Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels: Season 4, Episode 9 “Two Trains” (B+)

This was an intense episode, one that returned to this show’s roots as a western. It’s interesting to see just how much things have transformed, with Cullen, Durant, and Mickey firmly on the same side, squaring off with Sydney. This was a very much a cat-and-mouse game, with Cullen and Sydney marching around each other in town to intimidate the other into thinking that he was ready for what would come next. It did seem too obvious that Mickey would get caught trying to buy all the guns in town, but alas that was just what Cullen and Mickey hoped since it permitted Mickey to smuggle the key into the jail so that all the prisoners could free themselves just in time to be rescued by Cullen on the train. This cleverly-titled episode choice a perfect setting for its most dramatic scenes, and there was something gratifying and triumphant about seeing Cullen on top of that train ready to stand his ground and free his men. That he elicited a “thank you” from Durant before he got back to his grumbling was quite a feat. The standoff was intense and there were many casualties on both sides, but Sydney, like the snake he is, managed to get away, meaning that he’ll haunt Cheyenne and the railroad for some time still to come. Campbell wasn’t subtle about his intentions with Louise, and she didn’t seem to mind his aggressive advances. This show has one more episode left next week before a month-long hiatus, and fortunately we’ll still have three full hours left in November before the show closes out its fourth year.

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