Hell on Wheels Season 1 Episode 2

A New Birth of Freedom.

"Look at him, can't even land a cheap ass whore who's been plowed by every heathen buck in the territory”

This week on Hell on Wheels (which, to my surprise, is NOT about a ragtag girls' roller derby team) Cullen takes the day off from his new job and from seeking vengeance to go find Lilly, The Swede rounds up his own Lilly search party and complains about Cullen to Thomas, Thomas pays a visit to those delightful Irish lads and asks them why they decided to join his traveling dirt Circus and Elam takes on some extra railroad work and tries to get a full release from some working girls.

Just another day on the Union Pacific…


This gray-back continues to bend the rules, take no guff and look good doing it. While rounding up his new employees, the Swede makes an unwelcome visit, telling Cullen that he needs to steal some of the workers so they can go find Lilly, Durant's orders. Cullen's all like, "no way Jose, back the F up”, but the Swede is all like, "but I neeeeeed them, sniffle sniffle”. Before Cullen can tell the Swede to take a hike, good old Elam tells Cullen that he and his ex slave companions will take on the extra load. Cullen lets the Swede take the men, but then hops on his pony and finds Lilly before the Swede's scruffy yokels can. Take that, Swede!

Thomas Durant

Still crotchety, still selfish, still a fabricating Fran, and still worried about the production of his railroad. I'm a little concerned that he visited the Irish boys in this episode. Why is the immoral head honcho getting involved in the lives of these humble immigrants? He better not lay a hand on my boys.


This lady has got some moxy. Even after almost dying from some botched self-surgery she can still talk some trash and back it up. After Cullen finds her and patches her up, the Swede's men come traipsing over, trying to take her for themselves. At this time, Cullen is off taking a leak so Lilly is left to herself. Without flinching she whips out her knife and shows her teeth. Before she could take a swipe Cullen returns and provides the gentlemen with some piercing led. If Cullen had to go number 2 she would have been snatched up without question, but I still appreciate her willingness to go down with a fight.


B+Elam, who is played by Common, or as I like to ignorantly call him, Not Mos Def, is a tough, strong willed ex slave with a good heart and solid morals. That's why I felt so bad for the guy in this episode. All he wanted to do was go spend some of his hard earned money in the whore tent but all the mean white folks laughed him out. It's like when the nerdy kid wants to play a game of touch football with the cool kids but instead runs home crying, trying to de-wedge his wedgie… but with whores.

The Swede


Ugh, this guy. He looks like one of those creepy weirdos from that movie, Dark City. Yea, yea, Swede,we get, you think something is fishy about Cullen. Thomas doesn't care about your grudges, he's got a railroad to build and a glass of whiskey to drink.


Extra Credit

  • Those Irish brothers are so adorable. I hope we see more of them in the episodes to come. Not much more, though, I want them to stay safe.


  • The beginning of the song on the opening credits sounds just like KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See”. This means that for the first 15 minutes of the show I have to desperately try to pay attention while that God awful ear pollution pings around in my brain.
  • Sometimes this show is like watching those surgery programs, only the surgeons use dirty tools and patients have no anesthetic. Rather unpleasant, indeed.
Season 1 Episode 1.
Season 1 Episode 4.

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