‘Hell on Wheels’ Keeps Getting Better – TV Review

With such a strong and talented cast and solid storylines, it’s no wonder Hell on Wheels has been renewed for a second season. The series continues to deliver more exciting and intense moments with every episode, and the characters never fail to show their true colors and do what ever it takes to survive in the harsh environment they dwell in. And it has a kick-ass theme song!

Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount) is the ideal anti-hero to lead this band of railroad workers to their goal of constructing the Union Pacific railroad, while at the same time his ultimate goal of avenging his wife’s death is never far from the surface. It’s Mount’s understated performance that gives Bohannan much more depth and interest than if he were a man who wore his emotions out in the open. He reminds me of Clint Eastwood in a number of his classic Western performances.

I’m also starting to really enjoy Common’s performance as Elam who has definitely developed as a strong and instrumental character over the course of the season. The events that have transpired between Elam and Bohannan as well as Elam and Eva (Robin McLeavy) have shown his strength and his humanity. I look forward to seeing what they have in store for him in future episodes.

Durant (Colm Meany) continues to be the poster child for pomposity, but it’s clear that the Hell on Wheels universe is starting to wear on his attempts to be proper. His eyes for Lily (Dominique McElligott), and his seeming contempt but acceptance of the shady goings-on in town make me wonder if it’s only a matter of time before we see Durant snap and lash out with more than just words.

As for The Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl), you just know that sooner or later this guys is going to get what’s coming to him. His sleazy tactics and his thuggish ways will eventually lead to his cumuppance. And it will be a sweet day when it does happen!

Hell on Wheels is a classic Western that literally pulls no punches. The West was a violent, gory, and deadly place to inhabit and the series doesn’t hold back on how rough and horrible it could be at times to be a part of this world. It’s one of the many things that make Hell on Wheels so enjoyable.

Another is their attention to detail and their pursuit in making the series historically accurate while not damaging the structural integrity of the storyline set in place. I think they’ve done a great job balancing all the elements and creating a superb and realistic Western.

The final two episodes leading to the explosive season finale continue to build the tension and suspense, while leaving plenty of loose ends ripe for discussion. It’s no wonder Hell on Wheels has been brought back for a second season. It’s solid stories, dimensional characters, and return to the classic Western genre all culminate in what is without a doubt another fantastic AMC series.

Catch the latest episode of Hell on Wheels Sundays at 10/9c only on AMC!

Who’s your favorite character on Hell on Wheels? Leave a comment and let us know!

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