Purged Away With Blood
Cullen Bohannon had to take charge of a tricky hostage situation — and deal with a possibly greater danger facing an old friend — in “Purged Away with Blood,” Sunday’s episode of Hell on Wheels. If you missed all the action, here are the most important things you need to know before tuning in next Sunday.
This week the episode opens with the Swede and Reverend Cole riding with horses and a cart. Suddenly two Indians creep up from the grass and quietly come up behind them. One Indian shows the Swede some furs that he has and the two speak in the Indian’s language. Reverend Cole gets off his horse and they all go to the cart which is filled with stolen rifles. The reverend and The Swede hand them out to the Indians. They all seem happy. Not a good sign. Something is definitely up.
“Purged Away With Blood” focuses on the train carrying Durant to Chicago after last week’s shootout. On the way to get medical attention, part of the tracks is blown up by the Sioux and led by Reverend Cole. He and the Swede (or “The White Spirit,” as the Sioux call him) have given the Sioux a whole cart of guns to fight back against the Hell on Wheels crew ruining their land. Cole wants Durant to publish his insane manifesto, filled with his ramblings like “the crimes of the guilty land can only by purged away by blood,” or Cole will kill everyone on the train. Before now, Cole has been fun drunk, stumbling around the camp, preaching to those who will listen. Now, he’s a deranged shell of who he used to be, ready to kill because he believes that’s what God wants him to do.
The reunion of the family Cole is wobbly, too. Ruth (Kasha Kropinski) is still a cipher to me; I can’t get a handle on her character. Is she capricious or is it just off-handed writing because there’s been no real care taken with defining who Ruth is as a character? Her sudden emotional bonding with her father is a sentimental moment that doesn’t ring true for me. Joseph (Eddie Spears) fares better and plays truer to character, but then the writers are clearer on who he is than they are on Ruth.
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