Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels (Mid-Season Finale)

Hell on Wheels: Season 5, Episode 7 “False Prophets” (B+)

For all intents and purposes, this is really the fifth season finale, and the show will return for its final seven episodes next year, which should technically constitute a sixth and final season. I won’t argue the semantics of that too much, but I will say that this hour was an enticing one and makes me excited for the premise of the final slate of episodes. That said, the ending moments of the episode firmly reframed things after Cullen had engineered it so that no one was happy and that it would be a race to the finish line between two different railroad companies each with separate goals from the Mormons rather than everyone heading for one terminus, regardless of the location. Grant does have a soft spot for Cullen that makes him listen to him over anyone else, and Cullen entertained attempts to bribe him from all parties involved only to suggest something wholly different from what any of them expected. Durant trying to paint Cullen as a mutual enemy and then attempting to enlist him to come back to his side was particularly interesting, but Cullen didn’t bite. Phineas making his move at an inconvenient time for Brigham seemed finite enough, but the prophet didn’t go down easy, and showing up to bloody his treacherous son who was clad in white was quite the image. The Swede going after Cullen’s family won’t end well for anyone and is sure to be an electric start for this show when it comes back. Eva made her move too, and even though she didn’t get support, it’s clear that she isn’t going to go down without a fight. I’m looking forward to seeing this show into the sunlight in summer 2016.

Season grade so far: B+
Season MVP: Anson Mount as Cullen

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