Thursday, July 28, 2016

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels (Series Finale)

Hell on Wheels: Season 5, Episode 14 “Done”

Now this is exactly what I was looking for in the series finale of this show. Durant and Huntington arguing about who gets to do what before the fateful photo was taken was only the introduction, with a barfight based on who was on which side, and then we got to the subject of what all these people do now that the railroad has been finished. Setting most of the episode in Washington was extremely effective since, in so many ways, it’s not where this show has taken place. Cullen looked very out of place with his white gloves on at the fancy dinner party, and then he managed to win over a crowd of soldiers even after the awkward truth about his Confederate past came out. Cullen being popular while Durant is poison in the town was a strange thing, and it was obvious that Cullen wasn’t suited for military life after operating on his own and reporting to only himself for so long. Refusing to incriminate Durant was an interesting choice, and while I thought he might hang himself to avoid a fruitless future, seeing him take the train back to San Francisco and set sail to find Mei was a far more fitting fate. Louise realized she was wrong to try to put Eva into a box in which she clearly couldn’t fit, and her acceptance of a certain satisfaction with her place was reassuring. Ending the episode with another tirade by Durant felt appropriate, since he would no doubt go on to deliver any number of similar speeches in the imagined future of this show. This season has been unexciting to say the least, but this finale wraps up a decent if not terribly memorable show in the best possible way.

Series finale: B+
Series grade: B
Season MVP: Anson Mount as Cullen
Season grade: B
Series MVP: Christopher Heyerdahl as the Swede
Best Season: Season 3
Best Episode: “Blood Moon Rising

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