Warning: SPOILERS for Snowpiercer Season 2, Episode 6 – “Many Miles From Snowpiercer”
Snowpiercer season 2, episode 6, “Many Miles From Snowpiercer”, proved the famous Jurassic Park motto: “Life finds a way” when Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) discovered some animals survived the Freeze. Snowpiercer is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the world was plunged into a man-made ice age and fewer than 3,000 people survived about Snowpiercer, a 1,034-cars-long ark train. But the Freeze miraculously didn’t kill everything else on the planet, which offers hope to Melanie Cavill.
Jurassic Park‘s Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is best remembered for the famous line “Life finds a way.” Malcolm was a mathematician specializing in chaos theory who was part of a team of experts invited to sign off on John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborough) theme park populated by cloned dinosaurs. Hammond’s prehistoric beasts were all bred female with a fatal lysine deficiency, which was meant to control the population and keep the dinosaurs from independently procreating. But in the course of the Jurassic Park disaster, the dinos got loose. Trapped in the park, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Hammond’s grandchildren discovered a nest of Velociraptor eggs, which meant Hammond’s safeguards didn’t work. As Malcolm warned, “If there’s one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it’s that life will not be contained… Life will find a way.”
Melanie Cavill made her own shocking discovery in “Many Miles From Snowpiercer” that validated Ian Malcolm’s famously prophetic speech in Jurassic Park. Embarking on a one-month solo mission to the abandoned Breslauer Research Station to prove her theory that the Earth is slowly warming, Cavill was met with an immediate disaster when an avalanche destroyed her volt sled and supplies, including her rations. Facing starvation, Melanie was shocked to find there was a rat living in the facility. She fashioned a makeshift mousetrap and caught the critter, but Cavill then decided to follow it to its hiding place. Inside the walls, Melanie uncovered geothermal vents that were keeping an entire nest of rats alive, enough to keep her alive for the weeks until her planned rendezvous with Snowpiercer. Ergo, not every living creature froze to death in the Freeze, and life indeed found a way to survive.
Snowpiecer season 2 ingeniously equated Melanie’s discovery of the rats with her own feelings of guilt towards abandoning her teenage daughter Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard). In her isolation, Cavill hallucinated conversations with Alex, as well as with her frenemy Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) and her nemesis, Mr. Joseph Wilford (Sean Bean). But Melanie’s conversations with her imaginary daughter were especially revealing; in her mind (and hopes), Alex forgave her for leaving her behind when she stole Snowpiercer 7 years prior, and Alex admired Melanie for her ingenuity and scientific know-how, which Alex herself inherited.
“Many Miles From Snowpiercer” illuminated Melanie’s desperate hope that she could still have a relationship with Alex, even though she chose to leave her once more in order to try to save the human race. The imaginary Layton was also a cheerleader for Melanie when she built her ingenious mousetrap. Layton was once Cavill’s bitter rival but they grew to respect each other, and Melanie entrusted Andre to run Snowpiercer in her stead. The 180 degrees turn Melanie and Layton’s relationship undertook in Snowpiercer seasons 1 and 2 is further proof that “life can find a way”.
The fact that rats found a way to keep going not only means other animals may have survived the Freeze but also bodes well for the chance the people of Snowpiercer have of recolonizing the warming Earth – if Mr. Wilford doesn’t take over the train and plunge their society back into his brutal “perfect order” that serves the billionaire’s whims first and foremost. Worse for Melanie, “Many Miles From Snowpiercer” ends with a heartwrenching cliffhanger of Snowpiercer blazing past her and missing their rendezvous point, with Alex screaming for her mom. Snowpiercer left Melanie Cavill abandoned in the snow and it remains to be seen if she can find a way to survive and return to the train.