Sep 14, 201204:57 PMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
TV Recap: Top 5 Things To Know About 'Hell On Wheels,' Season 2, Episode 5
Guns were blazing and stakes were rising throughout “The Railroad Job,” last Sunday’s exciting episode of Hell on Wheels. If you missed all the action, here are the top five things you need to know before tuning in this Sunday. (If you would rather watch than read, take note: AMC is going to rerun all five Hell on Wheels episodes aired so far this season back to back starting at 12 noon ET Saturday.)
BAD COMPANIONS: Cullen Bohannon likely thought he’d seen the last of the ex-Confederates with whom he was robbing trains when we caught up with him at the start of Season 2. In “The Railroad Job,” however, the Southern-fired outlaws led by the coldblooded Hawkins (returning guest star Ryan Robbins) ride into Hell on Wheels to rob the railroad office while Bohannon and most of the other workers are off building a bridge. Elam Ferguson suspects something is afoot when he has an altercation with one of the outlaws, and Hawkins rushes in to smooth things over by offering to “buy this Negro gentleman a drink.” Elam – who knows damn well that ex-Confederates aren’t likely to refer to him as a Negro – prepares for the worst by arming Irish brothers Sean and Mickey McGinnes and Psalms, the railroad worker who’s evidently still recovering from his internal injuries after his fight with Common two episodes ago.
UNLEASHED HELL: The bad guys storm into the railroad office, guns drawn, and bad things start to happen. Thomas “Doc” Durant is seriously wounded during a shootout, and Lily Bell is brutally coerced into opening the safe containing the camp’s payroll. Bohannon gallops back into Hell on Wheels just in time to join Elam, Psalms, the McGinnes brothers and even Lily in firing back at the bandits. When the smoke clears, all but one of the gang — Hawkins — are very seriously dead. Elam, one of the few people who knows of Bohannon’s past connection to the would-be robbers, remarks: “You got some nice friends.” “Ain’t much fun killin’ ‘em,” Bohannon replies, “but they seemed to need it.”
MEDICAL ISSUES: Desperate situations call for desperate measures. Recognizing the gravity of Durant’s wounds, Bohannon rides out into the nearby woods where he knows the last member of the gang, his old buddy Doc Whitehead, is waiting. All the while insisting that he lacks both the tools and the training to give Durant the treatment he needs, Doc Whitehead nonetheless manages to stop the bleeding and patch up the railroad boss so Durant can be transported to a far-off hospital. Meanwhile, Lily — who has been wondering what’ll happen to her once the railroad is complete and Durant no longer needs her — admits to Bohannon: “For a moment I felt relief that he might not live.”
ROUGH JUSTICE: Bohannon and Elam take Hawkins out of the camp’s boxcar-jail, march him over to the nearby graveyard, and prepare to execute him. Hawkins — who has come to suspect Bohannon was an undercover op for Durant even while aligned with the train robbers — makes a racially insensitive remark (no more “Negro gentleman” talk for him) so Elam shoots him in the head. “Dammit, Elam,” Bohannon complains, “the man wasn’t finished speaking his last words.” Elam disagrees: “He was.”
AFTERMATH: Elam is falsely accused of cowardly behavior during the shootout, and is more or less ostracized (with the active encouragement of Mr. Toole) from the camp bar. Reverend Cole sobers up and shaves his beard, and doesn’t appear entirely surprised when The Swede reveals that he has swiped most of the rifles from the camp’s armory to do heaven only knows what. Meanwhile, back in Hell on Wheels, Bohannon gets some very bad news: An army officer is on his way to personally supervise the execution of Doc Whitehead for the latter’s “aiding and abetting” of the outlaw gang.