Is there a show as forgotten-about this summer more than “Hell on Wheels“? Even though the series was shifted to Saturday this year in an effort to anchor some other Western-themed programming (which hasn’t always been the case given that the show followed up a Nicolas Cage movie this week), the ratings have only been down slightly for season 3. This is what we like to call a victory given that the show is airing on a terrible night, and yet it draws substantially better viewer figures than “Low Winter Sun” (which airs after “Breaking Bad”).
We haven’t written very much about season 3 so far, but we plan to pick up more in the coming weeks, starting with tonight’s excellent episode “Cholera.” On the surface, what we had here was a pretty simple story all about trying to restore a towns water supply after rats and snakes starting infesting their current reserves with the disease.
Much of this story revolving around Bohannon focused on his promise to find the water needed and also preserve the work on the railroad … and he did. But, it did nearly kill him in the process as sickness and dehydration settled in. What makes this show remarkable at times is finding joy in these little victories. The water was a unifier for the town, though we have to say that we don’t know why Bohannon wasted so much water pouring it on his own head rather than drinking it.
While we stand by our opinion of water as unification, there is also little doubt in our mind that there was some other drama going on this week. After all, we had a shooting a love story, and what we can basically consider to be a veiled threat. You tie all of this together with a card game at the end, and you have an enjoyable hour of TV.
We’ll never say that “Hell on Wheels” is the best show on AMC, but what it does, it does very well. It’s a self-assured period drama with interesting characters, and history as a function of the story in a way that relates it to “Mad Men.”
What did you think about this “Hell on Wheels” episode? If you do want to read some more news when it comes to the show, just be sure to head on over to the link here.