We have been waiting for this almost since the first arrival of John Campbell to Cheyenne on “Hell on Wheels“: Him and Cullen Bohannon going face-to-face in what is a showdown for the ages.
The difference between this and the traditional Western showdown, though, is that this one involves stares more than guns. After releasing all the railroad men, Anson Mount’s character now realizes that he has a little bit of leverage. He has firepower, and many of Syd Snow’s men are no longer able to assist. Not only that, but no one even knows where Syd is.
As Campbell’s men stop Cullen and company in the streets, our hero tells him that it doesn’t have to be like this. It’s not often that we disagree with Bohannon, but we may in this case: Are things ever really going to change for John Campbell? While being granted passage through the town would be a temporary victory, to us this does not seem like a long-term solution to the problem. You let Campbell live and run the town free, and eventually he finds a way to bring in more men, and to continue to influence his will.
The reality here for Cullen is that this world is changing, and law and order will come to Cheyenne someday. The only thing that he can hope and fight for is that the one with the title and the power is not a sociopath. Campbell is not the right man for the job, and that is why he is a threat who needs to be eradicated in some way. It doesn’t have to be death, but he needs to be rendered helpless in this world.
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