Snowpiercer Season 1 Finale Recap: Big Alice
In the two-hour Season 1 finale of TNT’s Snowpiercer, starting with “The Train Demanded Blood,” the rebel forces are on their heels when a dangerous foe joins them. A plan is hatched to take the train, but it may destroy them all. Then, in “994 Cars Long,” the revolution’s aftermath finds Layton and Melanie realizing the greatest threat to their survival is right over their shoulder.
Part 1: The Train Demanded Blood
Melanie narrates, saying she thought she could strip Wilford and his rules away over time, but the train demanded blood. The former master of Snowpiercer sits in chains alongside arrested members of the revolution as one by one they are sentenced to death and executed. Meanwhile, Commander Grey and the Jackboots are ready for another round against Layton and his people, while the revolutionaries strategize and Layton confronts their losses.
Grey tells the First Class citizens their intentions to gas the revolutionaries and clean up the bodies afterward. Javi argues that gas could spread if it reaches the ventilation system. Grey says that civilians alongside the rebels will be killed. Javi says they need a workforce and their own lives would be threatened if Third and the Tailies were all wiped out. The Folgers say that they’ll train more and that they’re overpopulated as it is. In the Engine, Ben yells at Miles for the part he played in helping Layton and the Tailies as the two are still safely locked in, for now.
Walking through Third, Layton reunites with Pike who brings word that they’re going to gas and kill everyone unless they surrender. In return, Pike gets clean sheets and fresh food; Layton will be executed. Pike says Layton has an hour to decide, his life for everyone else’s. Layton speaks with Till and Miss Audrey, who all agree they won’t surrender. Audrey then convinces Layton to go see Zarah.
Grey tells Javi to take over the Engine; Javi says he can override the master controls downtrain. Freshly out of the drawers, Strong Boy and the group gear up to join the fight. Uptrain, Grey and Ruth hook up after Grey proposes that he and her take over the train. Meanwhile, Melanie is dragged to the execution chair after being sentenced to death by Lung of Ice, where freezing air is pumped through the mouth. Melanie is rescued by Javi, who secretly dressed up as the executioner and frees her while the train’s notary buys them time to escape, the two parting ways as Melanie reunites with Jinju.
Jinju wants them to go uptrain to take on the Folgers; Melanie tells Jinju to stay uptrain and decides to go back downtrain alone, saying First is lost. Meanwhile, Layton speaks to Zarah, who says she’ll bear the weight of Josie’s death for the rest of her life. She says she did what she had to do to protect their child, and Layton is shocked and emotional to discover Zarah is pregnant. Layton goes to Till and tells her he wants to surrender to save everyone else’s life. Till tells him he can’t give up, and that she believed in him. Layton tells Pike to tell Grey he surrenders.
Pike delivers the message to First. LJ tells her parents they should be there for the surrender and should share in the “historic” moment with Grey and Ruth. Eventually, Melanie makes her way into Third and is brought to Layton. She tells him she knows how to defeat Grey’s army. She wants to help because Snowpiercer will not survive with Grey and the Folgers in charge. Melanie says they should disconnect the cars with Ben’s help by using an upcoming fork on the train track. Melanie says Layton will be in charge once Grey and the others are gone.
Melanie admits her way didn’t work, but maybe Layton’s will. Audrey, Till, and Layton agree to put Melanie’s plan in motion. Melanie contacts Ben asking about how far the Fremont Junction is. She then walks Layton through how to release the cars as Till goes to Roche, asking him to fight with them. Meanwhile, Ruth, as the new Head of Hospitality, addresses First and Second class, saying peace has been restored.
Melanie, Layton, Roche, and Till reunite in Third. Roche wants to know what will happen if they fail and are unable to reconnect the train after disconnecting it. Melanie says the back half will freeze to death and the front half will starve. It has to be timed perfectly. Roche takes Layton up to meet with Grey, the Folgers, and other First Class members to document his “surrender” as Ben, Miles, and Melanie prepare to disconnect. Grey makes Layton sign a declaration of surrender as photos are taken, but Roche finally loses it and tells them to get on with it. Mrs. Folger thanks Layton for removing their blinders as the couple gleefully prepares to become the new power in Snowpiercer.
