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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 6 Recap – Many Miles from Snowpiercer


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This episode was quite different from any we’ve seen before on Snowpiercer. First off, it’s the only one that takes place primarily off the train, but it also shows quite a few flashbacks that all work together to tie up some huge storyline mysteries that have plagued us since day one. And we finally get to see why Melanie left her daughter behind.

Quiet frankly, I found this episode to be one of my favorites so far. The change of scenery was especially nice but the pacing and suspense really drove it home.

So let’s look a bit deeper into what happened in Episode 6 of Season Two, entitled Many Miles from Snowpiercer.

Warning! This article contains major spoilers!

This episode starts with a look back at Melanie’s arrival at the Breslauer Research Station where the current temperature is -122.6 degrees Celsius. Right away, she discovers a dead body outside of the facility with a gunshot wound to the head. When she finds another body inside the station with its wrists slit, she assumes that both people committed suicide when the reality of the apocalypse reached them.

But when she finds parts of a third body in the snow, and a severed arm in the freezer, she begins to piece together a theory about how the team may have resorted to cannibalism at the end.

Melanie and Alex

To help her get this theory in order, Wilford appears in hallucination form as Melanie is slowly losing her mind from starvation.

The station itself only contains one dried food ration pack and a small bag of sweets that Ben left for her, and Melanie lost the rest of her supplies in an avalanche on the trail to the station, so this is all she has to survive.

She’s desperate and knows that she might not make it much longer, but she reassures herself that she only has a month to stick this out. Or does she?

This episode features several flashbacks to just before the world froze over and Snowpiercer was setting up to save the last of humanity. We see a telling conversation between Wilford and a more naive Melanie where they discuss who will be allowed aboard the train. We also see deeper into Wilford’s power-hungry personality and how he half-jokingly admits that he wants to have complete control over the train’s reputation.

Mel and Wilford

“I suppose you might deserve a little credit,” he jokes with Melanie in the flashback. “You’re the glue. You put all Snowpiercer’s pieces together. She’s just as much yours as she is mine. And you’ll never hear me repeat that in public.”

So it only makes sense that Melanie’s most significant inner demon manifests itself as Wilford in her starvation-induced hallucinations. They argue about how she’ll survive in the station for so long without food, but she’s out to prove him wrong.

This comes to a head when she’s suddenly saved by the appearance of a large rat. Is it even real? She sets a trap to make sure, and second-guesses her own sanity a bit before finding out that the rat is not an illusion.

But how? How can a rat possibly survive in a frozen research station for seven years by itself? Unless it isn’t actually by itself!

Melanie devises a plan to track the animal to its nest behind a wall. After ripping the wall apart, she discovers a geothermal vent that helped an entire community of rats survive. So now she not only has a food and heat source, but also hope for the continuation of life on Earth.

The final flashback of the episode is very important as it shows us more of Wilford’s insanity and Melanie’s desperation.

The two originally disagreed about who should fill up the precious final spots on Snowpiercer: six geneticists and their families or 12 security “jackboots.” Wilford makes the argument that security and order is most important, while Melanie tries to convince him that the scientists are crucial to the continuation of humanity after the apocalyptic event is over.

Of course Wilford doesn’t want that event to be over because his wettest dream is about to come true: complete control over an entire world trapped inside his creation.

But later, when the geneticists and their families are waiting outside the train with tickets in hand, ready to board, Wilford orders his security team to execute every last one of them. This is when Melanie realizes that she’s not dealing with a simple mad scientist; she’s dealing with a complete psychopath.

Wilford then orders the last of the ticketed passengers to board while giving his security team instructions to execute the rest who are waiting and getting understandably angry. He heads outside the train to get involved with the conflict, and that’s when Ben urges Melanie to make her move.

Despite the fact that Melanie is waiting for her parents and her young daughter to board, she realizes that it’s probably too late. The commotion outside means that her family is probably already dead and she needs to make a decision right now.

Ben and Melanie

Ben tells her, “We can’t let that monster be in charge of what’s left of humanity,” and she realizes that he’s right. She needs to get this train moving while Wilford is off and save the world herself.

Back in the research center, Melanie encounters a few technical difficulties with the radio equipment (explaining why Snowpiercer lost contact with her), but after that’s resolved, she continues to attempt to reach the train. But when the 30 day window is up, she really begins to get worried. Are they even coming back for her?

A few days after the 30 days, she finally hears a rumble in the ground and knows that Snowpiercer is near. She throws together her equipment and heads out to meet the train, but quickly realizes that it’s moving way too fast to stop for her.

Sparks are flying from the wheels and Snowpiercer just looks completely out of control. All Melanie can do is watch in horror as it speeds by, but the final dagger in the heart is when the last car passes and we see Alex waving her hands out the window at Melanie shouting “Mom! Mom!”

So what’s happening with Snowpiercer to make it so out-of-control? Will Melanie ever be saved? She can’t possibly last too much longer at the facility.

Many Miles from Snowpiercer is a brilliant episode that could almost be a horror thriller all on its own. It not only helps us understand Wilford and his decisions better, but it also helps us understand Melanie and the difficulty of her one big decision.

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Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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