DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Snowpiercer season finale episode “Into the White” is rife with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril. 

Welcome back, occupants of the Engine Eternal! We’ve reached our destination — the season finale! “Into the White” was jam-packed with high-octane action sequences, thrills, chills and even some shocking moments. Notably, Melanie’s potential swan song. In addition, Javier’s gruesome death delivered a punch to my gut. The plot twists certainly kept me in full-on white-knuckled edge-of-my-seat mode. I’m sure folks won’t be happy with the outcome of this Snowpiercer season finale, but I’m happy that they took the track less traveled. This time, The Powers That Be didn’t play it safe. 

Ready to delve into “Into the White”? Let’s get to it.

RELATED: Snowpiercer Season Finale Recap Part 1: (S02E09) The Show Must Go On

Now, we open with Alex (Rowan Blanchard) providing narration for this outing. She’s still sitting in the brig from the night before. Wilford (Sean Bean) pays her a visit in the hopes that she’s come to her senses. Alex realizes that he wants her to “kiss the ring” and wholly renounce Melanie and Layton. He leaves so she can free herself. 

Meanwhile, Layton (Daveed Diggs) and Ruth (Alison Wright) are hard at work in the compost car. They’re contemplating their next move now that they know that Javi’s made contact with Melanie. We see the guard outside their cell bring them two unappetizing blocks of nastiness for consumption. Probably not packed with much on the nutritional front.

Suddenly, Ruth distracts the guard while Layton yanks his arm through the hole in the door. Layton stabs the man incessantly. Ruth smacks him with the butt of her shovel to, you know, finish things off. That guard’s dead as a doornail now. 

Next, Layton and Ruth find Alex in the brig. Alex reveals that there’s a secret entrance leading into Wilford’s room, which in turn is connected to the engine room. They offer to release her, but Alex is hellbent on breaking free by herself. 

Later, Wilford is munching on some delectable treats while Bess (Mickey Sumner) watches in stoic silence. Audrey (Lena Hall) is very busy snoozing. Kevin (Tom Lipinski) returns with a platter chock full of food. Apparently, when he delivered it to Zarah, she shoved it back in his face. Wilford is keeping Zarah on a pedestal because of her pregnancy. It gives her privilege. Wilford orders Audrey to check in on Zarah. She’s the unofficial doula, after all. 

Then, Layton and Ruth stealthily make their way into Wilford’s chambers. They swipe a few weapons for self-defense. We see a pair of Wilford’s lackeys are standing guard over Javier (Roberto Urbina). Layton tries to count to three before they charge on the henchmen, but Ruth bursts forth prior to three with a battle cry. Basically, Ruth is me. And I am her. 

Still of Roberto Urbina in Snowpiercer.

Snowpiercer 01.07.19 Ph: Justina Mintz

Both of them successfully kill the guards in one fell swoop. Even Layton has a pretty cool The Matrix-style jump. Ruth is elated to find Wilford’s lavish bathroom complete with a picturesque bathtub. It’s bath time!

Meanwhile, Josie (Katie McGuinness) is testing out her brand-spankin’ new mechanical hand. It’s resistant to the cold. Josie’s excited to see what she can do in the outside world. Which begs the question: what does Wilford have in store for her?

Next, we see Alex has broken free from the brig. She apologizes to Wilford. Bess believes it to be sincere. Additionally, Alex makes amends with LJ (Annalise Basso). Layton, Ruth and Javier realize they’ll need to take the Rocky Mountain test track in order to rescue Melanie. Javier calls Ben (Iddo Goldberg), who’s currently under the immensely watchful eye of Sykes (Chelsea Harris), Wilford’s righthand woman. Javi talks in code with Ben so Sykes can’t interpret their conversation. Additionally, he discreetly sends coordinates over to Ben so he’s aware that they’re picking up Melanie that day. 

Now, Layton and Ruth are sequestered away in what looks like a massive chest as they cross the border into Snowpiercer. They wind up in car 272 wherein Wilford has “Willy’s World.” We see Boscovic (Aleks Paunovic), Lights (Miranda Edwards) and Z-Wreck (Kwasi Thomas) are waiting for them. After some embracing, the group maps out the next step in Operation: Rescue Melanie. Their hope is that they can bring Melanie back to car 272 and she can inform the train that she’s alive and well. 

