While Hell On Wheels continues to move at a relatively slow pace, the second episode was significantly more interesting than the first. “Immortal Mathematics” spent more time emphasizing the protagonist- antagonist relationship between Bohannon and the newly introduce character The Swede or Mr. Swede or whatever they call him. Which I found to be quite cliche; to introduce a typical foreign villain who had been a prisoner of war, done despicable things in his past that changed him and the rest of his life, and an inexplicably creepy face. And of course, The Swede does all the dirty work for his boss Durant. With this main plot slowly developing, the episode briefly touches upon the rest of the subplots in the show.
These subplots also unfold themselves in a predictable manner- the rogue Native American who has found God has been excluded from his people but also doesn’t fit in with the other white folk. But of course, he will be the one to save poor stereotypical damsel in distress Lilly Bell from being executed by his own people. Perhaps we can see a forbidden love of friendship beginning to form here, one that I can only see going terribly wrong but somehow finding itself to a happy ending in the conclusion. Might I also add that the portrayal of the Native Americans is so unfortunately stereotypical I could almost say it borderlines offensive. Its an unfortunately stereotypical and predictable narrative, but maybe this could be explained by the inflexible genre. Even though this episode developed the plots and subplots better than the pilot, the directions the show is taking is simply not doing it for me.