DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Snowpiercer season finale episode “The Original Sinners” has spoilers. Prepare to brace and proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, passengers of the Eternal Engine! We’ve reached season finale territory, and sh*t hits the fan in “The Original Sinners.” Snowpiercer makes it a habit of knocking its season finales out of the park, and this go-round is no exception. “The Original Sinners” is a thrilling, adventurous, pulsating outing jam-packed with intriguing plot twists and character dynamics. Plus, there’s romance and drama aplenty.
Ready to dig deep into “The Original Sinners”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Melanie (Jennifer Connelly), providing narration for this week’s episode. There’s a war brewing on the horizon, with Melanie, Layton and Wilford leading the charge. It’s a full-circle moment, especially given Layton and Melanie’s combative history.
Melanie asks Javi (Roberto Urbina) if he’s ready to be “the bad guys.” However, Javi believes most of Snowpiercer will throw their support behind Melanie since she unveiled Layton’s lie. I love Javi’s character journey this season — his development is night and day compared to how he was at the beginning of Season 3.
Meanwhile, Audrey (Lena Hall) passionately plays piano in the Night Car. Osweiller (Sam Otto) runs inside, primarily unfazed by Audrey’s presence despite her ban from the Night Car. But he does assume she’s still Team Wilford, even though she insists she’s on the good side now.
Dr. Headwood (Sakina Jaffrey) leads none other than Boki (Aleks Paunovic) down the stairs to rapturous applause. Headwood transformed Boki into the next Icy Bob. But we know he was too busy filming Hawkeye, and now that the show’s over, he can return to the train (Paunovic played one of the Tracksuit Mafia members).
Audrey and Osweiller feel trapped.
Melanie tries to convince Ruth (Alison Wright) to join Team Science. Ruth asserts Melanie killed the passengers’ collective hope, but Melanie counters that the science doesn’t support the trip to New Eden. It’s not worth the risk of putting their eggs in one basket. They must protect the passengers.
Next, we see Ben (Iddo Goldberg) driving Big Alice while Layton and Zarah (Sheila Vand) assess their situation. Zarah reveals that most people support Melanie while Wilford is still at large. Javi won’t answer Ben. Not only that, but they’re 24 hours away from a crucial turn that’ll take them to the Horn of Africa.
Bess (Mickey Sumner) and Josie (Katie McGuinness) join Layton while he addresses the angry Tailies. However, he quickly sways them in his favor by reminding them that staying on the train is unsustainable, and they’ll never know if New Eden exists unless they pursue it. Thankfully, Layton has the Tail on his side.
Roche (Mike O’Malley) and his brakemen visit Wilford in the Night Car. Roche doesn’t want any bloodshed, and he offers sanctuary to anyone who wants to leave the Night Car. Osweiller seizes the offer, but Boki picks him up and tosses him unceremoniously to display his Icy Bob strength. LJ (Annalise Basso), who initially tries to stop Boki from hurting Osweiller, reassures Wilford she’s still in his camp. What a supportive wife!
Alex (Rowan Blanchard) urges Melanie to speak with Layton before things get out of hand. It’s abundantly clear that Alex harbors resentment toward her mother for throwing Team New Eden under the train (bus doesn’t feel apropos here).
So, Melanie and Ruth meet with Layton and Bess away from prying eyes. Layton and Bess remind Melanie that she doesn’t have the military numbers, while Melanie pleads with them one last time to see reason and logic. Unfortunately, both teams are at Impasse Land.
Then, Layton, Josie, Bess and the Tailies suit up for war, arming themselves with makeshift weaponry and shields. The plan is to seize control of AG-SEC. Osweiller informs Layton and Bess about Wilford taking over the Night Car. Bess learns that Audrey’s trapped there, but Layton doesn’t know about their relationship or Audrey’s pivot to the good side again.
Meanwhile, Zarah meets with Wilford to ensure the safety of baby Liana. I’ve never been an avid Zarah fan, but she’s growing on me, especially after she apologized to Josie and encouraged the latter to pursue a relationship with Layton. I don’t think something underhanded is happening here — perhaps she’s trying to keep tabs on Wilford under the guise of “protecting” her child?
We see Melanie in the first-class dining car, pouring over research, data and maps of Snowpiercer. Ruth reasserts Bess’s point about not having the numbers. Melanie believes an alliance with Wilford might turn the tide for her. Ruth strongly advises against it, but Melanie reassures her that she can keep Wilford under her thumb now.
