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1-7: "Revelations" 2011.12.18


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#1

TWoP Mars

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Posted Dec 18, 2011 @ 11:45 PM

From AMCTV.com:

Lilly gets confrontational, Durant falls in love, and Cullen saves a life.



#2

that one guy

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 12:56 AM

Durant did not grow up poor in Hell's Kitchen. He was from a wealthy family and went to medical school at Amherst. Hence "Doc." The guy isn't larger than life enough without making up a fake backstory?

#3

Dowel Jones

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 2:14 AM

Lilly gets confrontational, Durant falls in love, and Cullen saves a life.


And Common gets a plug.

So what happens now? Is the railroad relegated to a distant supporting actor? I'm not liking the idea of the Cullen and Elam show, looking for Sargeant Harper, and doing the Route 66 thing on horseback.

Yeah for Lily, though! I like my smackdowns, but oh, you kid. On the other hand, Doc needs to work on his lines. That "my wife doesn't understand me" sequence was so odious that I could imagine Mrs. Bell stifling a laugh and whispering to the mirror afterward: "Puleeze".

I did like the exchange in the bar:

Bolan: That is one stupid spudmuncher.
Swede: Have some respect for the dead..(interim)...how did he die?
Bolan: He tried to shoot Cullen Bohannen.
Swede (with that accent): Perhaps he was stupid after all.


Did anyone notice the large structure in the distant background at the beginning? It was always out of focus; I think it was a bit of modernity that the production crew didn't quite edit out.

#4

HandBanana

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 2:28 AM

This episode grated on my nerves. Now Bohannon is Elam's best buddy, after having some tense moments in the past. Also, it would be great if they didn't make all the Irish Catholic characters complete buffoons like the guy who tried to kill Elam and had such a problem with him being involved with the prostitute. I agree with posts on a thread about an earlier episode, that it seems unlikely that she'd try to cultivate a relationship with him, given her station in life and need to make money off a primarily white clientele. Not to mention that why would HE want to get involved with a prostitute?

Colm Meaney's voice reminds me too much of Dan Halen's voice on the Squidbillies. It's kind of distracting.

#5

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 6:15 AM

Even though they screwed around with Doc's true story, I did like that it gave Lily reason to tell him to get over himself. She needs to go around to every moper on the show and do that.

#6

Bentley

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 8:00 AM

She needs to go around to every moper on the show and do that.


It will be interesting to hear her opinion of Cullen's mission of revenge when she finds out about it.

I still find Lily one of the more interesting characters on the show. She didn't act outraged or insulted at Durant's offer to become his mistress. I wonder if she was just being practical in not burning any bridges at this point because she has no money, no status and no home. But there were hints that she's playing a deeper game, so I'm not sure what to think.

Speaking of burning bridges, I also can't wait to see how they're going to work Cullen and Elam back into the Hell on Wheels story.

Was surprised to see Ian Tracey's character die so early. That role didn't seem worthy of him.

#7

smithgirl

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 9:24 AM

Not to mention that why would HE want to get involved with a prostitute?


For the same reason the white clients do - duh!

Hated Lily showing up at her in-laws in a red dress - channeling Scarlet O'Hara? She sould have worn something less flamboyant, if there was nowhere to get an appropriate black dress. The lady knows society manners, whole thing was too contrived. But I did love her slap down of the ?sister

#8

HandBanana

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 12:07 PM

I mean romantically involved, not just sexually. Elam and the prostitute are having a real emotional connection, not mere sex. The vast majority of men even today wouldn't even consider a romantic relationship with someone who prostituted for a living, even less would in those days.

#9

vadafaith

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

I really liked this episode. I particularly liked the Cullen and Elam camp-out.

Cullen has picked something he actually does give a shit about -- Elam. (Or it's been thrust on him.) Maybe because Elam challenges him. The shootout with O'Toole and Bolan was really well done. So was Bolan's death scene.

I also think Cullen cares about Lily, but he also believes she's better off far away from the Wild West. And that he's unworthy of a "good woman's" love. Nice reveal about him not really wanting to free his slaves, and how paying them almost made him go broke. And he has a son? That we've never heard about? Simply too painful for him to talk about?

