Blu-ray Review: Hell on Wheels – The Complete Second Season

Hell on Wheels: The Complete Second Season

I’ve been a big fan of Hell on Wheels since the beginning. It’s a refreshing twist on a genre that has been part of film and television since their respective inceptions. And while there are familiar conventions and archetypes that each Western-themed film or series includes, the folks at Hell on Wheels have taken the genre and made it a unique and exciting viewing experience.

The second season of Hell on Wheels jumps right into the thick of things and delivers a powerful one-two punch to get you back into the harsh realities of the time period. It’s no secret that the United States after the Civil War was still a hotbed of tensions between North and South, the whites and the recently freed slaves, and the settlers and Native Americans.

Danger, violence, and death were part of the American landscape at the time, and no one was immune to these realities as settlers headed West toward the promise of wealth and prosperity. The town of Hell on Wheels and its inhabitants are no strangers to these and other tragic events, and this second season is full of many violent surprises.

Colm Meany and Anson Mount

What really drew me into this season was the growing tension and momentum that drives the season to its big finale. As the railroad continues to be built, the characters face new interpersonal challenges, dilemmas, and choices that help make each episode that much more gripping, engaging, and exciting.

Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon is a powerful force and a man who is willing to do anything to reach the goal he needs to achieve, no matter what it is. Common’s Elam Ferguson becomes even more dimensional as a character this season with many strong-willed choices that make those around him realize he is not one to be messed with.


Each character delivers so much in this season in terms of story twists and personal development that there’s plenty to keep your attention and keep you surprised. There were several moments during this season where I truly did not see what was about to happen coming. It just goes to show that the writers on this series, much like the writers on Breaking Bad, go out of there way to avoid the obvious plot contrivances that even the average viewer could see coming a mile away.

Special features include:

Back with a Vengeance: The Making of Season 2

An in-depth look at what it took to create some of the season’s set pieces and locations.

Where Season 1 Left Off

A quick look back at the previous season gearing us up for what’s to come.

The Cast on Season 2

Brief interviews with Anson Mount (Bohannon), Common (Ferguson), Colm Meany (Durant), and Dominique McElligott (Lily Bell).

Set Tour with Anson Mount

A quick look around the town of Hell on Wheels and where the magic happens.

Ten “Inside the Episode” Featurettes

I love these things! Insightful commentary on each episode by the actors and creative team.

Dominique McElligott and Colm Meany

Hell on Wheels is an amazing series that continues to bring fresh ideas to the table in a genre that has been used again and again for over a century. I truly love this series and highly recommend it!

Hell on Wheels: The Complete Second Season is available NOW on DVD and Blu-ray!

Who is your favorite character in Hell on Wheels? Favorite episode? Leave a comment and let us know!

Also check out:

Blu-ray Review – Hell on Wheels: The Complete First Season

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