Season 4, Episode 2
Escape From the Garden
Cullen challenges the Swede as he plans his exit from Fort Smith. A new adversary arrives and makes his presence felt in Cheyenne.
Hell on Wheels returns to AMC in 2016.
Picking up immediately from where Episode 401, "The Elusive Eden," left off, Cullen stands face-to-face with The Swede in the storehouse of the Mormon fort. "Open up that gate," Cullen growls. The Swede insists on "due process" before allowing Cullen to leave. A sentry interrupts them: "Soldiers approaching!"
Dripping blood from an Indian encounter, Major Bendix approaches the fort gates along with his surviving cavalry soldiers and requests assistance. Fearing a trap, The Swede (as Bishop Dutson) orders them to go away. Cullen emerges from the gates carrying grain for their horses. Bendix recognizes Cullen and offers help, but Cullen immediately tells Bendix to pretend they don't know each other. Cullen quietly explains his situation at the fort to Bendix and says he'll be free soon. Aaron Hatch stops The Swede from having the militiamen fire on Cullen and Bendix as they talk. Bendix and his men ride away, and Cullen returns to the fort.
Back inside, The Swede accuses Cullen of plotting with Bendix. Cullen assures The Swede his identity is safe. The Swede, Hatch, and the Mormon elders vote that Cullen should remain at the fort to help build their railroad and become "one of us."
John Campbell and his men arrive in Cheyenne. Over lunch, Durant probes Campbell for information about his intentions. Campbell says he plans to bring law and order to Cheyenne, and notes that he'll be levying taxes to acquire land on which to build a capitol building, treasury, courthouse, and jail.
Ezra, hiding near the stockyard, opens a gate in the fence and frees the penned-in horses.
Cullen and Naomi prepare to leave for Cheyenne. Cullen tells her they'll live in a caboose, with a feather bed and a door that locks.
Hatch warns Cullen that Bishop Dutson will shoot him if he tries to leave. Cullen says, "It ain't me he's scared of. He's afraid I'll make him see his own true self."
In the railroad office, Durant chastises Ezra for putting Ruth in debt by letting the horses loose. Durant hands Ezra a free rail pass to the Council Bluffs orphanage and describes the beatings Ezra will get there -- beatings he's familiar with from having been raised in an orphanage himself. Ruth arrives to retrieve Ezra, who runs out of the room. When Ruth asks what to do with Ezra, Durant replies, "Take him home. Love him. And keep him out of my stockyards."
Campbell and his men tour Cheyenne, mapping out where they'll build the new capitol (on a nearby rise), treasury (where Mickey's casino stands), and the courthouse and jail (across from the train station).
Campbell walks into the offices of the Cheyenne Leader and introduces himself to Louise Ellison, who asks to interview him for the paper.
At the casino, Jessup, acting as Cheyenne's new federal marshal, arrests Tom McGuire after witnessing him shooting and killing a man for cheating at cards. Mickey intervenes, and, after plucking extra cards off the dead man's body, says any man caught cheating is "liable to get what you get." Jessup says McGuire will be tried in court. Eva picks up the cheater's money.
When Louise asks Campbell about his part in Atlanta's reconstruction, he responds that he "bent the city to the national will, as I intend to do in Cheyenne, with or without the help of Thomas Durant." Louise asks if she can quote him on that, and Campbell replies, "I wish you would."
Cullen sits on the buckboard of his wagon, reading the Book of Mormon. He finishes reading and approaches The Swede. The community watches as Cullen embraces him, tearfully asking for forgiveness as he falls to his knees and recounts his sins. Slipping into a trance, The Swede encourages Cullen to continue.
Cullen lists out the "sacrifices" The Swede made to save him and claims "those who have had to die know this, even by your hand." Cullen rises, describing how The Swede "did away with the pretender Dutson" and took his rightful place. The Swede, still entranced, shouts "Praise God!" Cullen says God himself has cleansed The Swede of Bishop Dutson's blood. The Swede opens his eyes, looks down at his hands, and quietly says, "Because it was in a river."
Cullen turns to face the community, making sure they’ve heard The Swede confess to killing Bishop Dutson. They have. Aaron Hatch opens the gates, and, as Cullen whistles "Dixie," Cullen, Naomi and the baby drive through them in the wagon. Hatch and his militia surround The Swede.
At the casino, Judge Webber oversees McGuire's trial as Campbell observes the proceedings. Marshal Jessup serves as the witness to the crime. McGuire admits, "I shot him, but he was comin' at me for naming him a cheat. He had a knife." Webber finds McGuire guilty.
Riding through the wilderness, Cullen and Naomi encounter an injured Comanche brave on horseback. Cullen and the brave eye each other warily as they pass one another without incident.
Ruth asks Ezra if he's making trouble because he misses Cullen. She tears his train pass in half and promises not to send him to the orphanage.
At the casino, a noose is placed around McGuire's neck. Durant bursts in and demands that Campbell release McGuire, saying, "This is not how we mete out justice in Cheyenne." "It is now," Campbell replies. McGuire is hung.
That night, Cullen and Naomi take shelter from a storm, and Cullen reassures her that they're safe. The next day, they crest a hill and catch sight of Cheyenne.
Durant steals a letter from Campbell to General Grant from the Palmer Hotel and brings it back to the railroad office. The letter outlines Campbell's progress "curbing the rampant and notorious violence" of Cheyenne, and disparages Durant. The letter notes that Campbell plans to use "strong action" to "bring both unruly institutions to heel: Cheyenne and Thomas C. Durant." Durant crumples the letter into a ball and tosses it in the stove.
As Durant walks down the main street of Cheyenne, he sees Campbell standing on the balcony of his former room at the Palmer Hotel. Campbell unfurls a large Wyoming Territory flag and drapes it over the balcony's railing.
A disbelieving Psalms greets Cullen and Naomi as they approach and says, "We thought you was dead." Psalms tells Cullen that Elam has gone missing too. "Just disappeared. Took off to find you...We reckon he dead too." Cullen takes in the news in stony silence.