The train lost some weight, and Melanie may be gone for good. The Season 2 finale of Snowpiercer leaves open a number of questions about the series’ future moving forward, but the biggest one of all is whether Jennifer Connelly will be returning.
Snowpiercer has been renewed for a third season, and Connelly’s future with the series will no doubt be revealed soon after the finale airs. But when Melanie Cavill left the train back in this season’s third episode, we knew Wilford would do whatever he could to ensure she never returned.
After “Many Miles from Snowpiercer” delivered an entire episode telling the story of her one month living at the Breslauer Weather Station ending in the cliffhanger of her being left behind, the expectation was the kind of convoluted mission to retrieve her that we get in “Into the White” would successfully bring her home. Melanie’s letter to Alex, however, gives the impression any future Connelly appearances on the show may be merely in a guest star capacity.
Though Melanie isn’t the only character with an uncertain future. After Andre and Ruth escape The Swamp, Bennett and Javi are able to secretly coordinate their efforts and change course, switching to that perilous Rocky Mountain test track they crossed in “The Great Odyssey” to reach Melanie before Wilford figured out what has happening.
But thanks to LJ, Wilford quickly realizes they switched to the test track and retakes control of Big Alice’s engine while siccing the dog on Javi. It sounds like the dog may have killed him, but that remains unclear. If so, that may prove to be the first of Wilford’s two big mistakes this episode because then Alex escapes and makes her way to Snowpiercer’s engine.
Alex devises a new plan in which Boki unlocks the systems allowing Snowpiercer’s engine along with ten additional cars to decouple from the rest of the train. The aquarium car is a weak point designed to be jettisoned even on lockdown. Big Alice’s engine would be able to maintain life support for the rest of Snowpiercer. And with Snowpiercer’s superior engine as well as a few other cars weighing them down, Team Layton would have an easier time catching up to the rest of the train.
Wilford also has added incentive to allow the trains to merge again because Layton’s pirate train has too many valuable players with them for Wilford to just abandon: two engineers and a breechman plus Audrey, whom they’ve taken as a hostage.
That plan goes sideways once Wilford’s jackboots intercept Boki before he’s able unlock all of Wilford’s control over the train’s systems. Fortunately, Wilford made his second big mistake of the episode by sending newly weather-resistent and robot-handed Josie outside to make her way to Snowpiercer’s engine to assassinate Bennett.
Unsurprisingly, once Bennett makes radio contact with her, Josie cracks the hull of the aquarium car causing a chain reaction of structural damage that rips the whole car apart accomplishing the desired separation anyway. Wilford’s trusting Josie to turn against Layton can only be justifed as an act of desperation on his part.
So now most of our leads — Andre, Alex, Audrey, Bennett, and Bess — all alone occupy the ten-car pirate train that includes Snowpiercer’s engine. Ruth, Josie, and Zarah are left behind on the rest of Snowpiercer, now about 1,024 cars long, driven and powered by Big Alice’s inferior engine. Layton told Wilford that Audrey was his insurance to keep Zarah and their unborn baby safe, but Wilford’s calling Andre’s bluff moments before the train split suggests Audrey may not be enough to guarantee Zarah’s protection.
With Melanie completing her mission, it opens the door to more story outside of the trains as the last survivors of humanity figure out the next steps to capitalize on the climate readings and start the process of resettlement.
Both Sean Bean and Rowan Blanchard have proven great additions to the series, and it’s great to see Bean’s Wilford appears to be sticking around for Season 3. Though given his weakened position now, he may have to become more cooperative next season, especially if the dog did kill Javi as that leaves Wilford as the only engineer left on Snowpiercer until Layton’s pirate train returns.
As a season finale, “Into the White” opens up some interesting possibilities for where to take the series next, but it’s far more of a mixed bag than last season’s “944 Cars Long.” The biggest letdown is of course Connelly’s absence here. Since Alex’s dramatic entrance in the closing moments of Season 1, an expectation was set for this estranged mother and daughter to rebuild their relationship, but we only really got three episodes of them bonding before Melanie left.
If Connelly really is out as a series regular and this is the way Melanie has been written out, abandoning Alex for a third time seems like a terrible legacy for the character on top of the audience losing the opportunity to see Melanie and Alex’s relationship evolve.
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