Snowpiercer season 3 episode 10 review: The time has come to pick a side

Will Melanie, Layton or Wilford come out on top?

Sean Bean and Jennifer Connelly sit across from each other on Snowpiercer
(Image: © TNT)

What to Watch Verdict

A strong end to the season, which hits some emotional highs and leaves us wanting more.


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    Emotional scenes

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    A tense final sequence

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    The epilogue sets up a new mystery

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    Romance prevails


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    Not getting to see why some characters like Javi picked the train they did

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    Wilford doesn't protest his future

NOTE: This post contains spoilers for Snowpiercer season 3 episode 10, "The Original Sinners."

Snowpiercer has always been a train of two halves and the thought of another war is nothing new to the passengers. This cyclical battle between ideologies means could just go through the motions, but thankfully the Snowpiercer finale has some surprises up its sleeve. 

Melanie’s (Jennifer Connelly) big return last week was an emotional affair that quickly descended into chaos when the returning engineer revealed that Layton (Daveed Diggs) hasn’t been to New Eden, nor does he know if the track is safe enough or even if there is a habitable warm spot. Matters are complicated further as Wilford (Sean Bean) has escaped his swish library prison and people are being forced to choose between visionaries. Melanie’s reasoning to spill the details (or lack of) was to give power back to the passengers, however, the chance that many will be killed in this battle is high. 

Layton addresses the Tailies with honesty and contrition. He apologizes for using "dirty politics" in conjuring this big hopeful lie, but insists it isn’t foolhardy to want to continue this journey as planned. The clock is ticking as the point where they need to turn toward the Horn of Africa isn’t too far away and Melanie has control of the engine. 

The "original sinners" of the episode title are Melanie and Layton, who both openly admit their part in all of this. This is far from the first time the pair have disagreed, but now they have an agent of chaos stirring up trouble. Wilford has set up his base in the Night Car with his loyal followers and two people who were in the wrong place. Miss Audrey (Lena Hall) has finally turned a corner and resembles the woman we first met and Oz (Sam Otto) has realized that a life with LJ (Annalise Basso) is always going to be filled with conflicts and scheming. Oz bolts as soon as he is given a chance, but Audrey knows she has to play a longer game to secure her freedom. 

Sean Bean in Snowpiercer

Sean Bean in Snowpiercer (Image credit: TNT)

With Melanie controlling the engine and Layton staking a claim to the food supply, with Wilford operating in the middle between the two, they are at an impasse. Layton has the manpower, but the Brakemen led by Roche (Mike O’Malley) don’t seem particularly thrilled to be forced to face off against their friends. While Wilford's crew is smaller, he does have some formidable faces. One surprise return — seriously, no one ever dies on this show — is Breachworker Bojan “Boki” Boscovic (Aleks Paunovic), who was presumed dead when the aquarium was destroyed in the second season finale. He replaces Icy Bob (Andre Ticoteux) as Wilford’s augmented bodyguard.

Wilford is unpredictable and his agenda is always focused on how it will benefit him, so it's surprising Melanie thought she could negotiate terms. "It still comes down to fear," is Wilford’s assessment of the situation, but Melanie knows having the Great Engineer in her pocket might cause Layton to back down. When Melanie does talk to Layton it becomes clear neither of them will budge, as they "both got enough ego to believe we can save everyone." Is there a compromise that can lead to both figureheads having a chance to prove they are right?

Rowan Blanchard and Alison Wright in Snowpiercer

Rowan Blanchard and Alison Wright in Snowpiercer  (Image credit: TNT)

Getting rid of Wilford is the only way the train can thrive, but at one point it does seem like Melanie might make a deal with him so she can take control of the train. However, the plan that is set in motion is clearly a trap when baby Lyanna comes into play to make Layton back down because Melanie would never put another person through the pain of separation from their child. 

It's a nifty idea as Wilford is blinded by his own importance to see the warning signs coming before they trap him in a no-win situation by separating him from his supporters. Rather than kill him they offer him Melanie’s suspension survival. He climbs into the maintenance vehicle with very little protest and it all feels a little too easy. Apparently, he is up for the challenge and they send him on his merry way. It is tough to get rid of an antagonist like Wilford and no doubt he will be back to mess things up. 

Wilford’s exit gives the leading duo the chance to physically split the train in two offering the passengers Layton’s trip into the unknown or staying with Melanie on a vehicle that is starting to fail. Okay, neither is particularly great but at least they are united in letting everyone have a say. 

After last week’s happy reunion between Alex (Rowan Blanchard) and her mom, it is time for an emotional farewell. It's these character-driven scenes where Snowpiercer is at the top of its game. Plus, Big Alice does need engineers — my one quibble is we don’t get to hear or see why Javi decides to go with the New Eden group other than they need another engineer. 

Lena Hall and Mickey Sumner in Snowpiercer

Lena Hall and Mickey Sumner in Snowpiercer (Image credit: TNT)

The lines are divided how you might expect with Ruth (Alison Wright) choosing New Eden. Till (Mickey Sumner) also picks Layton, but at the last minute runs to Audrey and life on Snowpiercer in another satisfactory arc. Romance wins as Josie (Katie McGuinness) kisses Layton and no longer spouts the contrived BS from last week. 

Okay, not all pairings end happily-ever-after. It appears that LJ has maybe choked to death on her father’s false eye in a freak accident — though I expect she will be back. 

Hope takes hold in the final sequence when Big Alice makes its way across an extremely rickety bridge and they don’t plummet to their deaths. It is a dicey ride but they make it to the hot spot and the sun shines on the relieved faces of Big Alice’s passengers. 

But that isn’t quite the final sequence. We are given a glimpse into what the future might hold and war is still on the menu. A title card tells us it is three months later and those on Snowpiecer see some sort of missile explosion on the horizon. Who is behind this attack? After an action-packed season, this train is not grinding to a halt. 

Emma Fraser

Emma Fraser spends most of her time writing about TV, fashion, and costume design; Dana Scully is the reason she loves a pantsuit. Words can also be found at Vulture, Elle, Primetimer, Collider, Little White Lies, Observer, and Girls on Tops. Emma has a Master’s in Film and Television, started a (defunct) blog that mainly focused on Mad Men in 2010, and has been getting paid to write about TV since 2015. It goes back way further as she got her big start making observations in her diary about My So-Called Life’s Angela Chase (and her style) at 14.