Prepare to Brace is the second episode of the first season of Snowpiercer. It is the second episode of the series overall.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Layton uses his new position as train detective to investigate the murder while gathering intel for the revolution on the side. Meanwhile, Melanie faces a resource crisis, with potentially drastic consequences for the entire train.

Plot[edit | edit source]

SPOILERS AHEAD

A Tailie's arm is frozen.

In the Tail, Ruth makes an announcement, remarking that the Tailies live on Snowpiercer without having to work, or do anything except be complacent and not rebel. For the rebellion, however, one person must pay, and the guard takes a little girl from the scared crowd. Fearing what will happen to the girl, her mother begs Ruth to let her go and punish her instead, to which Ruth reluctantly agrees to when the mother Suzanne admits responsibility for her actions and her part within the rebellion. For this, a clamp is placed around the woman’s arm, which is held outside of the train and allowed to freeze completely. When it is brought back inside, one of the guards smashes the arm with a large hammer, shattering it instantly into pieces.

Meanwhile, Melanie keeps her promise to Layton and allows the leaders of the rebellion to be put into stasis instead of killed. Pike tells Layton to remember — and keep — his promise, to which Layton acknowledges.

At the front of the train, Melanie receives an update from Javi, who recommends that they pull the speed 12% in order to stay safe and ensure that they don’t derail; their high speed is causing mass-avalanches all over the place. Despite this, Melanie tells Javi that she cannot announce more black-outs, and that they will maintain speed. Javi wonders how much longer Melanie can keep up her behaviour, as she begins her morning routine of announcing the outside temperatures.

Shortly after, Melanie and Ruth serve breakfast towards the front of the train. There are talks about the uprising and murder in Third, and Melanie enters a tense conversation with Lilah about the investigation. Nevertheless, Melanie assures Lilah — and the remainder of First — that the investigation is underway and they will have answers soon.

Layton is paired with Till once again as his investigation heads underway. He is taken to see the person who found the body, whom he asks again about how he came to find the body. Carter explains that he was working routine maintenance when he found the body below the floor panel. Layton questions who had access to the sub-system and the checkpoints between each sector, however Till advises him not to answer whilst Layton remarks that he is trying to assess how far someone could move a body. Carter leaves and Till reveals that there are two hours until the autopsy, but Nikki has not awoken yet.

In the medical carriage, Nikki is struggling to wake, and Melanie questions what the issue is. Henry reveals that he isn’t sure, and when Jinju suggests they put the whole programme on hold, he promises to figure out the issue, remarking that he takes good care of his subjects.

Layton drinks whiskey in the nightcar.

Layton in the nightcar with Zarah.

Till takes Layton to the nightcar where Nikki worked the night of the murder. He is bemused by the vocals of the singer, Miss Audrey, and stares intensely as he watches those around him dancing. After she finishes, he questions her about the night of the death, and she reveals that she found Nikki drugged — presumably by the real killer — but Nikki was charged anyway as a means to a quick case close. Audrey allows Layton to have a glass of whiskey on the house as a thank you, remarking that giving Third a glimmer of hope is enough. When Layton questions what happens in the Nightcar, Audrey is able to convince Till to allow Layton twenty minutes unsupervised. She reveals that it is not a brothel, but a place for those to heal and reflect. With this, Audrey leaves Layton with Zarah, who leads him through a meditation exercise. Layton experiences flashes of memories of him and Zarah, including when he asked her to marry him, and the two kiss in the Nightcar before having sex. Afterwards, Zarah tells Layton that she doesn’t think Wilford is telling them everything about Sean.

In med bay three, Pelton sarcastically remarks that she doesn’t have experience in autopsy, but will give it a go. The three of them take in turns identifying wounds and suggesting objects that could’ve caused them, before Layton suggests that the severed arms and legs may have ended up at the butchers and in the food aboard Snowpiercer; Till is horrified, and Layton tells her a story of how the Tailies were formerly cannibals. Layton and Till visit the butchers, but are refused entry without a notary.

The slope collapses around Snowpiercer.

The cattle is frozen in the Ag-Sec carriage.

Melanie, Jinju and Henry are attempting to figure out why Nikki is not waking, with suggestions that she has been under too long, and that these things are complicated. Melanie opens the carriage doors in the lab and looks upon the hundreds of bodies in stasis. At that moment, it becomes clear at the front of the train that the whole slope around them is collapsing, Melanie realizes this and calls for those in medical to brace for impact. Javi remarks at the front of the train that they won’t make it through the debris. In one of the Ag-Sec carriages — where the cows are kept — the thrashing of the train causes debris to hit and smash the window. Everything in the carriage freezes to death instantly.

Till and Layton are granted access to the refrigerator where they find the severed arms and legs behind a hidden vent.

Meanwhile, after investigating the damage, Melanie tells Bojan that they can reverse speed by 10%. Bojan objects, however, remarking that he needs 25%, but Melanie remarks that they can’t make up the speed again or the battery power. 12% is the maximum.

Bennett, Melanie, and Jingju discuss how they can best allocate resources during the rolling blackouts. They decide that they must ration access to water, not the water itself, remarking that the Tail must survive on what they have hoarded until the issue is resolved. Bennett questions if this is what resource starvation is like, starving the train from Tail to First. Melanie demands that the severity of the issue be kept between the three of them, and that they proceed as planned.

