Nov 232014
 
Hell on Wheels episode 4.13: Cullen arrives at the Central Pacific

Photo Credit: Chris Large/AMC

The Hell on Wheels season 4 finale, Further West, did what it needed to do to establish Season 5. In many ways, it was a lovely and emotionally satisfying episode, while in others, it was a little flat. Oddly, it played like the finale of a show whose fate was unknown. In such a case (Are we cancelled? Are we coming back?), a show’s producers are justified in tying off loose ends and letting the audience know exactly where each of the major characters leaves off. But even before Hell on Wheelsrenewal was announced, it was a ratings hit and in no danger. So, the decision to tie off loose ends was based more in narrative than practical necessity. Continue reading »

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Hell on Wheels 4.12: Thirteen Steps

 Posted by on November 16, 2014 at 11:33 am  Hell on Wheels  3 Responses »
Nov 162014
 
Hell on Wheels: Thirteen Steps - Ruth is sworn in by Cullen

Photo Credit: Chris Large/AMC

Hell on Wheels episode 4.12, Thirteen Steps, gave us a stunning, staggering hour of television. As an experience, as a single, standalone hour, it was close to perfect. And yet, it leaves me with roiling questions about this series and its directions, especially after the announcement that next season will be its last.

There’s two conversations to have about Thirteen Steps: First, about the episode itself, and second, the meta-conversation about what was being done, about the intention behind creating this episode of Hell on Wheels. Continue reading »

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Hell on Wheels: Anson Mount

Hell on Wheels: Anson Mount

Nov 12, 2014

So, on re-watching the Hell on Wheels episode Bleeding Kansas, I was struck by how damn good Anson Mount is. I rarely mention it, perhaps because my recaps are more involved in what’s going on with the show and characters, and I don’t talk about acting much at all. But Mount is worth mentioning because […]

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Hell on Wheels 4.11: Bleeding Kansas

Hell on Wheels 4.11: Bleeding Kansas

Nov 9, 2014

The most violent, the bloodiest, the most vulgar episode of Hell on Wheels yet, Bleeding Kansas was also one of its best. Episode 4.11 moved at breakneck speed, so that when “Next On…” appeared on my screen, I was surprised.

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Hell on Wheels: Black Dog

Hell on Wheels: Black Dog

Nov 4, 2014

Everyone ready for the return of Hell on Wheels this weekend? Here’s some interesting trivia. In a recent episode, Durant referred to depression as “the black dog.” I thought immediately it was an anachronism, since most people associate the phrase with Winston Churchill. However, a little research turned up some fascinating stuff. It turns out […]

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Hell on Wheels 4.10: Return to Hell

Hell on Wheels 4.10: Return to Hell

Oct 5, 2014

On the list of things I imagined I’d see on this week’s Hell on Wheels: Return to Hell, a dark meditation on grief did not appear. Yet, grief is a subject of Westerns nearly as often as heroism. The West is a harsh place where life is short, and the bereaved make up much of […]

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Hell on Wheels Schedule for the Remainder of Season 4

Sep 29, 2014

Hello Basketcases! After much discussion in comments, I have gotten verified and official information from AMC: This is, indeed, Hell on Wheels’ first 13 episode season. The schedule is… Episode 4.10: October 4 Episode 4.11: November 8 Episode 4.12: November 15 Episode 4.13 (Season Finale): November 22

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Hell on Wheels 4.09: Two Trains

Hell on Wheels 4.09: Two Trains

Sep 28, 2014

The theme of this week’s Hell on Wheels, Two Trains, is alliances. Even the title, ostensibly about the final battle between Cullen Bohannon and Sydney Snow, suggest two different conveyances to an ultimate goal, and choosing how to get there.

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Hell on Wheels 4.08: Under Color of Law

Hell on Wheels 4.08: Under Color of Law

Sep 24, 2014

This week’s epiosde of Hell on Wheels: Under Color of Law, got us back on track. While not a brilliant episode of television, it was very good and I’m feeling it. Under Color of Law did a lot of things: For one, it looked in on every major character that the show has (and several […]

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Hell on Wheels 4.07: Elam Ferguson

Hell on Wheels 4.07: Elam Ferguson

Sep 14, 2014

There’s a part of me that just wants to say, “What was that?” Hell on Wheels episode 4.07, Elam Ferguson, focused on Elam, but not really. It was much more about the people affected by Elam; people he did not recognize. Elam did not understand that Cullen, Eva, and Psalms all loved him and wished […]

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Hell on Wheels 4.06: Bear Man

Hell on Wheels 4.06: Bear Man

Sep 7, 2014

Hell on Wheels Episode 4.06, Bear Man, screamed “tonight on a very special Hell on Wheels.” Sorry. There was good stuff in the episode, and we can discuss, but a lot of it was…perplexing.

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Hell on Wheels 4.05: Life's a Mystery

Hell on Wheels 4.05: Life’s a Mystery

Sep 1, 2014

Hell on Wheels Episode 4.05, Life’s a Mystery, is the first episode in quite some time that endeavors to be more than an episode of a good television show. Which is to say, the show has broad themes: About the American Dream, about transcending the past, about being an outsider; but it doesn’t often do […]

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Hell on Wheels 4.04: Reckoning

Hell on Wheels 4.04: Reckoning

Aug 24, 2014

So. That happened. Hell on Wheels Episode 4.04, Reckoning, was about what happened. It was a plot-builder, laying down groundwork for future episodes. None of the character work we saw (and we saw some good stuff) was meant to stand on its own; all of it was there to lead us to future episodes. This […]

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