Description of Hell on Wheels episodes that were first released on AMC August 2 – November 22, 2014; ganre – western, drama.
Hell on Wheels overview of episodes (season 3)
1 (31) episode guide Hell on Wheels
“The Elusive Eden”
At Fort Smith, Cullen Bohannon tells Aaron Hatch that he will remain there until Naomi gives birth to the baby. He also warns him of the bishop, whom he knows is the Swede. After the baby is born, the Swede refuses Cullen’s departure when Cullen states he is taking Naomi and baby William with him. In Cheyenne, Wyoming, Thomas Durant tries to maintain control of both the town and the railroad after a disaster occurs. He also awaits the arrival of the newly appointed governor, John Campbell. Meanwhile, Eva tries to cope with being without both Elam and her child by doing chores for the brothel.
2 (32) episode guide Hell on Wheels
“Escape From the Garden”
When Cullen realizes the Swede has taken the bishop role too far and will not let him and Naomi leave the fort, he publicly confesses his own past crimes, while also revealing the bishop to not be who he claims to be. In Cheyenne, Campbell arrives with his legislative team to impose law in the town. He also gives reporter Louise Ellison an interview. After Ezra Dutson sets some horses free, Durant scares him by giving him a train pass to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he will be placed in an orphanage. However, Durant tells Ruth to be more loving to the boy, and she later tears up the train pass. On the way to Cheyenne, Cullen and his family meet Psalms and the crew. Psalms informs him of Elam not returning from a previous search for Cullen.
3 (33) episode guide Hell on Wheels
Cullen and family arrive in Cheyenne. He assaults Marshal Jessup and Heckard when they seem threatening. Cullen then asks Durant for his former chief engineer job, but is denied when Durant states that he is not dependable. Psalms offers him a job on the crew and his family a tent in which to live. Durant decides to tunnel through a hill that impedes the railroad progress. He debates the use of another hill with Campbell, who says it will be the future site of the statehouse, unless Durant establishes a structure on it within 24 hours. Durant has Delaney to put chicken coops on it. Eva loses a game of poker at the casino, but thinks the winner cheated. She later exchanges sex for cheating lessons from him. Cullen saves the rail crew when Delaney uses more than enough blasting powder on the hill, which contains methane-infused shale. Campbell offers to buy sundries for Naomi and later visits their tent to offer Cullen a better-paying job. He declines, telling Naomi that all he has gone through means nothing if the railroad is not finished. Later, he is beaten unconscious by Jessup and Heckard.
4 (34) episode guide Hell on Wheels
Since Delaney nearly caused the deaths of his crew by trying to tunnel into the hill, Cullen takes it upon himself to plot a line of track over it. In town, Naomi faces religious differences with Ruth and later tries to find comfort from her busy husband. Meanwhile, Campbell’s men claims eminent domain of the saloon, causing proprietor Mickey McGinnes to put up a fight and land in jail. When Durant refuses to help, Cullen reminds Mickey of coming to this country with nothing yet finding a way to succeed. Eva, without a job, tries to prostitute herself to Durant, who gives her money simply because she is the only one in town that he respects. At Fort Smith, Aaron Hatch seeks evidence that the Swede is not Bishop Dutson. The Swede suggests asking Brigham Young to make the final judgement.
5 (35) episode guide Hell on Wheels
“Life’s a Mystery”
In Ju?rez, Sydney Snow (Jonathan Scarfe) escapes a lynching by killing the Fuentes Brothers, intent on hanging him. Sydney flees, not noticing Marcos Fuentes (Zak Santiago) survived. Sydney arrives in Cheyenne, claiming to be a Cullen’s war buddy. Although Cullen doesn’t remember him, he still houses him and vouches for him with Psalms to work on the crew. Sydney divulges to Naomi, to Cullen’s chagrin, an old war story where Cullen had killed scores of Union soldiers convalescing in a hospital. Later, Marcos arrives with his men. Sydney not only kills Marcos in the general store, but he also fires wildly and kills a young boy. When the store clerk confronts Sydney, he’s also killed. Naomi, hiding with the baby, is found by Sydney, who is then stopped by Cullen as he contemplates whether to kill them. Meanwhile, Durant elicits Campbell’s anger by flattening his government office. A decree stating the site has been approved for a roundhouse is handed to Campbell, who later vows to take over Cheyenne and then the railroad. Brigham Young (Gregg Henry) arrives at Fort Smith. In private, he appears to know that the Swede is not Bishop Dutson by asking him about Cullen, Durant, and the railroad, and is willing to overlook the charade in order to facilitate the Mormons’ own expansion of their railroad. After Jessup insults Mickey in the bar, Mickey later strangles him in an alley. Heckard, hinting to Durant that he and Jessup were lovers and believing Durant is Jessup’s killer, attacks him viciously in his railcar.