I really wish it had been Cullen whom Lily ordered to get his head out of the bottle. Maybe in the last three episodes.

I'm sure Cullen and Elam will get back to the railroad. Hell, half of the workforce is now dead or on the run. Doc needs them to build those 40 miles. Cullen's talents seem to lie elsewhere than being work foreman, though.

Why didn't the Swede ask what Elam had done that warranted hanging? He didn't like O'Toole, plain enough. And telling Doc that Lily's got it bad for him? Why? He's monkey-wrenching, but what does he get out of a love-struck Doc? Just messin' with his ego? Where will he get replacement henchmen?

Hated Lily showing up at her in-laws in a red dress - channeling Scarlet O'Hara? She should have worn something less flamboyant, if there was nowhere to get an appropriate black dress. The lady knows society manners, whole thing was too contrived. But I did love her slap down of the "sister"

Red did seem to be a weird choice. I assumed that she didn't have a lot to choose from in her rescued wardrobe, and she went straight from the train to the in-laws. And though the mom-sisters were in black, it was pretty damned sparkly. Lots of sequins and beading and flounces. Overly ostentatious mourning, actually. Lily did want to leave when she saw that there was a gathering. Durant made her stay.

The slapped sister needed slapping, true enough. That's the first time Lily told anyone about killing the guy who killed Robert. Durant seemed impressed.

Lily did recoil when Doc declared his feelings. She drew back when she thought he was going to kiss her. But she needs him, so I think she'll play along. He asked some good questions: What will she do? Live off the money Doc owes Robert? Where will she live? Good question. She can't very well set up house with the whores. Maybe the church, but creepy preacher is creepy, and now she knows that it was Joseph's kin who massacred the surveyors.

The Irish brothers have been missing in action for a couple of weeks. The show doesn't really miss them.

#10

nerdymya

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 2:05 PM

Hated Lily showing up at her in-laws in a red dress - channeling Scarlet O'Hara? She should have worn something less flamboyant, if there was nowhere to get an appropriate black dress. The lady knows society manners, whole thing was too contrived. But I did love her slap down of the "sister"


I agree, it was completely contrived as a plot device to give Lily a chance to get her back up and show why she didn't want to be a part of society anymore. She grew up with society manners in London, so it is actually quite surprising that she hasn't worn black at all in any of the episodes as a sign of mourning. I imagine all those "good ton" rules were ingrained in her from an early age, so she really does know what is expected of her. And she could have found herself some black dye to dye a dress or two for her trip to the in-laws. She knew she was going there before she left HoW, so she had plenty of time to get a dress ready. But all in all, I love this steel backbone Lily has exhibited for the past few episodes!

#11

vadafaith

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 2:12 PM

Ha. Just remembered all the fanwank about Alma Garrett trotting out the mourning gown in Deadwood after her first dead husband was dead. A lot of "where'd she come by a tailored mourning dress in a mining camp" complaints on message boards. I suppose it's lose/lose.

#12

taiko

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 2:27 PM

One point about Eva'a prostitution she was the slave of a Native American nation and marked with facial tats. She had no where else to go just as the newly freed Mr. Ferguson could not run away from his skin color

#13

Sarah O

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 3:12 PM

I know this show has problems, but I am very much enjoying it and feel like it's getting a little better. It's still a Deadwood wannabe, but I think the writers and the actors are settling into the characters better now. Cullen's backstory with his son choked me up, I must admit. I love Anson Mount's accent -- very authentic.

And I am seriously starting to ship Lily and Cullen after those looks on the train platform right before she left for Chicago! I'm not sure how two such damaged people emotionally would find their way together now, but they both certainly seemed to want the same things out of life and realize that they can never go back to the happiness they had.

#14

vadafaith

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 6:03 PM

One point about Eva'a prostitution she was the slave of a Native American nation and marked with facial tats. She had no where else to go just as the newly freed Mr. Ferguson could not run away from his skin color

This may be OT, but there's a really moving Elmore Leonard short story about a woman whose history mirrors Eva's -- she was captured and given the facial tats. Her husband has exiled her because she's an embarrassment. I think she's courted by a Mexican guy ... sorry for the imperfect memory, but the story does make the point that two outcasts support and love one another despite or because of their "otherness."