Layton is beaten by a few of the Jackboots, as Roche uses the distraction to seal the car they’ve entered. He pulls a gun on Grey and has the Jackboots uncuff Layton. Miles, Ben, and Melanie succeed in uncoupling the intended cars. Ben and Miles speed up to create separation and wait for Layton to complete his part of the mission. A fight breaks out between Layton, Roche, Grey, and the Jackboots. Strong Boy and the others show up, knocking out Grey and his soldiers.
The men take Roche with them to safety under Layton’s orders and Layton rushes to pull the switch. Just when Layton is about to disconnect his intended cars, he sees that the group of revolutionaries who were being executed are in that car. Layton tries to free them but is unable to find the keys to their chains. Layton apologizes over and over again but knows he has to disconnect the car for the plan to work and he only has seconds left. Layton pulls the switch and watches as the car is disconnected before collapsing on the ground in tears.
With seven cars now disconnected, Ben and Miles work on reconnecting the rest of the train with the junction coming up. They switch the tracks, sending the disconnected cars down another path as they successfully reconnect the rest of the cars together. On the disconnected car, the Folgers realize LJ is alone on Snowpiercer. When Layton and Melanie reunite, Layton says Melanie knew he would have to cut the car where some of his people were imprisoned. Melanie replies that she knew the choice would be his: “It’s what we live with. Every second of our existence. You have the train, Layton.”
Part 2: 994 Cars Long
Now 994 cars long, Snowpiercer life-post revolution carries on with plenty of bumps in the road to navigate. Melanie hops on the comms to address the passengers, admitting she lied about Wilford and saying she hopes they all move forward with greater awareness for the choices they make as they are all One Train, and today, that train chooses change. She then relinquishes control of Snowpiercer to the rebels. Layton then speaks, introducing himself to the rest of the citizens.
Later, Melanie tells Ben that before she locks herself in the Engine full-time there’s something she needs to do first. Layton speaks with Miles, telling him they paid a heavy price. Miles realizes that Josie didn’t make it. Layton tells Miles that Josie loved him, that she loved all of the Tailies, and that she would have been proud of her kid.
Addressing the remaining First and Second Class who are in an uproar, Layton says the rebel army and Brakeman will be in charge until an elected council can create a constitution for a representative government. He promises the war is over and there will be no reprisals, and no more drawers. Roche tells the group they need to focus on getting Snowpiercer up and running and Layton tells them that tonight they will pass through Chicago, where all of this started and to make the occasion with their loved ones. It’s a brand-new revolution.
Ruth is angry at Roche for supporting these changes; he replies things would go much more smoothly if Hospitality was on the same page. Ruth doesn’t believe in this “utopian twaddle.” Elsewhere, LJ discovers Pike and a group of Third Class members partying in her parent’s quarters. LJ cries and tells them to leave because her family is dead. But they remember the killer she has no more friends before throwing her out.
In the Engine, Ben and Javi hear distant music over the comms. Ben sees something on his screen but disconnects it before Javi can see. In the Nightcar, Melanie goes to see Miss Audrey for her first therapy session. Audrey walks her through the session, which leads to Melanie confronting the memories of sacrificing her daughter for the train. She put her work first and didn’t make sure that her parents and her daughter got on board; instead, she stayed with the train. If Alex was alive, she would tell her she misses her and that she’s sorry. She cries as Audrey hugs her.
Layton and Zarah talk about the baby. After Zarah’s betrayal and after Josie, Layton says they’ll never be the family they dreamed of but they’ll find a way. Jinju leads Roche and Till through agriculture to discuss supply-chain issues. Roche leaves when he realizes Jinju and Till have to hash out their issues, including how Jinju knew the truth about Melanie. Jinju asks if Till really wants to be alone, and Till replies that she has her brothers and sisters that she stood with and feels a responsibility now to Snowpiercer she has never felt before and the two officially break up.
