The second season finale for Hell On Wheels, titled “Blood Moon Rising” culminated quite the season of developments as far as Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount) is concerned. Additionally, tragedy hit this small and dedicated work force, the likes of which I did not expect.
But I also later on have a serious question as to whether or not the show will go on. No pun intended.
From Mr. Durant (Colm Meaney) buying Bohannan’s prison sentence and freeing him from the predicament he was in, to falling in love with Mrs. Bell, or maybe we should call her Lily Bell (Dominique McElligott), he’s had quite the season.
Mr Durant had been taken hostage by the preacher (Tom Noonan) and spending the last half of the season recovering from a gunshot wound to the guy didn’t do him any good. Especially since it turned him into a pain med addict, as evidenced in the beginning of the season finale.
Elam (Common) had had enough and went off and left the city and built a house for himself off “around the corner” on the river bank.
Sean (Ben Esler) seemed to have the dysfunctional hots for the preacher’s daughter, Ruth (Kasha Kropinski). But that seems so wrong on enough levels to make me creeped out by the guy.
Jospeh Black Moon (Eddie Spears) finally had enough of it all from the white man, and the last we saw, he was headed off and not coming back.
Reverend Cole went off the deep end during the season, selling or giving guns to the Indians, and giving them a wee bit of leverage out on the plains. It was pleasant to see Black Moon end his existence.
The Swede, played creepily by Christopher Heyerdahl, had evidenced quite the slide downhill, from dedicated right-hand man of Durant’s, to being made the complete fool by Bohannan, and becoming the town’s dead body collector.
I think The Swede’s downward slide was the most complicated of the group. Having gone to the point of joining the Indians in their sweat lodges, his was the most disturbing character change.
Eva (Robin McLeavy) was in a pickle this entire season, carrying child, but not knowing if it was Elam’s or Mr. Toole’s (Duncan Ollerenshaw). It was tough on everyone involved because it took some persuading to get Mr. Toole to understand that he should be the father of the child, no matter what. (I think)
But wow, all hell broke loose in the season finale.
Hell on Wheels season (series?) finale SPOILERS from this point on
Mr Durant is in a world of hurt now that folks know he oversold how much track was laid. Between labor issues and Indians, it’s been slow going. And despite having tried to get Lily killed then trying to sway Bohannan to become a partner to help him dodge the authorities all panned out in massive fail!
Elam may very well get his wish of being Eva’s baby’s dad, since Mr. Toole was driven to a certain level of insanity by his love/hate of the love triangle. He killed himself and that surprised me by that loss to the group.
Poor, poor Lily Bell. It was about time that Cullen and Lily got together and they made a cute, sort of wild west kind of couple. She brought out the softer side of Cullen and you can see the hard edge of his melt away when they talked.
And when Durant tried to get Elam to kill Lily, well, I loved how that panned out, with the two of them creating a business deal.
But to have Lily taken from Cullen by The Swede was something I honestly did not see coming. During the choking scene, I kept hoping someone would come flying from off-camera and put the Swede out of our misery.
In the end, the Swede stole the one last pleasure from Cullen by jumping off the bridge instead of letting Cullen hang him. But I worry. Did he really die or will we be seeing more of him next season?
Sean kept leaning into the creepier courting stalker of Ruth’s. It seems to be going nowhere good, but that may be left to next season to flesh out.
And now, Cullen Bohannan has been bereft of another woman he loved. I can’t imagine how dark he may become in the next season of Hell on Wheels.
Will there be another season of Hell on Wheels?
That’s the question in my mind. Right now, there’s no news of a series renewal that I know of. But the renewal news for this Cable TV series came in November last year, so there’s a while to go to if we find out.
To be honest, as this season finale wrapped up the night, if you think about it, this could have served as a series finale. Nothing was really left unfinished, every story line could continue but was left in a satisfactory spot. And throughout the season and in this episode, many characters left us.
Was the town, having been burned to the ground, some symbolic or secret message from the show runners telling us that this could be the end of the town and the show, Hell on Wheels? Cullen did say all the wood and tarp of the town is replaceable. And all the people are replaceable. Is the show replaceable?
We’ll see and the moment I hear anything, I’ll let you, my readers, know.