untimely death, and vows vengeance on Cavill. In order to exact his revenge, he teams up with LJ Folger — a sworn enemy — to who he reveals Snowpiercer's biggest secret; the identity of Mr. Wilford.[8]

Assuming Control[edit | edit source]

Layton ramps up his attack on Melanie and the management of Snowpeircer and attempts to further his agenda via the revolution and the hate of first in both the Nightcar and Third along with alliances with the Tail. Layton plans out how they will attack First and Melanie when they're at their weakest and is eventually able to deal real damage to the social order aboard Snowpiercer.[9]

Layton's plan, fueled with Nolan's disregard of Melanie's warnings that the chaos downtrain is enginnered results in Melanie's control of Snowpiercer being toppled and a vacant management seat. Layton's efforts seem futile when Ruth, Nolan and the Folger's assume control, however they're quickly able to take back control when Melanie joins the revolution and aids them in disposing of Nolan's men to the Freeze.[10]

Realising that she has lost her way, Melanie officially relinquishes control of Snowpiercer to Layton, however this comes at a high price. Layton is forced to take the decision to either speed up or slow down when the Engine detects a radio signal not too far away. Melanie warns Layton about the consequences of the choice he will make, and Layton eventually decides to slow the train; a choice which ends with Big Alice latching onto Snowpiercer and Layton once again losing control of the train.[11]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Zarah Ferami[edit | edit source]

Zarah is Layton's ex-wife. Prior to boarding Snowpiercer, the two were happily married for numerous years. Following the extinction event, and boarding Snowpiercer, however, troubles ensued in their relationship and the two separated. Shortly after, Zarah reveals to Melanie that Layton was a homicide detective when her partner, Sean, is killed. Layton questions why she would do that, and further promises not to allow them to pin the murder on her.[3] The following day, Zarah explains the Nightcar to Layton, and the two have sex in the middle of their meditation.[4] On the day of Fight Night, Zarah gives Andre information on Terence and what he needs to do in order to talk to him, and as she gives him his wedding ring — that she kept after they separated — as a bargaining chip, the two share a kiss after Andre reveals that he is still in love with her.[5]

Josie Wellstead[edit | edit source]

Andre and Josie have a very close friendship and romantic interests in each other, and they both are the foster parents of Miles. When Andre was taken to the third class cabin by the brakemens, Josie was very worried about him being taken. In Access Is Power, Andre is reunited with Josie and tells her how Miles is doing in school and gives her something that he got from Terrance while disguising it as a kiss. The two have sex with each other for the first time in Trouble Comes Sideways.

Layton is bereft when he hears of Josie's untimely death, and the event is a huge catalyst for him setting in motion his ultimate plan to take down Melanie Cavill and dismantle her empire.

Bess Till[edit | edit source]

Till and Layton start with a distant, slightly defiant relationship, but they quickly earn each others' trust and perhaps admiration. Part of the reason may be some remorse from Till for siding with Oz when he physically assalted Layton. By the time that Layton is ready to solve the murder cases, he is actively asking for Till's help.

John "Oz" Osweiller[edit | edit source]

Oz was physically abusive towards Layton early on. However, Layton earned support from other crew members and eventually found out that Oz had been dealing Kronole, further cementing his stand. Oz seems to be somewhat humbled since.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Season One

Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • He and Zarah are both originally from Chicago, Illinois.
  • Layton's possessions are a spoon, his detective badge, a photograph, one Notebook, a necklace.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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