Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels: Season 4, Episode 5 “Life’s a Mystery” (B)

This was a strange episode, one which shifted focus away from regularly scheduled events in Cheyenne to make way for an unexpected visitor. The opening scene felt like a highly stylized Western, and while this show has certainly made its testaments to the genre over the past few years, this one felt the oddest and most foreign. Sydney Snow really didn’t fit in in Cheyenne, and he did just about everything he could to try to make his presence felt, which was far from advisable. Not recognizing the racial landscape he had entered was his first mistake, and not reading Cullen’s relationship with his wife was almost as poor a choice. But taking his gunfight to the local store where he decided he had to kill the witness to his accidental murder of a kid was the point of no return. I’m not convinced he would have killed Naomi, but it’s still good that Cullen arrived when he did. Durant having Campbell’s house ripped from its roots with him inside was a masterful show, but it also made him the prime suspect in the murder of Jessup and the target for Heckard’s revenge. Being told that he was Irish scum was certainly a trigger, but Mickey’s murderous temper has gotten the best of him too much recently. Gregg Henry was an interesting choice to play Brigham Young, and it’s very intriguing to learn that he knows that the Swede isn’t who he claims to be but still finds him a useful ally for some apparent vendetta he has against the most popular man in Cheyenne: Thomas Durant.

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