Monday, July 18, 2016

What I’m Watching: Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels: Season 5, Episode 11 “Gambit” (B-)

I was pretty sure that there were still three episodes to go after this one, and that made the flash-forward to 1885 at the start of this hour come as a bit of a surprise. Some series do tend to jump ahead once they’re closing in on their finales, but it seemed a bit premature. Weirder still is that this hour didn’t feature Cullen at all, and Anson Mount’s name didn’t even appear in the credits (like a few weeks ago when only Mount and Heyerdahl were cited since they were the ones with screentime). Instead, we got a spotlight on Durant, a man so despicable that no one even wanted to pay his ransom. After Louise figured out that Durant must have staged his own kidnapping, Maggie sold her hotel and came out alone to pay the ransom, and paid for that trusting mistake with her life. Mickey could have shot Shea a lot earlier and saved a few lives, and seeing him come back crying to Eva about killing his cousin and killing his brother made the unsympathetic Irishman seem pathetic rather than at all endearing. I liked Maggie, I like Louise, and I’m fond of Eva, but the men on this show, aside from Cullen himself, are pretty worthless as people. Without Maggie to keep him honest, Durant is sure to go right back to his scheming ways, and it seems like he gets there in a sense, but he’s going to pretty lonely along the way.

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