Hell on Wheels Review: Blast From the Past

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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
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Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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