Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels: Season 5, Episode 4 “Struck” (B+)

This show has really evolved over the course of its run, and it’s now handling many concepts of race, religion, and multicultural America every episode. Chang organizing the Chinese workers to stop working until he saw justice done led to an intriguing stalemate, one that found Cullen trying to help but also pointing out to him that his demands weren’t realistic and that he was more than prepared to starve them out to make sure that they went back to work as soon as possible. We got to see a handful of characters we haven’t seen in a while over the course of this hour, which was a nice treat, though they’re really not doing too well at the moment. Eva is beyond frustrated with the state of the brothel, and Mickey isn’t taking much of an active role other than to step in after things cooled down. Durant was smart to see potential in Shay as a foreman, and he whipped them into shape as soon as he started his job. Mary certainly made an impression, and I enjoyed both her knockout punch that sent Shay to the floor and her conversation with smooth talker Psalms. Louise’s eagerness to get a quote in and her readiness to trade her hair clip showed just how starved for information she is. The Swede helping Phineas become a great orator is interesting, and he truly has a way with words that obviously doesn’t translate to the page.

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