For a show that has established a tradition of solid finales, Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 10 manages to innovate within the template while making some interesting choices.
My only real criticism is the WTH final bit with the missiles as the image slides into the signature graphic novel style they always use to open and close the seasons.
After all the logic-led resolutions -- and that one fabulous bit of karmic ass-kicking -- it's a shame to go out on a seemingly-nonsensical bit of sensationalism.
Of course, it does leave us wondering who would be stupid enough to launch weapons into a post-apocalyptic landscape?
Wilford comes to mind first. The same rules for Melanie at the end of Snowpiercer Season 2 apply to him. No body equals not dead.
Sending him off in a track-scraper to survive on suspension drugs instead of just providing a bolt gun to the head is begging for the old codger to come back with a nuclear strike.
I get that they were choosing a non-execution, arguably-merciful way to remove him from the train, but I think Old Ivan's Way would've been a better solution.
While we're on the topic of Wilford, did he really stand a chance of retaking the train with his Wilfordites and Icy Boki?
Setting up in the Night Car is admittedly a good move. It's unguarded, has an excellent vantage to bottleneck the enemies, and also happens to have Audrey sitting there at the piano.
However, he must have been depending on Melanie coming to him for an alliance.
Wilford: I may have access to something Layton will throw himself into the volcano for. His daughter.
Melanie: Straight out of your playbook, huh? The enemy's child.
Wilford: Sorry. It's a proven remedy.
The flaw in his strategy is one he could have mitigated if he thought to learn from his enemies, the Tail.
"Adapt and Survive" is their motto, and Layton's proved himself faithful to that many times.
Melanie learns it through necessity. Even Asha could've given a workshop.
But Wilford's approach has never wavered. He may pivot his strategy, but his endgame has remained static.
(Well, except for that short period as he was coming out of suspension withdrawal. Then, he was willing to retire and diminish. Alas, for missed opportunities.)
The problem is, Melanie, you're a legend. So you do have support. Former Firsties, some guilds, etc. But you're both militarily outmatched and down in the polls, so you need me. Two legends are better than one.Wilford
So, while Wilford will probably remain the top candidate of the weapon-launching suspect list for Season 4, I mourn the end of the subtle and charming narcissist-genius.
I suspect if (or when) we next meet the Eternal Engineer, he'll be a changed man.
Melanie deserves a lot of the credit for the double happy ending of the season.
While she is the Disrupter of Plans and Killer of Hope, at the end of the day, if she hadn't made her stand against the New Eden plan, everyone would have died.
I guess someone has to be the monster. The one who favors reason and shatters dreams. I've died and sacrificed my bond with Alex so many times for this train. To surrender now would render that meaningless, so maybe it was inevitable that the monster would be me.Melanie
When the New Eden train comes to its stop in the warming spot, the trestle bridge they cross is utterly demolished. And that was from less than half the train crossing it.
If Snowpiercer had led all thousand and twenty-nine cars over that route, the bridge would have given way before the whole train crossed and taken them all down with it.
But while her stoic adherence to Science saves the day, she realizes that her unilateral way of making decisions is gone the way of the bee colony. Total collapse.
Trying to impose order without Ruth or Roche proves impossible.
Ruth: Layton took Ag-Sec without firing a shot. His people stuck with him. He holds all the cards now, Melanie.
Melanie: Can the brakemen hold him?
Ruth: Roche won't fight your war. He serves the people.
Losing Ruth's support is probably the hardest blow.
Having been away from the train while Ruth helped the pirate train depart and lead the Resistance, Melanie doesn't understand the changes in her Girl Friday.
Melanie: The point is this. It's everything. Every last soul on Earth. If I have to sell mine to protect theirs, so be it, right?
Ruth: Well, I'm sorry, but I've spent too long redeeming myself to go back now.
The people she left may mostly look the same, but it's been a crucible of experiences for everyone.
One character who I sincerely hope changes back is Boki.
To have him return, maimed and mute and monstrous, reminds me in no small way of the unnatural resurrection of The Mountain on Game of Thrones.
That's not the Boki we've grown to love.
To be sure, there's something grotesquely sweet about his way with Dr. Headwood. It's a positive sign that they both chose New Eden.
Of course, with Liana (in Zarah and Layton's care) and Josie both headed to New Eden, it would be the obvious choice for Dr. Headwood, given her interest in her cold treatment subjects. And where she goes, presumably Boki goes.
Till's last-minute decision to stay onboard with Audrey was a tear-jerker moment. Maybe more so than their decision to part ways.
It all comes back to that "Adapt and Survive" theme. Till's goal to get off the train had been so ingrained that it blinded her to a future that meant more than survival.
Till: I've been dreaming to get off this train for so long.
Audrey: I know.
Till: I can't see a life for me on Snowpiercer anymore.
Audrey: Even if you loved me?
Till: Even if I loved you.
Audrey, having hit rock-bottom and finding a light to climb towards -- thanks to Till -- is the queen of reframing a life.
Over three seasons, we've watched her evolve from advocate for the dead to revolution leader to Wilford's creature to redeemed healer. She's been a crucial part of every story arc, a strong and striking figure in every vignette.
Audrey: I was the best version of myself here. You showed me that.
Till: Yeah, what was I thinking?
Audrey: I have something to give here. The art and who I am. And how I can heal people in my own way. I need to stay, Bess.
However, the relationship between her and Till has been more authentic and precious because it's highlighted her vulnerability and imperfect humanity without taking away from her power.
So. Can we talk about LJ (hey, hey)?
In a cruelly ironic way, choking to death on her father's spare glass eye might have been the best end for which she could have hoped.
She didn't want the New Eden life. She made that very clear to Oz when they parted.
LJ: You're chickening out. From me. From power. And for what? To go plant potatoes in an igloo? You don't even know!
Oz: Yeah. I like that part.
But how would she survive aboard the new Snowpiercer? A train headed by her "arch-enemy" Melanie. With Audrey reinstated in the Night Car. And Till (presumably) in charge of the Brakemen.
She might've rejoined the Janitor's union, but the truth of Terence's demise could have come out if it wasn't well-known already.
And, seriously, could you see Ms. Lilah Junior Folger-Osweiller buckling down to honest hard work without an option to connive her way into a position of power?
So, while dying on the floor in the back corridor of the Market may not have been a triumphant win, it is very much the end she deserved.
Ben: I will serve with you til the end of the world. But that's only half of it. You want me to stay, I need the rest of you.
Melanie: I'm here. I'm yours.
Ben: Well, then, New Eden can wait.
Speaking of well-deserved endings, how great was Ben and Melanie's reconciliation?
(Although I do wonder if he'll come clean about his night with Josie. That would probably remind Melanie that she thought she'd killed Josie, and then things could get really awkward.)
All in all, there's a lot to draw satisfaction from as you watch Snowpiercer online for the last time this season.
Except for that unexplained bit of cliffhanger at the end, of course. Grrr...
Help me out and comment below if you have a clue as to who or what is launching missiles willy-nilly.
Until next time, Fanatics, One Tail! One Train (oh, wait)! One World!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.