Hell on Wheels: Season 2, Episode 7 “The White Spirit” (B+)
With the train safely away, Durant is completely out of the picture, which makes for interesting times in Hell on Wheels, as Lily attempts to reinstate the Swede and both Cullen and Elam contemplate their commitments to their work without the boss around. The Reverend’s memory was barely invoked, but Ruth summed up her father’s modus operandi succinctly: “He once wanted to be a Christian, but he really wanted to be a martyr.” Lily did an impressive job of holding her own against the angry workers worried about not getting paid if Durant dies, and summoning the Swede was a smart move. His newly shaved head suggests that he’s completely detached from the community, something that Cullen could tell right away and tried to use against him. Those two are never going to get along, and it was fascinating to hear the Swede do his best to get under Cullen’s skin by telling him that he really does like the killing before proclaiming that death was coming for all of them. Elam was rather bold and blunt with Toole about Eva’s pregnancy and his role in it, and it’s somewhat sweet, if unrealistic, for Elam to up and quit the railroad to build a house for him and Eva. Cullen giving him tips and telling him that the Sioux will come for them anyway was entertaining, and I love their dynamic. It’s about time that Cullen and Lily slept together, and what passion they had. It may or may not be a good thing to have the two most powerful people in this town sharing a bed.