Hell On Wheels Keeps on Rolling

into a second season.  AMC made the announcement last week, with no details on start date or number of episodes.  Meanwhile, we have two more episodes of the first season to look forward to.

As much as I enjoy the male protagonists, Cullen Bohannon and Elam Ferguson, the show’s portrayal of its female characters continues to fascinate me.  Eva, Lily, and even Ruth are tough, determined women.  In this week’s episode, “Derailed,” Lily moved out of Durant’s elegant train car, planning to live in the tent she had shared with her late husband.  She soon learned this would be no easy task, but she soldiered on, with help from street-smart Eva.  As the two women shared a meal in the communal mess tent–a far cry from the cuisine produced by Durant’s French-speaking man-servant–Eva told Lily some of her story (loosely based, like her tattoo, on that of Olive Oatman), and interpreted Lily’s recurring nightmare.  According to Eva, the warrior Lily killed, shamed by dying at the hands of a woman, is trying to drag Lily along with him into death.

Even Ruth, the preacher’s daughter, is becoming interesting.  When she arrived, unannounced and unexpected, at Hell on Wheels (in episode 5?) she seemed rather a whiny little wimp, dominated despite long separation by her father, the marginally demented Reverend Cole.  But in “Derailed,” she’s fighting her attraction to Joseph Black Moon, Cole’s Cheyenne convert.  And she not only confronts Cole for abusing and abandoning her mother, she fearlessly stands up to him when he raises his hand to strike her–and he backs down.

While the men fight the Indians (and each other), the women work, knowingly or not, to bring civilization, along with the railroad, to the West.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jo Eberhardt
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 22:47:11

    You’re going to convince me to find a way to watch this show if you keep it up… 🙂

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    Reply

    • Kay Hudson
      Jan 05, 2012 @ 23:03:33

      Jo, I tracked back a referring link to one of the earlier posts and found a link to my blog on a bulletin board discussing the show in a language I didn’t recognize at all. I had to Google the url to figure out that it was Hungarian. I’ve had visitors from Google search sites all over the world (from Finland to Brazil), nearly all of them looking for information on Eva the tattooed harlot. On New Year’s Day AMC ran all eight (so far) episodes, and my blog had 412 page visits. Maybe all these folks are watching on satellite services. Obviously interest is not limited to the US, so maybe an Australian network will pick it up soon.

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      Reply

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