Saturday, August 18, 2012

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels (Season Premiere)

Hell on Wheels: Season 2, Episode 1 “Viva La Mexico” (B+)

It’s hard to find another series that feels quite like this one, so moody and slow-paced in its period setting. Starting with a train robbery was a fantastic dark introduction, and Cullen seems like he’s living life on the edge without many friends these days. I wouldn’t want to be the conductor of the payroll train when it kept coming into town, and it’s no surprise that a scrambling Durant would hire someone to guard the train. Elam and Cullen have had their share of differences in the past, and Cullen’s attempt to save Elam’s life wasn’t met with much gratitude. It sure looks like Cullen is about to be shot by a firing squad, and I’m eager to see how he weasels his way out of this mess. After being tarred and feathered in the season one finale, the Swede is having a tough time working his way back up in the world, but it appears that his efficiency and no-nonsense attitude is missed by some. The murder of a prostitute is a bad omen, with only Lily to defend her honor after death and insist on a proper burial. There’s more lawlessness than ever before in Hell on Wheels, and the situation just seems to be deteriorating. Reverend Cole is not doing well, and his daughter Ruth is now fending for herself while others are taking advantage of the lack of a coherent power structure in town. I’m sure that, somehow or another, Cullen will be back soon, and hopefully his arrival will help things return to normal.

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