Snowpiercer Ending Explained: Biggest WTF and Burning Questions From the Season 3 Finale

This post contains spoilers for the Snowpiercer Season 3 finale.

In some respects, the passengers of Snowpiercer have come a long way since the days of the first season when the Tailies were fighting for conditions that could be considered deliverable. The Season 3 finale pits Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) against the recently returned Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) as both have strong ideas about the future of this vessel. It is a choice between the unknown of New Eden versus the relative safety of Snowpiercer — although the train and the tracks are slowly falling apart — and another violent battle is on the horizon.

New Eden is the name given to the Horn of Africa region that could be warm enough to build a community beyond the locomotive. The keyword here is “could” as Layton’s vision is based on data collected during the six months long science expedition that took place between the second and third seasons. The reason no one has ventured to this area is the degraded tracks mean it is too dangerous. Layton thinks the risk is worth it, Melanie disagrees. Thankfully, war is averted because the pair come up with a compromise and give the passengers a choice. It is democracy now after all. Those who want to stay on board Snowpiercer can do just that, and the same goes for the New Eden leap of faith.

Luckily, the train is capable of doing both and Team Layton takes the Big Alice locomotive into unchartered territory. The farewell hits all those emotional beats as Melanie says goodbye to her daughter Alex (Rowan Blanchard) once more. Seriously, tissues are required. This being Snowpiercer ensures “The Original Sinners” isn’t all harmony and light. Death, destruction, and more plotting from master manipulator Joseph Wilford (Sean Bean) throw up obstacles. The path to something close to Utopia is not easy, particularly in a post-apocalyptic scenario.

It turns out Layton’s theory is right and after a very precarious ride over a rickety old bridge, the passengers get off the train for the first time in over seven years. Not only do they get to experience the sun on their faces but a nearby lake is far from frozen. Perhaps it will all be fine after all! Not so fast as this group of beleaguered travelers has at least one more crisis coming their way — Snowpiercer was renewed for Season 4 last summer. Here are seven questions and one big WTF the TNT series left us with.

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How Does Wilford Easily Make His Way Onto Melanie’s Suspension Survival Vehicle?

Wilford loves to play twisted games with people, and he always wins. Well, almost. Thankfully, he experienced a fall from grace in Season 3. He’s gone from leading Snowpiercer to almost dying when Roche (Mike O’Malley) injected him directly in the heart with a huge dose of suspension drugs. That experience shook him for all of five minutes before he was back to his slippery tricks. While imprisoned in the library—the Snowpiercer detention area is rather lavish—he poisoned his guards and escaped.

It came as quite the shock that after all of this plotting he didn’t even put up a fight when Melanie and Layton revealed they were not only in cahoots, but they also had a twisted plan of their own straight from his playbook.

So why did Wilford say yes to the maintenance vehicle suspension nap punishment? It wasn’t because Layton had a weapon pointed at him. Instead, he sees Melanie as his greatest competitor who he needs to beat. Although, it still seems shocking that he pretty much shrugs when he climbs into the tiny capsule without asking for some of his creature comforts first — especially considering how messed up he was after his last suspension experiences. However, this is a man who not only relishes a challenge but loves a psychological game. The answer to this WTF resides in one little award Wilford mutters to himself. “Now we’ll see who’s the real survivor.” To triumph over Melanie he needs to prove he can master suspension drugs and come back stronger than ever. And Wilford always finds a way.

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Who Is Fighting in the Distance?

The final scene throws up the biggest question of all. “Three Months Later” reads the title card before Melanie’s scribbling is interrupted by an explosion in the distance. What appears to be a missile has been launched but the target and the person who pushed the button are unclear. We don’t know how close Snowpiercer is to the region where the Big Alice crew have laid down their roots but something suggests it isn’t too far. One fact worth remembering is there was a war in that region when the climate crash happened, which was mentioned in passing by Ruth (Alison Wright) in Episode 3.

Are There Other Survivors Outside of Snowpiercer’s Walls?

