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Season 4, Episode 6

Bear Man

Following a vicious attack by a bear, Elam struggles to survive in a Comanche village and find his way back to Cheyenne.

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A gunshot rings out, and a riderless horse bolts across the prairie. Elam, having been mauled by a bear, crawls away from the bear's corpse. Rain falls as Elam prays, "Lord, don't take me like this." He has a dream about Eva in which she sees his wounds and runs away screaming. Two Comanche braves discover Elam's nearly lifeless body.

At the Comanche village, White Feather and Tangle Hair look on as a Comanche medicine man chants while his wife, Smiling Crow, cleans and dresses Elam's wounds. Smiling Crow pulls a bear tooth from Elam's skull.

Some time later, Elam wakes in Smiling Crow's teepee. She calls him "Bear Killer" and explains that it's her honor to be his caretaker "so that you may recover and protect our village." Smiling Crow slowly nurses Elam back to health.

A commotion outside the teepee wakes Elam. Still unable to stand, he crawls to the edge of the teepee and peeks underneath. The Comanche are returning from a raid with a prisoner, a blond white woman named Charlotte.

White Feather taunts a hungry Elam with deer meat and says Elam doesn't scare him. Smiling Crow enters the teepee and orders White Feather out.

When Elam is strong enough to stand, Smiling Crow drapes the pelt of the bear he killed across his shoulders. Elam walks out of the teepee and into the light. A ringing begins in his head. The Comanche gather around. "Did you see her?" Elam desperately asks. "Why she run from me?"

Wandering through the village, Elam sees White Feather abusing Charlotte, who is now his slave. Elam follows Charlotte into White Feather's teepee and grabs her. He examines her face closely, then throws her down, declaring, "You ain't her." Charlotte chases after Elam, begging him to get word of her capture to her brother-in-law in Cincinnati.

White Feather sees Elam come out of his teepee and says, "The yellow-haired slave is mine." He lunges at Elam, and they fight to a draw in the grass. The ringing in Elam's head returns.

That night, White Feather and Tangle Hair march Elam at knifepoint to the village's sweat lodge. Once inside, the medicine man performs a blood ritual uniting White Feather and Elam. White Feather teaches Elam how to say his new name, Bear Killer, in Comanche.

Weeks later, Elam returns from a hunt with the braves. Jimmy Two Squaws, in the village on business, recognizes Elam and says, "They said they found a bear killer out on the prairie, but looks to me like they got themselves a railroad man a long way from home." At first Elam doesn't recognize Jimmy, but when Jimmy mentions Cullen's name, it triggers a memory: "I see him covered in flames," Elam says. Jimmy realizes that Elam's mind has been damaged.

That afternoon, Jimmy sits with Elam and explains that the village's medicine man, Old Porcupine, is his father-in-law. Jimmy is there to warn Old Porcupine about some nearby Bluecoats, who are looking for Charlotte. Jimmy also explains that the Comanche believe Elam absorbed magic from the bear that he killed and that he now can't be defeated in battle, so when the Comanche raid the Bluecoats that evening, they want to take Elam with them. Jimmy believes Elam is fated for a quick demise in battle because Elam only has one working eye. He tells him they've got to get back to Cheyenne "before we lose what's left of you."

That night, the Comanche braves hold a war dance. Jimmy tries to force Elam to attempt to escape, but Elam insists that he must "earn my own woman in battle." Elam stabs Jimmy in the chest, then leaves his body in the teepee and joins the braves dancing around a bonfire.

At dawn, Major Bendix sits reading next to a river as Elam and the braves watch from a distance. Elam silently kills one of Bendix's men with a tomahawk, then grabs the fallen soldier's rifle. The Comanche attack and Bendix escapes along with two of his men.

Charlotte sees the braves return with Elam, who is now wearing a blue cavalry jacket. Charlotte runs up to Elam and begs him to sell her so that he can get Eva back. White Feather pulls Charlotte away from Elam and carries her into his teepee. Elam listens to her scream, then grabs a tomahawk and enters the teepee. He kills and scalps White Feather, then drags Charlotte into his own teepee.

Charlotte sees Jimmy's corpse on the floor of Elam's teepee and screams. Now wearing his old Chief of Police badge, which he took back from White Feather after killing him, Elam grabs Charlotte and his bear pelt. He binds Charlotte's hands, as well as those of White Feather's two other female slaves, mounts a horse, and rides away from the village with the three women trailing behind him on a rope.

That night, Charlotte wriggles free of her bindings while Elam is sleeping. At dawn, she attempts to escape, but Elam awakens in time to see her running off and catches her. Charlotte accuses Elam of being an animal, worse than the Comanche, for killing Jimmy. Elam screams at her to shut up.

Weeks later, Elam and the women come across some railroad tracks. Elam stares down at the tracks, then off into the distance where the tracks disappear at the horizon.