With Snowpiercer finally pumping the brakes on the first season it’s time to talk about the off rails ending and how things could be getting back on track for next time around.
Both episodes 9 and 10 dropped back to back and there’s a lot to unpack.
Throughout this, we’ll be going through the ins and outs of each entry as well as what we took from the ending and how what could happen going forward.
With that out the way, thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into our Ending Explained of Snowpiercer.
Snowpiercer Episode 9 Breakdown
Ok so Episode 9 actually opens up with the pov of Melanie who has pretty much been an anti-hero throughout this entire show. She says that she’s subtly tried to tear down the idea of Wilford and in her place, prop up a better world that isn’t based upon his rules.
Episode 9 especially seems to be based around the idea that everyone thinks they know best. However, when given the opportunity they still rely on the old ways and things that have come before, thus they don’t break the cycle.
Melanie is very much still basing her ideals off Wilford’s and this is exemplified by the books in her study that she looks to for guidance. There’s also Commander Grey and Ruth who both want things to remain exactly the same so it was pointless ousting Melanie in the first place. Layton is trying to cause a revolution but when he gains power he will likely be left with a society that resembles the one that he was rebelling against and he has pretty much been pushed into war with the way things are left at the end.
All in all, there’s a lot going on and it paints Melanie out as a very complex character that definitely feels at her most vulnerable in this episode.
We actually see her being kind to the tailies and I think her being propped in here has shown her first hand that she was probably too cruel to them. However, as she said, the train demanded blood and to me this is pretty much commenting on how society often demands sacrifice and the use of fear in order to stop the chaos.
Without the notion of punishment, we would all simply do as we pleased and this is exemplified by the papermaker who is executed in the opening to set an example to others that might consider joining the revolution.
The train demanding blood of course plays massively into the end of episode 9 in which Layton is forced to a sacrifice this carriage and yeah, lots of things going on.
The Train Demanded Blood
Now these episodes are very much about the uprisings and though there are certain power plays and moments, on the whole, they’re pretty straight forward until the last 15 minutes of episode 10.
The main metaphor of the entire uprising is how the 1% cannot operate without the other 99% whereas the 99% can probably function without the 1%.
We see in first class, which is of course a play on the number 1 itself that should the workforce be fully killed off that they would be left with nothing and thus they are put into a tight corner where they have to promise new leadership that will change things. This is of course often shown in up and coming politicians running for election who often make promises to change things and they either don’t deliver or don’t fully fulfill things to the extent that they said they would.
This only leaves things open to go one way and that is that the tail will take over and try and prop up a new person in power, however, it doesn’t even seem like if Layton’s revolution succeeded that he would actually know how to run the economy on the train. It’s definitely a fascinating aspect of the show and I loved watching it play out.
Layton is offered the opportunity to hand himself over and Melanie is rescued by Jinjoo and Havi who have seen first hand how she runs things and know that the train has been built in a certain way which relies on her rule. Though this has reduced the train to the haves and have nots, everything is in a precise order for a certain reason.
Without this order, everything descends into people trying to survive no matter what and this is exemplified in Zara who of course sacrificed Josie and her child for her own life. Layton realizes he’s a father and it really puts him in a vulnerable position but hey, Zara just wanted her man back, don’t hate the player, hate the game.
Now it’s upon activating the radio in episode 9 that we get our first tease of how the show ends. A radio signal can be heard and this sets up the reveal that there is another train that not only has Wilford onboard but also Melanie’s daughter. We’ll discuss this later in the video but it’s important to bear in mind that in the world of Snowpiercer there are actually far more trains than we are aware of. Though we don’t see them all, the graphic novel states that there could be up to ten navigating the planet and these arks have all been put in place to not only provide humanity with a lifeboat but also so that Wilford has other retreats should he be ousted as we saw with Melanie.
Speaking of Melanie, she goes to Layton and tells him of a way to defeat the army and promises to hand over the power she has so that Layton can lead. We did kinda have a feeling that Melanie would be kept around due to her being the only one that could fix the train and I like how she sort of abdicated power after admitting that her way didn’t work.
We have an awesome decoupling scene in which Melanie pulls off a manouvere that separates the train and then pulls it back together with the army released into the world to either starve or freeze.
I love how when Layton hands himself over they make him hold up a white flag which of course means surrender. This juxtaposes the red flag which has been used throughout the series to signal war.
The scene in which the trains break apart is great and it reminded me of an old mission on Final Fantasy 8 so I found it thrilling to watch. They pretty much got rid of the dead weight but unfortunately, in order to fully carry out the plan, Layton had to also cut off the prisoner car which as you can guess, contained prisoners.
It’s at this point that he made the tough decision and probably realized first hand that making sacrifices isn’t easy. It’s something that Melanie has had to do several times but the greater good called for it and thus he sent many of his allies to their deaths.
It’s a big gut-punch that showed the series continued to operate in shades of grey rather than black and white. I guess we should’ve seen it with the finale being 994 cars long but still, tough to watch. Now I actually have a feeling that these characters will be back and that they could have been rescued by Wilford who as we learn is operating out and about. The Folgers of course helped to pay for the train and Wilford would definitely have use for those he cut who would hate Layton’s guts.
