Hell on Wheels jumped straight into the action, with the first scene involving a bullet through the head of an unfortunate union soldier via our main character Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount). Bohannon is a rough around the edges ex-Confederate soldier who seems to be hiding a sympathetic side drawn out by his late wife. After killing the union soldier during a confessional, Bohannon wastes no time in his search to find the men who murdered his wife. This leads him to the outer reaches of the Union Pacific Railroad, where he meets Elam Ferguson (Common) and Daniel Johnson (Ted Levine). Lily Bell (Dominique McElligott) is briefly introduced in a scene involving an Native American attack on her expedition and mapmaking team's camp site. A greedy entrepreneur, Thomas 'Doc Durant (Colm Meaney), is portrayed in another scene as taking full advantage of the changing economic landscape through the railroad industry. The way all these characters will interact is not completely revealed in the premiere, and it will be interesting to see how it pans out throughout the rest of the season. The first episode depicts the brutal working environments and intense racism that will envelop the senses, and an early plot twist towards the end of the episode will leave you begging for more.
The Hell on Wheels premiere provided a raw and unadulterated view into the social norms and culture of post-civil war era, manifested through the ideals of white supremacy amongst the upper level task overseers. It's use of course language and visual indecencies add to it's sense of realism and allure. Hell on Wheels is rough around the edges, and we definitely like the brash and blunt beginning to what appears to be like the next great series from AMC.
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-JJ and JT