Snowpiercer Season 3 Ending Explained (In Detail) (2023)

Warning: SPOILERS for Snowpiercer Season 3 Finale - "The Original Sinners"

The shocking Snowpiercer season 3 finale saw an irreversible change to the series' status quo as the 1,029-cars-long train was split between the passengers who wanted to remain aboard with Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) and those who left Snowpiercer to follow Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) to New Eden. Cavillhad reverted back to her Snowpiercer season 1 persona when she betrayed Layton soon afterMelanie miraculously returned from the dead. But Melanie and Andre wisely decided to not repeat the mistakes of the past and they let each passenger choose which future they wanted without another bloody and costly war.


Snowpiercer braced for another war when Melanie seized the engine and announced the train would not go to New Eden. Meanwhile, Layton had to face the Tail and explain his New Eden lie, although the former Train Detective won his people back by reminding them what life was like aboard Snowpiercer under Melanie's rule. However, the wildcard was Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean), who commanded a group of loyalists including the Jackboots and LJ Folger (Annalise Basso). While Layton would never work with Wilford, Melanie realized she lacked the numbers and influence to hold the train against the Tail Army without Wilford's support. Yet Cavill also knows Wilford well enough to understand he can't be trusted.To their credit, Melanie and Layton had both grown since Snowpiercer season 1 and they shared a mutual respect. This made all the difference because Snowpiercer's two leaders were able to table their animosity and work together towards a way forward - one that doesn't include Mr. Wilford as part of Snowpiercer.

Related: Snowpiercer: Melanie's Return Creates The Series' Best Twist

Together, Andre and Melanie tricked Wilford and banished him from Snowpiercer. Not even the billionaire messiah's new cold warrior, Icy Boki (Aleks Paunovic), who somehow survived Snowpiercer's season 3 finale and was remade by Dr. Headwood (Sakina Jaffrey) with cold immunity, could save Wilford. Snowpiercer season 3 ended with the train permanently split as the passengers decided whether to ride the rails with Melanie or take a chance on New Eden with Layton. Yet, Snowpiercer season 3's incredible ending also hinged on a cliffhanger which opens up new questions and a potential new threat in Snowpiercer season 4.

(Video) Snowpiercer Season 3 Ending Explained

Why Melanie Stayed With Snowpiercer Instead Of Going To New Eden

Snowpiercer Season 3 Ending Explained (In Detail) (1)

Even though it was Melanie's data that led Layton to New Eden, Engineer Cavill couldn't support disembarking because there wasn't enough information that proves New Eden could actually sustain life. Further, Melanie and Wilford both knew the tracks to the Horn of Africa were degraded and could potentially derail Snowpiercer before it reached New Eden. Melanie, who had learned from her Snowpiercer season 1 mistakes after posing as Wilford for seven years, also couldn't abide Layton lying to the train about his having been to New Eden. But once Andre's lie was exposed, he still refused the idea of turning back from New Eden.

However,for so many of the passengers, life aboard Snowpiercer was no longer sustainable and the chance to disembark was enough, regardless of the potential dangers. Both Melanie and Layton came to understand that they no longer had the right to dictate their beliefs to the rest of the passengers, even if they are convinced they are right. Still, as much as Layton and his people wanted off the train, Snowpiercer was the vessel and haven Melanie designed and built. Engineer Cavill felt the safest option is to remain aboard her train and continue to look for a better option to disembark than New Eden before Snowpiercer and the tracks inevitably deteriorate. Ultimately, Snowpiercer is Melanie's New Eden and always was.

(Video) Snowpiercer Season 3 Ending Explained

Can Wilford Return In Snowpiercer Season 4? And Will He?

Snowpiercer Season 3 Ending Explained (In Detail) (2)

Melanie (and Layton) smartly realized that their plan to divide Snowpiercer could never work if Mr. Wilford remained aboard. Wilford brings a cult of personality with him and he would invariably disrupt any plans by Cavill and Layton. When they struck their deal, Melanie saw throughWilford's disingenuous pledge that he wouldn't interfere with her rule. Further, Wilford's demands that he maintain his "creature comforts" would mean the selfish billionaire would be a drain on Snowpiercer's dwindling resources. The only option to ensure Snowpiercer's survival and to guarantee Layton and Melanie's plan to divide Snowpiercer would work was to banish Wilford. Sending Wilford away in the same service trainand with the same Drawer suspension drugs Melanie used to survive gives the billionaire six months to live.

