The Universe Is Indifferent is the seventh episode of the first season of Snowpiercer. It is the seventh episode of the series overall.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

On a divided Snowpiercer, Melanie intensifies her search for Layton. Meanwhile, Layton is weaponizing her secret, and Third Class faces a reckoning when he presents them with a choice.

Plot[edit | edit source]

SPOILERS AHEAD

In the Engine room, Javi fears that Layton will reveal to the entire train that Mr. Wilford doesn’t exist, and thus suggests coming clean to the passengers about it only being the three of them. Bennett is against the idea, as is Melanie, with the former remarking that they’d have their arms in the port in no time, and the latter remarking that Layton won’t spill her secret, rather garner and figure out a way to use it against her. She tells Javi it is his turn to drive the train, and leaves to make an announcement to the train. During the announcement, she tells of a fatality during the emergency a day prior in which one of their engineers was killed. In return, Miles will be selected as an apprentice as is Snowpiercer custom — Ruth overhears this and airs her concern that Melanie is pushing Miles too quickly.

Layton and Josie awaken in Pelton’s room and overhear the announcement. Josie is immediately concerned and, despite Layton’s reluctance, Josie is insistent on making contact with Miles. Layton explains that it is too dangerous and a trap, but jokes that they finally got a Tailie in the Engine room. Josie draws parallels of getting ready for work pre-Freeze, and the two joke about the access chip.

Melanie and Jinju talk with Klimpt, who reveals that Layton has been missing from the Drawers since the night of the fight. He also reveals that numerous bags of the suspension drug — which can be chemically altered to produce Kronole — have been stolen from medical. Melanie realises that Terence must somehow be connected and pulls him in for questioning. Terence is reluctant to reveal anything, but when threatened with the prospect of loosing his arm, he reveals that he met Layton once and gave details of the Sean Wise murder. When Melanie rebukes him, citing that the information wouldn’t even save a finger, Terence offers to get close to Layton and bring him in when he surfaces.

Miles’ class celebrate his new status as engineer and as a gift, he is given an orange. Moments later, Bennett talks with him and Miles expresses discomfort, but Bennett tells him it’s normal to feel distanced from other people. Seconds later, Miles begins vomiting, causing the entire carriage to put on masks and escort Miles — along with Bennett — to the clinic.

Ruth passes Commander Grey in the walkway of one of the carriages and he thanks her for her announcement during the crisis, citing that it warmed a lot of hearts and comforted numerous passengers. The conversation continues, and Grey asks if she would like to get dinner later in the day, and Ruth agrees.

Layton is brought to the Nightcar where he asks Audrey for help speaking with some of her connections. She is reluctant to help him, citing that he is asking people to join a revolution, but Layton is able to convince her that he has a plan, but needs Audrey’s assistance to move Third. Layton reveals that he will tell everything he knows to the key people Audrey trusts.

Arriving at medical, Miles is taken into a separate room by Pelton, but Bennett insists that the blinds remain open and a guaranteed field of vision at all times. Inside, it is revealed the doctor assisting Pelton is Josie, Miles’ mother. Josie explains that the revolution is happening, and that they have to be apart a little longer. She whispers something in his ear, but is forced to leave when Bennett gets suspicious and enters the cart.

Ruth arrives on her date with Grey and seems visibly nervous, much so that Grey picks up on the atmosphere and asks if she is alright. The two talk about how Ruth came to work on Snowpiercer; she explains her origins about meeting Mr. Wilford and her employment. Ruth questions why Grey has waited so long after his wife’s death to start dating, but he is unable to answer as Lilah and Robert enter the room — it is revealed to be a set up in an effort to get an audience with Ruth. Peter explains that the passengers believe Melanie has too much power with Mr. Wilford and, therefore, they would like to replace Melanie with Ruth. Ruth is disgusted that the three would consider such a thing, but Grey tries to convince her anyway.

