Hell on Wheels: Further West (Recap and Review)



Sticking with the slow pace set by last week’s episode of Hell on Wheels, Further West, the season four finale, picks up after Bohannan tells Durant that he is quitting. The two men talk very little about Cullen’s leaving, Doc seems to think that he can talk Bohannan out of his decision. Once he realises that the man will not be changing his mind, Durant tells Cullen that he will not take him back if he goes. Heading back to the Mormon fort, the former lawman finds the place deserted except for the dead and dying.

Inside one building, he finds the fireplace still smoldering and Cullen goes outside to find a survivor, Brother Moss, who dies before he can say anything other than Naomi. Back in Cheyenne, Louise returns to her paper to find the office busted up and many of the machines broken. Governor Campbell comes in to make her an offer and the woman tells her former lover that she will not be intimidated and that she will never allow the publication to be taken from her. The acting official will soon be the governor proper and the man will be getting his own back over Mickey, his girls and vicious cousin.

Back at the fort, Bohannan pauses for a moment before heading to Salt Lake City in his search for his family. The Spinoza brothers leave Brigham Young without wagons and the Swede is not happy. Cullen bumps into an old acquaintance, Collis Huntington at the hotel, who is delighted to see Bohannan and the railroad man knows that Cullen has left the Union Pacific and Durant. Campbell turfs out Mickey formally, with the help of the Army. Hell on Wheels looks to be leaving Cheyenne behind as Cullen goes searching for his family.

In Further West, the finale of Hell on Wheels season four, Cullen learns that the Mormon fort was destroyed by small pox and he tracks the survivors down to the local medical facility. Eva buys her way into Mickey’s business as a partner, after she shows the man the color of her money. The Swede murders Harry Spinoza in the only deadly act in the episode and afterward tells the remaining Spinoza brother to sign the agreement proposed by his leader Young. Next, the maniacal zealot has gotten permission from Young to join Huntington at the railroad.

Bohannan finds his wife’s mother dying of the pox and she tells him he will never find his family. Cullen says, “I’ll stay with you Mother Hatch.” He promises to make sure she is burned good when she dies and the man swears that his son will never hear her name and that he will tell Naomi that she was miserable till the end. After the woman dies, Cullen bumps into Huntington who tells him he looks like he could use a drink.

Back in Cheyenne, Campbell tells Durant that he wants Chicken Hill, and Doc tells the man if he can take the deed off his desk, Campbell can have it. The two men then get into a “knock down” fight which ends in the muddy street outside the office. The two men continue to grapple in the mud after a short rest and when both are too tired to fight any longer, Campbell tells Doc he will pay him double the property’s worth, Durant replies “triple” and the governor agrees.

By the end of Hell on Wheels, Further West Campbell has what he wants, as does Durant. Bohannan is not the only person to leave Cheyenne as Mickey, his cousin Johnny and their new partner pack their bags, and girls to leave. Doc telegraphs Huntington telling him that he is coming “for you,” unaware that Cullen now works for the “opposition.” The season four finale is pretty downbeat with Bohannan still pretty strung out after Ruth’s death and in his own version of hell. The episode was one long depressing affair, but with Bohannan on the other side, season five of Hell on Wheels should be pretty electric. With Cullen looking off in the the direction of Durant, it looks like there will “be hell to pay” when the show comes back.

By Michael Smith