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Hell on Wheels - Any Sum Within Reason - Review: "Cullen & Mei"

16 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" - Review!
5.12. "Any Sum Within Reason" - Review!
5.13. "Railroad Men" - (Airs July 16)
5.14. "Done" - Series Finale (Airs July 23)

Hell on Wheels 5.12. Any Sum Within Reason - Review:
Directed by Tim Southam & Written by Tom Brady

Although Durant may be out of the picture for Cullen there are always men looking to increase their status in society by any means possible and it just so happens that Chang is more than fulfilling that position that Durant left. He however doesn't quite have the same negotiating tactics that Durant has, and we get to learn a bit about how he came to America after a flashback to China. Chang would stop at nothing to get passage to America and once there was able to gain control of a brothel. Showing his cruelty he wasn't afraid to put his wife, Wai-Ling, whose father he had fooled to use in the brothel. It's a pretty brutal origin story for Chang and he's just as a sinister antagonist as the ones that we've had in the past.

Like with any secret on a television show we all knew that Chang was going to find out about Fong's real identity as Mei sooner or later but there was a certain unpredictability as what laid in store for both characters' fate. It's hard to believe that they were only introduced this season because both characters feel like they've been a part of the series for a lot longer, and although Mei was able to make it out alive this episode saw Chang's end. It was a pretty effective way to have his inevitable face-off with Cullen which was handled well given the short amount of time that the series has left, although you've got to wonder what lies in store for Cullen in the next two episodes. Both Mei and Chang are gone, Mei having left him and Chang having died. The Swede is dead. Lily Bell is dead. Surely there will be another confrontation between him and Durant in the future? Either way, it'll be interesting to see what lies in store but given the quality of Season 5B so far, we shouldn't expect anything less than top quality drama.

As expected Cullen's decision to shoot Chang came back on him, Mei decided to leave not because she was fearful of Cullen's violent past but the fact that she realised that he would always be protecting her were she to remain. This drama packed an emotional punch and was handled in a way that allowed Mei to live, and really showed once again just how Angela Zhou has been over the course of the series. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw her again but this was still a good send off for her, and with her character leaving Cullen it did provide an alternative to killing her off which Hell on Wheels has never shied away from doing so in the past.

Now the focus will presumably be on completing the railroad, and it should be an awesome one. Be sure to let me know what you thought of Any Sum Within Reason in the comments section below and stay tuned for tonight's Hell on Wheels at 9pm on AMC.

Overall Episode Verdict: A
+Chang's death.
+Chang's flashbacks.
+Cullen/Mei emotional drama.

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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