6 (36) episode guide Hell on Wheels
Barely alive, Elam Ferguson is found, near the carcass of the bear that attacked him, by two Comanche braves who take him back to their village. A Comanche medicine man’s wife, Smiling Crow (Michelle Thrush), nurses him back to health, even though he loses vision in his left eye and has hallucinations. Elam continually fights a brave called White Feather (Moses Brings Plenty) for ownership of Charlotte (Sara Canning), a white woman brought from a raid whom Elam thinks is Eva. Later, he is taken to the village’s sweat lodge, where the medicine man unites him and White Feather by blood. Elam is taught how to say his new name, Bear Killer, in Comanche. Jimmy Two Squaws (Brent Briscoe) arrives in the village on business and recognizes Elam, but Elam doesn’t recognize him. Thinking Elam’s mind has been damaged, Jimmy still tells him that a Cavalry regiment is looking for Charlotte. He also tries to get Elam to go to Cheyenne, but Elam stabs him. Major Bendix and two others escape a Comanche raid with injuries, while Elam and the braves take souvenirs. Later, Charlotte begs Elam to sell her so he can get Eva back. White Feather carries her away, Elam kills and scalps him, then leaves the village with her and Jimmy’s two wives. Charlotte tries to escape, but he catches her. She accuses him of being an animal, worse than the Comanche, for killing Jimmy. Weeks later, the four arrive at some railroad tracks.
7 (37) episode guide Hell on Wheels
After Psalms suggests Cullen gets his family out of Cheyenne, Cullen finds the beaten Durant in his rail car. He stitches a laceration on Durant’s head, then manages to get his signature on a blank railroad letterhead. He advises him to not seek revenge for the beating. Cullen then gets Maggie Palmer to sign off on a loan for a steam shovel by producing Durant’s signature for collateral. Durant meets with Campbell, who denies ordering Heckard’s attack but says he will put him on the next train out of town. On the train, Durant sees Abby, who is returning to Boston because she still grieves for her father, Senator Metcalf. Durant lies to her, saying that he caused her father to commit suicide when he invested all his money in Durant’s railroad. Heckard, who was thrown off the train ostensibly on Durant’s orders, is bludgeoned to death by Durant near the side of the tracks. Elam arrives in town, looking to sell the women as slaves. Campbell seeks to have marksmen kill the seemingly crazed Elam, but Cullen asks for some time to reason with his friend. He reminds Elam of their friendship and history, but nothing can help him, not even Eva nor Psalms, neither of whom he recognizes. Cullen wrestles with him and is forced to stab and shoot him. Cullen later digs Elam’s grave alone, afterwards wailing in grief.
8 (38) episode guide Hell on Wheels
“Under Color of Law”
In the middle of the night, Naomi finds Cullen working on parts for the arriving steam shovel. She mentions his needing rest, and he sends her back to the tent. He later shows Delaney and Durant his plans on how to reach the mountain summit, but he needs men to refit the shovel. Delaney affords him ten. Cullen asks Psalms for his crew’s help. His plans are delayed when he finds Naomi has taken the baby and left for Fort Smith. He meets her to escort her the rest of the way. Hatch tells Cullen that the Swede went to Utah with Brigham Young. Naomi tells Cullen that she will not return to Cheyenne nor to him, if he remains a killer. He vows to return for them one day. Back in Cheyenne, Campbell appoints Sydney as the new marshal, and he arrests most of Psalms’ crew, whose bond Durant hasn’t paid, as well as Durant himself for Heckard’s murder. Mickey is also sought for Jessup’s murder, but Ruth hides him in the church. Eva, after listening to Charlotte’s expression of thanks, manages to get her a job in the dining room at Maggie Palmer’s hotel. The Swede is asked by Young who he really is. After lying at first, he is given another chance at the truth. He admits to being Thor Gundersen and that God sent him to take the Dutsons’ lives and become bishop. Young believes him. In Cheyenne, Cullen interrupts Campbell’s dinner with Louise to ask him to release Psalms and his crew. Campbell refuses until the town’s lawlessness is curbed. Cullen warns him that he asked as a gentleman, then retrieves his gun from his tent.
