‘Hell on Wheels’ season 4, episode 11 review: Cullen controls Syd’s life (or death); Ruth’s fate

Hell on Wheels -Tonight, “Hell on Wheels” came back after an extended hiatus on AMC, and the fantastic Western wasted almost no time trying to dive right in to some of the issues that it presented when it was last on the air a month ago.

Cullen Bohannon struggled immediately when it comes to figuring out what to do with Sydney Snow, and for good reason. He is a terrible person, but he also knew that if he died, it could mean a death sentence for Ruth. He didn’t want to take that chance. Therefore, he took drastic measures, including attempting to amputate Syd’s leg, in order to ensure that he could save her.

We were deeply concerned about Ruth throughout the entire process, mostly because of all the flashbacks that caused us to be convinced that something terrible was going to happen to her. We witnessed so much more of her journey, which helped to explain her role in the church, and why she became the woman we see in the present.

The decision ultimately seemed to come down to John Campbell. While he sympathized with Ruth and hated Syd for the level of embarrassment he thrust upon Cheyenne, he also believed hardline that the law is the law. Therefore, he basically tried to bully Louise into keeping the story out of the headlines for as long as humanly possible.

In the end, though, there was nothing that Cullen could do. Sydney Snow died despite his efforts, and Ruth holds no remorse over it. As a matter of fact, she is fine to remain in prison while she awaits her fate.

This sets up a very fascinating dynamic for the final two episodes, largely in that Cullen has to try and reconcile his new position as a lawman with his affection for the “church lady” of the town. This was not the most eventful episode of the season, but one that was soft and poignant in its subtlety and performances. Grade: A-.

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