Melanie tosses Zarah’s chambers, revealing that she knows she aided Layton, and would like to know who helped him escape the drawers. Melanie, armed with the knowledge, heads to the Tail and takes Josie prisoner. She brings Josie to the Hospitality office and dismisses Till, who is worried that Josie will rat her out. Melanie questions Layton’s location, but Josie is reluctant to reveal any information. Josie reveals that she is aware there is no Wilford, therefore she knows Melanie will not let her go no matter the promises. Melanie explains that she did not engineer Snowpiercer, but inherited someone else’s creation.[1] Melanie realises that nothing she does will ever make Josie talk and, in return, Melanie freezes and shatters one of her fingers.

Layton holds a meeting with those Audrey trusts, and reveals that he figured out what everybody already thinks about Mr. Wilford. He further asks for their support in storming the train, and offers the 400 Tailies to the cause; people, however, are reluctant to believe him. Terence is brought into the meeting and reveals the deal he made with Cavill, but remarks that he won’t play favourites and is therefore out of the deal, much to Layton’s surprise.

Till tells the Jackboots to chip her into the Hospitality office where she can check on Josie. She asks what she can do, but Josie tells her there is nothing to be done as Melanie will be back. Till has a hard time coming to grips with what she did, and her new position and trust the Tail has instilled in her; she remarks that she is still a Brakeman and still has a duty to the train. Till remarks again that she is lost for ideas, but Josie implores her to get a message to Layton, and reveal that Zarah betrayed them but she made contact with Miles who is ready for the revolution. Before she departs, the two share a look of solace, and Josie asks Till to do one last thing for her.

Melanie arrives moments later but is confronted by Ruth, who wants to make her aware of the revolution growing in First. Melanie dismisses her rudely and this causes Ruth to reconsider Lilah Folger’s offer. When Melanie enters the room, she finds Josie’s arm completely frozen. Josie forcefully shatters her own arm and — now free from the cuffs — fights with Melanie. She manages to get the upper hand and the vent to the outside is broken, allowing freezing cold air to enter. Melanie is able to get the upper hand and leave the office, closing the door behind her and watching as Josie freezes to death. She tells Grey, who arrives moments later angry that Melanie conducted an interrogation without him, to take Josie to compost.

Till arrives in the Nightcar but struggles to tell him of Josie’s death, the only words she is able to utter are “Josie”, and Layton quickly realises what has happened.

Meanwhile, Miles is brought to Melanie, who tells him once he passes through the door, there is no turning back and he must make sacrifices. In the Nightcar, LJ is pulled into one of the carts for her experience, but is surprised to find Layton waiting for her. She looks worried, but Layton offers her something she cannot resist: the most expensive secret on the train, Mr. Wilford’s identity — or lack thereof.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main[edit | edit source]

Guest Starring[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]


To be human is to be self-involved. Everyone believes they're the center of the universe. [CHUCKLES SOFTLY] We can't help it. It's in our nature. We scheme, we plot. We play our silly little games. Like, do we think we're the most important thing in the world? We're just not. See, I understand something most people are afraid to admit. The universe is indifferent. It doesn't care about our stupid, little plans or our fragile, little hearts. The universe has its own plans for us...aboard Snowpiercer, 1,001 cars long.
— LJ
Attention all passengers. Wilford Industries wishes you good morning. Yesterday, during the Torreta Canyon Crisis, Electrical Engineer Peter DiMarco paid the ultimate price for our survival. Let us all observe a moment for his spark. As crops must grow, new blood will flow. So as is our custom, we will now announce an apprentice replacement. Today, the greatest of honors...The young man known as Miles and Miles will be fast-tracked to the Engine! Thank you for your faith and your labors. As always, our Great Engineer, Mr. Wilford, wishes you a pleasant day.
— Melanie announcing the apprentice replacement
Is there a janitorial problem?
— Terence to Melanie
Miss Audrey: "The great revolutionary returns."
Layton: "You gonna give me a hand?"
―  Layton arriving in the Night Car


