Season 4 Episode 10
"Return to Hell"
Cullen, Durant, and Campbell negotiate toward a settlement for policing the streets as an act of terror strikes Cheyenne...[button color="black" size="small" link="http://www.amctv.com/shows/hell-on-wheels" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]
Louise wakes up next to Campbell and gets dressed. She's concerned about jeopardizing her professional objectivity by sleeping with him, but Campbell assures her he'll be discreet. Their embrace is interrupted by the whistle of a train pulling into Cheyenne. Campbell quickly pulls on his pants and goes out on his balcony, where he watches Cullen step out of the train car along with Mickey and Durant.
The freedmen workers exit the train with the captive surviving guards and the corpses from the shootout. When Atwood and Campbell's other enforcers block their path, Cullen asks them to step aside.
Atwood looks to Campbell, who waves his hand to let the workers through. The captive guards are released, and the workers head to the church.
Sidney Snow observes from a nearby hilltop.
Outside the church, Ruth chastises Ezra for playing with guns and sends him to hang the wash. Durant tells Cullen that the men are refusing to return to work and won't leave the church building. Cullen claims with Sidney gone, there's nobody to enforce the wanted posters. Durant wants "assurances," so Cullen takes him to get them.
The Swede, now with short hair and wearing spectacles, sits next to Brigham Young and takes notes during a meeting with Collis Huntington. Huntington mentions that his Chinese workers are in the midst of a work stoppage. The Swede interrupts to ask what Huntington feeds his workers, but Young shuts him up and continues negotiating with Huntington.
Sidney sings to himself as he gathers lumber from the saw mill.
That evening, Durant and Cullen confront Campbell. Durant points out Campbell is outgunned and demands Campbell tear up the wanted posters and stop harassing his men. In return, Campbell insists on remaining Provisional Governor of Wyoming and that the streets of Cheyenne be policed - by the U.S. Calvary under martial law, if necessary. Cullen agrees to become Cheyenne's new marshal, but refuses to work for Campbell -- instead, he'll work for the railroad. Campbell agrees.
Gunshots are fired outside the church. Mickey runs to the front doors and discovers they've been barricaded shut. Psalms shouts that the church is on fire. The trapped men are met by more gunfire when they try to escape through the windows. Ruth looks outside, sees Sidney looking back at her, and screams.
Cullen and Durant run towards the burning building. They open the front doors, freeing the men inside to start a bucket line and douse the flames. Ruth tells Cullen that Sidney set the fire. Cullen runs inside, rescues Paddy Quinn, and checks to make sure everyone else has made it out safely. Ruth falls to her knees as she watches her church burn.
As he's concluding his business with Brigham Young, Huntington asks The Swede why he wanted to know what the Chinese workers eat. The Swede compares a railroad labor force to an army and notes, "An army runs on its stomach." When he cites his years working for the Union Pacific, Huntington asks if The Swede knows Cullen -- a man who "impresses the hell out of me." "Everything I know, I learned by careful study of Cullen Bohannon," The Swede replies and offers himself to Huntington as "a former Union Pacific man to accompany your fresh Mormon workers." Brigham Young says they'll discuss it and dismisses The Swede.
The next morning, whores tend to the men who were injured while fighting the church fire. Among them, Eva finds the Irish worker who brutally raped her. He pleads for her help. "Look at me. My name is Eva," she responds. "I been mother, daughter, Injun, wife and whore, but in all my time on this earth, I ain't ever met a bigger piece of sh*t than you." She then takes a piece of muslin bandage and smothers him. A shocked Louise watches as the Irish worker struggles, then stops moving. "He couldn't be saved," Eva says.
Meanwhile, Ruth frantically looks for Ezra, who she hasn't seen since she sent him to hang the wash. Mickey pulls Cullen aside and quietly tells him about Ezra's hiding spot under the back room floorboards. Cullen walks through the burned-out shell of the church and pulls back a loose board. Horrified, he turns and sees Ruth standing behind him. He tries to keep her away, but she pushes past him, looks into the hole in the floor, and screams in grief.
Cullen storms into the hotel and forces his way into Campbell's room. Putting a gun to Campbell's head, he demands to know where Sidney is. When Campbell says he doesn't know, Cullen drags Campbell out to the balcony and dangles him over the railing. Campbell accepts full blame for the church burning down, admits he should never have hired Sidney, and offers "every resource at my disposal to help you find him and see him hang." Cullen drags Campbell back over the railing, noting, "You're all out of resources as far as I can tell."
Mickey reports that he's searched the town for Sidney without luck, but Cullen insists they re-search. When Mickey suggests Sidney's probably halfway to Mexico, a wild-eyed Cullen points his pistol at Mickey. "He's gone. It's over," Mickey insists. Cullen drops his gun, and laments not shooting Sidney in the general store when he had the chance.
Ruth sits alone on a charred bench inside the ruins of the church. Cullen approaches, and apologizes for letting Sidney get away. Ruth reminisces about Ezra, and laments not being a better mother to him.
Brigham Young tells The Swede that Huntington asked about The Swede coming to work on the Central Pacific. The Swede beams and says the Holy Spirit compelled him to reach out to Huntington, but Young interrupts him with a blow to the jaw. "I am God's prophet on Earth, not you," Young thunders. The Swede apologizes for being "bested by my pride," and Young tells him, "Heavenly Father has plans for you here." After Young exits, The Swede's smile turns into a sneer and he mumbles to himself in Norwegian.
Cullen helps Ruth onto the buckboard carrying Ezra's coffin.
Louise knocks on Eva's door. She reveals she was also raped by the Irish worker Eva murdered, but despite that, could never bring herself to do what Eva did. "Enough things happen to you long enough out here, you can do anything. You'll see," Eva responds.
Cullen finishes burying Ezra. Ruth turns to him and says fiercely, "When you find the devil who did this to my child, I hope you return him to hell with my wish that his suffering be deep and eternal."
Durant gives Cullen the railroad marshal badge, warning him not to let his new duties prevent him from conquering Sherman's Peak.
Dressing after their latest tryst, Louise tells Campbell she's writing an article about the administration of justice in Cheyenne, and that she doesn't think he's going to like it.
Sidney rides through Cheyenne calling for Cullen and threatening to "shoot the piss out of this pig sh*t town." The streets quickly empty. Cullen presents himself and tells Sidney he should have stayed away. Sidney agrees, but says it was unfinished business with Cullen that brought him back.
As Cullen starts to walk towards Sidney, a shot rings out. Sidney, hit in the leg, stumbles. A second shot hits him in the gut. Bewildered, Sidney looks at the porch of the Palmer Hotel and sees Ruth, smoking gun in hand. "The church lady?" he chuckles in disbelief, before dropping to the ground and bleeding out.