Later, Ben is helping to facilitate the track switch to the Rocky Mountain test track. He asks the guard if he can grab a paper map, but the latter won’t budge. Ben knocks him out, but now he has Sykes to contend with. Sykes and Ben duke it out. It’s pretty damn intense. Thankfully, Ben is able to make the switch without interference from Sykes. He tells Javi that they’re on the right track (literally). After incapacitating Sykes, Ben ties her up. 

Meanwhile, Ben calls the first-class dining car. Alex picks up the phone. He’s aware that Alex is being watched. However, she pretends to be talking about something else to throw Wilford off the scent. Unfortunately, LJ calls Alex out. She’s seen Melanie do this exact maneuver many times before. Wilford pulls back the curtain and notices that they’re on a different track. He sends his soldiers to Big Alice’s engine and Snowpiercer’s engine. Of course, Alex is a traitor, so she tags along at his behest. Prior to leaving, Alex surreptitiously slips a small blade under her tongue. 

Now, Boscovic and Layton are donning suits and preparing to rescue Melanie once they make it to the checkpoint. They’re only minutes away. We hear sirens go off. Ben calls Javier. Both are keenly aware that this could be the end. Wilford’s hounds are on their way. Ben tells Javier that he’s the best engineer he’s ever worked with. No, I’m not crying, you are. Javier cranks up the music and begins pacing the room in a panic. Wilford and his lackeys arrive on the scene. They proceed to utilize a battering ram against the door. However, when that fails to make a dent, Wilford orders they use the cutters. Oh, and get the dog. Uh oh. 

Then, we see Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) is trudging through the snow with her belongings. She’s making her way toward the approaching trains. Wilford’s guards manage to get the door open. They proceed to beat Javi to a pulp. Javier claims that Wilford can’t kill him because he’s an engineer. He’s vital to the operation of the train. Apparently, Wilford doesn’t think so. He orders his dog to attack Javier. It’s horrifying. Thankfully, the camera pans to Alex’s equally horrified face as she watches the dog viciously kill our Javi. 

Still of Jennifer Connelly in Snowpiercer.

Snowpiercer 206 12/4/19 ph: David Bukach

Next, Wilford steps into the engine room and cranks up the speed. Ben wonders why Javier’s going faster instead of slowing down. Wilford reveals that Javi isn’t here. It’s a battle of engines and thrusters as Wilford tries to increase the speed while Ben attempts to slow their collective roll. Unfortunately, Wilford wins. Melanie watches in bewilderment as both trains fly by her. Layton and Boky even spot her from afar. Alex cries out for her mother. 

Now, Wilford’s henchmen drag Javier’s body away. RIP Javier de La Torre. I really liked him! He was a good egg! Alex, incensed, procures the blade from under her tongue. She orders Wilford to turn back and retrieve Melanie. The passengers deserve to know what she discovered from her research. He refuses. Then, Wilford mocks Alex and claims she was merely a means to an end — a way to get to Melanie. After she spits out that he’ll never be the leader she was, Wilford slaps her. Suddenly, Alex slices his throat and flees. 

Then, we see Wilford being dragged in to see the Headwoods. They hastily patch up the wound. It didn’t hit a vital vein, so he’ll live. Josie observes the proceedings from afar. Wilford demands that she go outside and breach Snowpiercer’s engine room. Freeze that bloody Ben. The Headwoods assert that she isn’t ready, but Wilford is insistent. And irate. 

Meanwhile, Layton and Boky find Alex sneaking onto Snowpiercer. They take her in. She has a plan to go back for Melanie. They disclose it to Ruth, who’s initially skeptical. Alex wants to disconnect the J-links that are located in the aquarium. Apparently, the aquarium can be ejected even in lockdown. They’ll utilize the 10 cars they’ll have at their disposal to rescue Melanie. This will leave Wilford with too many cars and only one engine to operate them all. It will slow him down significantly. Layton will take Ben and Alex on this mission, essentially leaving Wilford as the only engineer. 

Later, Layton divulges the game plan to Bess and Zarah (Sheila Vand). Zarah’s not a fan of this plan. Layton wants her to join him, but she decides to stay behind. She can handle Wilford. In fact, he’ll never hurt her — she’s got invaluable cargo. So, Layton reluctantly acquiesces to her wishes. Layton has a way to ensure Zarah’s safety. Earlier, Bess knocked Audrey unconscious and restrained her. They’re going to utilize Audrey as insurance so Wilford won’t hurt Zarah. 