#15

nodorothyparker

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 7:13 PM

I liked this episode quite a lot despite its flaws. It managed to fill in a lot of backstory on multiple characters and still move the story forward. The flashback of Elam entertaining his master father was an interesting juxtaposition to Bohannon's admission that he hadn't really wanted to free his slaves and thought the whole thing was silly. The prairie painting and Lily talking about how she met Robert at a lecture about the West went a long way in explaining what she was doing out there with the surveying party in the first place and why she might choose to return.

The one quiet scene where Bohannon described finding his son and mammy after the barn fire was more affecting than all the tiresome revenge THEY KILLED HIS WIFE WHERE'S THE SERGEANT plotline they've been hitting us over the head with since the first episode.

The shootout was fantastic and the setup of it made me love the Swede and his moral ambiguity all the more. He was apparently willing to let the Irish workers hang Elam to give them something to do and maybe keep them from doing anything worse. And after learning that they had failed, his sending them to kill Bohannon or die trying was brilliant. Either they kill the man he clearly has issues with or more likely, that man kills them and puts an end to their shitstirring and he has something else to hold over Bohannon's head. It's all the same to him. Immoral mathematics, indeed.

I will miss Toole (was there ever a character more aptly named?) though, perpetually trying to push others into doing what he apparently didn't have the balls to do himself.

Edited by nodorothyparker, Dec 19, 2011 @ 7:14 PM.


#16

thuganomics85

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 7:58 PM

Third episode in a row I actually liked, although it's flaws were a lot more obvious this time around. But I loved the shoot-out and especially Ellam blowing the brains of the guy who had it out for him all that time. And I agree that Cullen's speech at the campfire was pretty much had more impact then all of his other "I must get REVENGE!" scenes combined.

It's official now: Lily is now my second favorite character (only behind the Swede.) Loved her smacking that annoying sister and her telling Doc to get whining and man-up. I'm glad they aren't just making her a background character or love interest, but making her strong and smart and handling the situations the best way she can.

Finding out that Doc's backstory about growing up poor is actually false in real life is kind of annoying. I don't get the point why the bothered to make it all up. And I wanted to like his negotiation scenes with the Senator, but I just kept comparing it to Deadwood and Al Swearingen again. His awkwardness over Lily though was kind of funny.

Oh, Swede, how I love you. His handling of the one guy's shooting was perfect. And him planting the seed of Lily being "attracted" to Doc was fun. I wonder why he did it?

We didn't see the preacher, Jospeh, or the Irish bros in this one. I guess they'll be back next episode.

#17

nodorothyparker

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Posted Dec 19, 2011 @ 11:00 PM

The most jarring thing for me was wondering how long exactly was it supposed to have taken to string Elam up? Last episode ended with him being dragged away at night. This episode started in broad daylight, late enough in the morning that Doc was concluding a meeting. What were the Irish boys doing all of that time? Are we supposed to believe they dawdled around for hours until it was light before deciding to hang him?

#18

Dowel Jones

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Posted Dec 20, 2011 @ 5:25 PM

But I loved the shoot-out and especially Ellam blowing the brains of the guy who had it out for him all that time.


The show kind of telegraphed that moment from the scene where Bohannen was training Elam in the art of pistol shooting, but I was actually surprised that he had one shell left. I was completely expecting both to be empty for some reason, and a furious fistfight to ensue, with the eventual result unchanged.

As long as the show is stepping outside of historical accuracy, how about Lily engineering Doc's absence and taking over the railroad?
NOW she has a job.

#19

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Posted Dec 20, 2011 @ 7:03 PM

I loved the scene with Elam haltingly reading from the Bible, with his master/daddy smugly telling the men who said he was breaking the law that Elam had no idea what he was reading - then seeing Elam reading in secret to the other slaves smoothly, and then looking up, clearly having memorized the words he'd been reading, and knowing what they meant...already a badass.

The most jarring thing for me was wondering how long exactly was it supposed to have taken to string Elam up? Last episode ended with him being dragged away at night. This episode started in broad daylight, late enough in the morning that Doc was concluding a meeting.

