Warning: SPOILERS for Snowpiercer's Season 1 Finale.
Snowpiercer season 1 ended with a big surprise that sets up the conflicts of season 2 and immediately turns life aboard the Great Ark Train upside down. Snowpiercer season 1 concluded with the resolutions to the two simultaneous revolutions aboard the train: the attempt by the Folger family in First Class to wrest control of Snowpiercer from Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) and Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) leading the Tail Section and Third Class to take over the train.
Layton's violent revolution cost dozens of lives and was stopped by the Jackboots led by Commander Nolan Grey (Timothy V. Murphy), who resorted to using poison gas to quell the uprising. The First Snowpiercer War ended with Layton being forced to surrender and face a death sentence. Meanwhile, because Layton told L.J. Folger (Annalise Basso) Melanie's secret that she was posing as Mr. Wilford, the Folgers exposed Cavill, arrested her, and also sentenced her to death. The Folgers intended to institute a new regime with themselves in charge, enforced by Commander Grey's Jackboot army.
Snowpiercer season 1's two-part finale, "The Train Demanded Blood" and "994 Cars Long" forced Melanie and Layton to put aside their differences and join forces, both for their survival and for the sake of everyone else on the train. However, everything the passengers of Snowpiercer fought for may now be completely upended by the surprise appearance of a second train run by the real Mr. Wilford, which sets up a cliffhanger leading into Snowpiercer season 2.
Melanie And Layton Saved The Train By Working Together
Both Layton and Melanie were sentenced to death, but they escaped their fates and saved the train by working together. Javier (Roberto Urbina) from Engineering rescued Melanie from death by Lung of Ice, and she formed an uneasy alliance with Layton to take control of the train away from the Folgers. Lilah (Kerry O'Malley) and Robert Folger (Vincent Gale) ended up walking right into Melanie's trap. Cavill's plan was to isolate the Folgers and the Jackboots in the Schoolroom car and then separate its seven-car section from the rest of the train.
Layton, with help from Lead Brakeman Roche (Mike O'Malley) and some of the Tailies, overwhelmed the Jackboots while Melanie disconnected the rear of the train. Layton had to unbuckle the other front of Snowpiercer, but doing so condemned many of the Tailies the Jackboots were holding prisoner to death. Melanie's plan worked, and Engineering was able to reconnect the two halves of Snowpiercer. The other part of Melanie's plan also worked: she knew Layton would have to make the impossible call to lose the Tail prisoners, and the lesson was that if Layton is to lead Snowpiercer, he'll have to make difficult choices for the good of the train, just as Melanie did when she ran everything.
The Folgers And The Jackboots Were Separated From Snowpiercer And Left To Die
The Folgers had big plans to become the new masters of Snowpiercer, as did Commander Grey, who intended to betray the Folgers and institute marshall law so that he and Ruth Wardell (Alison Wright) would be in charge of the train. Instead, the Folgers realized, to their horror, that they got cut off from the rest of the train. With no access to any of Snowpiercer's food supplies or power sources, they are doomed. Ironically, it was L.J. who inadvertently doomed her parents when she convinced them to attend Layton's surrender as a display of their new regime.
Melanie's plan to rid Snowpiercer of the Folgers condemned to death 147 people, including the Folgers, Grey, the reporters and photographers in attendance, and the Jackboots. Snowpiercer left them behind, and it's unlikely they'll survive by the time Snowpiercer completes the next revolution and passes them again. However, the loss of the Jackboots also leaves Snowpiercer without its military force, which could become a huge problem in Snowpiercer season 2. With the loss of the seven cars, Snowpiercer is now 994 cars long.
