Hell on Wheels: Reckoning review

Is it time for some of the baddies to get out of Cheyenne? Here's Kendall's review of the latest episode of Hell on Wheels...

If not now, then when? The town has been sullied by bad deals and even worse people filing through Cheyenne over the course of four seasons. In an act of morning housekeeping, the undertakers collect the overnight dead and transport them for burial as an all-knowing raven oversees their work. Is the raven symbolic of more deaths to come in this lawless town? Or perhaps it’s Elam looking from beyond the grave?

Cheyenne is off-kilter, like the staggering Bohannon in the opening scene. As soon as he rests and steadies his footing and gaze, he’ll remember what has to be done to restore trust among the locals.

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In an endearing moment between husband and wife, Naomi tends to Cullen’s cuts and bruises from the sneak attack in episode three. For all her intent, she might not ever be able to heal the darker reaches of her spouse’s soul. Her youth and inexperience make her emotionally and mentally ill-equipped to handle all that Cullen has become. Her touch is too light and loving to pierce Cullen’s hardened core. She wants the best for her husband, but the best remedy for the immediate future might be to stand aside and allow Cullen more elbow and leg room instead of smothering him as she’s been taught to do as a good Mormon bride.

Most are on edge because of the provisional governor and his sidekicks, but let’s just pick on the Mormon wife because she’s an easier target who likely won’t fight back or shoot to kill. I’m still surprised by Revered Ruth, also known as Gossip Girl, reveling in her broken heart and jealousy of Naomi. If Mormons are such a vile and violent bunch, what does that make Ruth as the inherited Christian leader in town?

The Cheyenne Keystone Cops four episodes into the season have yet to integrate themselves with the others. Is it a product of the writing and directing that they seem separate from everyone else? They stick out for all the wrong reasons, and it would be wiser to blend in rather than be cartoonish and adversarial just because. The lot might have graduated from the Acme School of Bad Villains. Cue stereotypical bad guy theme song as they enter and exit scenes.

The Swede as a deep cover operative truly believes he is the bishop. His treachery knows no end. Fort Smith dwellers beware. Imprisoned in a cage too small for his height, Father Hatch remains intimidated. Applause to the actor!

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Sunday morning church service was uncomfortable to watch because it reminded me of a tent revival minus the snake charmers and the laying of hands to heal the sick and shut in. Ruth’s sermon is yet another attempt to embarrass Naomi. How far will she push before Naomi toughens up and challenges her, or Cullen slows down and realizes what has been happening while he’s off earning a living for his wife and child? Even when Cullen tries to do the right thing, someone is left out or suffers.

The stage is set for an upcoming battle. Mickey has been stripped of his saloon and casino. Eva and Durant, both of whom have lost loved ones to death are united in their grief and newly acknowledged friendship. I’m betting on the townsfolk to run the provisional governor and his men out of Cheyenne with their tails between their legs.

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3.5 out of 5