9 (39) episode guide Hell on Wheels
Cullen’s attempt to have Sydney release the freedmen fails, resulting in a jail-break plot with Delaney and Mickey. Campbell says the prisoners should be taken by train to the jurisdictions where their crimes were committed and that Durant will be sent to Omaha to face a judge. Mickey manages to get himself arrested and lies to Sydney, saying the plan will occur as the men are being loaded onto the train. Instead, Cullen later unhooks the railcar with the prisoners, as they use a key he gave Mickey to escape their shackles. Meanwhile, Delaney arrives from the other end on a train with a Gatling gun and rifles for the prisoners. After a shootout, Sidney escapes. In Cheyenne, Campbell and Louise’s relationship deepens and they have sex.
10 (40) episode guide Hell on Wheels
“Return to Hell”
Cullen returns to Cheyenne with Durant, Mickey, and the freedmen. The workers take refuge in the church, while Durant and Cullen make compromises with Campbell about the railroad construction and upholding the law. Sydney blocks the door to the church and sets fire to it, as Ruth watches in horror. Most of the men are able to escape, except for those shot at by Sydney. Eva finds the man who raped her among those injured, and she smothers him to death while Louise watches from a distance. She later mentions this to Eva, but promises to keep it secret as the man also once raped her. Ruth cannot find Ezra, and Mickey mentions the hiding place under the floorboards of the church. There, Cullen and Ruth find Ezra dead. Cullen forces Campbell at gunpoint to allow justice be served on Sydney, even if he has fled. In Utah, Brigham Young and the Swede discuss the Central Pacific Railroad’s progress with Collis Huntington (Tim Guinee), although the Swede oversteps his bounds and Young corrects him. Huntington still shows interest in the Swede. Back in Cheyenne, Louise tells Campbell that she is writing an article about his administration, which he might not like. After burying Ezra, Ruth tells Cullen that her wish is for Sydney to be returned to Hell and his suffering be “deep and eternal”. Sydney returns to challenge Cullen to a duel – though Cullen says he’s done with killing and will arrest him. He says Cullen will have to take his guns from him. As they approach each other, Ruth gets another man’s gun and shoots Sydney twice.
11 (41) episode guide Hell on Wheels
Cullen enlists Durant and Eva’s help to save Sydney’s life, whatever the cost, in order to keep Ruth from being hanged for his death. Ruth, while being kept at Louise’s newspaper office, reflects on her upbringing with Reverend Cole (Tom Noonan), when he usurped his position as both father and preacher. Despite all efforts to save Sydney, he dies. Campbell, still trying to get Cullen to be a lawman, forces him to arrest Ruth, who shows no remorse. Meanwhile, Mickey’s Irish cousin, Johnny Shea (Andrew Howard), arrives to be the new saloon proprietor and Mickey’s protector.
12 (42) episode guide Hell on Wheels
The casino is converted into a court room, where Ruth pleads guilty to mortally shooting Sidney, despite a written statement from Cullen stating she protected an officer of the law. She is sentenced to hang. Cullen begs Campbell to pardon her, as a hanging would serve no purpose. Campbell offers to do so, if Ruth accepts it, which she doesn’t. Louise informs Campbell of the article that she is publishing about his kangaroo court. He says Ruth made her decision, but Louise asks if Sidney’s appointment of marshal and his burning of the church were also Ruth’s decisions. Campbell asks if Ruth should be made a saint; Louise is still deciding on a devil. Cullen’s attempts to change Ruth’s mind prove futile. She also professes to love him, but remained quiet when he returned with his new family. She tells him to always choose family and to go to them. The gallows get constructed in the town square, and she is hanged. Campbell asks Louise to not print the article, or their relationship will end. She chooses the former. The steam shovel gets tested and works. Durant tells Cullen to wire General Grant that the summit will be reached by month’s end. Cullen replies, “I quit.”
13 (43) episode guide Hell on Wheels
Cullen leaves the Union Pacific and rides to Fort Smith to be with his family. However, upon arrival, he finds some of the fort’s residents are missing, including Naomi and child, and the rest are dead. He buries them and proceeds to Salt Lake City for answers. There, he learns that Fort Smith had an outbreak of smallpox. He finds someone with the Hatch name at a makeshift clinic, but it is Naomi’s mother, who tells him that Naomi was sent somewhere west where he will never find her. Collis Huntington sees Cullen and offers him principal interest in the Central Pacific, which, with its expansion, may possibly be the only way Cullen will find his family. Back in Cheyenne, Campbell has had the provisional part removed from his governorship and begins to obtain most of the businesses there, except for the newspaper, which is owned by the railroad. He fails to convince Louise into being partners with him. Durant and his crew reach the summit, and he telegraphs Huntington in California, where Cullen arrives to accept the offer.
Hell on Wheels overview of episodes (season 5)