Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels: Season 4, Episode 3 “Chicken Hill” (B+)

I like when this show opens with Louise narrating her stories for the newspaper since it gives it a very historical feel, and also since Louise is one of this show’s best characters who has been tremendously underused this season. It was expected that Cullen’s transition back to life in Cheyenne would be a difficult one, though he’s certainly charging ahead more diplomatically and calmly than he might have at the start of the show. To his credit, Governor Campbell is playing a smart game trying to get to know Cullen and to understand who he is. Realizing that the methane gas was going to explode was a boon for the returning Southerner, but Campbell had already made his play to pay for Naomi’s food and ensure that the Bohannons are indebted to him in some way. Cullen and Psalms get along well enough, but I think it’s going to take a bit longer for Cullen dining with his African-American comrades to seem normal for any of them. It was nice to see Ezra run to hug Cullen and to see Ruth so relieved by his return, even if she wasn’t sure how she felt initially. Eva was far from happy to see him, blaming him for Elam’s departure and disappearance, and she’s carrying plenty of baggage at the moment. The way her face went from being so proud of herself to so devastated by being conned was incredible, and I’m glad to see that she’s trying to be proactive about her loss instead of continuing to wallow in self-pity.

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