Stars: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common, Dominique McElligott, Tom Noonan, Christopher Heyerdahl
Writer: Tony Gayton & Thomas Brady
Director: Joe Gayton
Network: AMC, airs Sunday nights
Original Telecast: September 16, 2012
HELL ON WHEELS is a tough show to watch sometimes. Not because of bad writing or anything negative, but because the subject matter is so visceral and harsh that it takes a bit to sit and watch it through to the terminus point. A perfect example of that for me is last episode when they were digging the bullet out of Durant (Colm Meaney). I’m weird. I can handle HELLRAISER and any kinds of really graphic horror based gore but have me watch something that is realistic and gory and I squirm. I’m not a huge fan of metal entering a human body in any size, way, shape or form; so the bullet removal really got me.
The end of “Purged Away with Blood” has the same effect on me. I’m not going to completely spoil the end of the episode, but what Bohannan (Anson Mount) has to go through is so awful, that it just makes my stomach ache a bit for him. I know this is just a TV show, but I get invested in the characters, and poor Bohannan has had a LOT of suffering heaped on him, and adding this to pile only makes it more sorrow for him to bear.
Now, speaking of the ending of this episode, let’s rewind and chat a bit about the treachery of the Swede, (Christopher Heyerdahl) who even though he was removed from power last season, he has found more sneaky and shifty ways to get even with everyone that he feels wronged him; and to make it even more absurd he does most of this revenge in the name of God.
In all actuality the Swede has done MORE damage since he fell from grace than he ever did when he was Durant’s strong arm in the camp. Plus he’s a lot more patient and devious with his schemes; laying out layer after layer of manipulations to make one event happen, and taking advantage of current and breaking crisis to his advantage. This episode sees the fruition of his schemes not only with Rev Cole (Tom Noonan) and his plight to “help” the Indians, but also his moves towards revenge on Bohannan.
I am sad to see the Rev leave the series. He’s been one of my favorites, simply because there is a lot to him, and he’s not even remotely one dimensional. The fact that he meets his demise in the manner he does is not so surprising, but it’s sad. Joseph (Eddie Spears) in handing the weapon to Bohannan gives him a look that speaks volumes of the Indians’ plight in the world of the white man. Always overlooked unless they are needed to clean up a white mess or deal with a white problem.
Bohannan will no doubt be gunning for the Swede past this point. He really has no choice. The Swede has cost him a dear friend that he grew up around, and he knows the Swede is the one stirring the pot in camp to make certain people kill each other; and if he didn’t before this episode he certainly does now. Sleep with one eye open Swede, your days in Hell are numbered!
Related: Exclusive Interview with HELL ON WHEELS star Christopher Heyerdahl
Related: TV Review: HELL ON WHEELS – Season 2 – “The White Spirit”
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”
Related: Exclusive Interview with HELL ON WHEELS actress Dominique McElligott
Related: Exclusive 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 – “Purged Away With Blood”