Hell on Wheels

Saturdays 10:00 PM on AMC
Hell on wheels

Hell on Wheels Review: Hunting for Harper

by at . Comments

Cullen Bohannon remained fiercely driven by his desires for revenge on Hell on Wheels this week, and the entertaining shoot out during the cold open was the perfect start to "Jamais Je Ne T'oublierai."

I'm so used to the stereotyped gunfight showdowns of Westerns - set against a dusty dry town - that the long range one here was rather refreshing. Plus, no single shot easily felled Harper, despite Bohannon's skilled use with a gun. To top it off, the poor horse received a mercy kill set against a drearily quiet open range.

But it's obvious that Bohannon's one track mind, while cool to watch, is bound to be a problem for him. When he's not hunting down his enemies, he's getting drunk in the bar and coming close to finding himself new problems.

Which begs the question: if Bohannon does manage to find and kill all parties connected to his wife's murder, what's next? Not merely show wise, but for Bohannon?

Cullen Bohannon Photograph

The preacher, who aside from being overly preachy and a tad bit annoying, did offer up a hint of his own dark side regarding the grizzly killings of slave owners. The way he told his story was in a drastically different and more personal tone that piqued my interest. Not only do I want to know more about that past, but there's recognition that there can be hope for Bohannon.

But that's what makes Bohannon an interesting character: he teeters back and forth along the hero line and his own sense of morality. On the one hand, he has no problem killing nor taking a bribe from the Swede (and wasn't it great that he demanded even more than offered?), but he gives that money away to prostitutes and even helped out the man who previously tried to kill him.

And it seems that Lily Bell could be the one thing that might be able to push him towards something more than his focused revenge. The quick look between the two (future romance maybe?) seemed to be enough to spur him toward actually filling his role as the foreman, something he's been declining for a while.

Either way, I'm loving the character.

As for Lily Bell, I'm growing to like her, especially her endeavors to potentially screw over Durant. She's clearly trying to find her place in the "man's world," but she's using her smarts and cleverness to make her name. Durant is so wrapped up in his money-making scheme that the mere thought of a woman upstaging him or causing him trouble doesn't even seem to cross his mind. I hope she and Bohannon team up and do some damage againstt Durant and the Swede.

Simply watching Lily walk around the grime and filth of the camp in her proper and clean dress was an odd sight. She seemed so out of place, but I have a feeling she'll be fitting in perfectly in no time. The clashing of different worlds, views and opinions is perfect for the setting and this show.

And Elam finally got lucky, even if it was in the dead of night and secret. His connection with Eva is set against the fact that both of them lie far down on the social status totem pole. Is it enough to spark a relationship or is just going to be sex between the two?

While the story may have slowed a little towards the end, (and the song playing over the montage of character clips seemed out of place), the characters are continuing to round themselves out. And, of course, there's plenty of action and gun drawing to excite every Western fan.

If you haven't been watching yet, it's time to stamp your ticket because Hell On Wheels is settling itself in as another of AMC's great dramas.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (36 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

Tags: ,
Avatar

why did culllen gave money to the prostitute

Avatar

I have to agree with Rodman. The show is about a railroad being built and yet there is nothing even remotely resembling railroad construction going on.

Avatar

Cullen Bohannon
gets up late as foreman of at least 3 crews of railroad workers
in episode 3.
Goes off to find Sergeant Harper.
Finds Lily Bell.
Stays gone 2 days.
Delivers Lily Bell back to the railhead.
Goes back out. Finds the wood cutter’s camp.
Rides out after Harper. Sits on his horse and shoots
until Harper shoots his horse out from under him.
Rides back to the railhead in a wagon.
Gets drunk. Gets up late. I have to stop here and mention that any man with
no more interest in a construction job than that would
not have had a job at the return of Lily Bell.
The all night drunk would have also got him fired. The writers have not concept of railroad construction.
It would take about 1800 crossties a day to make a mile
a day. They sure don't show it here. Swinging sledgehammers into mud is also more show
than real construction. It's all a mess with the inmates running the asylum.

Avatar

some history here,,, SHERMAN BURNED MERIDIAN MISSISSIPPI, 2 THE GROUND IN 1861, GREAT ,,,,SOME TRUTH 2 THIS STORY,,, THANK U CHRIS

Avatar

What was the Swede doing naked? Very odd even for an odd character like him. All and all, excellent ep and a good recap.

Avatar

Couldn't agree more. There is nothing stereotypical about these characters other than maybe their functions in the camp. I'd like to see the Swede with a more rounded-out character (not just pure evil), but the other characters are well on their way to hooking us into their storylines. Bravo to the writers who are presenting us with intelligent dialogue and to the actors for their crisp acting. This show has been a pleasant surprise.

× Close Ad