Layton Now Runs Snowpiercer - But Maybe Not For Long
Now that her secret has been exposed to the whole train, Melanie formally surrendered control of Snowpiercer "to the rebel forces," i.e. Andre Layton. The former Train Detective quickly realized that heavy is the head who wears the crown, and he was immediately deluged with logistical problems, from First Class resistance to the democratic, representative government and equality throughout the train he instituted, to the rampant looting of food supplies and Third Class and the Tail taking over whole sections uptrain. Pike (Steven Ogg), with help from Janitorial, made himself at home in the Folgers' palatial car and threw L.J. out of her home. She ended up in Third Class and befriended a fellow misfit, Brakeman John Osweiller (Sam Otto).
For his part, Layton does have something to look forward to: he and Zarah (Sheila Vand) are having a baby. But Andre's tenure as the head of Snowpiercer could be very short-lived because just hours after taking power, the discovery of a second train run by Mr. Wilford threatens to undo everything Layton and the Tail section fought so hard to attain.
Mr. Wilford Is Alive And He Has A Second Train
While Melanie was held prisoner, Bennett Knox (Iddo Goldberg) and Miles (Jaylin Fletcher) in Engineering started receiving music on the radio from an unknown source. They eventually realized the signal was coming from outside of Snowpiercer - from a second train called Big Alice. 40-cars-long, Big Alice was built as a supply train, but it's active and carrying survivors - including, Melanie fears, Mr. Wilford himself.
After seven years, Big Alice was able to catch up to Snowpiercer because the Great Ark Train had been losing speed with each revolution and they were slowing down as they reached Chicago, Snowpiercer's original point of departure. Big Alice managed to dock with Snowpiercer's tail and immediately interfaced with its systems, which would allow Wilford to gain control over Snowpiercer. Melanie donned an environmental suit and tried to uncouple Big Alice's hardwire link to Snowpiercer, but she fell off the roof when the two trains suddenly screeched to a dead stop.
Melanie Doesn't Know Her Daughter Alexandra Is On Wilford's Train
Now that she's free of the burden of running Snowpiercer, Melanie finally faced her greatest source of guilt with the help of Miss Audrey (Lena Hall) in the Nightcar: Cavill left her young daughter Alexandra behind when she stole Snowpiercer. Alex was supposed to join her on the train, but she didn't make it in time before Snowpiercer departed.
However, Melanie, who survived her fall from Snowpiercer's roof, is unaware that Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard) is aboard Big Alice. When Layton assembled a war party to meet the intruders from the second train, and they were joined by Ruth, who wanted to personally welcome her hero, Mr. Wilford, it was Alex alone who met them in Wilford's name. Alex immediately demanded to see her mother. Until they reunite in Snowpiercer season 2, fans can only imagine how what will come from mother and daughter meeting each other again and if Mr. Wilford poisoned Alex against Melanie for the past seven years.
Mr. Wilford And The Second Train Changes Snowpiercer In Season 2
Mr. Wilford didn't appear in Snowpiercer's season 1 finale, but Sean Bean is playing the mythical billionaire in season 2 (Bean already lent his voice in a couple of season 1 episodes). The arrival of Mr. Wilford will bring major consequences. Will he be looking for revenge on Melanie Cavill for stealing Snowpiercer and leaving him behind to die? Will Mr. Wilford's presence re-establish his "perfect order" on Snowpiercer and ruin everything Layton and the Tail section achieved? Is Mr. Wilford the messiah Ruth believes him to be or the "fraud" Melanie called him - or something in between?
Big Alice itself is also a game-changer. Snowpiercer was besieged with problems like an extinction-level event for the cows aboard, no more wood chips and bees, and deadly technical problems with the Drawers. Big Alice is a supply train, and its 40 cars presumably have the resources and technical equipment to replenish and repair Snowpiercer - but at what price? Fans also don't know who else and how many people are aboard Big Alice; will the two trains permanently combine and turn Snowpiercer into a 1,034-cars-long train? Thanks to the Wilford cliffhanger, it appears that everything the survivors aboard Snowpiercer endured in season 1 was just a precursor to further chaos that will engulf the Great Ark Train in Snowpiercer season 2.