Later, Melanie and Wilford discuss a potential alliance; however, Melanie has some conditions. Wilford must retire as an engineer, while Melanie will assume the role of Head Engineer. Snowpiercer is Melanie’s train, after all.
Wilford wants assurance that he can maintain his comforts even if he steps down. Both parties agree to the terms with a handshake.
Ruth finds Lights (Miranda Edwards) in her old hideout, delivering messages to Layton via Ruth’s little mouse friend.
Roche meets with Melanie and Wilford to talk next moves. Melanie wants to prevent violence and bloodshed, so she thinks Roche and the brakemen should be a barrier to Layton and his crew in AG-SEC. While Roche isn’t a fan of this newly established alliance, he doesn’t want another war to erupt.
Next, Roche tries to talk Layton out of escalating tensions, but Layton is hellbent on standing up for those who want a chance at a better life, as he should be. More impasses!
Alex joins Melanie in the engine, although she’s still furious with her mom.
Layton receives a note from Ruth and Lights, stating they’re ready for what’s next. Layton doesn’t think punching their way through the brakemen will yield favorable results. He muses whether there’s a better way that doesn’t require more sacrifice from innocent lives.
So, he calls Melanie to chat. He admits they’re too prideful to acknowledge their weaknesses, but Melanie and Layton are willing to discuss compromises.
Wilford orders Audrey to play the piano while in the Night Car, but she refuses. Melanie informs him that Layton won’t cede control, so they must find another way. Wilford thinks they could utilize baby Liana to their advantage — that will surely get Layton’s attention.
Melanie and Wilford meet Zarah so that the latter can take Liana. They wander into the car that houses Melanie’s track scaler. Layton appears behind Wilford while Melanie shuts the door, blocking out Boki. Ruth attempts to fight Boki, armed only with a shovel, but Icy Bob 2.0 is a formidable figure. Ruth lures Boki away by fleeing down the corridors.
Finally, Ruth and Lights unlock a door in the ceiling that knocks Boki unconscious. Huzzah!
Meanwhile, Layton brandishes a weapon in Wilford’s direction. Bess and Audrey are also present. Wilford’s trapped like a rat in a cage. We learn that Melanie and Layton laid the groundwork for this mission, planning to corner Wilford and eradicate his presence on Snowpiercer for good.
Payback is a b**ch. Wilford’s only choice is to board Melanie’s track scaler. She reveals it contains plenty of suspension fluid so that he can put himself to sleep at regular week-long intervals as she did.
So, Wilford climbs into the track scaler while Audrey triumphantly closes the door on her once-lover/abuser. Ben lowers the track scaler containing Wilford onto the tracks, and we see it speed away. Wilford remarks about how they’ll “see who’s the survivor” before he falls under the sway of the suspension drugs. Bye, Felicia!
Then, Layton and Melanie deliver a hopeful speech to the passengers. They reveal that everyone gets a choice: You can leave Snowpiercer with Layton for New Eden or stay aboard the train with Melanie. Melanie vows it won’t be like her previous rule — equality will reign supreme, and everyone will share all resources.
Big Alice and Snowpiercer will separate in six hours.
This scene showcases how far Layton and Melanie have come in their relationship. There’s mutual respect and love lingering between them, and it’s lovely to see.
Meanwhile, Audrey tells Bess she wants to stay on the train and return to the Night Car. She believes that’s how she can best serve others. However, Bess dreams of life beyond Snowpiercer, so she plans to depart for New Eden. I love this pairing, and this development tears my heart asunder.
Bess knocks on Roche’s door and embraces him, tears rolling down her face. Roche hugs someone he views as a second daughter. I’ve always loved their bond. We see Carly (Esther Li) packing for Big Alice, and Bess reveals she’s also leaving the train.
Melanie confesses she needs Ben, while Ben reciprocates that need. He disagrees with Melanie’s actions, but he understands why she did it. Melanie hopes they can wait a bit longer to gather more concrete data and lead the rest of the train to paradise after accruing solid evidence. Ben says he needs all of her, and Melanie’s willing to open herself to him. They kiss; look at my parents go!
Josie and Layton bid farewell to Miles (Jaylin Fletcher), who wants to stay aboard Snowpiercer to keep learning about engineering from Melanie and Ben. After he departs, Josie throws her past fears to the wind and plants a big ole smooch on Layton. Give me all the kissing!
