The second episode of Hell on Wheels was leagues better than the pilot; with a clearly defined plot, more definite character motivations, and the addition of characters with intriguing stories, this show is definitely laying the tracks down to make huge improvements over time. The only problem that I foresee is that the show may end up repeating itself, with Cullen getting himself into a problem at the beginning of the episode and then working his way out by the end. On the other hand, I find that Lily’s story is much more compelling, and I feel that this season will focus a lot on her development as a character who has lost everything she knows.
My overall sentiment about this show is that it needs more time. We would all agree that one of the main reasons why people prefer TV over movies is because the audience can really grow with the characters and begin to love them more over time. I think what Hell on Wheels is trying to do here is develop the characters first, so the audience is intrigued by them alone, and that is when they will start bringing in serious plot twists and more enthralling stories. I agree with most of my classmates that this show does invest a lot of money in the visual aspects, but I don’t think that AMC would support that sort of money spending unless there was a truly great plot behind this period piece. I simply believe that the show needs a few more episodes to take off its training wheels, and then the greatness will be unleashed. Or… I could just be an optimist.