It would be arrogant to think that the 3,000 or so Snowpiercer passengers are the only survivors on THE planet, and the discovery of Asha (Archie Panjabi) at the end of the Season 3 premiere in a nuclear reactor beneath the ground proves there might be others . The warm spot would be the first place to look for signs of life, and if there are other survivors they might not take too kindly to new neighbors. If there is anything that multiple seasons of The Walking Dead have taught us it is that the scariest predator in any kind of apocalypse is other humans.

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Will Snowpiercer Reunite With Big Alice?

The chances of these trains physically connecting again are highly unlikely because Big Alice partially derailed, but it is a safe bet that the passengers will see each other again. Last year ended with a daring heist that saw a “pirate” train carrying Layton and his merry band of explorers head off in another direction, and they were back with the main train by the third episode. It might take a little longer for Melanie to hug Alex once more, but Snowpiercer will find a way to assist — even if there is no track left standing.

When Will We See Wilford Again?

After failing to convince us that Melanie had perished after Wilford left her stranded to die at the end of Season 2, it makes sense to try something less ambiguous. Connelly’s character only appeared in three episodes this year and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Wilford is used in a similarly limited capacity in Season 4. Melanie spoke to Alex in her dreams and as a figment of her waking imagination and they have done something similar with Wilford in the past. Much like his protege, he is very stubborn and is not going to let Melanie beat him in the survival game.

Is Romance Thriving in New Eden and Aboard Snowpiercer?

After some very big bumps and losses (Ruth’s terrible track record continues), it appears that love is alive and well on both Snowpiercer and in the New Eden community. Layton and Zarah (Sheila Vand) decided they made more sense as co-parents and dropped the second attempt at coupledom when they reverted to old fights. This cleared the path for Layton and Josie (Katie McGuinness) to rekindle their romance. Josie initially told her beau he would be too busy for relationship distractions, but thankfully she realized how silly this logic was. Perhaps it was the Chris Evans-adjacent cream knit sweater that tipped the scales as the couple blissfully smooched by their new lakeside homestead.

On Snowpiercer, Ben (Iddo Goldberg) stayed to be with Melanie. He’s quick to forgive her brief betrayal because life is too short, and she promises this will be a real partnership. Till (Mickey Sumner) and Miss Audrey (Lena Hall) are in the early blissful dating days, but the new couple chose to say their big goodbyes because they have things they need to see through. At the last minute, Till swapped her dream of finding New Eden for this love match with Audrey — who had finally rid herself of the grip Wilford had on her. It is unclear how well these couples will fare when we return, but we have hope.

Is LJ Dead?

One pair who did not survive the train split is newlyweds LJ (Annalise Basso) and Oz (Sam Otto). Their wedding was tea event of Wilford’s brief reign and the writing was on the wall from day one. Oz knew what he was getting into — including his murderous ways — so sympathy levels are low, but he realized it was over the moment she pulled a knife on him. LJ will always choose power and she might not be as dead as her final scene suggests.

LJ stayed on Snowpiercer with only her dead dad’s spare fake eye to keep her company . Who knew an eyeball could be a choking hazard? Someone jostles her and the fake peeper gets lodged in her throat and no one stops to administer the Heimlich maneuver. Things look dire, but it is hard to believe this is truly the end for Snowpiercer’s most unhinged passenger.

Will Mrs. Headwood Continue Her Experiments?

Mrs. Headwood couldn’t save her husband from the flu that ravaged the train but she does have a knock for bringing men back from the dead. Her latest subject is Breachworker Bojan “Boki” Boscovic (Aleks Paunovic) who everyone thought died when the aquarium was destroyed. Nope! Instead, he has replaced Icy Bob (Andre Ticoteux) as Wilford’s bodyguard. He didn’t do so well in this department, but he is an asset to New Eden if there are other hostile survivors. Mrs. Headwood and Boki are among the Big Alice set, and her cold resistance treatments could prove vital to survival. First, they need to build a lab — and somewhere for everyone to sleep.

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