Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels: Season 3, Episode 9 “Fathers and Sins” (B+)

After an unfortunate tangent into an unnecessary subplot in last week’s episode, this installment got right back on track in advance of next week’s season finale and delivered probably its most satisfying hour of the season. Cullen getting his men to work on Sunday in order to make the deadline was a rousing call to action, and it was clear just how much they respect him, even if they don’t like him, when Elam took the reins followed his capture and rallied the men to support him and make it to Cheyenne in time. It’s great to see Cullen and Elam’s untraditional friendship play itself out, best conveyed in moments like Cullen telling Elam that he never freed his slaves right before they got ready to take on the angry Mormons. Cullen, Elam, Durant, and Maggie made quite a team, each bringing something to the table. Using whiskey to divert attention and plan an escape was clever, but nothing beat Cullen walking out after Ezra got taken with no fear, shooting at the men who were trying to kill him like he meant it. While Cullen clearly won’t hang (though this show has killed off other main characters with no problem), next week’s finale is sure to be an involving one, especially since Cullen will likely come face-to-face with the Swede. I liked the inklings of romance between Cullen and Ruth in this episode, and she’s sure to be devastated about his current fate. Louise defending Eva to the hotel manager was nice, and I hope that she’ll stick around past the season finale, leading into this show’s fourth season, which I’d really like to see.

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