DISCLAIMER: This article contains spoilers for Snowpiercer Season 2. Proceed at your peril, and prepare to brace. 

Passengers of the Eternal Engine and Big Alice, Snowpiercer‘s third season is nigh! So, before we return to our fave dystopian world post-Freeze, let’s embark on a crash course of all things Season 2.

The sophomore outing of TNT’s mega-hit sci-fi thriller introduces a power struggle between Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs), the Tailie detective fresh off a revolution, and Joseph Wilford (Sean Bean), the original force behind Snowpiercer. 

Wilford’s unexpected return spawns a rift, with loyalties between the two men divided among passengers. While Layton and Wilford duke it out for the soul of the train, Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) makes new and exciting discoveries off-train, leading to a potential gateway off Snowpiercer. 

Strap in for this refresher, folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. 

RELATED: Snowpiercer Season Finale Recap Part 2: Into the White

The season opens with Wilford, Alexandra Cavill (Rowan Blanchard) and Big Alice attaching to Snowpiercer while Melanie braves the storm outside. Alex gives Ruth Wardell (Alison Wright) a list of supplies Big Alice desperately needs. After shocking her unconscious, Kevin McMahon (Tom Lipinski), Wilford’s lackey, brings Melanie to Wilford. 

Melanie discovers her daughter Alex still lives, but she bears no love for her mother. Wilford has Alex under his sway. 

Zarah Ferami (Sheila Vand) reveals her pregnancy, and Ruth hails it as the train’s miracle. As a result, Ruth moves Layton and Zarah to the first class to protect their baby. 

Meanwhile, Layton enacts martial law until they have control of the train. Pike (Steven Ogg) strikes a deal with Kevin to surreptitiously exchange fruits for drugs. 

Melanie visits the two Dr. Headwoods aboard Big Alice to treat her injuries. While Big Alice lacks food stores for its passengers, she notices that it does harbor significant medical advancements. 

Wilford orders Alex, the engineer on Big Alice, to detach from Snowpiercer and reverse away from it. However, Melanie insists that Snowpiercer will die on its own. Wilford, left without many options, decides to keep the two trains attached. 

Still of Sean Bean as Mr. Wilford in Snowpiercer.

Snowpiercer — ph: David Bukach

Alex discovers there’s Ammonium Sulphate in the snow sample Melanie collected. Layton and Sam Roche (Mike O’Malley) want to promote Bess Till (Mickey Sumner) to train detective since Layton’s running the ship now. Layton and Roche interrogate Kevin about life on Big Alice, and he spills the beans regarding their food situation. 

Wilford and Layton meet at the border between the two trains to exchange Melanie and Kevin. Melanie invites Alex to join her on Snowpiercer to examine the snow sample. As punishment for divulging top-secret info to Layton, Wilford coerces Kevin into slitting his wrists. 

Bess visits Lights (Miranda Edwards) in the medical bay, wherein the latter recovers from a brutal attack. The attacker removed her fingers with an ax. We later learn that Wilford employed this attacker to damage Snowpiercer’s passengers, sending a blatant message to Layton. 

Melanie returns to the Engine with Bennett Knox (Iddo Goldberg) and Javier de La Torre (Roberto Urbina) and reveals her initial findings regarding the snow sample. The trio prepares to conduct more tests. 

Zarah finds Josie Wellstead (Katie McGuinness) alive and recovering in the med bay following her presumed death in Season 1. Initially, Zarah tries to kill Josie to preserve her relationship with Layton, but she ultimately decides against it. 

Melanie, Layton, Bennett and Javi observe a pod as it catapults into the atmosphere. With this, our quartet learns the Earth warms, degree by degree. It’s an environmental miracle!

Still of Rowan Blanchard as Alexandra Cavill in Snowpiercer.

Snowpiercer — ph: David Bukach

Melanie, Layton and Wilford meet at the border, and the former unveils her findings. Someone needs to monitor the environment for a month, so Wilford suggests Melanie take on that task. Melanie agrees to venture out to a research station only if hostilities cease between the two trains. 

Layton learns Josie’s still alive, so he sits beside her while she regains consciousness. 

While Melanie and Wilford hatch a plan to deposit Melanie near a research station, Alex doubts their ability to venture through the Rockies unscathed. 

But the show must go on; they’ll drop Melanie off and return for her in a month. 

After successfully passing through the Rocky Mountains, Melanie prepares for her departure. Now that she’s bonded with her mom, Alex laments not having enough time with Melanie. Melanie bids farewell to everyone and jumps into the snow. 

Still of Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly in Snowpiercer episode "Smolder to Life."