Thank you! I was starting to think I'd imagined that it was dark when they took Elam away...maybe time works differently in HoW? Liked the literal smackdown of the sister, too - Lily truly did love her husband, and it's sad she couldn't have mourned his loss with his family, simply because she had on the wrong color dress; I know it was a serious breech of Society in those days, but they didn't even give her a chance to explain why she was wearing it - she tried to, but Robert's mother cut in with something like "It's good to see you've moved on", or something equally catty, and moved Lily along to be cut down by the other "ladies". Maybe I'm being too hard on them but I felt so sorry for Lily then - she's had to o all her grieving alone.

I will miss Toole (was there ever a character more aptly named?) though, perpetually trying to push others into doing what he apparently didn't have the balls to do himself.

You know, when he told Elam that the Irish were the n-word of the British, I thought for just a split second he was going to throughly surprise us and do something decent by letting Elam go, because the two groups were kind of in the same boat - but it seems it's, depressingly, human nature to need someone (or group) to look down on.

#20

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Posted Dec 21, 2011 @ 9:44 AM

Liked the literal smackdown of the sister, too

Me to.

- Lily truly did love her husband, and it's sad she couldn't have mourned his loss with his family, simply because she had on the wrong color dress; I know it was a serious breech of Society in those days, but they didn't even give her a chance to explain why she was wearing it - she tried to, but Robert's mother cut in with something like "It's good to see you've moved on", or something equally catty, and moved Lily along to be cut down by the other "ladies". Maybe I'm being too hard on them but I felt so sorry for Lily then - she's had to o all her grieving alone.

Sadly very in keeping with the times that appearance and propriety were way more important than actual feelings.

Also, in keeping with the times, Cullen telling Elam he wasn’t that free. Harsh, but horribly realistic.

#21

nodorothyparker

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Posted Dec 21, 2011 @ 11:24 AM

You know, when he told Elam that the Irish were the n-word of the British, I thought for just a split second he was going to throughly surprise us and do something decent by letting Elam go, because the two groups were kind of in the same boat


I had a moment of hoping they were going to go a different way with that too because while I did enjoy the whole shootout, I think it could have been really interesting to watch members of two of the more hated groups in America at the time slowly come to have a mutual loathing/grudging respect thing happen. But I think it was too much to hope for, and how it played out was hardly surprising.

Also, in keeping with the times, Cullen telling Elam he wasn’t that free. Harsh, but horribly realistic.


Yep. One thing I really did like about this episode is how they went about making Cullen and his attitudes feel more realistic for the time period and his background. As a history buff, his original backstory in the first episodes about being a Mississippi slaveowner but being one of the semi-good guys because he freed his slaves had me seriously rolling my eyes. Many of the Southern states in response to growing abolitionist sentiment and the rise of John Brown did some hard-core cracking down on slave codes in the last decade before the Civil War. It was ridiculously expensive to even do the paperwork to free them, and as far as paying them wages to continue working for him, many states also had laws that required freedmen to leave their borders immediately or subject themselves to re-enslavement. So his admission that he found the whole thing rather stupid from a business standpoint made his original story at least a little less cringeworthy as an invention of the PC TV gods.

It would have gone entirely too far into unrealistic territory for Cullen not to have the opinion that he did of Elam messing around with a white woman, even if she was a whore. A lot of the more effective pro-slavery and later pro-Jim Crow rhetoric played on whites' fears of race mixing and black men "soiling" white women. Even Lincoln, the Great Emancipator himself, wanted to see the races kept segregated. The fact that Cullen would save Elam from a hanging for such an "offensive" is pretty progressive of him.

Edited by nodorothyparker, Dec 21, 2011 @ 11:25 AM.


#22

Sarah O

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Posted Dec 21, 2011 @ 3:37 PM

I think it could have been really interesting to watch members of two of the more hated groups in America at the time slowly come to have a mutual loathing/grudging respect thing happen.


I agree, but I think that's what the show is driving at by the collaboration of Cullen and Elam. At least one character has referred to Cullen as "Johnny Reb," and members of the Confederate Army were quite looked down upon in non-Southern parts of the country after the Civil War. And it's interesting to watch Cullen's understanding of Elam's humanity, as well as Elam's understanding that not all slave owners were like his own master.

