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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hell on Wheels Season 4 Finale: The Buffalo

The best scene in the generally excellent season 4 finale of Hell on Wheels tonight was probably Cullen and the buffalo early on in the story.   The poor buffalo has come upon the railroad track, bisecting its grazing land, and the buffalo is frozen, unable to make sense out of, and unable to cross and break through, that railroad track to the lush pasture on the other side.

And that's Cullen's predicament, isn't it?   He leaves Durant and the Union Pacific, determined to find his wife and son and have a life with them.  But, as the episode concludes, events have conspired to put Cullen back on the railroad, working now for Durant's competitor, from the other side, as a great version of Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" - with the Band - plays significantly to roll out the season.

As for what happened in between this superb beginning and ending of the season finale, we'll that's a mixed bag.  It was good to see Mickey and Eva in partnership and leaving the town, and Louise standing up to Campbell and freedom of the press was welcome, too.

But ... Campbell and Durant thrashing in the mud was ridiculous and went on far too long.  And why the Swede has been given a lease into  the next and final season is beyond me.   That season would be far better off with Elam or Ruth alive, and the psycho Swede ("I'm Norwegian") gone for good.

Still, the set up of Cullen working on the railroad, but working for Durant's competition is a good one, and promises lots of tense and deadly scenes next year.   You know what?  I'm also unhappy that the next season will be the last one for this series.   Hell on Wheels has single-handedly brought back to the Western as a powerful television genre in the second decade of the 21st century, and I'd like to see a lot more.

See also Hell on Wheels 4.1-2: Rolling Again ... Hell on Wheels 4.5: New Blood ... Hell on Wheels 4.6: Bear and Sanity ... Hell on Wheels 4.7: Why? ... Hell on Wheels 4.8: Aftermath and Rebound ... Hell on Wheels 4.9: High Noon ... Hell on Wheels 4.10: A Tale of Two Sicko Killers ... Hell on Wheels 4.11: The Redemption of Ruth ... Hell on Wheels 4.12: Infuriating and Worthwhile

And see also Hell on Wheels 3.1-2: Bohannan in Command ... Hell on Wheels 3.3: Talking and Walking ... Hell on Wheels 3.4: Extreme Lacrosse ... Hell on Wheels 3.5: The Glove ... Hell on Wheels 3.6: The Man in Charge ...Hell on Wheels 3.7: Water, Water ... Hell on Wheels 3.8: Canterbury Tales ...Hell on Wheels 3.9: Shoot-Out and Truths ... Hell on Wheels Season 3 finale: Train Calling in the Distance

And see also  Hell on Wheels: Blood, Sweat, and Tears on the Track, and the Telegraph ... Hell on Wheels 1.6: Horse vs. Rail ... Hell on Wheels 1.8: Multiple Tracks ... Hell on Wheels 1.9: Historical Inevitable and Unknown ... Hell on Wheels Season One Finale: Greek Tragedy, Western Style

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