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Season 5, Episode 7

False Prophets

Cullen and Durant reunite in Salt Lake City to meet with President Grant over the future of the railroad. The Swede enacts his plan against the Mormons.

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Full Recap

At the Salt Lake City meeting, Durant and Huntington argue in circles. Grant demands a straight answer from Durant: will the Union Pacific build North or South of the Great Salt Lake? Durant says South, to a Salt Lake City terminus -- contrary to what Louise's article suggests. Brigham Young, also in attendance, produces the Central Pacific map stolen by Samuel as evidence that Huntington is "a liar and a thief." Huntington admits he's taking the Northern route and regrets any "misunderstanding." Cullen enters the room as Durant and Huntington resume shouting. Grant orders them to establish the route and terminus before leaving Salt Lake City. They recess.

Outside, Huntington tells Cullen they've lost Brigham's trust and his workers, and must strike back at Durant. Cullen bets Durant won't go South and give up Ogden; he's just trying to keep the Mormon workers as long as possible. They plan to catch Durant in a lie so Grant will give the C.P. Ogden "and its millions of dollars worth of coal."

In the Lion House, Brigham admits to his son, Cassius, that he needs the railroad more than Durant needs Mormon workers. Phineas and The Swede arrive from Truckee. Brigham impatiently dismisses Phineas, who requests the location of the Hatchites. Brigham blasts, "What you needed was an awareness of the treachery brewing right under your nose." The Swede tries to defend Phineas, but Brigham shuts him down: "Had it not been for you, our mission there would've proved twice as disastrous."

Outside, Phineas tells The Swede he wants to strike now. The Swede counsels patience. As they speak, Cassius runs up. He shares the location of the Hatchites' camp and welcomes Phineas home.

Cullen suspiciously watches The Swede and Phineas ride away.

In Laramie, Eva discovers The Parlor's cash box is empty. She confronts Josie and the girls about the missing $700: "Whoever done this is stealing from all of us." "I'm real scared," Josie retorts sarcastically. Eva warns that if Josie crosses her, she'll put Josie back in the pig slop she came from. "That money best turn up," Eva says.

Josie complains about Eva to Mickey and Shea. She offers to take Eva's place -- and work alongside Shea.

Back in the boardroom, Delaney defines the U.P. route plan -- barring any necessary detours. Cullen, who made the survey when he was still working for Durant, assures the room no detours will be needed. Durant grudgingly concedes. Cullen moves to lock in the U.P route South through Salt Lake City, explicitly excluding detours to Ogden. Huntington agrees, but Durant waffles. Grant gives Durant an ultimatum: "Go South and forfeit Ogden, or go North and through Ogden." Durant's hand is forced. He chooses Ogden. Brigham is furious, Huntington ecstatic. They'll settle where the two railroads join by naming the terminus when they reconvene.

Among the U.P. tents, Brigham confronts Durant about his lies. Durant blames Cullen and offers to construct a spur line to Salt Lake City in exchange for Mormon workers. Brigham stands firm: "Salt Lake City is the terminus or you can build your railroad alone."

In the C.P. camp, Huntington tells Cullen they'll name Ft. Bridger as the terminus, and Durant "won't so much as smell the coal in Ogden." Cullen is concerned that Grant will see through the scheme -- the C.P. isn't even through the Sierras yet -- and refuses to lie to the president. Huntington insists that what's good for the railroad is good for America. When Cullen accepted a stake in the C.P., Huntington says, he became a tycoon, "and a tycoon always chooses the win."

Eva stands with Mickey on his private balcony. He threatens to demote her and make Josie the madam if she doesn't find the missing $700 and get the girls in line.

Cullen approaches his tent to find Durant sitting outside. Durant expresses disappointment at being at odds with Cullen. Cullen clarifies, "I joined the Central Pacific to find my family." "The Union Pacific is your family," Durant counters, "Since the moment you bust into my train car and told me to hire you instead of hanging you." Cullen asks if Durant regrets his decision. "Not if you come home," Durant offers. He says Huntington is using Cullen, and predicts what Huntington has just asked Cullen to do. "It's what I'd do," Durant adds, "But I would never ask you to lie." Durant invites Cullen to join him in burying Huntington and winning the coal fields of Ogden. Cullen says Durant is full of surprises, reminding Durant that he said he'd never take Cullen back. Now, Cullen says, he has some surprises of his own.

