Hell on Wheels Season 5 Episode 13 Review: Railroad Men

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It's finally done.

After almost five complete seasons of Hell on Wheels, the railroad has been finished.

Took them long enough, right?

The Race To The Finish - Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels Season 5 Episode 13 focused mostly on that last stretch of the race between the two sides, and it was entertaining to get to see how it all concluded.

Of course, Cullen reuniting with past friends and co-workers was a highlight. And it was interesting to see how his relationships with the various characters lasted even after he decided to work for the Central Pacific Railroad.

There was a certain badass feeling when Cullen and Mickey teamed up to go find the “Pirate.” The two have come a long way since that day they met on the train on Hell on Wheels Season 1 Episode 1.

The detour to re-recruit their workers felt like the episode was trying to throw one more wrench into the plan of getting the railroad done, but it was wrapped up rather quickly (again, look at Cullen’s relationship with others).

Granted the whole “Pirate” mystery might have played out as a bigger surprise if Jim was fired from his job during Hell on Wheels Season 4. His return would have had a greater impact if we hadn't just seen him a few episodes ago.

His rise to his new position and reputation felt rushed.

The Psalms reunion was a nice callback to when Pslams got Cullen a job, and it was influential in him helping out Cullen instead of Durant to finish the railroad at the end.

It felt a little cheesy that they switched sides at the last minute, but it also was good to see Cullen, the hero of the show, get to be the one that would lead his crew to victory.

You never bet against Cullen Bohannon.

It was funny, though, how Durant bumping into Cullen at the party led to his insistence that he beat Cullen. And what a great smirk and laugh as Cullen basically ignored Durant.

Sure, Durant wound up getting his victory after his dirty play against Collis. No surprise there, but we do know that in the future, Collis gets the last laugh.

But it was the character focus on Cullen that really stood out. There was such a loneliness that surrounded him while he sat eating his breakfast or preparing to get back to work.

Sure, he finished what he started, but at what cost?

I believed he was proud of getting that job done, but so much loss has come in getting there.

It was a rather tragic ending seeing him break down on the floor (and I almost thought he was dying at one point) instead of being happy for what he had done.

Think of everything he's gone through just to get there. Losing his wife and child. Losing Lily Bell. Giving up Naomi and his son. Nearly dying in his battle with the Swede. Having to kill countless times. Even losing Mei.

It was certainly satisfying seeing Cullen get to be the one completing the railroad, but there’s definitely been quite a toll to get to that point.

And in that respect, it makes me glad that the completion of the railroad wasn't in the last episode of the series. Instead, we hopefully should get a chance to see what Cullen will do now that the railroad is no more.

One last stop for Hell on Wheels, and then it’s the end of the line.

Can Cullen find purpose now that the railroad is done? Will he go after Mei? Sound off below, and be sure to watch Hell on Wheels online before the finale!

Railroad Men Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (8 Votes)

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

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