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Hell on Wheels - 61 Degrees - Review: "Fake Kidnapping"

2 Jul 2016

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Hell on Wheels Season 5 Episode Guide!
5.01. "Chinatown" - Review!
5.02. "Mei Mei" - Review!
5.03. "White Justice" - Review!
5.04. "Struck" - Review!
5.05. "Elixir of Life" - Review!
5.06. "Hungry Ghosts" - Review!
5.07. "False Prophets" - Review!
5.08. "Two Soldiers" - Review!
5.09. "Return to the Garden" - Review!
5.10. "61 Degrees" - Review!
5.11. "Gambit" - (Airs July 2)
5.12. "Any Sum Within Reason" - (Airs July 9)

Hell on Wheels 5.10: "61 Degrees"
Directed by Michaell Nankin & Written by Max Hurwitz

Following their night together, Mei returned to her guise as Fong and went back to working on the railroad with Cullen, as the group find themeslves needing to do some tunnelwork. Cullen brings up the possible solution of nitroglycerin but in order to do that the Chinese must be taught how to make blasting caps. This meant that we got some information about how James Strobridge lost one of his eyes, and would eventually lead to him getting fired from the railroad when he refused to clear future blasts with Cullen for safety to prevent another death of a tunnel worker.

The main focus of the episode was on Durant and Mickey's newfound alliance. Here we saw Durant propose to Maggie who accepted on the condition that Durant, ever the schemer, doesn't do what he's best at. This didn't stop Durant and Mickey both plotting a fake kidnapping scam to get the $250,000 ransom money from the railroad board, with Mickey being paid $25,000 for organizing it. Money talks in Laramie, and as a result he assigns Shea to lead the kidnapping. There's virtually no way that Durant will ever stop plotting and scheming, and Maggie finds herself having to overcome something that will be nigh impossible, especially as Durant as we learnt in this episode is still going to keep scheming regardless of what she says. And his schemes will always have catastrophic consequences, as we lost Martin this week and there will no doubt be repercussions for that. Now that there is a casualty how will Mickey and Maggie respond? I guess we'll have to find out next week.

Back in Truckee though it looks like Chang is connecting the dots between Mei and Cullen and it's only going to be a matter of time before both characters and their relationships are exposed. You don't keep secrets as big as this for long on Hell on Wheels, especially one that's in its final season, and expect them to remain unanswered. What remains to be seen though is whether Cullen and Mei will get their happy ever after or not. It's hard to imagine that we'll see Cullen die before the final episode of the season if at all, but Mei's fate remains up in the air. Could the writers not kill his former wife only to then go ahead and kill Mei, leaving him alone? It's going to be interesting to see how the show tackles this in its last few episodes.

After all, we're almost at the end. Together with both parts of the season there are fourteen episodes in total and we've just had the tenth episode of the season. So it'll only be a matter of time before things kick up a notch, and we reach the end. It's been a great ride, and hopefully these episodes will be able to give us the send-off that the characters deserve.

Stay tuned for episode 11 tonight at 9pm on AMC and be sure to let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments section below.

Overall Episode Verdict: A-
+Durant the schemer.
+Clearing the tunnel.
+Chang suspects Mei & Cullen.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, The 100, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Black Sails, Hell on Wheels, Murder in the First, Narcos, Preacher, Roadies, The Shannara Chronicles and Veep for Spoiler TV as well as books, films and games for his own blog The Fictional Hangout and contributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic.
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