Melanie seemed to sort of manipulate the situation and put it in his hands and I think that she may have set this up as an ace up her sleeve to expose him should he ever try to betray her. We know that Melanie likes to hide her true intentions and she did this with Miles and of course Wilford.
Layton of course wins and ends up getting his revolution.
“You are in control”
He delivers the bad news about Josie to Miles and I’m actually surprised at how little he cared about what Melanie did. She locked him in a drawer, killed his girlfriend and yeah, starved his people…but she did kill all the Folgers though so…meh.
Now Layton tells the people that they are in control and they pass through Chicago which is the city that it all started in. This marks a revolution, aka a sort of new year celebration of the train going around the globe once more.
LJ goes to her cabin and sees that it’s been overrun. She was of course instrumental in the revolution and was pretty much the reason that the rebels were even able to gain access up the train. LJ becomes close to Brakeman John and I think that going forward he will fill the role of her bodyguard who as we know he became a serial killer under her command. She is clearly going to want to take back the power that she’s lost and I think in the second season the pair will slowly make power plays though I can see it having a worse outcome for LJ this time who won’t have Wilford’s secrets to lord over Mel.
Wilford And Melanie’s Daughter?
Either way, LJ is having to face her own demons, as is Melanie who takes a psychological trip into her biggest regret which is of course leaving her daughter behind. Now What’s interesting here is that the music that accompanies this is very similar to the mild bursts we hear on the radio. Throughout the season we have never learned who Melanie’s daughter’s father was and I think that this music indicates that it might actually be Wilford and this explains why he went to get her for his own train.
Clearly she is in a position of power when we see her and it only makes sense that she would be so far up the train if she was in some ways connected to Wilford as much as she was Melanie.
There’s definitely a possibility that the two knew each other at one point and became estranged before working together on completing the train. That’s just a theory but obviously let me know your thoughts below.
Snowpiercer Ending Explained
Now of course we are here to talk about the ending which confirms that Wilford is indeed alive. So all the drawer theories etc are now mute and Sean Bean will indeed be portraying the character in the flesh.
We learn that Wilford has been aboard Big Alice which is a supply train that has too been racing around the planet. Alice I believe is a play on Alias which the name derives from and originally this meant something additional before being used as a meaning for a pseudonym. Wilford clearly kept this train around to basically rebuild Snowpiercer as it was stacked with pats. I also think he had it just in case there was a mutiny and it shows that perhaps Melanie’s thoughts on him were misguided and that he had a plan all along.
Wilford is clearly back to ruin the revolution and take over the train and he actually manages to catch up to them, attaches onto the back with one of the coolest clamps I’ve ever seen, unhinges the door to board and sends in Melanie’s daughter.
I love the way the W flips round to an M suggesting that this is indeed Wilford’s train but it has been subverted to Melanie’s.
Now Melanie says that she will not fall in line under his leadership again but I do believe with him basically doing what she did with Miles and Layton that she will.
We, of course, cut away before we get to see him but the final few scenes leaves a lot of things to indicate how things could be going.
Now your first question is likely…
‘How did Wilford survive?’
Well as we see Melanie herself dons a suit in the episode that allows her to operate in the Wilderness and I believe that she would’ve left Wilford with one of these as she only said that she left him to die rather than killed him outright.
Your second question is probably is…
“What will happen to Melanie?”
Well due to having this suit and being on the outside she survives falling from the train and with it being stopped she can likely board the supply train and go face Wilford head-on. We close with someone sitting at the back of the train which is likely the megalomanic and see Melanie heading towards him so I think the two will meet soon.
Your third question…if I’m using my psychic powers correctly is…
“Does this tie in with the movie?”
Well we have kinda been wondering whether the show would be part of the overall continuity or not and they’ve done a great job of leaving things open for them to either build their own thing or make it all part of the universe. We don’t know for definite but due to the way that the show ends, I do lean more towards it being part of the greater universe.
Wilford definitely has the potential to take over the train, add in the parts that make it more aligned with the film.
Now going forward in the original graphic novel we learn that there is another train called Icebreaker that many of the characters end up boarding to escape Snowpiercer due to the spread of a virus that moves it’s way up the carriages.
Yeah probably too soon to do something like that but the second season has mostly being filmed so it shouldn’t be delayed too much.
I think in the show the virus will be replaced with the forces of Wilford who will initially take over Snowpiercer and bring his own engine aboard which is something that happens in the original work. The deserters of Snowpiercer may flee to Ice breaker and they will spend their time trying to avoid colliding with the train all whilst balancing the economy onboard.
In the graphic novel this was due to the population onboard Snowpiercer being wiped out by the disease but I do think they may take things in a slightly different direction with there being Melanie’s train and Wilford’s train that are pretty much at war with one another.
In the source material, the survivors actually end up leaving the train at one point and going into the real world. This was also shown in the film and the comic book series ends with a small patch of flowers being shown coming out of the thawed ice, suggesting that life has continued outside of the train, much like how the movie hints at.
I’m not sure at exactly where things will go but I do believe that the upcoming season will center around a sort of battle between Melanie and Wilford, potentially with her or rather their daughter caught in the middle.
It’s definitely gonna make for a gripping show going ahead and I really can’t wait to see what happens when it drops.
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show as a whole and where you think things could be going next time. Make sure you comment below and let me know.