Melanie and Ruth finally have a chance to speak alone. Ruth is pissed about the changes; Melanie says the changes can work. Ruth says that Melanie put 147 out on those seven disconnected cars to die and many of them were Ruth’s friends, including Grey. Melanie says what she got wrong before is forgetting that there’s nothing more important than love. She tells Ruth she’ll see her around.
In the Engine, Javi is attempting to triangulate the source of the opera music they are hearing over the radio. Melanie, now officially an engineer and dressed as one, makes her way into the Engine where Javi shows her the music and how it’s coming from the northwest, outside. Melanie wonders if it’s survivors. Ben says if they don’t slow down, they’ll lose the signal. Against Ben’s arguments, Melanie wants to get Layton up there because there’s a new chain of command.
Roche brings a couple of people to Layton after they were got stealing lettuce. They eventually reveal that they were taking it to Pike, who is set up in First fencing stuff. Roche is left to deal with the thieves as Layton heads to the Engine. Layton and Melanie decide to slow down the train to see if they can make contact with potential survivors. Elsewhere, LJ bonds with Osweiller as two “bad eggs” who are hated by everyone and have lost everything.
Suddenly, Big Alice, a prototype supply train, is spotted coming up on them fast as they close in on another junction. Melanie moves to go full speed as Layton demands answers. Melanie tells him it’s Wilford and that he’s going to try to board Snowpiercer. Melanie warns Layton that the passengers will be divided when they hear it could be Wilford approaching as Layton heads downtrain to get a war party together to prevent Wilford from boarding as Melanie tells him Wilford’s presence will be far worse than what they’ve experienced.
Ruth stirs up First and Second by saying Wilford is back to save them from the rebels as she heads to the Tail to greet Wilford. Till, Roche, and Layton head to the Folgers headquarters, kicking out the group so they can speak to Pike alone and recruiting him to the war party. Layton, 15 Brakemen, and a few Tailies join in as they prepare to weld the doors. Melanie tries to keep their distance from Wilford, but the prototype train, with 40 cars to its name, manages to attach itself to Snowpiercer.
Melanie, Ben, and Javi now have to try to prevent Wilford from uplinking to Snowpiercer so he won’t have complete control over the train. Ruth shows up in the Tail with her entourage of children singing the Wilford battle cry, dressed up to re-meet the man she is devoted to. A fight nearly breaks out when she pulls a gun on Layton, but Layton talks her down, saying she can stand by his side to greet Wilford. Ruth hands the gun over to Roche as the others get the kids to safety and Ruth follows Layton to where the two trains are now attached.
As Melanie and Ben prepare to go outside to cut the uplink, Ben says that maybe they should consider allowing the two trains to connect because Big Alice has stuff they need, such as a genetics lab and more. Melanie questions how Ben knows what is on the other train after seven years and what Big Alice’s status is as far as society, disease, etc. Melanie knows Ben knew Wilford was coming and that he cut the satellite feed. She prevents Ben from coming with on what could be a suicide mission to cut the uplink and tells Ben he will keep the Ark running when she’s gone.
Melanie attempts to cross over the top of the train. In the Engine, Javi sees that Wilford is about to hit the brakes; when he does, Melanie seemingly falls from the top of the train as Snowpiercer comes to a complete stop. Roche says they have 10 minutes before they need to be in motion again. As someone continues to drill through the door to get inside, Layton turns to address his people and says that no matter who is on the other side of the door, Wilford was only ever a man, that he is not Snowpiercer’s engineer, and this is not his train. Snowpiercer belongs to her citizens.
When the doors finally open, a young girl steps forward saying Mr. Wilford has seized control of Snowpiercer’s engine and they have 13 minutes to peacefully surrender before they all freeze to death. When Layton asks who she is, she introduces herself as Alexandra Cavill, Melanie Cavill’s daughter, and she demands to know where her mother is. Outside, Melanie wakes up beside the stopped trains and begins making her way through the thick snow in her gear.
In a teaser, which you can view below, it is revealed that veteran actor Sean Bean will play the notorious Mr. Wilford in the upcoming season.
What did you think of the two-hour season finale of Snowpiercer? Let us know in the comments below!