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TV Recap: ‘Snowpiercer’ Season Finale Raises the Stakes

One revolution ends as another begins.

Snowpiercer Season finale
Mickey Sumner, Daveed Diggs, and Alison Wright star in "Snowpiercer" — Courtesy of TNT

**This article includes spoilers from the two-part “Snowpiercer” season finale. Proceed with caution.**

Last week, Melanie Cavill’s big secret was revealed. Now, all of Snowpiercer knows she took control of the train and left him beside the tracks to die with the rest of the world’s doomed. And that is apparently the actual truth, even though it seemed like it was pretty well set up for him to be in a drawer this whole time. Ruth Wardell, emboldened by the Folgers and Commander Grey, had Melanie arrested. And this week we begin with the hospitality chief/secret engineer being sentenced to die.

But, of course, nothing on this train ever goes according to plan, and Ruth’s bloodlust will have to wait. The masked executioner turns out to be Javi, and as soon as they’re alone, he breaks her out and sends her below deck where Jinju waits to take her back to first and rally their remaining allies. But Melanie has a different idea. She finally understands — or, thinking back to those meticulously kept binders, maybe she always knew — the key to saving humanity won’t come from the rich and useless elites up front, but from the workers at the other end.

Pike, freshly freed from the drawers, is chosen as the liaison to meet with Layton and convince him to surrender. And while it seems impossible that Layton would ever surrender now that they’ve come so far, he also faces the fact that Zarah is pregnant with his child, they’ve already lost so much, and if they keep going, the Thirdies and the Tailies stand to lose everything. So he agrees to put an end to the fighting.

LJ Folger, who never thinks through the possible repercussions of her actions, suggests to her parents that they should attend the official surrender meeting to show strength and leadership. She’s definitely going to regret that later.

Up in the engine, Bennett sets up Melanie’s plot while Miles peppers him with questions about why they kept the Tail so cold and dark. Bennett gives half-distracted answers about a lack of resources, but he’s not entirely focused because there is some kind of interference in their radio signal. He tries to ignore it, but this is clearly a problem.

Melanie meets with Layton, Bess, and Audrey to explain how they can stop the insurrection and take back control. She’s even willing to cede her authority to Layton. It turns out the train is approaching a fork, and they’ll uncouple a section of cars, then reattach the engine to the rear cars and leave the mutineers to freeze. That soon-to-be-uncoupled section is where LJ just sent her parents.

After a brutal fight, the plot works. The jackboots, the Folgers, and Miss Gillies’ adorable classroom car are all sacrificed for the greater good, and Snowpiercer is successfully recoupled, now 994 cars long.

True to her word, Melanie announces to the train that the revolution is over and she is handing over control to the rebels, led by Andre Layton. but she’s feeling a lot of guilt because her decisions, while right and fair, led to the deaths of 147 people on those five cars. And Ruth isn’t going to let that go easily, since her new love, Commander Grey, was one of them. Layton’s first order of business is to institute democracy, but that is going to have some growing pains.

Melanie goes to the Night Car to do something she’s been avoiding for a very long time. She takes her turn in Audrey’s creepy/intriguing memory booth and finally allows herself to be immersed in memories of her daughter, Alexandra. She has never forgiven herself for the fact that her parents never made it to the train with Alexandra before they had to leave, quite likely because she had to leave in a hurry to save everyone from Mr. Wilford. And if that’s the case, she has had to live for seven years with the fact that she sacrificed her own child for the passengers on Snowpiercer.

Layton has his hands full keeping the peace as Tailies take over First, with Pike setting up camp in the Folgers’ berth. LJ is devastated, crying that she’s lost everything, and it’s hard to feel sorry for her since she is, after all, a convicted murderer. She winds up in Third, drowning her sorrows, and has a run-in with Osweiler, which turns into the start of a kind of weird friendship.

But Melanie, Bennett, and Javi are up in the Engine, trying to figure out what to do about that supposed radio interference that has turned out to be a signal from somewhere off the train. They’re about to pass through Chicago, their original point of departure, when they realize it’s another train: Big Alice.

Who is Big Alice? A supply train that shouldn’t be running, especially seven years into this journey, but there she is. And who could possibly be operating that train than the very much alive Mr. Wilford?

They try to outrun the second train because they know they’ll be boarded otherwise, but it turns out Big Alice is able to hack into Snowpiercer’s controls. The only way to stop it is for Melanie to go outside and destroy the uplink. But in a world that is -121.9 degrees below zero, that’s a dangerous mission that sends her onto the top of a speeding train with only a very heavy snowsuit to protect her.

Once again, though, things don’t ever seem to go according to plan and Big Alice takes Snowpiercer to a stop. Layton grabs Roche and Pike and a contingent of combatants, ready to meet whoever awaits them. And just as the rear hatch is being torn open, Ruth comes merrily marching in with her own contingent of hospitality crew and smiling, singing children, ready to great their presumed hero, Mr. Wilford.

Layton tries to convince her to leave and get the children to safety, but she is a dignitary! She won’t have it! She is there to welcome their savior. And Layton shocks her by giving in and asking her to join him at the front of the group.

After several tense moments of waiting, the hatch opens. It isn’t Mr. Wilford waiting to great them, though. It is another person who was presumed dead: Alexandra Cavill. And she wants to know where her mother is.

“Snowpiercer” airs Sunday nights on TNT. Season 2 will be coming soon.

What did you think of the “Snowpiercer” season finale? What is next for the survivors? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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Written by Karen M. Peterson

Karen Peterson is a writer from Southern California. When she is not at the ballpark cheering on her LA Angels, she can usually be found in a movie theater or in front of the television. Karen is obsessed with awards shows, and loves everything from the smallest indie film to the biggest of big budget spectacles. She is also unapologetically in love with Tom Cruise.


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