'Hell On Wheels' recap: United Colors of Bohannon

hell-on-wheels-amc.jpgJust as Doc and Lily return to town from their Chicago trip, their train derails and kills or injures just about everyone aboard. Doc and Lily are spared, but shaken. Just before the wreck, they saw several Cheyenne men waiting and watching in the distance, so they immediately surmise they are at fault. Indeed, even Joseph puts the blame on his brother, whose name isn't Terrible Tracker but Pawnee Killer. Doc wants Cullen to lead some cavalrymen and Joseph to find Pawnee Killer and the other renegades, but the Swede informs him that Cullen is a fugitive after rescuing Elam from a hanging. Doc is incensed - not at Cullen, but at the Swede for condoning the hanging. The freedmen work twice as hard for half the pay and Doc can't afford for them to leave now.

Cullen returns just then and whoops the Swede's ass but good. Off Cullen goes with Elam, Joseph and the cavalrymen. Cullen immediately clashes with a man who used to be a Union soldier and they nearly come to blows, but then they remember they have bigger problems. Like the fact that Pawnee Killer has stolen their horses and killed one of their men, and is just waiting to pick them off one by one.

Back in town, the sisters are doing it for themselves. After Reverend Cole begins to lose his faith and turn to drink, Ruth Cole stands up for herself and for her dead mother and doesn't flinch one bit when he nearly slaps her. Lily decides to strike out on her own rather than become Doc's "kept woman." She sets up a tent across from the brothel. It's muddy and depressing, but the locale affords her the opportunity to become friends with Eva, and it is pretty fantastic. Lily's independent resolve soon begins to falter, though, and it looks like she might be considering accepting Doc's offer. Somehow, it's more suspenseful than Cullen's impending showdown with Pawnee Killer. Stay tuned for the full recap.