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What Did Melanie See Written on the Prison Wall? [Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 1]

Melanie on Snowpiercer

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Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 1 was phenomenal. There’s so much to unpack, but I’m keeping this article focused on one narrow topic: exactly what Melanie saw written on a prison wall. This will no doubt cause some discussions among fans, so I’m going to share screenshots so we can ponder the statements for episodes to come.

Here are screenshots of what Melanie saw written on the prison wall of Big Alice. Click To Tweet

This article will have spoilers for Season 2 Episode 1 of Snowpiercer. 

See Screenshots of What Melanie Saw

Melanie was held prisoner on Big Alice, kept in the brig right before the two quirky doctors helped heal the frostbite on her shoulder. The doctors were geniuses, but also a bit odd, and made comments about how she wasn’t one of the people being brought in with a bag over her head.

We later learned that one of the people on the train can withstand the weather outside and isn’t affected at all by sub-zero temperatures. So it appears that the doctors have been experimenting on people in an attempt to create humans who can withstand the new sub-zero apocalyptic temperatures. But they likely had some pretty tortured subjects along the way.

My guess is that some of the people were held in that same brig before they were experimented on, and they wrote on the wall while they waited. But that’s just my guess — I could be really far off.

So what was written on the walls that Melanie read? Here are screenshots.

One message read: “40 Days, 40 nights, 40…” I can’t quite make out that last word.

Below that is written “Work Honor Horror” (at least, I’m guessing the last word reads “horror.” I could be wrong.)


Another person wrote, “What is Love.” The first thing that comes to my mind is the opening lyric of an old song (“What is love, baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more.”) Maybe the doctors played that music while working? That’s a random guess from me.


The next thing we see is “10 degrees below everything!” It looks like there are four hashmarks above that, perhaps someone’s way of keeping track of the days they were in the brig.


Another person named Randy wrote, “If you blow the math you take a bath.” That could either indicate there was a pretty strict punishment for getting an experiment or a math equation wrong, or it could be a warning about the dire consequences of getting the science wrong on a train traveling through an apocalyptic world. What do you think?


Here’s a closer look at that 40 Days 40 Nights message.


And a closer look at the “Work” message:


That’s everything written on the prison wall that Melanie was in. I took the pictures with my phone while watching the show on TV, so they’re not quite as crisp as you might see from a screenshot. 🙂 But I was way too interested in the show to pause and try to pull up that scene on my TV too. What do you think the messages mean?

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Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. Her favorite shows of all-time are Attack on Titan, Battlestar Galactica and Lost, and she's always happy to talk about her cats. 🙂 She's a licensed attorney (currently not-practicing) and has a master's in science and technology journalism.

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