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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hell on Wheels 5.11: Durant and Shakespeare

As Hell on Wheels winds down with its final few episodes in one hell of a last season, we get a memorable hour devoted almost solely to Durant, in which Bohannon doesn't even appear.

The intro flashforward to Durant's death in New York a decade after the railroad is finished sets the tone, tells us a lot of things, and is true to history. Durant died a poor man.  His dreaming and scheming completed the railroad but eventually caught up with him.    The rest of the hour details why he got just what he deserved.

As I mentioned last week, it was good to see Durant finally in bed with a good woman.   She was strong, loving, intelligent, capable - the best partner Durant ever had, including likely his wife - and his scheming unintentionally killed her.

He needed money.  He had himself kidnapped as a way of getting this cash.   What he didn't count on was the woman he loved selling her property to raise this cash, and getting killed when she came to deliver it to free Durant.  The story had real Greek tragic and Shakespearean overtones.

Mickey's story is Shakespearean, too.  He earlier killed his own brother.  Last night he kills his cousin, to stop him from killing Durant.   Campbell of course doesn't buy the story (it was good to see him again, too), but can't possibly figured out exactly what happened.   As consolation, Mickey at least gets Eva, and they do make a good if mutually desperate couple.  Eva's embracing of Mickey provides the tenderest moment in the episode.

They'll be no consolation when Hell on Wheels ends in the next few weeks.  It's been uniquely original and satisfying television, a worthy successor to the golden age of Westerns on television in the 1950s.

See also Hell on Wheels 5.1: Rails and Truckee ... Hell on Wheels 5.2: Mei and Cullen ... Hell on Wheels 5.3: Prejudice ... Hell on Wheels 5.8: Letting Him Live? ... Hell on Wheels 5.9: A Good Night for Bohannon ... Hell on Wheels 5.10: Nitroglycerin and Love

And 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 ... Hell on Wheels Season 4 Finale: The Buffalo

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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