SNOWPIERCER’s two part season finale is an epic conclusion to the season. The two episodes function as one long story, making the decision to air them together a wise one. This episode features some excellent action and provides an opportunity for most of the major characters to have their ‘hero moment’ including at least two times my wife and I yelled ‘yes!’ While there is a lot of fanservice, there are also some genuine surprises.
What is great about the finale? A show is often only as good as it’s big bad guy. In season two, that is Wilford. The finale features the best Wilford performance yet. He’s evil, but with a purpose. His moves actually make sense as opposed to just being crazy. You hate him, but now his actions make sense. Now that he has taken over the train, we get a real taste of the danger he poses. We also get a major revelation about what life was like on Big Alice before it connected to Snowpiercer.
Ruthie, who has been steadily growing on me as a character, is probably the character who has developed most over the course of the series. This episode is a high water mark for her. Javier, who usually is relegated to one line every episode or so, is given a lot more to do. I really like his character and am glad to see the spotlight shine on him for a while. Even Zarah is much more likable this episode. She’s finally given something to do beyond being a pregnancy plot twist. It is also interesting to see what the show has done with Josie. It was initially unclear what purpose she was going to play after being brought back from the dead (minor plot quibble – if they can make her Frozen Bob 2, why don’t they just do that to everyone so they can go outside?). Layton also is much more interesting as the underdog, and the finale boasts one of Daveed Diggs’ best performances of the season. Till is awesome, and I’ll leave it at that.
It is impressive how small details laid out in the season’s early episodes come back to factor into the finale. These little points show how carefully the writers crafted the season. It makes this episode that much more satisfying to recognize how we got here. The finale also features a killer ice special effect near the end.
Now for the not so great parts. When the season started, some of the new characters didn’t land for me. Alex has been a great addition, but the creepy Big Alice scientists seem ripped out of a black and white horror B movie. Tonally, they just don’t fit the series. The worst new character is Kevin. I was glad when he appeared to be written off the show, though I didn’t really dig the creepster bathtub scene that sent him off. The writers’ decision to bring him back was curious, as he hadn’t really been established as a character to connect with (unlike Josie). His character actually seems worse after Audrey’s brainwashing, or whatever that was.
Speaking of Audrey, she continues to be my least favorite part of the season (though she played a role in one of the times my wife and I audibly yelled ‘yes!’ during the episode). Her character is way over the top, her turn to Wilford doesn’t feel organic, and she really doesn’t seem to serve any purpose. I like her character less than LJ, and that is saying something.
With all that said, the SNOWPIERCER two part finale caps off a strong sophmore outing for the series. The pacing of the episode is perfect. The episode checks off the boxes for a good finale – it resolves many plot points, while leaving some for the next season and opening up new storytelling avenues. If you haven’t watched the series yet, I recommend catching up before watching the finale (just avoid spoilers). SNOWPIERCER has established a rich universe of supporting characters slowly, and I feel it is beneficial to watch the whole series (or at least the current season) to appreciate the finale. The show has been renewed for Season 3, and I’m excited to see where the show goes next.
The ninth and tenth episodes of season 2 will air Monday, March 29at 9:00pm ET/PT on TNT in the United States.
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