Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels: Season 2, Episode 5 “The Railroad Job” (B+)

Here we have this show’s strongest installment to date, which finds its characters considerably more scattered than usual at just the wrong time. Defending a town with no men and no guns is extremely tough, yet Elam managed it just long enough for Cullen to ride in and look like the hero. It’s a real shame that Elam has found himself on the outside of things considering how he realized what was going on before it even started and armed the right people to ensure that the robbery couldn’t be executed. Durant running in to try to save Lily before the robbery started was a rare selfless act, and he paid for it dearly with a bullet to the chest. Seeing him wake up as the doctor was pulling out the bullet was more horrifying than him dying would have been, and his fate doesn’t look good at this point. While Durant was out of commission, Cullen and Elam served justice by their own decree, arresting the lone survivor of the robbery and then killing him after Elam gave him a good cup of water spiked with spit. The staging of the photography of the dead men and dead prostitute was hardly polite, and it’s no wonder that Mickey got angry, though he really did play the role of the coward during the fight. Lily actually performed the most admirably, tending to Durant and then firing off the shot that allowed Cullen to walk forward and dramatically take down the lone remaining assailant. The Swede revealing to the newly-shaved Reverend Cole that he took all the guns is an interesting twist that’s sure to play itself out in the coming weeks as the Swede continues to find religion with his new best friend.

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