The Swede is one clever schemer and manipulator, no matter if he’s working for Thomas Durant or wrapped up in his belief that he is the true prophet.
Hell on Wheels Season 5 Episode 3 revealed “Brother Thor” slowly at work on some master plan that includes Chang, rice, Brigham Young’s son, and most undoubtedly him rising to a more powerful position.
Cullen may have a lot on his plate, but he better watch his back.
I love that the Swede is keeping things below the radar, even if he can’t help but seem to enjoy running into Cullen every so often. Though just watching him make a deal with Chang or plant certain thoughts into Phineas’ head made it clear he has a far larger agenda than just following Brigham Young’s orders.
I’m just wondering if and when Phineas will wind up dead at the Swede’s hands. I wouldn’t put it past him, that’s for sure.
So while it was great to see the series’ ultimate villain at work in the background, the core focus of the hour centered on Cullen’s work on the railroad and some disgruntled workers upset with the Chinese.
It’s sad, but not surprising, to see the racism on the railroad. We saw it before back when Cullen was working in Hell on Wheels, and here it was again in the new location.
But it’s crazy to think that the workers could get away with murder and nearly killing Chang (who did manage to beat up most of the angry workers before one of them pulled a gun) all because of the law and the unlikely result for justice with a trial.
Chang certainly got lucky that Cullen and Tao are good people, especially after being an adversary to them earlier, to help save him. Cullen even attempted to get Chang a trial, knowing it was going to be an uphill battle because of Chang’s race.
Can you believe that California law back in the day included preventing the Chinese from testifying against white people?
Even hearing Chang discuss coming over to America and being herded around like cattle to then show up at the railroad and work for barely anything further captured the divide based on race.
I’m sure Chang won’t let the end result go, not getting the justice he wanted or deserved.
As much as Cullen’s side is the railroad, not the white man side or the Chinese side, he still has to traverse that reality, but he seems to be doing the best job that he can on all fronts.
Plus, I’m glad he allowed Mei to get back to work. We got that great cold open that really captured the backstory of her leaving China and coming to the United States without really any dialogue, and then later we, and Cullen, got a follow-up about the danger she was in.
Turns out, she’s wanted as a bride for one of the rebel leaders. I’m sure her secret will be revealed soon enough, but for now, I’m glad that Cullen is willing to help her, and I’m looking forward to seeing more from these two’s growing relationship.
There’s been a lot for Cullen to handle on his new railroad job, and I’ve got a feeling there’s going to be plenty more hurdles coming up. Full steam ahead.
What will Chang’s next move be? Who will find out Mei’s secret? Sound off below, and catch Cullen’s railroad journey when you watch Hell on Wheels online now.
NOTE: Hell on Wheels Season 5 Episode 4, “Struck,” airs Aug. 8 at 9 p.m.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.