Hell on Wheels Review: Blast From the Past

at . Comments

For as much as Hell on Wheels has taken a new direction with Cullen Bohannon leading the railroad charge, this season feels like it's continued to utilize the singular episode problems while attempting to pepper in some exciting twists and something to propel the characters and story forward.

Except the outcomes, especially with "It Happened in Boston," leave much to be desired.

Sean and Mickey

Take the workers defecting to the Mormons in the episode, "Cholera," all because of the outbreak. Bohannon let them go - but surprise, surprise, he really needed their help on the railroad. How far behind schedule is he now?

Of course, Bohannon had to recruit Durant for help all in an effort to bring that same group of workers back. Shocker that Durant played the manipulative card in the endeavor.

And shocker that when all was said and done, despite fear from the Mormons shooting anyone, Bohannon strolled back into town with his workers. Bravo? More like boring.

Besides setting up the potential location of where the Swede is and allowing for some familial interaction between Bohannon and the boy, the whole ordeal felt like a shrug your shoulders moment.

It just wasn't that exciting.

And, unfortunately, Elam Ferguson was rendered drunk the entire hour after learning his baby was taken away. I'm not surprised by his reaction, but I'm sure by next episode, he'll be sobered back up and on to the next specific story of the episode.

Can the Eva and Ferguson relationship even work out? Maybe they need a little more communication.

At least Louise was able to pick up Eva, but I'm hoping that they don't try and force anything with those two. It's still hard trying to see Louise as beneficial or an intriguing character. She really pops in when it serves to move something along.

Now, the Boston cop checking out the McGinnes brothers and digging up their past started out interesting.

Sure, it felt ridiculous that he began asking questions about the recently deceased senator. I mean, he just died and all of a sudden some lawman is sniffing around?

Plus, with Sean McGinnes in a fragile state of being pushed out by his own brother and Durant, the secrets of Boston were bound to come out. But Mickey shooting Sean? C'mon.

I understand the self preservation, but to murder your own brother? I was more bummed than shocked at the death.

I think Mickey is an interesting character, and his past has been lying in wait for so long. It's just disappointing that's how the brothers ended things and essentially the answer to what happened in Boston.

And how perfect the cop was able to wrap up his investigation of the Boston murders and the senator after Sean confessed and then was killed. It's like tossing out a treat and then pulling it away right after.

But I hope that the show doesn't push Ruth and Bohannon together. I get she's been like his therapist recently and the two have been sharing a close "bond," but putting them together just doesn't feel right. Granted there aren't many love interest opportunities on this show with so few female characters.

I wanted to like this episode far more, but it just didn't have that power to keep the engine on a fast track to victory. It makes me nervous for the Hell on Wheels Season 3 conclusion, especially if after all this time, while the series has worked out a great way to continue Bohannon's cool and provide fantastic scenery, it may have ultimately gone nowhere, simply left spinning its wheels in the mud.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
  • 3.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

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


A weak episode, but these pop up in most tv shows when the finale is near. Just a case of moving pieces around the board before the end game. I was cheering Elam on when he threw Eva out, if only because it hopefully marks the end of their tedious "love" story. Lame that they had her immediately shack up with the show's token lesbian, yawn. I couldn't believe how anti-climatic the Mormon Fort visit was, and I'm not convinced for one second that Sean was the Boston killer. It's obviously Mickey and he's so depraved he's prepared to murder his brother in cold blood to cover his tracks. We should see more of Psalms, he's the best character on the show after Bohannon.


Lisa: wow excellent insight on Mickey. Regarding the Louise/Eva scene, it was mentioned in a previous episode that Louise was romantically entwined with the daughter of her newspaper's editor (Horace Greely) and that is the reason she was banished to HOW.


For those of you who don't know, Anson Mount is appearing on
Arsenio Hall on Friday, August 27.
I love this show and am loving how each of the characters are developing. I'm on pins and needles waiting for the encounter of the Swede and Bohannon and hope the Swede is put out of his misery. As for Ruth and Bohannon, other than a temporary salve to soothe what ails him, I don't see much of a future for those two as a couple.


I think that to put Bohannon with Ruth would be not good also. Since the only sort of interesting person is the reporter (forgot her name) put her with him or wait and put it on hold till next year !!!!!


I can't wait to see Bohannah and the Swede meet up :) But only if it's not on a cliffhanger.
I'd like to see that bad guy (swede) get his just deserts THIS season.


I'm thinking Mickey is the Boston killer and Sean was about to spill the (Boston) beans. No marks on Ruth's neck but, with Mickey's narrative assistance, the Boston detective wrapped things up and went back to Beantown to receive his promotion. Ruth and Bonhannan are helping each other in HOW - don't think there is anything romantic on the horizon for them. What was up with the morning after (?) scene with Louise and Eva?


I am a big fan of HOW, but just finished watching "leaving Boston" and thought it was a bit anticlimactic. I cringe to think of bohannan and Ruth together. I would opt for a woman with a bit more depth and not quoting scripture all the time. Let's see if next two weeks has more interest and not fizzle

Tags: ,