For the entire time that I was watching the opening scene flashback to when Bohannon found his wife, I kept thinking why are they putting us through this exposition yet again?
I agree with your point but I'm going to let the writers slide on it this time because it gave me one of two slo mo shots of Cullen riding horseback. Superficial, I know but there it is. And Cullen Bohannon is now officially on my Fictional Boyfriend list.
Also the shots of Bohannon stalking Harper throughout the camp, intercut with the Swede's tarring and feathering and the swirl and color of the dance. The horrible torture of the Swede backlit by a golden setting sun and glorious clouds. Bohannon, pistol in hand, sillhoutted against the boiling clouds. They are like panels from a graphic novel. All very Gothic
Yes! It was all just beautiful. One of the many things I love about this show.
I liked the finale. I dvr'd all the episodes when AMC had the HOW marathon on New Years and I've re-watched them all prior to the finale. I have to say that I enjoyed them a lot more the second time around, now that I have a feel for who all the characters are. They all flowed better too because I caught little things that I had missed the first time. Little things that tied one episode to the next.
As for Durant, it didn't surprise me that he was trying to chase Cullen off. He fired one of his lead surveyors on the spot in an earlier episode just because the man remarked that it didn't make sense to build a RR in wiggly lines when they were building over flat terrain. He hired Cullen knowing that he had murdered Johnson. He's clearly the type of man who is not above using any resource at his disposal but by the same token he's not above getting rid of anyone if that person comes to represent cross purposes with him. And as a man with money I'm sure that he's got a world view that anyone and anything can be replaced.
Cullen leaving the body wasn't a suprise to me either. He never bothered to hide any of the bodies before. Hell, in the pilot he shot the guy in a church that had witnesses in it. Besides, even if he had moved the body everyone knew he'd been asking around for Harper. I don't think that Cullen has really cared much about what might happen to him since his wife died and I think that's the point. That's why he told Lily that it was too late and that he was already dead. It's also why Lily said what she did to him. I think she realized that Cullen's approach to life is reckless (like she remarked in that one episode that he walked calmly toward the exploding gunpowder) and that he doesn't care if he gets himself killed. Once she knew the reasons behind it, then she knew how seriously in trouble Cullen is and so why she tried to reach out to him.
Both Lily and Elam tried to reach out to Cullen and I really thought that he'd stop from killing Harper at the last minute. So kudos to the show for not taking the expected route with that. While I wish that Cullen had listened to the man's proof I can see where he couldn't do that. This is the last man, or so he thinks. This is the end of his revenge mission after which he can finally let go...to get hanged probably but he doesn't really care. If he gets away and spends the rest of his days as a hermit living out of some dank hole in the ground he doesn't care because he feels dead already anyway. He just wants - needs - to finish it. And then he finds out that Harper isn't the Sgt he's looking for. And it blows his moral mathematics to hell.
When he walks to edge of the lights from the dance and looks at Lily I think it was a goodbye but I also think it was a true realization for him. When Lily had wanted to go tell Durant that the indians who had killed her husband were in HOW Cullen told her that everything comes with a cost and that if she was willing to pay the cost then she could go ahead and tell Durant. I suppose that Lily decided she couldn't pay the cost because she never told. But Cullen had already made the decision for himself. He would pay the cost. And he had chances to turn away. Both Elam and Lily tried to get him to turn away from the "dark path" he's been on and he DID at least think about it hence his visit to the preacher. But ultimately, when he found out that Harper was actually in the camp, in his grasp, his revenge lust took over. But when he was watching Lily dance I think it was a dividing line for him because it represented a path he had turned away from when he decided to stay on his dark one. It was part of his cost. The huge liklihood that he'd get caught and would end up hanging is the other part.
And that's not to say that there was any romantic feelings involved yet because I don't think that Cullen and Lily were there yet anyway. But I do think that they interest each other and that they feel a kinship through their mutual losses. Or, like Anson said on a BTS video, when Lily speaks it lowers Cullen's blood pressure. She's calming for him. She's also been the only one since the show started to ellicit a genuine smile from him, tiny though it was. I loved their scene in her tent. It started out all flirty. And it effected Cullen enough that he sought out the preacher for guidance. Lot of good it did him. I had to laugh at the looks Cullen gave him when he told him to "choose hate."
But yeah, Cullen had just been too empty for too long to care about his own fate. He had told the preacher in an early episode that he didn't deserve forgiveness (for leaving his family unprotected? for killing out of revenge?). He told another man right before shooting him that he didn't think men like them could find peace in this life or the next. So clearly Cullen had resigned himself to his fate. Then Lily came along and gave him glimpses that there could be...more. And not even just Lily. I think he felt a genuine sense of accomplishment in that episode where they met the 40 mile mark. I think that's something that he hadn't felt in a long while. But that and Lily...it just wasn't in time.
I just hope that S2 isn't about Cullen in some new location with all new characters. I can't see how he could stay anywhere near HOW though and that's where Elam and Lily will be. So does Eva deciding that she's going to stay behind in the town that's being built mean she'll be out of S2? That sucks for Elam (not that he was very suave there with his word choices when talking to her) and I liked her too. And the Swede? Is he out too? He was an extortionist bully but I liked his character. Those Irish brothers have a bit of viscious in them. Makes me wonder what happened in Boston.
All in all I really liked the finale and after re-watching the season I've come to like the show even more.
Edited by rove3, Jan 17, 2012 @ 4:57 PM.