Snowpiercer, TV Shows

Snowpiercer Season 2 Finale Recap and Analysis: Episodes 9 and 10


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This week was a double episode to close out Snowpiercer‘s second season with more of the intrigue, Wilford quips, and even literal backstabbing that we’ve come to know and love for the last two seasons. But the way this season ended has fans pulling their hair out and screaming “NOOOO!’ at their screens. And by fans, I mean me. I’m fans.

This article contains major spoilers for Snowpiercer Season 2 episodes 9 and 10.

The first of the two finale episodes starts out with Ruth describing her thoughts on accepting Wilford as the new leader. Of course she doesn’t actually accept him, but she knows his game and she knows how to play it, which is super important. “The way to survive Mr. Wilford, you just gotta be something he needs.”


We get a bit of foreshadowing as Wilford discusses his wishes to split the trains into classes again, “just like the old days.” But Bess Till isn’t having any of Wilford’s BS. She straight up tells him to his face that she knows that he’s tied to the breachmen murders and the disappearance of Layton and Roche and his family. But Wilford assures her that Roche and his family are safe in the drawers and will be released when everything blows over.

Then what about Layton? We see Layton working in the compost car, scooping up human feces in a hit-rock-bottom kinda way.

And in another strange nod to Willy Wonka, Wilford creates something called Willy’s World as a carnival of sorts to lift spirits while simultaneously taking a jab at both Melanie and Alex. But Alex has had enough.

Wilford Wonka

During a delightful dinner party with Wilford, Alex lets loose, spilling the beans about how she knows that Wilford is not going to save Melanie, and also revealing that Wilford killed over 100 people on Big Alice to save resources. The rest of the dinner party guests are shocked, but none more than Ruth, whom Alex warns “is next.”

Wilford tries to make amends, though, by offering Ruth a half-assed Head of Hospitality position if she’ll only announce to the train that they’re leaving Melanie behind. Ruth turns down the offer and Wilford sends her to the compost detail with Layton. Spoiler alert: Wilford knew Ruth would turn down that job. He just wanted to send her away to hard labor without making it look like it was his idea.

While Ruth and Layton are hard at work down below, Javi hears Melanie’s initial messages announcing that she’s ready to be picked up. Of course he can’t let Wilford hear that message, so he sends a note down to Layton (through toilet-mail) letting him know about Melanie.

Layton and Ruth fight their way out of the compost hell and up to Javi in Big Alice’s engine room. And now the fight to get Melanie begins.

Season 2, Episode 10

As this second episode begins, Ruth pledges “everything” to saving Melanie and Snowpiercer, so Layton lays out his plan.

The two head up train and meet up with Alex, who promises to stay incognito on Wilford’s side to keep him distracted while Ben flips the rail switch that gets Snowpiercer on the right track to save Melanie.

But, in true Snowpiercer fashion, Wilford catches on to Layton’s plan before it’s finished. He realizes that the train is on a rough test track by the way it’s bouncing around, so he looks out the window to see that it has turned off course.

Layton and Ruth

He and his cronies head up to Big Alice’s engine room to stop Javi and Wilford throttles the engine up full speed. Ben realizes what’s happening so he applies the brake on Snowpiercer, but it’s not enough to stop Big Alice’s higher torque and momentum she’s already gained.

This combination of acceleration and brakes explains what we saw a few episodes back when Melanie watched the train fly right by her with the train’s wheels shooting sparks.

Meanwhile, Josie is told that she’s the new Icy Bob, and she’ll be the one who walks on top of the train to infiltrate Snowpiercer’s engine and stop Ben. Josie agrees to the task because she knows that her new and improved skin will let her stay safe. When Ben finds out that she’s coming his way, he communicates a new plan to her. And it’s a good one.

Alex and Layton also devise a new plan that allows a “10-car pirate train” break away from the main vessel to run off and save Melanie with the intention of reconnecting back with the main train later on. Alex suggests using the aquarium car because it’s the only car with breakaway capabilities.

But once again, Wilford catches on to their plan when he sees Layton lure him to the aquarium car. He knows that this car can be detached, so he’s not fooled by Layton’s attempt to use Audrey as bait.

BUT! Ben’s plan with Josie saves the day as Josie is able to stand above the aquarium car and break through the top, allowing freezing air to enter the aquarium’s water. And as we all learned in 2nd grade science class, water expands when it’s frozen, so the car’s side burst open and the entire car splits in half. RIP fishies.

With the new, smaller train out on its own and stopped near the research center, Layton and Alex are able to climb off and make their way to save Melanie before it’s too late.

Unfortunately, it looks like it is too late as all signs of Melanie are gone. In her last ditch effort to save the data she discovered, though, she was able to keep the storage drives warm in the natural heat vent she found in a previous episode. She wrote a touching note to Alex about her decision to save those drives because she knew Alex would come back. But Melanie couldn’t carry on any longer without food.

In the final scenes, we see Layton and Alex returning to their small train to check out the data that Melanie had discovered. It turns out that the weather probes she sent out found several warm spots on the earth capable of sustaining human life off the train.

This means that the next steps are to reconnect the trains (if it’s even possible with the damaged connecting car), eliminate Wilford, and get everyone out to rebuild society. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

Final Thoughts
First off, I want to say that I refuse to believe that Melanie is actually dead. There’s just no way. We don’t have a body, and we know that Melanie is smart, so I see a come-back story somewhere in Season 3.

Wilford was cut pretty badly in the neck by Alex, which I believe is representative of his continued stumble downward. He’s a mess now, and his supporters will start to see it.

The challenge of Season 3 won’t be people siding with Wilford as it was with Season 2, but instead, it will be about getting everyone off that darn train and rebuilding civilization. That’s the new goal, but I can only imagine the obstacles along the way.

Overall, I was happy with the finale, but it’s not going to be a good Season 3 if Melanie is really dead. But she’s not, so it’s fine.

I knew Josie was going to play a pivotal role in the end, but it wasn’t how I expected. I’m happy to see Layton regaining control a bit, and I can’t wait to see where he and Ruth take us in Season 3.

So what are your thoughts on the season and the finale? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to join us in our Discord to discuss Snowpiercer and any other post-apocalyptic topic that’s on your mind!

    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, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and author of "AI For All," a guide to navigating this strange new world of artificial intelligence.
    He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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