Friday, October 12, 2012

AMC's Hell on Wheels - TV Review

I've stuck with this show for two years, and it really hit its stride the past few episodes.  Just when I thought it was reachings levels of greatness, it betrayed me.  Whatever artistry the show was beginning to achieve, the last fifteen minutes unravelled it for me.

The camp has been getting restless, and the Sioux have been that lingering threat in the background.  The Swede has been stirring them up, playing the White Spirit.  Mrs. Durant has entered the camp and upset the balance of power.  Mr. Durant knows his embezzling is going to come back to bite him.

The finale exploded the series wide open.  The Sioux rejected the Sede and left him on death's door.  Nearly every structure was burned to the ground.  After Mr. Tool killed himself, we knew that more death was to come, and no one was safe.

Well, we knew Bohannon was safe. he's the lead, right?  And then there's Lilly, the heart of the show.  They wouldn't put her through all that just to kill her, would they?  In the end, Lilly came back to her room to find the Swede waiting, and it reminded me of Anton Chigurh going after Llewellyn Moss's widow.  Lilly's gun was out of bullets and I kept waiting for someone to burst in and save her.  Bohannon?  Elam?  One of the Irish brothers?

But no one came.  The Swede strangled Lilly to death.  The heart of the show stopped beating.

So the playing field's been levelled.  We know Durant's in custody, so they could easily not return for Season 3, though I don't see why you just let Colm Meaney and Virginia Madsen walk.  Elam will presumably stay to be Bohannon's right-hand man, now that he's in charge of the railroad, and Elam's babymama is now a widow and free to stay by him and raise their child with him.  Either Irish brother could leave, or both.  The Swede might have survived his jump into the shallow river.  He's become a mystical force of evil.  I assume he's going to resruface in Season 3, and Bohannon's going to make sure his death is slow.

But Lilly won't be back.  I've been surprised by characters' deaths before, but this one just makes no sense to me.  They can really go any direction for Season 3 but I'm not as enthused as I might have been had their final kill been anyone else.

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