Season 4 Episode 13
As the railroad prepares to summit Sherman Peak and leave Cheyenne behind, Cullen returns to Fort Smith to retrieve his family...[button color="black" size="small" link="http://www.amctv.com/shows/hell-on-wheels" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]
Cullen visits the worksite, where he says goodbye to Psalms and is saluted by Delaney before he rides off.
Cullen approaches the gates of the Mormon fort. They're open, and the place appears deserted. Inside, Cullen discovers the bodies of several Mormons and Indians. He hears a noise and turns to see Elder Moss, scalped and with an arrow through his neck. Moss falls into Cullen's arms, points west and whispers, "Naomi," then dies.
Louise arrives at the newspaper office to find it's been broken into and her equipment has been destroyed. Campbell enters and remarks, "It appears you've ruffled some feathers." He tells her he intends to purchase the Leader from Durant, but only if Louise agrees to stay on. In exchange, Campbell will give Louise his full protection: "We'll rebuild this newspaper together." Louise rejects his offer and sarcastically thanks Campbell for confirming that her newspaper does indeed matter, informing him, "I will never let you take it from me."
As he leaves the fort, Cullen passes a row of graves. He kneels to examine wagon tracks leading away, then follows them west.
One month later, Cullen arrives in Salt Lake City. After checking into a hotel, Cullen turns to see Collis Huntington from the Central Pacific. Huntington says that Cullen has "come a long way for nothing," and that he's made a deal with Brigham Young and hired all available men within 500 miles. Cullen doesn't respond. Huntington follows Cullen out the door, reveals that he knows Cullen quit the Union Pacific, and asks what brought Cullen to "this mecca of polygamist pretension." Cullen answers that he's looking for his Mormon wife and son, then walks off.
The Swede observes as Brigham Young negotiates with the Spinoza brothers, Zeke and Harry, for a price on wagons to transfer the Mormon workers west. When Young rejects their price, the brothers blaspheme, and insult Young before leaving.
Campbell, flanked by members of the U.S. Cavalry including Major Bendix, brings Mickey a telegram from President Grant. It acknowledges the judicial system Campbell has established in Cheyenne and removes the "provisional" from his governor's title. Campbell instructs Mickey and the Dead Rabbits to leave Cheyenne on the first train departing the next morning. If not, they'll be charged with conspiracy and attempted assassination of a government official, taken into custody, and shot by Bendix.
At the Salt Lake City records office, Cullen tries to locate Fort Smith's survivors. The records clerk tells him the fort wasn't attacked by Indians: It was hit by smallpox, with the survivors arriving two weeks ago. Most are sick and dying and in quarantine.
In response to the news about the smallpox, Cullen burns his clothes and belongings.
At the schoolhouse where the sick are quarantined, Cullen asks for Naomi and William. No one is listed under the name Bohannon, but the nurse does find a listing under Hatch. Cullen runs into the sickroom in tears, but finds it's not Naomi who's quarantined there: it's her mother.
Eva sutures a slash on a prostitute's face as another mentions how many girls have been hurt this month by the Dead Rabbits. Eva finds Mickey and tells him the girls aren't being looked after properly. When Mickey responds that he's leaving Cheyenne to head west and taking the girls with him, Eva negotiates a 15% stake in the business and a position as the girls' Madam.
The Swede kills Harry Spinoza with a broken whiskey bottle, then approaches Zeke and presents him with a contract, splattered with Harry's blood, containing revised wagon prices.
After showing Brigham Young the signed contract, The Swede asks again to join the Mormon Central Pacific workers headed west, in order to "look after our interest, and the souls of our Mormon brethren. You see now how I might be effective."
Cullen sits by Mrs. Hatch's bedside. She wakes and recognizes him. When Cullen asks where Naomi and William are alive, she confirms they're alive and says they've gone west, "where you'll never find them." Mrs. Hatch dies without saying anything more.
Huntington catches Cullen walking away from the schoolhouse. Cullen accepts his offer of a drink, something Cullen has been unable to procure in the dry Mormon city.
Durant looks up as Campbell barges into the railroad office. Campbell announces, "The Cheyenne Palace is mine. The comfort house is mine. The jail across the street is mine. The hotel will be mine, one way or another. That leaves only one outstanding item: Chicken Hill." Durant produces the deed to the hill, places it on his desktop, stands between Campbell and the desk, and tells Campbell if he can take the deed off the desk, it's his. Campbell accepts the challenge and starts to take off his coat when Durant slugs him and knocks him to the ground.
The men wrestle, eventually bursting out the front doors of the railroad office. The brawl continues in the muddy street as a crowd, including Bendix, watches without intervening. The two men end up laying beside one another, tired, bloodied, and completely covered in mud. A series of offers and counteroffers result in Campbell agreeing to pay Durant triple fair market value for the hill.
Over their clandestine drink, Huntington grills Cullen about his search for Naomi and William, and says Cullen's plan to head west to look for them is guaranteed to fail. Noting that "the Mormon faithful are spread out 80,000 strong over as many miles," Huntington offers Cullen a better way to find his family. Pointing out that the Central Pacific will be built through that land, and that "there is nothing in Mormon country that I won't know about or can't find out about," Huntington says if Cullen comes to work for him, all of the Central Pacific's resources will be at his disposal. Cullen starts to walk away, but Huntington adds to the proposal, offering Cullen interest in the Central Pacific. Cullen walks out.
Campbell smiles at the Wyoming flag flying on Chicken Hill.
Eva joins the Dead Rabbits and Mickey's prostitutes as they board a train headed west.
The Swede rides with Zeke, leading a caravan headed west across the plains.
Durant dictates a telegram to be sent to Huntington: "Sherman Peak is behind me. Stop. I am coming for you. Stop. The zebra shall be eaten. Stop."
In California's eastern Sierras, Cullen gets in line with Chinese laborers to sign up for railroad work on the Central Pacific. Huntington jumps up and comes over. "Ambition get the best of you?" he asks. "I'm here 'til I find my family," Cullen responds. "Whatever you can do to help me, you'll do. Whatever's my share, I keep." They shake on Cullen taking a 1.5-percent share of the company, and Huntington shows Cullen the telegram from Durant. "With you in camp, this might be the moment the zebra turns the tables on the lion," Huntington says, "What say you, Mr. Bohannon?" "I say blood will be spilt," Cullen replies.
Cullen climbs to the top of a bluff and looks east. Behind him are an immense workforce of Chinese laborers building the Central Pacific railroad. In front of him are the imposing peaks of the Rocky Mountains — and, somewhere out there, his family.