Blood Moon

"Blood Moon"

Season Number: 2
Episode Number: 9
Airdate: October 7, 2012
Director: Terry McDonough
Writer: Mark Richard & Jami O'Brien
Producer: Tony Gayton
Joe Gayton
Jeremy Gold
John Shiban
David Von Ancken
Episode order
← previous
"The Lord's Day"
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"Blood Moon Rising"

"Blood Moon" is the ninth episode of the second season of the AMC series Hell on Wheels.


Major Joshua Short and Senator Howard interrogate Cullen Bohannon about the apparent destruction of Hell on Wheels and an accounting ledger that was mailed. Hannah Durant suggests to Lily Bell that she move to New York City and be a governess, while Thomas Durant has allowed Elam Ferguson to keep his house if he performs a special task for him. Ruth tells Sean McGinnes they cannot be together due to each one's religion.


Major Joshua Short and Senator Howard interrogate Cullen Bohannon, flashbacks reveal that Hell on Wheels has been ransacked and burned to the ground. Howard is investigating the connection between the destruction and a letter about Thomas Durant's corruption that the Senate Committee on Railroads received from Lily Bell. Cullen is silent except for a single whisper: "The White Spirit."

Before the destruction, the townspeople gawk as Durant tears through the hospital tent in search of painkillers. He pries a bottle of Laudanum from a Amputee's hands but is stopped by Eva, who gives him opium pills from her purse. Once calmer, Durant confesses his fear that his addiction will be the ruin of the railroad.

At the railway office, Lily informs Cullen she's been demoted to freight clerk, and hurt that Cullen would reveal information to the Durants during their dinner with them, but not to her. Cullen tells her all he has is this job and her. He asks her to come watch him drive the train across the bridge the next day.

Hannah Durant thanks Eva for taking care of Durant and promises to see that Gregory Toole gets a nice raise. Hannah suggests Durant return to the hospital in Chicago, but he insists on being present to explain the mileage situation to the board when they arrive. Hannah recommends offering Cullen a partnership if he will help handle the board.

At church, Ruth rebuffs Sean McGinnes again: They can't marry because he's Catholic and she's a Congregationalist minister. At his newly-finished home, Elam Ferguson tells Psalms that Durant will let him keep the house if he agrees to kill someone. Psalms notes that Elam has killed before, but Elam says it was always somebody that needed killing.

That night, Toole confesses that he envies the way Lily looks at Cullen. Cullen, in turn, reveals he is increasingly enamored of Lily. At the sound of rustling in the darkness, Cullen says that Sioux watch them every night, but he can't figure out why they don't attack.

In present-day, Short asks why Cullen didn't send a scout to investigate the Indians. Cullen says scouts would have been killed and he couldn't spare any men.

Before the destruction, Hannah detains Lily on her way to the bridge crossing. Hannah hands Lily a ticket to New York City and promises to write out a check and introduce her to a family in need of a governess. Cullen starts the train as Durant and the crew wait anxiously on the far side of the bridge. He successfully crosses as the crew cheers.

Lily breaks into the railway office and steals Durant's ledger from the safe. Elam approaches as she leaves, and she tells him Durant is at the bridge. Elam watches her walk away. Elam tells Eva about the riverside house, but she turns him down out of allegiance to Toole.

At the bridge, Durant asks Cullen to help appease the board in exchange for partnership in the railroad and forgiveness of his debts. Cullen declines saying all his debts to him were buried with Doc Whitehead. At the office, Hannah stands over Durant's shoulder as he grudgingly writes a check to Lily. He insists she won't leave the railroad, even for money. Lily brings Cullen the ledger and proposes they take Durant down and build the railroad together. He implores her to burn the ledger before Durant kills her. A flame appears in the distance. Cullen shoots at the white figure holding the fire and it disappears. He investigates and finds a drop of blood on the bridge track.

The next day, Lily asks Elam to deliver a package for her if she is killed. He initially refuses, but relents when Lily acknowledges the home he built for Eva. In town, Cullen asks Joseph Black Moon what it means when an Indian paints himself white. Joseph says Cullen has seen the White Spirit, and it means the Sioux want everyone dead. Cullen asks Joseph to take him to the Sioux.

In the Starlight Saloon, Sean tells Mickey McGinnes he's converting for Ruth. Mickey explodes, saying Sean will burn in Hell and he'll disown him. Psalms asks Eva to talk to Elam, who's heartbroken. As they ride, Joseph tells Cullen that a blood moon is coming. They peer over a hill and see a field filled with Sioux teepees.

In present-day Hell on Wheels, Cullen tells the officer that he telegraphed for reinforcements after his discovery, but the fort sent a meager five recruits and a small cannon.

Sean insists Ruth baptize him, but she points out he'll have to give up the saloon and whorehouse but he persists. Elam finds Eva inside his house. She says she will always love him but her future is with Mr. Toole. Outside, Toole calls for Eva. The two emerge and Toole aims his gun at Elam. Eva insists it's over with Elam but Toole puts the gun under his own chin and fires. Eva screams and then cries.




  1. Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon
  2. Colm Meaney as Thomas Durant
  3. Common as Elam Ferguson
  4. Dominique McElligott as Lily Bell
  5. Christopher Heyerdahl as Thor Gundersen
  6. Tom Noonan as Reverend Nathaniel Cole
  7. Eddie Spears as Joseph Black Moon
  8. Ben Esler as Sean McGinnes
  9. Phil Burke as Mickey McGinnes
  10. Robin McLeavy as Eva

Guest starring

  1. Duncan Ollerenshaw as Gregory Toole
  2. Kasha Kropinski as Ruth
  3. Dohn Norwood as Psalms
  4. Virginia Madsen as Hannah Durant


  1. Sydney Bell as Ginny
  2. Bruce Marshall Romans as Handsome Engineer
  3. Kal Weber as Senator Howard
  4. Travis Friesen as Oakes Ames
  5. Kirk Heuser as Major Joshua Short
  6. Victor Atelevich as Patient
  7. Howie Builder as Amputee


Opening credits

  1. Joe &
  2. Tony Gayton - Creators
  3. Cathy Sandrich Gelfond,
  4. Amanda Mackey &
  5. Kate Caldwell - Casting
  6. Jackie Lind, CSA - Canadian Casting
  7. Gustavo Santaolalla - Theme
  8. Kevin Kiner - Score
  9. Bridget Durnford - Editor
  10. John Blackie - Production Designer
  11. Marvin V. Rush, ASC - Director of Photography
  12. David Von Ancken - Consulting Producer
  13. Chris Mundy - Co-Executive Producer
  14. Mark Richard - Co-Executive Producer
  15. Paul Kurta - Co-Executive Producer
  16. Jeremy Gold - Executive Producer
  17. John Shiban - Executive Producer
  18. Joe Gayton - Executive Producer
  19. Tony Gayton - Executive Producer
  20. Chad Oakes - Episodic Producer
  21. Michael Frislev - Episodic Producer
  22. Mark Richard &
  23. Jami O'Brien - Writers
  24. Terry McDonough - Director

Closing credits

  1. Peter Chomsky - Co-Producer
  2. Jami O'Brien - Co-Producer
  3. Bruce Marshall Romans - Story Editor
  4. Linda Rogers Ambury - Unit Production Manager
  5. Lee Knippelberg - First Assistant Director (AD)
  6. Victor Landrie - Second AD

External linksEdit

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