WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Snowpiercer Season 3, Episode 3, “The First Blow,” now available on TNT.
It became hard to see Layton winning the war against Mr. Wilford during the third season of Snowpiercer. Wilford had the larger train in Big Alice, more resources and the advantage of being on the primary track, forcing Layton to scramble for ideas and take on some mysterious allies.
Their battle finally reached its inevitable — and brutal — conclusion in the latest episode, but all of Wilford’s advantages didn’t mean much when he once again underestimated Layton’s ingenuity. “The First Blow” was the tipping point in the rivalry Snowpiercer has always been built on and it didn’t turn out anywhere near as expected.
Wilford went dark knowing that Layton was planning to trap him in a dangerous track circuit where wars had been fought before. He was confident after switching off power because he had cannons that could take Snowpiercer out once it ran the parallel track next to Big Alice. In fact, he was so arrogant that he began celebrating before the battle was over. Wilford got his shots in against the rebel engine, but he didn’t count on Layton doubling back via another secret track and shutting down right in front of him.
Wilford couldn’t risk ramming the rebels, so he seemingly tried to broker a deal for the two trains to couple up again. But he was actually gathering all his soldiers for a renewed offensive at the main gates, hoping to catch Layton and company with their guard down. Little did he know, Josie was already trying to smash his windshield open — an act of karma because he was the one who’d injected her with chemicals to withstand the cold. Her act of aggression proved to be the difference in “The First Blow,” because when Layton locked his chamber to protect himself with Josie, he also trapped himself with Layton. The Resistance chief battered the dictator before taking the mic to let the train know the tyrant had fallen.
With that Snowpiercer served up a seemingly happy ending. Wilford’s Jackboots stepped down, allowing the rebels to assume ownership of Big Alice once more and Layton to be reunited with Zarah and his unborn baby. But “The First Blow” left fans wondering about Wilford’s ultimate fate in the rest of the season. There’s an argument for killing him considering that he’s done terrible things to manipulate almost every occasion to his advantage, including Oz and LJ’s recent wedding. But then Sean Bean would be killed off yet another show.
If Wilford were to be imprisoned, keeping him awake would mean he could corrupt people with his forked tongue and political sway. He’s still an aspirational symbol to many, so there’s also a chance Layton might silence him by putting him to sleep in the Drawers — something Wilford’s group loved doing to others. Layton will have to tread lightly, though, as he needs unity and peace to keep his allies from turning on him just as the war seems to be won. After all, calling this episode “The First Blow” implies there might be a second.
See how Layton’s new regime fares in Season 3 of Snowpiercer, with new episodes airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT.
KEEP READING: Snowpiercer Revealed Wilford’s Sadistic Revenge Against Layton