The last episodes have been much stronger, IMO. Although I am very forgiving about this show because there's so much I like about it, including most of the performances. I was one happy cookie when I heard about the second season (but color me surprised -- didn't expect it). Also, I admit being a little obsessed because I watched the episodes again during the marathon, from the beginning, and stuff that bugged on first round held together better; probably because questions that took a week to answer first go-around were addressed more directly - or the clues and cues were closer together or something.
The Swede told Cullen the first time they met (in his rail car) something like, "They call me the Swede, but I'm from Norway." I think he was a mild-mannered character before the war, who learned to survive by being more conniving and more ruthless while in Andersonville. But he may never have possessed physical courage, just the ability to convince or pressure others to do his dirty work. Without his henchmen he didn't have the stones to stand up to Bohannon. The Swede's going after him now, after the public humiliation, using his brain. He must have grabbed all the papers from Johnson's/Cullen's tent to piece together his case against Cullen. Good thing Cullen burned that photo.
Bohannon's story about killing Union soldiers at Burnside Bridge makes me understand his facility to kill a bit better. Cullen had to take a step back a few times this episode: with the lieutenant over the sword (and the war); when he wanted to high-tail it after the horses were taken and Joseph said that was the wrong thing to do. He's used to calling the shots. But he's growing as a character because he's listening to others.
Good catch on Ruth and her belly. It wouldn't be Joseph's though. Maybe that's why the folks at the mission back in Council Bluffs sent her on her way? I always thought that didn't sound very Christian of them. But if she's a fallen woman, they would consider her not fit for "good" company. Did the reverend have a stroke? An epileptic seizure?
Regarding Elam and Eva, I think that certain men would take up with prostitutes. For instance, Virgil and Wyatt Earp both found their women in whore houses. I think Virgil actually married his partner, but Wyatt traded up for the actress Josephine Marcus.
I don't understand the complaint about the Henry rifles. Wikipedia (fallible, I know) says that by 1864 they were producing 260 a month and that they were favored by Union soldiers, although they were not issued by the government but privately purchased.
I enjoyed the scene where Cullen chased Lily down to welcome her back to camp! "What are you doin' back here?" He really is invested in the madonna-whore dichotomy. "Takin' up with the likes of him."
It's interesting that while Lily called Cullen an insufferable ass, she still cares about what he thinks. Maybe it finally occurred to her, as it should have, that everyone in camp probably thinks the same thing -- she's now Durant's kept woman. After all, she's already been "sullied" by the renegades. I had hoped that Durant would have been more pleasant about her rejection, but it's really not in his character to be gracious in success or defeat. It appears he's threatened by the connection Lily and Cullen have. He didn't like her conversing with his hired gun. "Lily! Dinner is ready."
I was a little jarred by the man who carried her bags propositioning her. Proper ladies were so few and far between in the West that they were venerated by most men. But maybe Lily's reputation has suffered enough that the guy thought he had a shot at it. He sure looked deflated when Eva was done with him.
Little shout-out to the Irish brothers -- a shot of their lantern show sign in the mud.
ETA: Elam really, really enjoyed watching Bohannon horsewhip the Swede.
Edited by vadafaith, Jan 3, 2012 @ 12:48 PM.