Snowpiercer — ph: David Bukach

Later, Wilford sends Layton postage agreeing to treat Snowpiercer’s frostbite patients, but Layton knows something’s up. Wilford wants Miss Audrey (Lena Hall), his old flame that runs the Night Car. 

Layton tries to persuade Miss Audrey to grant Wilford and the Big Alice crew a night out in the Night Car. We learn that Miss Audrey used to be a high-end escort before the Freeze, and she spent time as Wilford’s escort. While Miss Audrey hesitates to return to the arms of that man, Layton reassures her that she’ll have his support. They need someone on the inside. 

Bess visits Pastor Logan (Bryan Terrell Clark) in the Breacher’s car, and the pair discuss faith while in the proverbial fire. Josie ventures over to Big Alice for frostbite treatment while the festivities commence in Snowpiercer’s Night Car. 

Miss Audrey and Wilford spend time in a private room in the Night Car, and Wilford tries to weasel his way back into Audrey’s good graces. Melanie finally makes contact after one of the weather balloons surpasses 35,000 feet, much to Bennett, Javi and Layton’s delight. 

Josie begins her treatments aboard Big Alice and sniffs around for a whiff of Wilford’s plans. She learns all about Icy Bob, Wilford’s experiment that he frequently sends outside to interact with the cold. 

Wilford invites Miss Audrey over for dinner, and she accepts. Bennett informs Audrey about a “fault” with Big Alice’s communication box, allowing Snowpiercer’s Engine to listen to Audrey and Wilford’s conversation. 

Still of Jennifer Connelly in Snowpiercer episode "A Great Odyssey."

Snowpiercer — ph: David Bukach

Audrey arrives on Big Alice for her big dinner date with Wilford while Bennett and Javi inform the team they’re afraid something happened to Melanie out there. She missed her last uplink; however, Layton urges them to keep hope alive and avoid disclosing this info within earshot of Wilford. 

In “Many Miles From Snowpiercer,” we focus on Melanie’s trek to the research station and the studies she conducts therein. She runs into countless obstacles while setting up her supplies, but she forges ahead, plagued by visions of Wilford, Layton and Alex. 

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

We see a flashback of Melanie and Bennett making the executive decision to leave Wilford behind once Snowpiercer made her debut. 

Amid Melanie’s time at the station, her antenna topples over, cutting the power, and she runs out of food. She resorts to killing rats and mice dwelling inside the facility’s walls to survive. 

Near the end of her month-long stay, Melanie contacts Snowpiercer, but nobody responds. She notices the trains are a couple of days late, but she packs and makes the trek outside to the planned meeting spot. Unfortunately, comms are down. Melanie finally sees Snowpiercer charging down the tracks; she tries to flag them, but the train whizzes past her. 

Back on Snowpiercer, a riot results in the murders of eight Breachmen, which sends Bess down the investigative path. Miss Audrey’s dinner with Layton fully compromises her — she defects from Team Layton and joins Team Wilford. Wilford asks Audrey to “fix” a catatonic Kevin. 

More violence erupts on Snowpiercer, with Zarah and Ruth seeking shelter amid the melee. Ruth confronts her violent past when she encounters Winnie (Emma Oliver), whose mother she tortured. Ruth vows to do and be better. 

Still of Alison Wright in Snowpiercer episode "Keep Hope Alive."

Snowpiercer — ph: David Bukach

Bess concludes that Pastor Logan and first-class passenger Eugenia (Amanda Brugel) pull the strings regarding the brutal attacks on Snowpiercer in Wilford’s name. 

Audrey successfully “revives” Kevin, thereby proving herself to Wilford. 

Bess confronts Logan before he commits suicide by exposing himself to the outside cold. Aboard Big Alice, Wilford, Audrey and Alex observe as several train cars note their support for Wilford by lighting red lanterns, signifying Layton’s downfall. 

Wilford visits Josie and assists her with the phantom pain in her missing limb. On Snowpiercer, Layton and the team deal with multiple water leaks. Bennett believes the gills are the culprit (we know Icy Bob jammed them open at Wilford’s behest). Layton convinces a reluctant Breachman “Boki” Boscovic (Aleks Paunovic) to venture outside and remedy the issue. 

Josie finds Icy Bob clinging to life — he remarks that he’s served his purpose. Josie tests her tolerance to the cold by exposing her hand to the Freeze. She discovers she’s resistant to the cold temperatures outside. 

After Boki returns from tampering with the gills, Bennett and Javi notice the issue persists. Layton surmises that Wilford’s behind the whole shebang and that he’d likely have a spare God Module to replace the broken one. So, Layton ushers Wilford aboard Snowpiercer to tend to the problem he orchestrated. 

Once Wilford swoops in as the savior of the day, he arrests Layton and whisks him off to Big Alice. The Headwoods put Roche and his family in the drawers while Bennett reluctantly hands control of Snowpiercer over to Wilford. 