LJ encounters Osweiller in third class and learns he plans to board Big Alice for New Eden. She bitterly mocks him, as is her modus operandi. LJ yells that she plans to drop the “Osweiller” part of her surname as he leaves. Methinks a divorce is on the horizon for the former lovebirds. Good for Osweiller — he deserves better.
Later, Alex and Melanie share an emotional mother/daughter moment while bidding farewell. Melanie packs the coat she wore while she was out in the cold for six months, and if you don’t at least shed a tear upon hearing that, you might be a robot. Connelly and Blanchard’s scenes are some of my favorites in the series. They’re so deeply connected, almost on a molecular level. They bring the best out of each other as performers.
Meanwhile, Ruth promotes Tristan (Ian Collins) to Head of Hospitality and encourages him to comfort the passengers when he gives out the announcements. He eagerly accepts the promotion and informs the train that Big Alice will depart for New Eden in a few minutes.
Then, Layton and Melanie say their goodbyes. Layton vows to watch over Alex while Miles is in good hands with Melanie and Ben. Before the trains separate, Bess makes a last-minute decision to cross over to Snowpiercer to stay with Audrey. Layton urges her to follow her heart, so she quickly embraces her best friend and runs into the arms of her love. It’s a swelling, romantic beat straight out of an epic period piece.
On another note, Melanie tearfully blowing a kiss at Alex brought on more waterworks from me.
After Javi and Ben bid farewell, we see Big Alice separate from Snowpiercer and take another track. In third class, LJ sobs alone in a corner. She uncovers her father’s eyeball and shoves it in her mouth. Suddenly, LJ starts choking on it after someone inadvertently bumps into her, but nobody else is around to help her.
LJ dies alone on the floor in the third-class market. Admittedly, I can’t say this death broke me. She choked on her dad’s fake eyeball. That survivalist mentality and her rudeness didn’t save her in the end.
Later, Big Alice undergoes turbulence while taking the track to New Eden. We see Roche, Josie, Boki, Dr. Headwood, Carly, Ruth, Osweiller and Sykes (Chelsea Harris) bracing themselves for impact. Back on Snowpiercer, Audrey performs in the Night Car for the first time in several months while Bess watches proudly from afar. Is it me, or does her uniform look different? Is she Head Brakeman since Roche is on Big Alice?
The violent shaking from the train becomes too much, so Layton and Zarah hunker down with baby Liana. Finally, the panic-inducing turbulence ceases, and the train grinds to a halt. The sky outside immediately brightens, and Alex reports an increase in temperature. It’s -10 degrees and rising. That’s promising!
So, everyone departs the train, walking onto terrain boasting water. Water! The sun shines, and snow and ice don’t entirely conceal the surrounding area. Layton and Josie kiss while Roche and Carly embrace, and Ruth and Javi enjoy the sun on their skin.
Melanie writes in a notebook three months later while sitting in the driver’s seat in the engine room. Suddenly, she spots what appears to be a flare shooting upward.
But as we zoom closer, we see debris falling from the said flare. It almost looks like detritus from a rocket.
Regardless, knowing Snowpiercer, something is amiss.
“The Original Sinners” sets the stage for an explosive, enthralling Season 4. It’s action-packed without relying heavily on violence and bloodshed. So much happens! This episode might be in my top three, with “Many Miles From Snowpiercer,” the Melanie-centric episode, sitting at number one. I could always do with more Jennifer Connelly.
I’m glad the show gave Bess and Audrey a significant, heartwarming romance moment, ensuring this wonderful queer couple gets a happy ending. The Josie/Layton reunion is satisfying, too. For the most part, “The Original Sinners” closes on a beautiful note until the “three months later” bit. That flare looks like a signal for help. I believe the closeup on the debris is a hint of some kind.
Reaching New Eden is a massive development for this series, as its existence rests on the perpetually moving train after which it’s named. Of course, they can’t do away with Snowpiercer permanently, but it could be fun to explore some characters outside the confines of the train while Melanie and Ben find a way to keep Snowpiercer going.
Overall, Season 3 starts slow, but once it gains momentum and hits its stride, it becomes engaging, propulsive, compelling sci-fi. I hope they never keep us away from Jennifer Connelly for that long again. Her brilliant performances are a driving force.
Keep your eyes peeled for my piece containing my Season 4 theories because I have thoughts.
Seasons 1-2 of Snowpiercer are now streaming on HBO Max.