I guess the only other thing that I found odd was Grant's line at the end saying that Bohannon's killing days were behind him. Obviously, meant to seem ironic to us, having witnessed Bohannon's killing of the revenge-seeking brother the night before. But... why would Grant believe that? Doesn't he want Bohannon in charge partly because Bohannon *is* still a killer *and* a railroad man, and that's what's needed? There are still ways that Bohannon can kill, in a socially and legally accepted way, in the service of the railroad -- whether it's hunting down cattle rustlers (surprised that wasn't mentioned) or fighting Indians. Maybe Grant only meant, "glad your days of killing to avenge your family are behind you" (since at one point Bohannon includes Grant in the blame), which I suppose could be true. Killing the Prescott brother wasn't revenge; it was self-preservation. Bohannon may realize he's done bad things, but I'm not actually sure that he considers those revenge deaths "bad". I think he still considers them justice; to him, if not legally. Even if he does regret them to any extent, it only makes sense that he isn't so ready to repent that he's willing to die to atone for them. Really interesting, though, that the show decided to insert that killing into the "redemption" narrative for him.
Yeah, I'll admit -- the fact that there are only 4 episodes left leaves me a little nonplussed. In a lot of ways, this episode feels to me like the seasons's just really found its feet... but it's almost over, too. I really enjoyed the episode a lot. It had some great notes in it. But yeah, I was puzzled by a few things. I haven't actually gone to read the "Railroad run by Murderer" article (it's at the AMC site), so I don't know whether Ellison's expose also noted that he'd been pardoned for those murders... which kinda makes them not legally murders any more. (Yes. They were murders. We all know it. But if you're going to report on it...) If she only uncovered the murders, but not the pardon, what kind of reporter is she? Note: the Ida Greeley she's supposed to have made a pass at (the "unrequited" part suggests it wasn't welcome?) is undoubtedly supposed to be the daughter of Horace Greeley, the real, historical founder of the New York Tribune. So Ellison didn't just make a pass at a woman, she made a pass at the boss's daughter. I agree that was somewhat out of nowhere, though. However, I'm almost interested to look back at the previous scenes with Ellison and see if any hints were dropped. The main thing having me say "what?" was her confessing it to Durant at all. You'd like to think she would be smart enough to see how oily Durant is. I'd hardly want to give him that ammunition. It seemed like the only reason for her to tell him was that the writers could think of no other way for her to say it aloud, and let us, the audience, know. I'd have believed it more if Durant himself had dug it up from "other sources" and confronted her with it. So, the main thing I didn't get about hanging the Mormon boy was... hey, everyone who was there knows that the boy confessed. I'm not saying any of us believed him, nor that Bohannon believed him. But in the circumstances, the father identified him as the killer, the boy basically agreed that he did it, and refused several attempts by Bohannon to allow him to claim innocence. The lack of other witnesses didn't really matter, in terms of the law, if you have the confession. So I didn't get why everybody, including the incredibly annoying Major Phrenology, had suddenly decided that "Bohannon may have hanged an innocent man". It seemed clear in that episode that if the boy had claimed innocence and challenged his father's version of events, Bohannon would have done something different. (We can't be sure what. Possibly a trial.) With the boy's unwillingness to challenge the charge, what else was to be done? Furthermore, the Army major should have been challenged on the point. If he had believed he was witnessing a miscarriage of justice, he had a duty to stop the hanging and take the boy back to the fort for a trial. He had the men and the guns to back up such a move.
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