We finally have a full trailer for the upcoming third season of Snowpiercer, and the power struggle between Layton (Daveed Diggs) and Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean) is heating up in earnest. There is also a glimmer of hope for humanity, as Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) managed to make a map to a rumored “new Eden” before presumably perishing in the harsh environment outside the train.
As I’ve written previously, Snowpiercer is TNT’s TV adaptation of the 2013 film of the same name, directed by Bong Joon-ho, about remnants of humanity trying to survive an ice age inside a 1,001-car train. The train is run by a reclusive transportation magnate named Mr. Wilford, who has separated the passengers according to class and has a nefarious plan to ensure life on the train remains sustainable. The TV series is set seven years after the climate catastrophe that produced the “Freeze.”
S1 ended on a cliffhanger twist: the re-appearance of Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean), along with Melanie’s presumed-dead daughter, Alex (Rowan Blanchard). S2 delved into the complicated relationships, political machinations, and shifting political loyalties that inevitably arose with Wilford’s unexpected return. Bean’s portrayal of Wilford gave the series the charismatic, larger-than-life (human) villain it needed to really raise the emotional stakes.
Here’s where we left off in S2, per the official synopsis:
At the end of Snowpiercer S2, Layton and Ruth (Alison Wright), who were banished to Big Alice’s compost car, plotted to take back Snowpiercer. With the help of Javier (Roberto Urbina) and Alexandra, Layton and Ruth made it back to Snowpiercer and rallied with their supporters. Josie (Katie McGuinness) destroyed the Aquarium car, separating Snowpiercer’s head from the remaining 1,023 cars. S3 picks up with Layton and his inner circle commanding a small 10-car “pirate train” in search of Melanie and a possible warm location to restart civilization; while back on Snowpiercer, Mr. Wilford is consolidating power, awaiting Layton’s return.
The trailer opens with Layton’s voice over the train’s intercom, announcing that “for the first time since the world ended, a brighter future awaits beyond the train. There are places on the Earth that are warming.” We learn that Melanie sacrificed herself to make a map to what they’re calling “New Eden.” Layton offers the citizens of Snowpiercer a chance to weigh in on the ultimate destination and thus help determine their own future.
On the flip side, of course, is the charismatic authoritarian Mr. Wilford. “Hope is a slogan,” he tells the people on the train. “An empty promise. There’s only one way. The way I do things.” Granted, it’s not a pleasant way, particularly for those who displease or cross him—”Get back with Wilford, or dig a grave with Layton” isn’t exactly a comforting slogan. But he’s a known quantity in a world of uncertainty, and thus far it’s been enough to keep control of Snowpiercer.
It looks like Layton and his pirate train will eventually go back for the others, hoping to surprise Wilford, but as usual, he seems to be one step ahead and ready to do battle. And he’s unlikely to accept Layton’s offer to “settle this with honor.”
We get glimpses of Melanie, although it’s unclear whether she miraculously survived the events of S2 or whether these are flashbacks. There’s also a mysterious woman who appears amid the snow flurries. Her name is Asha, and she claims to be a survivor, despite not having been on board Snowpiercer for all those years. How did she manage to survive eight years outside the train? Is she really who she says she is? That’s a mystery that’s likely to fuel much of the narrative in S3.
Snowpiercer S3 debuts on TNT on January 24, 2022.
Listing image by YouTube/TNT