Watch Hell on Wheels – The Lord’s Day Online S02E08

Hell on Wheels - The Lord's Day Online S02E08 Dependency was the name of the game in “The Lord’s Day” an episode short on action but big on changing up Hell’s dynamics. Beneath the surface of any community is a pecking order, and the return of Thomas Durant reminded everyone of the railroad baron’s rightful place at the top of the food chain, just when it seemed the whole symbiotic affair would devolve into selfish cannibalism. Durant’s homecoming did not mean business as usual, though, as he came back from Chicago joined by wife/seasoned ball-buster Hannah (Virginia Madsen—seriously, she defeated Candyman this one time). Having pledged a few episodes ago to beg her forgiveness, Durant’s newfound dependency on his wife (both in recovery and business matters) had a domino effect on everyone in town, examining the fleeting nature of “home” and leaving more than a few in the lurch.

For the previous two episodes, I’ve cut the vulnerable, doe-eyed Lily Bell a lot of slack. I thought perhaps the writers were doing something interesting, even unusual. But did I think that, or merely hope it? This week, I’m afraid I have to draw the line, and I know exactly where my patience ended. When Lily asked Durant to recall what they had meant to each other, my jaw just plain dropped. WHAT? Lily Bell, who sadly accepted a move to Thomas Durant’s bed as the price of her escape from England and from her late husband’s family? Lily Bell, who stabbed an Indian to death with his own arrow? That Lily Bell? Why is she whining and doe-eyed and lost without the tenderness of a good man, or barring that, a rich man?

Episode director Rod Lurie ratchets up the tension in anticipation of Durant’s return, and the ominous musical score suggests nothing less than an invading army is about to storm the camp. Once Durant arrives, his cane-assisted walk from the train to his office is treated as a Herculean struggle, and he stops midway to issue a barely veiled threat to the clearly scheming Sean McGinnes. The scene simultaneously depicts Durant as a weakened, possibly delirious victim and, as he implicitly suggests, a tiger about to devour anyone foolish enough to approach him. The show’s craftsmanship has progressed enough in the last couple weeks that this reads as ambiguous, rather than just muddled. As in previous episodes, Durant is never as fully villainous as he seems to think himself to be. But this time, the villainous side is still clearly on display.

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Watch Hell on Wheels – Purged Away With Blood Online S02E06

Purged Away With Blood

Hell on Wheels - Purged Away With Blood s02e06 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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Watch Hell on Wheels – The Railroad Job Online S02E05

The Railroad Job

Hell on Wheels - The Railroad Job Online S02E05 This episode of “Hell on Wheels” is full of action and a few surprises. At the beginning of this second season Cullen Bohannon was part of a robbery crew. Tonight his old crew is back with a plan to steal $50,000 from the railroad’s payroll.

For Durant, it’s his chance to create an even greater name for himself. Elam is trying to be considered an equal after the slavery of the past. Lily is attempting to continue her husband’s work, even if it will leave her with an uncertain future once the road is completed. But for Cullen Bohannan, his motivation for joining the railroad was revenge for the murder of his family, and he quickly changed to forget about that, instead deciding to solely do the bidding of Durant, while also sometimes working on the railroad.

As much as the episode is superficially about a bunch of Johnny Rebs looting the railroad’s payroll once again, the question comes up over and over: What would happen to everyone should Durant (Colm Meaney) die? The man who controls everything is, naturally, also the man nearly everyone despises – the disparity of wealth and comfort being only a portion of why Durant is looked upon with such disdain. Of course, since Durant’s ability to draw breath is directly related to the future and wellbeing of so many individuals; namely, the freedmen, Elam Ferguson (Common) and now, Lily Bell (Dominique McElligott) – not to mention the future of the railroad itself – it comes time to put the good Mr. Durant directly in harms’ way.

“The Railroad Job” has a decent premise at its center: Hawkins, the leader of the ex-Confederate bandits from the beginning of the season, decides to rob the camp’s payroll while all the workers are off building the bridge. While casing the camp just before the heist begins, one of the robbers doesn’t take kindly to Elam’s presence in the saloon, and Hawkins’ too-generous attempt to make peace with Elam tips him off that something bad is about to go down. While Durant sends for Bohannon to return to the camp, Elam arms the McGinnes brothers and a sick Psalms, but the heist has already begun.

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Watch Hell on Wheels – Timshel Online S01E09

Timshel

Hell on Wheels - Timshel‘Timshel’ starts off big, with Joseph Black Moon (Eddie Spears) finally forced to take the life of his violence-loving brother Pawnee Killer (Gerald Auger), and then explaining to Bohannan that in order for anyone to believe that the path of the railroad is safe, the southerner is going to have to take back some “proof.” Of course, Black Moon is referring to the scalps of the fallen Cheyenne, but Bohannan refuses, despite being told the market value for such evidence is running at $20 a piece.

Joseph and the Union soldier argue, the soldier accusing Joseph of keeping him from finding the Indian band – Joseph’s band. He asks Cullen if he is going with him to help him finish the fight, and Cullen declines. The soldier asks Elam, who tells him to go, if he’s going. Joseph tells Cullen that he has to bring back proof of their kills or no one will believe them. Cullen looks at the knife in Joseph’s hand and walks away, telling him they will have to take his word for it – he’s not bringing back proof.

Tom Noonan is giving a fantastic performance as Reverend Cole and even though I still think the change in character was sharply drastic and immediate, it’s turned into something oddly compelling. Who would have thought that a man of God would turn into an extreme danger and problem?

Cullen returns to find that Doc has hired Lily to do some survey work for him. So presumably she’s still living on her own and being Miss Independent. Just when it looks like Cullen and Lily might be getting a little cozy, Doc barges in and tells Cullen that Federal Marshals are on their way to arrest him for all those murders back east.

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