Hell on Wheels season 4 episode 1 premiered tonight on AMC.
In it, Cullen Bohannon awaits the birth of his baby with Naomi while laboring under The Swede at Fort Smith.
Meanwhile, Thomas Durant deals with the fallout from a railroad accident.
1. Durant Goes Broke & Cullen Wants to Break Free
The episode begins with Durant demanding his Chief Engineer, Martin Delaney, get a train across the frozen Missouri River.
The ice breaks while the train is going across and the train goes under, taking the conductor and cargo with it.
Meanwhile, Cullen is constructing a well at the Mormon camp of Forth Smith. While in the well, he discusses the real identity of Bishop Joseph Dutson with Aaron Hatch and how he is not a guest of the Bishop, but a prisoner. He informs Aaron that he plans to escape after Naomi Hatch’s baby is born and the first crops of the season are sewn.
2. Hell on Wheels
Back in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Durant finds out the total cost of the goods he lost in his botched Missouri crossing. He informs Chief Engineer Martin Delaney that he doesn’t have the money to cover the cost of the lost items.
Durant then sees Delaney’s wife, daughter of deceased Senator Nathan Metcalf, across the way. She quickly hurries off.
Durant asks Delaney what that was all about. Delaney informs him that his wife thinks Durant had something to do with her father’s death, which he did.
Durant then goes to visit Mayor Mickey McGinnes and inform him that the railroad is broke. McGinnes tells Durant that he should sell land at auction. Durant then strong arms McGinnes into buying the worthless land at an auction and tells McGinnes to post flyers for one.
At the fort, Cullen is seen talking to Naomi over a newspaper. In an article about the failed Missouri crossing, Cullen finds out that Martin Delaney has taken over as Chief Engineer for Durant. This upsets him.
He then informs Naomi that the reason he went into the railroad was to hunt down the men that killed his family and that she’s married to a murderer. Naomi refuses to believe it but tells him that he can leave if he wants to.
Cullen goes to tell Bishop Joseph Dutson that he had a vision that he was leaving the fort. Dutson tells him he wouldn’t leave his wife and child. Dutson seems perplexed.
In Atlanta, a visiting General Grant informs John Campbell that he is to leave the city with his men and go to Wyoming territory as provisional governor.
4. Auction & Birth
Durant begins his land auction in Cheyenne.
While land parcels sell for $500, he makes Mickey McGinnes bid. McGinnes grudgingly bids $501.
Right as the land is about to sell, Maggie Palmer interrupts with a bid for $600 and confronts Durant that he had promised that the land he was selling would be used for free range. Durant tries to calm her, but Maggie keeps bidding and McGinnes sees a way out of buying at least some worthless land. He keeps bidding until Maggie buys the rest of the land.
At the fort, Naomi is about to give birth while Cullen is working on the well. The Bishop then pulls the ladder up and traps Cullen in the well.
Cullen escapes the well as Naomi calls for him. But the Mormons hold him back. He finds out that Naomi’s birth is not going well. The baby is born and is handed to the Bishop. Cullen eyes the Bishop wearily. They name the child William.
5. Wyoming Territory
Back in Cheyenne, Durant finds out about Campbell coming to take over the territory’s provision. He is not happy about it.
Delaney says they’re doing it because they know what Durant is capable of. Durant attacks him, but Delaney retracts and tells Durant that his killing Mrs. Delaney’s father was not necessarily a bad idea.
Elsewhere in the city, McGinnes finds Eva Toole after she had been attacked and raped. McGinnes tells her to go back to whoring while he has her in a bath tub. He feels her up.
At Fort Smith, Cullen tells Naomi that he, Naomi, and baby William will escape together. She seems surprised that Cullen wants her.
Naomi’s mother then pulls Cullen aside and tells him that he must leave and that baby William be renamed Jebediah and raised as Naomi’s brother.
Cullen goes and confronts the Bishop, who he identifies as The Swede.