Brigham also courts Cullen, asking him to speak to the president on behalf of the Mormons. When Cullen says going through Salt Lake City isn't practical for the railroad, Brigham offers information he thinks Cullen might find personally practical: Brigham knows the location of the Hatchites, and he's using it as a bargaining chip. "Let my good fortune be yours," Brigham offers, "And you shall be reunited with your loved ones." "Not like that," Cullen declares, and walks away.

Eva arms herself with a pistol. She walks into Tess's room and orders Josie off the bed. Eva points the gun at Josie and demands the missing money. Josie's eyes give away its location, hidden under Tess's mattress. As Eva turns to leave, Josie pulls out a knife and slashes Eva across the arm. Eva fires Josie and orders her to leave on the 10am train to Cheyenne.

In his childhood bedroom, Phineas tells The Swede he's had a vision: Walking through the desert with a dagger, he saw an abandoned sheep with fangs and claws, but he was frozen with fear. The Swede interprets, "Heavenly Father is telling you to slaughter the sheep so that you may wear his wool." The Swede tells Phineas not to fear this "holy divination." "My mission is clear," Phineas assures him.

Over a campfire, Grant tells Cullen he believes the railroad will heal the nation. Cullen says he never pictured Grant as a politician. Grant agrees, but "sometimes you can't avoid the thing you want most even if getting it is detestable." He wants power, which means politics. Grant asks what Cullen wants. Cullen says he used to know. Grant advises Cullen to keep things simple: the public doesn't care where the railroads meet, only that they do. "Even if it's Salt Lake City?" Cullen asks. "In politics, nothing's ever off the table," Grant says.

The next morning, Cullen goes to Brigham. "Tell me where my family is and I'll make the case for Salt Lake City," Cullen declares. Brigham gives him the location.

Eva sighs as she hears the train leaving the station. Just then, Josie walks into the room and tells Eva she's not leaving -- Eva is. Sitting at her desk, Eva calmly turns and shoots Josie in the gut. In the next room, Tess screams. Josie falls to the ground and starts crawling away. Eva walks over and watches Josie die.

Eva tosses the bag of coins onto Mickey's table, her gun still in hand. "We're gonna need a new redhead," she announces. Mickey says Eva's just cost him a lot of money. Eva challenges: it was her decision to make. Mickey concedes, and Eva smiles. Mickey tells her to get cleaned up and back to work.

Back in the boardroom, Durant proposes Promontory, UT as the terminus. Huntington turns the floor over to Cullen, who exchanges a look with Brigham. Cullen proposes the "radical alternative" of no terminus at all, with both railroads taking the Northern route and bypassing Salt Lake City. Brigham and Durant object. Cullen suggests the prize of Ogden go "to the man who gets there first." Grant smiles and agrees to the race.

After the meeting, Cassius and two armed Mormon guards come for Cullen.

Phineas enters Brigham's office armed with a knife. Brigham rises, towering over Phineas, and chastises Phineas for interrupting him while he's fighting for the life of his flock. "It is not your flock anymore, father," Phineas declares, "It's mine." He stabs Brigham in the stomach. Brigham looks down at the growing bloodstain, then punches Phineas in the face. Phineas lunges at Brigham, pushing him onto the desk. He stabs over and over until Brigham lies still.

Phineas, now dressed in Brigham's white robes with blood smeared on his face, addresses a group of Mormons outside. He announces that the False Prophet has fallen and he is the True Prophet. Suddenly, Brigham appears from behind and wraps his bloody arm around Phineas's throat. Guards run over as Brigham casts off his traitorous son, then crumples to the ground proclaiming, "Heavenly Father spared me in his mercy." He's carried inside as The Swede steals away on a horse.

Cassius's business with Cullen is interrupted by news of Brigham's stabbing. Cullen follows Cassius into the room where Brigham is being treated, shouting that Gunderson is behind it all. The Swede is gone, but Cassius remembers Phineas asking about the Hatchites' location. Cullen realizes where The Swede is headed and races to catch up.

Naomi plays with William in a field. The Swede marches toward them.