1001 994 Cars Long
Snowpiercer has certainly been a slow-burn but as the engines have started firing on all cylinders, this dystopian drama has certainly been a surprisingly enjoyable watch. What began as a simple whodunit has evolved into something resembling an action thriller and the series is all the stronger for it. With lots of unanswered questions at the end and plenty to chew over until season 2, Snowpiercer bows out on a high as we eagerly await the already green-lit follow-up to this.
The season 1 finale of Snowpiercer begins with Layton and the rebels now in charge as Melanie addresses the train and relinquishes control. Battered and bloodied, Layton takes the reigns of the train and rallies the troops while Melanie heads back to the helm.
As he soon learns, taking the train is only step one. The real struggle now comes from joining these men and women together to work for the greater good of the train. As the 994 carriage train passes through Chicago – ironically the place this engine began its revolutions – he tells them to celebrate and prepare for a new beginning.
Things quickly descend into chaos though as hostilities boil between 1st and 3rd class. Pike throws a grief-stricken LJ out her carriage while he continues to party, hording resources. This causes more headaches for Layton as he contends with a rogue Tailie and issues across the train.
Melanie meanwhile heads to the nightcar seeking answers from Audrey. As she listens to her voice and enters that strange meditative room we saw in episodes prior, we cut back in time to Melanie’s past and see fragments of her daughter’s life, someone she sacrificed for the good of the train.
Jinju takes Bess down the train and shows her the harsh reality of there being no Wilford. With a lack of order to the train, they’ve got serious supply chain issues as the crops lie broken and destroyed around them. Unfortunately this leads her and Bess to come to blows and break up.
After Melanie and Ruth discuss the future of the trainr, Melanie returns to the engineers where they hear music coming from outside. She brings Layton into the room and under his command decide to try and make contact with those outside. Only they don’t need to do that as another train appears to be speeding up alongside them.
This happens to be a prototype engine known as “Big Alice” which holds Mr Wilford inside. Unfortunately if Wilford boards their train it’ll not only divide the people but cause bloodshed and anarchy, something that’ll make their uprising look like a walk in the park.
With things looking grim and a chase about to ensue with Wilford’s train, Layton heads down and rallies as many people together as possible. Unfortunately their efforts to outrun are in vain as Big Alice hooks onto the back of the train and prepares to board them.
Melanie decides to take drastic measures and heads outside to pry the train free. Scrambling across the carriages alone, when the train suddenly slams on the brakes Melanie falls from the top into the snow. Inside the train however, Layton gives one last rallying speech before the door opens.
A child approaches and informs them Wilford has control of the engine and they have limited time to surrender. As it turns out, this girl happens to be Alexandra Cavill – Melanie’s daughter. As we cut across to Melanie outside, she awakens and looks up at the towering presence of Wilford’s train.
The Review Write-Up
So what’s next for the inhabitants of Snowpiercer? There’s certainly a lot of promise here for some exciting action to come and the tease of Mr Wilford now entering the fray promises to add a completely different dynamic to the series. The action-packed conclusion certainly helps to set the foundations for the second season after the previous couple of episodes concluded Layton’s rebellion.
Interestingly, Snowpiecer’s strengths here come from the way it entwines this action around interesting themes around leadership and what that entails. It looks like we could be in for quite the power struggle next season if Wilford and Layton comes to blows and it certainly sets up an intriguing prospect indeed.
For now though, Snowpiercer bows out with a decent conclusion, one that certainly whets the appetite for more to come in the future.