It was nice to see Lily’s words didn’t land on deaf ears. We know Bohannan’s done things he’s not proud of but we can respect (but not agree with) his reasons. So when he seeks out the preacher wanting to come into the light, it’s a shock when Reverend Cole tells him to “choose hate. It’s so much easier.” We knew Cole’s been in a bad way for a while now, but it’s still surprising to hear a man of God – or any man – give that kind of advice to another. We want Bohannan to ignore Cole’s words but he can’t. We know what those soldiers took from him and he’s got to make all of them pay.
While Bohannan’s obsessed with death, so many of our other favorites are busy with the business of living their lives.
Elam, making no apologies or excuses for looking out for himself first, takes Eva aside. He had talked to her about making her his and to Eva that means marriage. She’s been on the road too long and wants to settle down. But Elam admits he hasn’t thought that far ahead and Eva’s tired of being a tramp. She tells him she has no intention of being his private whore. She loves him, but she wants something more than he’s willing to offer.
While part of me wants to see something more bloom between Lily and Cullen, a large part of me really enjoys the dynamic between Lily and Thomas. I kind of love that Durant carries a flame for her and true to form, will do what he needs to do to get what he wants. We know he tried to run Bohannan out of town because he saw what has happening between him and Lily. Part of me has to (reluctantly) admire his determination. But more than that I love how Lily agrees to become the face of the railroad. She wants to see it through to the end and Durant is more than a little pleased.
I’ve been surprised and delighted by the evolving relationship between Joseph Black Moon and Ruth. At first, I wasn’t a fan of Ruth despite what she’d been through both at the hands of her father and in her journey to get to Hell on Wheels. I don’t appreciate religious fanatics, but as we’ve gotten to know her I’ve grown to like her. Maybe it’s because she sees something in Joseph that not many others see. Maybe it’s because she’s become less rigid since she came to town. Whatever it is, I like what’s developing between her and Joseph. I like it a lot.
And despite his unwavering determination to see Bohannan brought to “justice,” I like the Swede (who’s actually Norwegian). The more I get to know Gundersen the more I like him. That Durant no longer holds him in such high esteem (but still knows he’s got an ally of sorts in him) makes him more sympathetic in my eyes. I can understand why he’s liked by no one and even less popular with Bohannan but I just can’t make myself hate him. He’s a brutal man who’s done horrible things, but I feel like we’re seeing him in a new light. I’m glad the mob didn’t kill him because I want to see what he’ll do next. He’s the kind that tends to live no matter who wants him dead. Even Bohannan threatened to kill him, but Gundersen knew it was an empty threat.
For a moment I thought Bohannan’s moral mathematics wouldn’t let him kill Sergeant Harper. Maybe Elam’s words would come back to stop him. Or someone would interrupt. In fact, I think I was hoping so hard I convinced myself he’d take his hands away from Harper’s neck even as he choked the life out of him. We know Bohannan killed the wrong man and when he discovers it, he knows he has to leave. I loved him going to see Lily one last time. We know it’s not the end for them, but maybe a little distance and some absence will make the heart grow fonder. I hope and expect Durant to take advantage of his absence and I’m looking forward to seeing how Elam advances while he’s gone. Bohannan will turn up in Hell on Wheels again, it’s only a matter of time. I hope for sooner rather than later but I’m in either way.
Season 2 of Hell on Wheels returns later this year on AMC.
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