Commander Grey: "You know, I could get used to hearing your pretty voice over the loudspeaker."
Ruth: "Oh, shush. That was a one-time thing."
Commander Grey: "Well, what you did during the crisis, speaking to the train like that, it was a great comfort. There's many of us who appreciate everything you do."
Ruth: "Thanks, Nolan. [chuckles] I should probably, uh..."
Commander Grey: "Oh."
Ruth: "Thanks."
Commander Grey: "Ruth"
Ruth: "Hmm?"
Commander Grey: "I wonder if you'd like to go for lunch."
Ruth: "Um, I would like that."
―  Commander Grey and Ruth talk


Josie: "Hello, my Miles and Miles."
Miles: "Mum?"
Josie: "I'm sorry I made you sick. It was the only way I could get to see you."
Miles: "I missed you."
Josie: "We have to be apart just a little bit longer. But, listen, the revolution is happening. Layton's with us. He's got a plan."
Miles: "Tell Layton I'm ready."
Josie: "Good man. We might not see you before it starts. There's something really important we need you to do."
Miles: "Goodbye, Mom."
―  Josie seeing Miles


I understand you're pregnant. Congratulations. That's wonderful news. You know it's a privilege to have a child on Snowpiercer? It's not a right. And privileges... well, they can be taken away just as easily as they're given.
— Melanie to Zarah
My name is Melanie. You don't know me, but I speak for Mr. Wilford. You've rebelled against the order of this train many times. Your brothers and sisters...have died. Your children have died. And you have nothing to show for it. I'm here to tell you, if you try again, you will fail again.
— Melanie to the Tailies
Mr. Wilford engineered Snowpiercer to function in a certain way. If I'd have created it, I would've created a different world... a more just world... But I didn't. I inherited someone else's creation. You know, people seem to think that those in power answer to no one... They're free to do as they choose. It couldn't be further from the truth. The person in power answers to everyone. I make choices not because I want to but because everyone demands it. The train demands it.
— Melanie to Josie
Josie: "I didn't tell her anything. She doesn't know you're one of us."
Bess: "I'm one of you."
Josie: "You have to be."
Bess: "I'm still a Brakeman, Josie. What I did for you and Layton, I just... I just did it because it wasn't right."
Josie: "It's the only reason you need."
Bess: "I still have a duty to this train."
Josie: "We have a duty to each other... and to the workers and to the weakest among us. There's no future without it, Bess."
Josie: "You just have to decide what's right and wrong. It shouldn't matter what the consequences are for you."
―  Josie telling Bess that she is one of them


Melanie: "You know, once you pass through that door, there's no turning back. You'll be an Engineer. But to be an Engineer on Snowpiercer, you have to make sacrifices. And that can be hard."
Miles: "Are you happy as an Engineer?"
Melanie: "The needs of the train are more important than our own happiness. We're Engineers. We keep the world alive."
―  Melanie talking to Miles


I've been thinking about you. And how much you like dirty little secrets. How would you like to know the dirtiest little secret on the whole damn train?
— Layton to LJ


Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • It has been five or six weeks since Access Is Power and two days since Justice Never Boarded.
  • The title is a line used by LJ Folger.
  • This episode marks the death of Josie Wellstead. She inadvertently kills herself during a fight with Melanie Cavill in which she exposes the two to the sub-zero temperatures outside the train.
  • Miles is officially promoted to apprentice engineer status.
  • With Josie's death, it seems that Bess Till is slipping further and further into the Tail's grasp, and is closer than ever in aligning with their ideology.

Body Count[edit | edit source]

  • Josie Wellstead (extreme hypothermia from the outside air entering Hospitality)

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Images[edit | edit source]

Promotional Images[edit | edit source]

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]


Videos[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. This seems to be a continuity error, in the previous episode, Melanie revealed that she designed Snowpiercer.
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