Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels: Season 4, Episode 12 “Thirteen Steps” (B-)

This season has featured a few episodes that focused only on one character and drew out their death when it just wasn’t necessary and didn’t serve a more lasting purpose. I suppose that Elam dying led to Cullen realizing that he needed to quit the railroad, but it took Ruth getting hanged for him to actually do it, so I don’t see why both needed an entire episode each. Ruth’s determination to die was puzzling given just how easily she could have prevented it by accepting Governor Campbell’s pardon. Nothing good comes from it since now there will likely be unrest and possibly even violence in Cheyenne as a result of her execution, maybe from more than Mickey and his new enforcer. Ruth was a great character, to be sure, but I think she was at her most interesting when her father and brother were both still alive. Ezra was good for her too, though he’s also been forgotten now since we haven’t seen the Swede or Brigham Young anytime recently. With law enforcement and the church officially without leaders in Cheyenne, law and order is going to break down, and I’m not sure how things will turn out. This show recently got renewed for a final season which will be spread out over two years, so there’s obviously more ground to cover in this ever-changing town. Cullen and Durant have both changed so much over the years, and, along with Mickey and Psalms, they’re now the only characters from the beginning of the show left.

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