So how insane was that?
In many ways, this is the Empire Strikes Back season where Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 9 literally lands Layton in The Swamp, while Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 10 capped the season with Han still in carbonite... sorry, Wilford still control of the (majority of) train.
The unfortunate truth is that because the first season finale, Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 10, was such a phenomenon, arguably the best season finale in recent memory, even the massive combined shock of the pirate train and Melanie's gone-ness in this second season finale suffered in comparison.
Season finales are measured on a different scale than typical episodes. They require satisfying resolutions to the season's conflict while intriguing us with future developments. While we are definitely intrigued, I'm betting no one's feeling particularly satisfied at the moment.
As the curtain fell on Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 8, Wilford had regained control of Snowpiercer, and no time is wasted in turning the world on its head.
From the acid-trip rabbit hole of the carnival in Car 272 to the seizing of passengers' confidential files, the new/old Order is back with a vengeance.
Everything about Wilford is a spectacle, and it's so constantly dizzying that it feels like too many rides on a rollercoaster at times.
You come to me in my dreams, you know. Rather spooky.Wilford
However, as we get glimpses of Wilford in the shadows, we see that he needs that glossy veneer as he wanes in a Dorian Gray-esque manner when robbed of the attention and adulation.
When he visits Layton in the compost car, he may manage to push Layton's buttons at the end, but we also see evidence that he is haunted by insecurity and fear.
Even in the midst of hosting an orgy in his quarters, he is clearly unhappy when he seeks refuge in the engine area with Javi. Oh, poor Javi.
Can we take a moment to acknowledge that Javi, as "Fifth Engineer," has been our Neville Longbottom and deserves the kudos for being brave when it is not in his nature?
If Wilford plays true to history, Jupiter didn't actually kill Javi, only maimed him enough to require the Drs Headwood to intervene. Remember, Wilford likes to save people, even if he's the one who puts them in jeopardy in the first place.
Audrey, Kevin, Josie, the whole Snowpiercer train, and now (probably) Javi. The Eternal Engineer giveth.
He probably should've done his homework a bit better on Josie, though.
Making her a super-breachwoman after bringing her back from the brink of a frost-bitten, pain-ridden existence probably would've secured at least the obedience of any other passenger on the train.
But not our Josie.
Layton: You can't help me.
Josie: Come on. The last time we met like this, we started a revolution.
I am curious how she managed to board the pirate train after the aquarium car exploded, but she's basically indestructible, so I'll chalk it up to plot-transport.
Two other questions that crop up around Josie are why she gets a helmet when Icy Bob only got goggles and how Ben could tap into her coms. Please let me know if you're able to answer those.
The centerpiece of the first hour of the finale was the dinner party where Alex reveals his plans for the population of Snowpiercer.
It just shows how villainous Wilford has become in my mind that finding out he culled half of Big Alice's crew doesn't even shock me.
In fact, one could argue that Thanos did it with more flair.
The Notary: He wants them divided by age. Children. Adolescents. 18-39. The rest, elderly.
Ruth: Elderly? Dear me.
There are some delightful surprises served up at that table.
For example, who else felt their jaw drop when Osweiller sat down at the piano?
Between that and his defense of LJ, it's incredible how differently I see him from his brakemen days in the Tail.
The fact that he's taken over as Head of Janitorial Services is a little puzzling still. Did NO ONE care that Terence was murdered?
Still, Oz is proving to be a proper survivor, trotting out a talent to make him stand out in a crowd and entertain Mr. Wilford at the same time.
Look, the way to survive Mr. Wilford, you just got to be something that he needs.Ruth
The dinner party also presents Ruth with her crucible of choice. Wilford makes the play for her loyalty with the offer of the position as the sole Head of Hospitality.
Ruth has come a long way from the woman who heralded the return of Wilford at the end of Snowpiercer Season 1.
Her walk of shame is an ugly echo of the same path she took to mete out "justice" in The Tail on Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 2
With her newly-established relationship with Winnie and her true-tested fidelity to Snowpiercer, Ruth is proving her worth, a worth that Melanie specifically advised Layton on before leaving the train on Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 3.
My advice. Don't lie to her. I regret that I did and I'll probably never make it right but, for you, she's a rare straight arrow if you can keep her.Melanie
And that brings us to Melanie.
What do you think, readers? Is she truly gone?
The fact is that we do not have a body. On Snowpiercer, even what appears to be a dead body doesn't always turn out that way. (Cases in point: Josie and Kevin)
Layton found the thermal vents, and it looked like they went on for a little way and into the distance. Could she have traveled further into the mountain and found resources on which to survive?
I had nothing here to return to. I'm only human so, of course, I used up my resources. Ate my rats to extinction. Then, the cold crept in.Melanie
It feels like grasping at straws, yes. But the straws are there. We're living in the realm of possibilities now, not probability.
Seemingly even less possible is my theory that Audrey in a deep cover.
Audrey: You think you have leverage but you don't. He doesn't need you, Zarah, just your womb. And the Headwoods can take you right out of the equation.
Zarah: Audrey, you don't have to be his pawn.
Audrey: Oh, Christ. We are the same as we always have been. Survive, survive, survive.
But I do have a new theory.
It's a wild one, but I'm speculating that Audrey's powers are beyond empathy, that she's actually clairvoyant.
Stick with me on this. If she can see potential futures, perhaps her plans require her to play the part she's playing so that Wilford will ultimately fail.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm obviously not a fan of Occam's Razor.
Call me crazy, but I desperately want her to be the orchestrator of Wilford's downfall.
Wilford: Now, now, what did Mr. Layton say? We're all one train together.
Audrey: Exactly! And I thought dinner would be a nice way to bring us all together again.
Alex: One train under God and Audrey!
In any case, we have a third season to look forward to, but I don't think answers to our questions will be quickly forthcoming.
Remember, you can watch Snowpiercer online as you wait.
Hit our comments section with your thoughts and questions. It's bound to be a lively discussion!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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