Warning: Spoilers ahead for Snowpiercer’s season 1 finale, “994 Cars Long.”
In the months ahead of Snowpiercer’s May 2020 debut, it was announced Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard would guest star in the TNT adaptation of Bong Joon Ho’s 2013 apocalypse film. All that was said at the time was that 18-year-old Blanchard would play Alexandra, a new character for the basic cable series and “a self-assured 17-year-old, wise beyond her years, with mysterious connections to the history of Snowpiercer,” according to Deadline. It’s likely fans missed the update or forgot about it, as the news cycle has been dominated by tragedy and revolution since late March 2020, when Blanchard’s addition to Snowpiercer was confirmed.
But, Snowpiercer’s season 1 finale, “994 Cars Long,” brings that casting news back into stark focus. The episode finally introduces Blanchard's Alexandra in the most melodramatic way possible: marching onto the Snowpiercer from a hostile and never-before-seen “supply car,” determined to take the train for her leader, Mr. Wilford (who will be played by Game of Thrones dad Sean Bean in season 2). This scene is particularly intense because Mr. Wilford is supposed to be dead — right along with Alexandra herself, who is revealed to be the long-lost daughter of Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) in “994 Cars.”
With a minute-and-a-half of screen time, Alexandra has become the most influential figure in an already-announced Snowpiercer season 2 (which will air on TNT sister network TBS).
At the beginning of “994 Cars Long,” Melanie unburdens herself of her last remaining secrets during a conversation with Miss Audrey (Lena Hall). We peek into Melanie’s psyche and see her walking through the door of a warm, lived-in home. A little girl is sitting at the kitchen table quietly eating. “Alexandra,” Melanie breathes. This is her daughter. At last, Melanie explains that she “sacrificed her daughter” for Snowpiercer roughly seven years prior by prioritising the creation of the train over her child.
“I didn’t go to her. I was so certain that they would be there,” Melanie begins while describing the day Snowpiercer set off, sobbing intermittently. “But then… The train was leaving. And they weren’t [there]. And I stayed with the train.”
Melanie admits she is desperate to reunite with her daughter, whom she believes is dead. “I would give anything to still hold you again,” Melanie says to the idea of Alexandra.
The closing twist of “994 Cars” sets Melanie up to test just what she means by “anything.” As early as eighth episode “These Are His Revolutions,” Melanie confesses to effectively murdering Mr. Wilford — the fraudulent mastermind of Snowpiercer — to protect the longevity of the train. On the day of launch, she left him on the side of the train tracks to freeze to death. Melanie then spends the finale doing everything in her power to keep Mr. Wilford — who apparently survived his assassination attempt, found Alexandra, made it to a supply car, and has been living on that vehicle for the last seven years — from taking Snowpiercer after Andre Layton’s (Daveed Diggs) uprising. Melanie is so upset by the possibility of Wilford repossessing the train that she throws on an elaborate snow suit, braves the deadly cold of Snowpiercer’s environmental armageddon, and traverses the slippery top of a speeding train to stop him.
Alexandra’s entrance into Snowpiercer, however, suggests that she is totally loyal to Mr. Wilford, who has been caring for her for almost a decade. When Alexandra speaks to Andre at the end of “994 Cars,” she explains that resistance against Mr. Wilford is futile since he has seized control of Snowpiercer’s engine. “You have about 13 minutes to come to a peaceful surrender before the cold overcomes and you all freeze to death,” she explains, seemingly nonplussed by the cruelty of her words. As hospitality expert Ruth (Alison Wright) has shown us, Mr. Wilford has a habit of inspiring absolute loyalty in his underlings. Alexandra appears to have become a Wilford loyalist during her time away from her mother.
Now, Melanie could betray all of the hard work Andre has put into creating a new Snowpiercer and ultimately side with Mr. Wilford — all to finally reconnect to her daughter. That is if Melanie makes it back inside of the train after ending up stranded next to the tracks, covered in snow (much like she once left Mr. Wilford). As Alexandra says, everyone only has about 13 minutes before the cold of Snowpiercer turns fatal. Tick tock, Melanie.