Related: Snowpiercer Reveals Wilford's True Power Over The Train

Will Mr. Wilford and Sean Bean return for Snowpiercer season 4? It's unclear what the actor and his character's future holds, but Snowpiercer has just brought Melanie back after taking her off the board for most of Snowpiercer seasons 2 and 3. The series could be playing the same gambit with Sean Bean's Mr. Wilford before bringingthem back. After all, Wilford is as resourceful and cunning as Melanie is, and if she could survive in the Freeze, it stands to reason Wilford will as well. It's also possible that Wilford, who keeps many secrets and is usually one step ahead, knew of other survivors in the world, and he may have something to do with the missile that was launched at the end of Snowpiercer season 3.

Which Passengers Went With Layton And Stayed With Melanie

Snowpiercer Season 3 Ending Explained (In Detail) (3)
(Video) Snowpiercer Season 3 Finale Recap | Snowpiercer Season 3 Ending Explained

Melanie and Layton decided to divide Snowpiercer even at Ag-Sec, which is the center of the train, giving both sides the same food, resources, and chance to survive. Engineer Cavill would keep the Eternal Engine and the front half of the train while Layton and his people would get Big Alice as their engine. The division of Snowpiercer's passengers could mean that many of these characters won't interact in Snowpiercer season 4 or may never see each other again. Yet everyone who followed Layton to New Eden had the deep desire to disembark and start a new life.

Luckily, Layton's leap of faith was right and the Horn of Africa is indeedsustainable. The rugged environment has an outside temperature of -5 degrees Fahrenheit - bitterly cold but still survivable - and it's still getting warmer. While a proper count of who went to New Eden withLayton wasn't revealed, it's apparent that the Tail and many characters from the other classes followed their leader. The settlers of New Eden include Andre Layton, Josie Wellstead (Katie McGuinness), Zarah Ferami (Shiela Vand) and Layton's infant daughter Liana, Ruth Wardell (Alison Wright), Javier De La Torre (Roberto Urbina), Roche (Mike O'Malley) and his daughter Carly (Esther Ming-Li), John Osweiller (Sam Otto), Dr. Headwood, Icy Boki, and Alex Cavill (Rowan Blanchard).

Most of the higher classes remained on Snowpiercer with Melanie, including her lover Bennett Knox (Iddo Goldberg), Miss Audrey (Lena Hall), Bess Till (Mickey Sumner), who is now lead Brakeman, Miles (Jaylin Fletcher), Dr. Pelton (Karin Konoval), Gilles (Fiona Vroom), and Tristan (Ian Collins), who is now Head of Hospitality. With Alex going to New Eden and Miles remaining on Snowpiercer to train as an Engineer, Melanie and Layton agreed to take care of each other's children. Meanwhile, in a tear-jerking moment, Bess couldn't go to New Eden and leave her newfound love, Miss Audrey behind. Bess choseto "let go" of Layton to be with the love she finally found and deserved all along. This also completes Miss Audrey's redemption after turning on the train to resume being Wilford's paramour. With Bess, Audrey can be the best version of herself - Snowpiercer's spiritual healer - and vice versa.

Related: Snowpiercer: Melanie's Return Flips A Season 2 Story

LJ's Death Means Snowpiercer Has No More Villains

Surprisingly, the only death in Snowpiercer season 3's finale was LJ Folger, who perished by accidentally choking on her late father Robert's (Vincent Gale) artificial eyeball. Lilah Jr. was steadfastly Mr. Wilford's girl and surrogate daughter after Alex, and she cast her lot with the billionaire believing that he would return to power with LJat his side. After Wilford was banished, LJ chose to remain on Snowpiercer hoping to seize power from Melanie, her "arch-enemy," and she parted ways with her husband John, who left his wicked wife for New Eden. LJ swallowing her father's eyeball and choking on it is poetic justice since it was she who poked his eye out, initially.

(Video) SNOWPIERCER Season 3 Cast: Real Age And Life Partners Revealed!

With Lilah Jr.'s demise, Snowpiercer is now officially without the villains of its first three seasons. By the end of Snowpiercer season 3, Wilford has been banished, Kevin (Tom Lipinski) is dead (by LJ's hand), and Pike (Steven Ogg) was killed by Layton. Both halves of Snowpiercer are now free of its worst criminals and troublemakers. LJ's death is also ironic since it was her murder spree that motivated Melanie to raise Layton from the Tail and make him Train Detective, which sparked all of the events in Snowpiercer seasons 1-3.

Snowpiercer Season 4 Story: What The Missile Means

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Snowpiercer's season 3 finale ends with a time jump to "Three Months Later" where Melanie sees a missile launch from the engine's cockpit. The missile was fired from an unknown point on the horizon. Did it launch from Big Alice in New Eden? Possibly but still unlikely since Snowpiercer would have been far away from the Horn of Africa, not pointed towards it (unless Melanie is piloting her train there). A greater possibility is that the missile was launched from a heretofore unknown location that could contain more survivors. The introduction of Asha (Archie Panjabi) at the start of Snowpiercer season 3 opened the door to more people who could still be alive elsewhere on the frozen Earth.

