Reducing it to simple financial terms, the recruiter in question cannot lose his fee even if the company then hires you without his intervention (assuming he has a contract for services with them). There is an agree representation period - usually 6 -12 months where the recruiter 'owns' the relationship. They get paid regardless.
I wonder what you call 'snotty' though - an email asking you to route contact through the recruiter seems reasonable. What I would comment on though is the recruiter appeared to know little about the role. Unfortunately this isnt rare - recruiters charging for an introduction with no added value to client or candidate. A good recruiter should be able to talk you through the role, why it has been created, its touchpoints on other practice lines (critical for senior hires who need to build flatter, integrated propositions) etc.
I suggest a brief call, discuss the matter with the recruiter. Tell them you felt you had to get more info on the role (but dont disclose what you've learned) and maybe even tell them you will handle the process from here. They will still get paid, but sounds like this particular individual could be more a hinderance than a help.