Christopher Heyerdahl is the Swede in HELL ON WHEELS - Season 2 finale  - "Blood Moon Rising" | ©2012 AMC/Chris Large

Christopher Heyerdahl is the Swede in HELL ON WHEELS - Season 2 finale - "Blood Moon Rising" | ©2012 AMC/Chris Large

Stars: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common, Dominique McElligott, Tom Noonan, Christopher Heyerdahl
Writer:  Part 1- Mark Richard & Jamie O’Brien, Part 2- John Shiban  
Director: Part 1- Terry McDonough,, Part 2-John Shiban        
Network: AMC, airs Sunday nights
Original Telecast: October 7, 2012

There are game changers and then there are season finales that level the playing field. HELL ON WHEELS in its two-hour finale of “Blood Moon” and “Blood Moon Rising” is establishing that no one on this series is safe except perhaps Bohannan (Anson Mount), since the series is from his perspective for the most part. Besides him, anyone can die, and the stakes can change overnight for the citizens of the town struggling to build the railroad west.

I’ve thought this whole season that Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl) and his many plans and machinations, since being deposed from power at the end of season one, would cause all kinds of problems and ramifications for the other characters on the show. Boy Howdy. I had NO idea that his shiftiness was going to lead to the virtual destruction of the town and the death of one of my favorite characters. Bohannan should’ve put a bullet in him when he had the chance. I’m sure now the character is going to be ingrained with an even deeper sense of loss and regret, and I wonder if this will make Bohannan a less likeable man next season?

So the town burns. Pretty much every wood structure is lost and everything that has been built over the last couple of seasons is ashes. The good news is the bridge is still standing so the railroad can continue forward. Sadly, Lily (Dominique McElligott) will not be there to head up the construction as she had hoped, since the Swede decided to kill her to hurt Bohannan one last time. Since Lily sent documents proving that Durant (Colm Meaney) was faking his mileage on the railroad construction; he’s under arrest and board has turned to Bohannan to take over.

That’s a hell of a journey for Bohannan to have made in two seasons of this show. He came to hell on wheels looking for revenge against the men that had killed and violated his wife, at the end of last season he ran off after killing an innocent man, then at the start of this season he was an outlaw robbing trains. So to have him in charge of everything starting out next season, that’ll be a really interesting leap to see the character make. Maybe this means he’ll start washing his hair a bit more regularly.

Is the Swede dead? That’s a difficult question. He escaped being hung from the bridge by Bohannan, but he also took a header into a very shallow creek, and the shot of him floating along did not look like he was alive and well. Of course, it’s TV so you never know. He might return to devil the town again further down the line.

Elam (Common) and Eva (Robin McLeavy) survive the destruction of the town and the burning of his newly built cabin by the river, and now Elam is going to have the job Bohannan had this season of being the boss’ right hand man. Now it remains to be seen whether or not the baby is his or the recently deceased Mr. Toole’s (Duncan Ollerenshaw). When Mr. Toole decided to end it all I was somewhat surprised, but I guess taking a bullet to the head the second time did the trick and now he’s removed himself from one of the messed up love triangles on the show.

Sean (Ben Esler) and Mickey (Phil Burke) McGinnes are both still around, but since the town burned who knows what they have left going for them. Sean is still dangerously obsessed with Ruth (Kasha Kropinski), and I feel like he might kill or rape her if she doesn’t consent to being his wife soon.

So LOTS of changes, lots of folks to bid farewell to, some new opportunities for some characters, and an entire town to rebuild; there’s plenty to wonder about between now and the next season of HELL ON WHEELS so we’ll just have to wait and see what comes next!

Related: Exclusive Interview with HELL ON WHEELS star Christopher Heyerdahl

Related: Exclusive Interview with HELL ON WHEELS producer John Shiban

Related: TV Review: HELL ON WHEELS – Season 2 – “The White Spirit”

Related: TV Review: HELL ON WHEELS – Season 2 – “Purged Away With Blood”

Related: TV Review: HELL ON WHEELS – Season 2 – “The Railroad Job”

Related: TV Review: HELL ON WHEELS – Season 2 – “Scabs”
Related: TV Review: HELL ON WHEELS – Season 2 – “Slaughterhouse”

Related: TV Review: HELL ON WHEELS – Season 2  – “Durant, Nebraska”

Related: TV Review: HELL ON WHEELS – Season 2 Premiere – “Viva La Mexico”

RelatedExclusive Interview with HELL ON WHEELS  actress Dominique McElligott
RelatedExclusive Interview with HELL ON WHEELS co-creator Joe Gayton
Related: Exclusive Interview with HELL ON WHEELS star Colm Meaney

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Article: TV Review: HELL ON WHEELS – Season 2 finale – “Blood Moon”/”Blood Moon Rising”

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Comments:

  1. We have loved watching the series so much. Bohannan is especially realistic.

    Karen Rhodes
  2. My husband and I love the series because it is so believable and addictive.

    Karen Rhodes
  3. I really did not like the fact that Lilly died, but can understand the plot point. She was one of my favorites, but the cast is all incredible so I miss any of them. Eva is still alive so good news. I love Elam and of course, Cullen. So, this incredible show will continue!!! Oh, and The Swede, kind of a mystical character any way so since he is so evil, no doubt he survived. Bastard. He is awesome though.

    Diane Jepperson
  4. Lily isn’t dead. At least if AMC knows what’s good for them and this show…

    There’s wayyyyyyyyyy to many holes and just plain odd things that don’t add up and even some clues by the writers in the finale that would insinuate she did not die.

    stan
    • I truly hope your right and Lily isn’t dead she is one of the most interesting characters on the show!!

      Mary
  5. I was shocked by the season finale! Lily was one of my favorite characters as well… so many characters that grew on me are gone. Love the show! Can’t wait for season 3…

    Lanett
  6. Love this show, its intricacies, its depth of character development and nuances. Looking very much forward to Season 3 and can’t wait to see what awaits Cullen, Elam and Eva.

    Anne
  7. Love this show. Best ever in all ways. Anson and all actors do a great job. Filming is outstanding, story line the best.

    Sue
  8. Really love the show and was looking forward to a couples war between the Durants and Cullen/Lilly. If Lily is gone however, so is my interest in the show.

    Max
    • Couldn’t agree more … With Lily gone so am I as a viewer, Very dumb writing ,, Writers need to find another career, they sure blew this series..

      Matthew Hetman
  9. I started watching this show midway into season 2 the only reason I watched was the sizzling chemistry of Cullen/Lily if Lily is truly dead my interest in the show will also be dead.

    Mary
    • I don’t think Lily is dead–Can’t wait for Season 3. What a great show. Season 3 will only get better and better–This show sure grabs your heart.

      Sue
  10. My wife and I truly hope Lily is not dead but she looked pretty dead after being choked. Can she somehow be resurrected?

    Bob

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