This week’s ‘Hell On Wheels’ showed once again that Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) is perhaps the unluckiest person when it comes to love. Having found someone who seems to accept who he is in-spite of his flaws, outside forces conspire to rip yet another chance at happiness away from him.
To say that Cullen Bohannon is unlucky when it comes to love would be an understatement. The show opened with him on the hunt for the men responsible for killing his wife and son. Every chance he’s come across in the five seasons of the show have shown him come close to happiness and love but he’s never been able to hold onto it for very long. The latest was Mei (Angela Zhou), and perhaps she was one of the few we’ve seen that could handle all sides of Cullen Bohannon. Even the ones that he hated.
From the beginning Mei was hiding a big secret that fans knew would get discovered one way or another. Cullen was the first one that discovered her secret and it was only a mater of time before someone else would find out. While Cullen and Mei grew closer fans could only hold their breath and wait for her secret to be revealed. Unfortunately for both of them, it was only a matter of time.Photo Credit: AMC
Once Chang (Byron Mann) found out who Mei really was it left the pair with very few options. Cullen sends Mei off to Cheyanne at first until he can secure her safety. But they’re betrayed along the way and Chang and his men find her. Luckily Mei was able to get a telegram to Cullen and he arrived just in the nick of time. He wastes no time dispatching Chang and his men, breaking his newfound morality against killing. Cullen wants Mei to come back with him to Truckee and promises she’ll be safe there until the railroad is finished and then they’ll head off. Chang’s boss makes a stop in Truckee and it’s clear that Mei won’t be safe there. By the time that Cullen gets back from speaking with the men and Huntington (Tim Guinee), Mei is gone. The last we see she’s on a boat, hopefully to a place where she’ll be safe from the men who would do her harm.
Mei was a good fit for Cullen in their brief time together. She never seemed to balk at the dark parts of Cullen and didn’t seem interested in trying to change him in anyway. He’s a man that’s been through hell and heartache and it’s left deep scars that won’t ever heal. Mei saw that and loved him anyway. She tells him during her brief return to Truckee that he’s a good man, and she wasn’t just saying that to make him feel better. It was something that she honestly believed.Photo Credit: AMC
What’s most heartbreaking was watching Cullen tell her that he loved her. Those aren’t words that he says often to anyone and they aren’t easy for him to say. He let himself be vulnerable with her. He didn’t care how many people who came after her, he was willing to take them all on for her. Mei made the hard call, she took herself out of the situation for both of them. Even though she loved him too, she knew that they would never be left alone and the best thing for both of them was for her to leave.
Hell On Wheels isn’t the kind of show where happy endings are guaranteed. We’ve known that since the beginning. Though that doesn’t stop us from hoping that somehow these characters will make it through to the end with some kind of peace and happiness. We’ve spent five seasons watching Cullen Bohannon struggle against many different odds and it would be nice to see him find something close to happiness. Though I don’t think even he knows what that would look like for him.
Hell On Wheels airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on AMC. Be sure to tune in!