Stars: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common, Dominique McElligott, Tom Noonan, Christopher Heyerdahl
Writer: Jami O’Brien & Bruce Marshall Romans
Director: David Von Ancken
Network: AMC, airs Sunday nights
Original Telecast: September 23, 2012
Last week I ranted about the shiftiness of the Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl) and his many plans and machinations for the people of HELL ON WHEELS. This time in “The White Spirit” he goes even further over the line, and I shudder to think what ramifications there are for all of his actions in this episode. Of course this episode does make a few things clear for me personally. At the HELL ON WHEELS launch party for season two, Heyerdahl was bald as a billiard ball, and I wondered if that was normal and if he wore a hair piece for the show. Now I know that this episode must have been shot or shooting around the time of the launch, since the Swede shaves his head at the start of it.
The Swede is still convinced that he needs to lead the Indians to continue to attack the whites infringing on their lands, but Lord only knows what he was up to dressed as the White Spirit when he entered the medicine lodge. All we can bet is that there will be a big bloody finale this season as everything collides.
In other news, the list of the dead officially includes the funeral for one crazy on and off the wagon preacher known to many as Rev Cole (Tom Noonan). Stabbed in the gut by his adopted son, Cole went to his ‘reward’ after taking Durant’s (Colm Meaney) train hostage last episode and killing a lot of people. Will he be as fondly remembered as the whore from a few episodes back, or just relegated to the back of beyond? Time will tell, but the make-up department did an amazing job on Noonan for the shots of him lying in his plain pine box. Oh yeah, and Durant is NOT dead. He’ll be back next episode with his Missus to cause all kinds of trouble for the town.
Bohannan (Anson Mount) and Lily (Dominique McElligott) finally hook up. There is love in the Swede’s old train car in this episode. We’ve been waiting forever for this to happen. That fact that she bounced out of Old Man Durant’s bed to get to Bohannan’s makes no nevermind. The one big problem I have with the whole love scene is his hair. WASH IT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! He needs to stop dunking his head in horse troughs and give his hair an honest scrub down with soap, and throw in some animal fat to condition it.
Elam (Common) decides to drink his weight in whiskey to get bar at the bar owner who kicked him out. He is accompanied by Psalms (Dohn Norwood) who I am pleased to see alive and upright. After all of the blood he’s been coughing up, I was worried they were going to kill him off. Elam also quits the railroad to build a house, and I can’t help but think the baby he thinks in his might just turn out to be white. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth?
Last but not least let’s chat about the evil that men do. Sean (Ben Esler) and Mickey (Phil Burke) McGinnes were such nice fine innocent Irish lads when season one of this show started. They hated the Swede for strong arming them and everyone else in camp to extort money, and still believed in making an honest buck. One dead German butcher fed to pigs later, and the two brothers are extorting the bar owner to make him sell to them. They have literally become what they hated most at the start of this journey. Hell on Wheels corrupts all in some way that comes there. No one gets out alive.
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 – “The White Spirit”