In the Tail, Ruth announces that they will go ahead with apprentice selection despite the current tumultuous situation. Three children are picked, including Miles, to move up-train. At the same time, Suzanne's son gives Oz oral sex to get medicine for his mother, though he only gets Kronole and not the pain medicine he'd hoped for.

Till calls Roche to explain the findings, however Layton pleads with her to hand up and consider the facts that the butcher didn’t kill Sean. After a guard calls Layton a Tailie, Till attacks him, warning him to back off. She further explains that she was assigned to the first murder and that Nikki had no chance to be found innocent; this time, she wants justice.

Layton after being attacked.

After being put into his cell, Layton uses objects he has gathered throughout the day to write on his clothing a map of the train. He leaves this outside of his room for a member of the Tail to pick up whilst he distracts the guards. Layton is badly beaten by the guards and later confronted by Melanie. He reveals that he knows Sean was a Wilford mole and that they do not care about the death, only about the secrets he revealed during his torture. Melanie admits that he's right, confessing that Layton's perceptiveness is why Mr. Wilford wants him as Train Detective. However, Melanie makes it clear that that is the only reason he is still there.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main[edit | edit source]

Guest Starring[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]


You'd think with all we've lost, that defeat would break us. But the only reason we're here is we refused to die in the first place. We're as persistent as the cold, forever trapped beneath the ice. We keep our eyes on the floor, dig our nails in, and prepare to brace... They can take our limbs... our children... our leaders. They keep trying to take our dignity, but any survivor will tell you they check their dignity at death's door. The more they steal from us, the more human we become. Humanity will fill our bellies one day...when we eat the rich of Snowpiercer, 1,001 cars long.
— Josie
Do you think I want to be here? Eh? That Mr. Wilford wants me to be doing this? Snowpiercer is all that's left of the world. Each of us has a personal responsibility to the Engine Eternal. You Tailies barely have to do anything. Yeah? Just sit around and don't rebel.
— Ruth to the Tailies
You ready to detect, Detective?
— Bess to Layton
Miss Gillies: "A little something special for you service."
Layton: "What service is that?"
Miss Gillies: "You could reverse a Wilford injustice. That hope is in short supply in Third. That hope is in short supply in Third."
―  Miss Gillies and Layton talking


The Nightcar's never actually been a brothel, Andre. When the world ended, most people needed something else... to grieve, to connect with everything we've lost.
— Miss Gillies to Layton
Uh-huh. Not what my Nightcar trip looked like.
— Bess to Layton
Doctor Pelton: "You're not saying this is cannibalism."
Bess Till: "No. We don't do that up here. We all know the rumors about the Tail, but we..."
Layton: "Oh, those aren't rumors. First couple of years, there were kill cults. One gang in particular, they would kill anyone, eat anyone. Had no choice. The rest of us, we ambushed their leader, each of us ate a piece of his heart so that no one could say they were innocent."
―  The Cannibalism of the Tailies


Despite your violence yesterday, and grave hand of fate hanging over our heads this very second, Mr. Wilford believes that children deserve an education in skilled or unskilled labor, and so we are proceeding with apprenticeship selection. The names are as follows. Mikala Mwanza...Mia Kaisheck...and the boy they call Miles and Miles. Should your families choose to accept his invitation, you have one hour to get ready for your new lives uptrain.
— Ruth to the Tailies
I finally got into the freezer and recovered your limbs.
— Roche to Bess and Layton
Josie: "You were so little when we started."
Miles: "I'm not anymore."
Josie: "Well, then, you better decide for yourself, don't you?"
Miles: "Layton says we need our people uptrain."
Josie: "He's right."
Miles: "We need every department. We need friends high and low."
Josie: "You see? You area good listener. Miles... I swear to you, I will not stop fighting from the back. But you're going uptrain. And that means we might never see each other again."
Miles: "Yes, we will. After the revolution, like Layton said. All right? Love you."
―  Josie and Miles saying goodbye


Melanie: "What do you see...when you look at this train?"
Layton: "I see a fortress to class."
Melanie: "Is that all? Well, I see 3,000 souls surviving on a planet that's determined to freeze all life in place. We're still in motion, alive and kicking, and it's not thanks to chance or fate or God. It is thanks to order, meticulously maintained by Mr. Wilford. A balance of need and greed and speed, and you Tailies, who seem to have forgotten that it is 117 degrees below zero outside of this metal tube, and Mr. Wilford is awake 21 hours a day just to keep the Goddamn heat on."
Layton: "Guess that's why it needs informants like Sean Wise. Wise was a Wilford rat. He got paid in perks...like the rigged Baby Lottery. Why else would you care so much about a Thirdie's murder? So, what you really want to know is, when he was tortured, what Wilford secrets did he spill? Y'all got killers and cannibals and God-knows what else up here. So don't lecture me about balance. My people found ours years ago."
Melanie: "Okay. Very perceptive. No wonder Mr. Wilford wants you as Train Detective. But that's the only reason you're still here now."
―  Melanie and Layton


Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • We learn at the very end of this second Snowpiercer episode that there are about 3,000 people onboard the train, Tailies included. 
  • Snowpiercer is also known as the Great Ark Train.
    • The Great Ark Train can never stop circumnavigating the globe on 200,000 miles of track. Part of this appears to have to do with power as reducing speed forces the crew to start rolling blackouts.

Body Count[edit | edit source]

  • The Butchers (frozen to death when an avalanche fills a room with outside air)
  • The Last Cows (frozen to death when an avalanche fills a room with outside air)

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Images[edit | edit source]

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Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

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See also[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

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