Still of Daveed Diggs as Andre Layton in Snowpiercer episode "Keep Hope Alive."

Snowpiercer — ph: David Bukach

Wilford’s totalitarian rule begins on both trains, and he tasks Ruth and Kevin with conducting a census among the passengers. He’s not a fan of class mixing as it “muddies” things. 

Wilford transfers Javi to the Engine aboard Big Alice, further driving a wedge between Team Layton.

Bennett and Javi attempt to plan their rendezvous where they must meet Melanie. Wilford, Bess, Alex, Miss Audrey, Zarah, Ruth, LJ Folger (Annalise Basso) and John Osweiller (Sam Otto) attend a swanky party to lighten the dreary collective mood. 

The special event commences with a carnival and Wilford’s darkly macabre puppet show illustrating his takeover of Snowpiercer and Melanie’s “death.” That’s when we learn Bennett lost contact with Melanie 10 days ago. 

Meanwhile, Layton now works in the compost room on Big Alice. Josie visits Layton — he reminds her to keep the faith and urge the others to press on despite this significant setback. 

Wilford sends Alex to the Brig after she hurls insults at him in front of the dinner guests. He offers Ruth the Head of Hospitality role, which she quickly declines. Wilford strips Ruth of her teals and consigns her to the compost room along with Layton. 

While on Big Alice, Javi receives confirmation that Melanie’s still alive, so he stealthily notifies Layton and Ruth.

So, Ruth and Layton plan their escape from compost, and, after killing the dinner guard, they wander up-train and encounter Alex in the Brig. Alex gives them the scoop regarding Wilford’s quarters.

Layton and Ruth break into the Engine and kill the two Jackboots standing guard over Javi. They tell him they must pick up Melanie that night. 

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

Snowpiercer — ph: David Bukach

Alex gains an audience with Wilford, apologizing to him for her insolence. She secretly informs Bess that they’re taking control of the trains. 

As they approach the Rocky Mountain test track, Bennett launches into a bloody fight with Sykes (Chelsea Harris), Wilford’s right hand. He prevails, switching the lines so that they can meet with Melanie. After Wilford learns of the track switch, he orders his guards to beat up Javi. Then, Wilford orders his dog to attack Javi, putting the engineer out of commission. 

RELATED: 10 Theories We Have for Snowpiercer Season 3

Unfortunately, Wilford has more momentum on Big Alice, so, try as Bennett might to overcome him, the two trains ultimately pass Melanie. Alex watches in horror as they leave her mom in the snow. In retaliation, Alex slices Wilford’s neck with a razor blade she found earlier. She flees the scene and joins Layton and Ruth to hatch a plan to retrieve Melanie. 

They decide to manually unlock the aquarium car, giving them a 10-car “pirate train” to turn back and rescue Melanie. Bess is on board, and, after some persuasion, Ruth is, too. Zarah decides to stay behind, citing her pregnancy protects her from Wilford. 

Josie clambers atop the trains per Wilford’s orders, but once Bennett realizes it’s her, he asks her to do a favor for the team. Meanwhile, Layton takes Miss Audrey as a hostage, and Wilford’s men fatally ambush Boki as the latter tries to uncouple the J-link. Thankfully, Josie breaches the aquarium car outside, severing it from the front 10 cars. 

Still of Mickey Sumner in Snowpiercer episode "The Eternal Engineer."

Snowpiercer — ph: David Bukach

So, Layton urges Wilford to refrain from exercising violence on the passengers while he has Audrey as a hostage. Unfortunately, Ruth didn’t make it to join Team Layton, so she stays behind with Wilford. 

Layton and Alex embark on an excursion to Melanie’s research station to find her data drives, but she’s nowhere in sight. Alex finds a letter written by Melanie and learns that her mother sacrificed herself to preserve the data drives. In the note, Melanie reveals she’s at peace with her decision and hopes her research paves the way for a better world. 

Layton, Bess, Bennett and Josie upload Melanie’s files, and they’re pleasantly surprised to discover her findings confirm that the Earth heats up in several places. They vow to take these discoveries back to Snowpiercer and seize the train from Wilford. 

Still of Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly in Snowpiercer episode "Smolder to Life."

Snowpiercer — ph: David Bukach

Talk about an explosive second season! Thankfully, we know Urbina’s returning thanks to last month’s trailer, while this TVLine interview with EP Becky Clements confirms Connelly’s return for Season 3. 

Bring on the snowy dystopian drama!

Snowpiercer Season 3 premieres on Monday, January 24, on TNT. 

Here’s a Sneak Peek of Archie Panjabi in SNOWPIERCER Season 3



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