Wednesday, October 9, 2013

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

Hell on Wheels: Season 3, Episode 10 “Get Behind the Mule” (B+)

This finale isn’t quite as awesome and transformative as the two-hour season two capper, but that’s hardly to be expected. This short season has flown by, and while things were up in the air at the end of the blood-soaked destruction that occurred in last year’s finale, they’re even more all over the place now that Durant has regained control of the railroad, without much difficulty, as it turned out, and Cullen is trapped in a new life of Mormon marriage with the Swede as his overlord. Cullen always manages to escape certain death, but this time his fate isn’t as simple. It’s so interesting to see that his new bride actually cares for him and does her best to defend him despite having offered up damning evidence to her father. Ultimately, it did save him, and it doesn’t seem that the Mormons want to hear his very correct theories about the Swede’s true motives. Even if he does get out of his current situation, things can’t possibly go back to normal. Elam’s solitary battle with a bear was a brutal way for him to go out, and though things look very bad for him, I’d question whether killing him off, especially like that, was the best idea, considering that he’s one of the show’s strongest characters. Grant’s return was far less promising than his first appearance, and it looks like Durant has stepped back into a position of power. Psalms should be able to rally the workers to defy Durant, but I’m not sure how productive that will be. I think this show can continue to go great places, and while this season wasn’t as strong as season two, I look forward to the fourth season, which I hope AMC will commission based on its decent performance on Saturday nights.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Jennifer Ellison as Louise

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