Next, Josie is rushed outside courtesy of the Headwoods. Her objective? Breach the engine room of Snowpiercer with a handy dandy weapon. She doesn’t feel ready, but Wilford’s word is the law in these here parts. Ben notices that the cold lock is open on Big Alice. Sykes reveals that it’s Wilford’s “Cold Woman” and she’s en route to kill them. Ben doesn’t believe Josie would do such a thing. He contacts Josie and asks for her assistance. 

Meanwhile, Boky is trying to ease the J-link disconnection when he’s jumped by a horde of Wilford’s guards. However, he takes them all on with ease like the pro he is. Nobody messes with Boky! 

Then, Wilford runs into Layton in the corridor. Layton’s armed with an ax. A “conversation ax,” if you will. Layton leads Wilford into the aquarium car. Bess procures Audrey, who’s now gagged as well as restrained. She’s crying. Meanwhile, Ruth wanders into the Hospitality headquarters and spots her teals. However, Kevin is lurking in the shadows. Thankfully, Ruth outwits him and tases him. Good! Those teals are rightfully Ruth’s. 

Now, Wilford and Layton are separated by the J-links in the aquarium. Layton vows to kill Audrey if Wilford steps any closer. He seizes her and pushes the blade of his ax against her throat. Wilford is incredulous. He doesn’t think Layton is capable of murdering an innocent person. Suddenly, we see Josie is outside the aquarium car. She’s relentlessly bashing against the glass. Ben’s instructing her regarding what to do. We see the fish instantly freeze when the cold air whooshes into said aquarium. Then, the car is severed in two. Layton goes one way, Wilford goes the other. 

Unfortunately, Ruth never made it to the aquarium in time. So, she’s stuck with Wilford. After Layton and co. escape, they take their new mini train to rescue Melanie. Layton and Alex don suits and make the trek to the research station. They spot her sleeping quarters, but Melanie is nowhere to be found. She’s gone. Thankfully, Melanie kept the data safe. Alex is beside herself. Layton urges her to forge ahead because that’s what Melanie would’ve wanted. She sacrificed her life for them. 

Still of Iddo Goldberg in Snowpiercer episode "The Show Must Go On."

Snowpiercer 208 2/6/20 ph: David Bukach

Next, we hear a voiceover from Melanie as Alex reads a letter the former wrote. Melanie understood that Wilford had control of the train, hence why it flew past her. She consumed the rat colony into extinction and was totally bereft of resources. So, she decided to walk into the white. Melanie reveals that she felt at peace knowing that the data was safe. Knowing that someday Alex would live on a thriving planet again. I’m not crying. Okay … I’m crying. 

Later, we see Alex sitting in Melanie’s quarters and reading the letter. Ben, Layton, Bess and Josie take a gander at the data Melanie amassed. Everything is accounted for. We see each weather balloon probe pop up on various places on a digital map. Ben reveals that those markings are warm spots on the globe. She did it. Melanie saved the world. It’s a bittersweet moment, obviously, since she’s not with them to revel in her success. They turn to Layton for their next move. Layton proposes they go back and get their train. Time to rescue their friends from one mad British engineer. 

RELATED: Catch up on all the Engine Eternal drama with our Snowpiercer recaps!

Talk about a punch to the gut! It’ll be hard to recover from “Into the White.” I’m so heartbroken over Melanie and Javier. This makes me appreciate the Melanie-centric episode even more now. Connelly is a force, that’s for certain. But, according to a TVLine interview with executive producer Becky Clements, Connelly is returning for season three. What that entails remains to be seen. Here’s an interesting quote from that interview: “I don’t know if I’m going on record that she is ‘done for,’ but I don’t know that she is alive.” So, we could potentially see Melanie in a flashback. Pure speculation, of course. 

Of course, you’ve undoubtedly heard the TV adage stating that if you don’t see the death, it didn’t happen. Sure, we didn’t watch Javier die, but we could see it all through Alex’s facial expression and hear it. Melanie’s sacrifice would feel weightless if it turned out she survived. Plus, who could subsist in a frozen tundra with zero rations? Sometimes, even in genre and sci-fi, death needs to stick. We need to see the ones left behind dealing with the aftermath and the impact of said death. I hope everyone gets to properly grieve next season, especially Ben and Alex. And poor Ruth! I wanted a genuine reunion between those two. 

Snowpiercer‘s season two finale was a non-stop thrill ride laden with plot twists, shocking scenes and heart-pounding action. Overall, season two kept my interest piqued. It was leagues better than season one. I feel like Snowpiercer is really picking up steam and finding its groove. The Powers That Be managed to answer crucial questions while raising new ones for the next installment. Bring on Snowpiercer season three!






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