#23

8matt8

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Posted Dec 21, 2011 @ 8:03 PM

I've enjoyed this series from day one and this my favorite episode so far! My favorite parts: "young Elam" flashback, Elam and Cullen campfire discussion(it added more dimension to Cullen's character), and the sister-in-law "smackdown"....yesssss! Also love the swede's fork-weilding segment with Toole. The swede is scary/awesome! As star-crossed as it may be, I hope they develop Elam and Eva(sp?) as a couple...they would definitely bond over their status as outcasts...plus, they're both very good looking.

#24

hardy har

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Posted Dec 21, 2011 @ 9:13 PM

I liked this one too. Seriously . . . Lily and The Swede need to team up as soon as possible. They're both working Doc, so c'mon, you two! Join up and bring your united reign of awesome to the people of Hell on Wheels! Loved the stuff with Cullen and Elam at the campfire and loved Lily slapping her bitch of a sister-in-law.

The only thing that kind of bugged me was that we never saw what happen with Eva (That's Tattooed Whore's Name, right?) after she went to get Cullen to help Elam. All I was thinking was, "Oh, girl, your ass better hide somewhere before those fuckers come after you too!" and then we never saw her again.

I hope they develop Elam and Eva(sp?) as a couple...they would definitely bond over their status as outcasts...plus, they're both very good looking.

I've kind of forgotten how good looking he is while watching this show because Elam is rather (understandably) glum and pissed off, but I watched the episode on demand and there was this teaser thing after the ep of Common's new music video. He really is a fine, fine looking man. I mean . . . damn.

Edited by hardy har, Dec 21, 2011 @ 9:37 PM.


#25

taiko

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Posted Dec 21, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

All I was thinking was, "Oh, girl, your ass better hide somewhere before those fuckers come after you too!" and then we never saw her again.

Her status may have been little more then a little white fucking machine be she still has more pull and societal protection then Elam. While the Swede may have turned his head to the lynching of one worker she did provide a service to his community in a position that was hard to find replacements for.

#26

Egeria

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Posted Dec 23, 2011 @ 10:32 PM

This show got a second season, much to my shock:

http://www.tvguide.c...ed-1041101.aspx

#27

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Posted Dec 23, 2011 @ 11:52 PM

I'm astonished that it got the go ahead for a second season. Astonished.

#28

8matt8

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Posted Dec 24, 2011 @ 8:32 AM

I'm thrilled that the show got a second season! I'm very anxious to see how these various storylines and relationships unfold. There are so many interesting characters in this series.

#29

nodorothyparker

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Posted Dec 24, 2011 @ 9:34 AM

Fantastic news. While I think most will agree the show didn't get off to the best start, it's showing improvement with each episode and has a lot of potential.

Besides, at this point I'm feeling pretty generous toward anything that isn't middle school talent show reality nonsense or another cop/lawyer/hospital drama.

#30

Westy8283

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Posted Dec 28, 2011 @ 1:15 PM

I am strangely drawn to this show and have enjoyed it, warts and all. And I don't like westerns nor do I have an interest in that time period.

Part of the enjoyment was that I had recorded five episodes and watched them all over two days this week. Was like a mini-series.

I like what Anson M. has done with the idiosyncrises of his character, the odd "huhs" and "umm-hmmm" sort of noises he makes sometimes when he talks. And I like some of the acting all around, especially The Swede, of course. Put me in the camp of having no interest in the Irish brothers (what kind of business model is that - why were they surprised at all that business dropped, when they have the same slides time after time?).

I guess I'm confused about what this show is about. I thought it was about a driven Durant who was hell-bent on completing the railroad, beating the Pacific team and securing his place in history, but it seems to be more about a Durant who just wants to make a buck.

And it doesn't seem very important to the show that we see and learn more about the conditions of the railroad camps or that way of life. Our main characters have left the railroad, at least for now. And the main guy seems to get involved in a lot of side stuff for a man who only wants revenge on those who killed his wife. Move on already and get your man.

Still, all in all I like the show, and am glad it was renewed.