Snowpiercer season 4 is adding new cast members, including Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Clark Gregg. There's also a chance that Wilford could have made his way to this location and he's behind the missile. The sky-bound projectile also resembles how the ill-fated tech was launched to combat climate change that inadvertently caused the Earth to freeze. Was this an attempt to warm the Earth from the atmosphere?Snowpiercer has never remained static and its story constantly chugs forward. But the series has now reinvented itself and season 4 could embark on a brand-new direction for Melanie, Layton, and the passengers on what used to be Snowpiercer, 1,029-cars long.

Next: Everything We Know About Snowpiercer Season 4

Snowpiercer Season 3 is available to stream on the TNT app.


What does the ending of Snowpiercer mean? ›

In the end, no one is left alive except a 17-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy in the vicinity of a polar bear which is probably starved on frozen Earth. Yes, it is a fact that the polar bear indicates that life exists on earth, and also means that there might be resources (food & water) which can sustain human life.

Do they find new Eden Snowpiercer? ›

In the end, Snowpiercer's season 3 finale makes the wise choice to reveal if New Eden is real rather than make everyone wait another season. As it happens, New Eden is real.

Is Mr Wilford Alex's father? ›

Wilford isn't Alexandra's biological father, the fact that he saved Alex (along with himself) and raised her aboard Big Alice could mean that he's turned her loyalty towards him. Alexandra may feel hatred for her mother for abandoning her, which would be the story Wilford fed the girl for the last seven years.

Will there be Snowpiercer season 4? ›

We don't yet know when the new season will premiere. Filming has finished, which means the series is now in the post-production process. This could mean a January 2023 premiere date, but we're potentially looking at some point in the early spring instead.

What does the polar bear symbolize in Snowpiercer? ›

The now-frozen earth has become a fairytale on the train; when two children step outside for the first time, they are greeted by a polar bear that seems to signify nature's resilience in the face of disaster.

Why did Layton lie about New Eden? ›

Jennifer Connelly's Melanie Cavill returned to the train to learn Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) had lied about the New Eden data. He did it in order to convince the passengers to vote to make the journey there, promising that the Horn of Africa could sustain life.

Who is the mole on Snowpiercer? ›

Bryan Terrell Clark as Pastor Logan (season 2): A priest on Snowpiercer who counsels Bess Till over her struggles following the revolution. He is eventually revealed to be a Wilford supporter and his mole on Snowpiercer.

Does Big Alice make it to New Eden? ›

However, the journey also wrecked the old trestle bridge that Big Alice had crossed before derailing. The train and passengers survived and find New Eden to be habitable, emerging safely from Big Alice's halted cars to enjoy the outside world for the first time in years.

Why is the earth frozen in Snowpiercer? ›

In Snowpiercer, to combat climate change, the governments of the world have dumped a cooling agent called CW-7 into the atmosphere, only to have the plan backfire and deep-freeze the entire planet.

What does Wilford do to the baby? ›

The most likely scenario is that Mr. Wilford is experimenting on Zarah's womb to make Layton's baby cold immune like Icy Bob (Andre Tricoteaux), who was a hulking brute loyal to Mr. Wilford. If so, the child would literally be the next generation of "cold warriors" Layton has bred.

What does Wilford do in the bathtub? ›

At some point, Wilford made Audrey cut her wrists and she fell unconscious, in a bathtub of water with Wilford in it. He later claimed, "But I saved you."

Who is Wilford to Melanie? ›

In secret, Melanie is in fact the pretending to be the mysterious Mr. Wilford. She is one of the engineers that designed and created Snowpiercer in the first place and is the true mastermind behind the train's design.

Was that Melanie at the end of Snowpiercer? ›

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.

What is the message in Snowpiercer? ›

Snowpiercer is a searing satire, a smart action epic and a cautionary tale about the folly of trying to solve crises caused by human technology with ever-greater applications of human technology. The film takes place in the wake of a climate change mitigation plan gone apocalyptically wrong.

Will there be a season 5 of Snowpiercer? ›

The dystopian thriller about a perpetually moving train has finally run out of track. The Snowpiercer TV series, based on Bong Joon-ho's 2013 film, is coming to an end, pulling into the station with its upcoming fourth and final season.

What is Melanie's Secret in Snowpiercer? ›

In secret, Melanie is in fact the pretending to be the mysterious Mr. Wilford. She is one of the engineers that designed and created Snowpiercer in the first place and is the true mastermind behind the train's design.


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