Blood Moon Rising

"Blood Moon Rising"

Season Number: 2
Episode Number: 10
Airdate: October 14, 2012
Director: John Shiban
Writer: John Shiban
Producer: Tony Gayton
Joe Gayton
Jeremy Gold
John Shiban
David Von Ancken
Episode order
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"Blood Moon"
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"Big Bad Wolf"

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


Elam Ferguson decides not to kill Lily Bell after she offers him a security chief position when she and Cullen Bohannon take over the railroad after Thomas Durant's embezzlement is made known. Hannah Durant tends to a badly burned Thor Gundersen, who explains that the Sioux turned on him, and they will attack the town the next day. Sean McGinnes converts his religion and is baptized, only to be shunned by Ruth.


Mourners offer Eva their condolences at Gregory Toole's funeral. Eulogizing, Mickey McGinnes notes how much Toole loved his wife. On the other side of town, Ruth baptizes Sean McGinnes in the river and laughs as they fall in the water. When Sean aggressively kisses her, Ruth rebuffs him and leaves him standing alone in the water.

Thomas Durant reminds Elam Ferguson that his job was due once the bridge was completed. In the railway office, Durant reads a telegram informing him that the military won't send reinforcements without better intelligence on the Sioux. Cullen Bohannon angrily crumples up the letter as Durant cautions against panicking every time someone sees an Indian.

Elam enters Lily Bell's train car and reveals that Durant has hired him to kill her in exchange for his house by the river. When Elam asks if she has any reason that would stop him, Lily pulls out a gun. But she lays it on the table, explaining that the Durants will be arrested once the ledger reaches authorities. Lily offers Elam the Chief of Security position once she and Cullen replace the Durants. They shake on it.

The next day, a horse trots into town with a body slung across its back: It's Thor Gundersen, unconscious and badly burned. Lily confronts Durant about Elam. Listing the trials she's endured for the railroad, including his bed. When Durant calls her a whore, she retorts that his precious railroad is ripped from his thick and grasping fingers, that he'd been undone by a whore. Durant panics, asking what she's done.

As a nurse tends to his wounds, Gundersen tells Hannah that the Sioux turned on him and he regrets betraying the town. Gundersen warns that the Sioux will attack the next day, and Cullen fetches a guard to keep watch over him. Durant anxiously searches the safe and discovers his ledger is gone.

In the street, Lily restrains Cullen after she tells him of Durant's plan to kill her. The ledger has already been mailed and she will need Cullen's help convincing the board to take Durant down. Cullen recruits Elam's help fighting the Sioux.

Flashing forward to after the town's destruction, Senator Howard informs Cullen that Durant is in custody.

Back before the destruction, Sean brings Ruth her travel bag as women and children prepare to evacuate. Incredulous, Ruth insists her place is in town with the church. When Sean reveals he's arranged for them to be married in Council Bluffs the next day, she again rejects him.

As Elam and Psalms inspect a shipment of weapons, Elam notices that Eva did not board the train. She says she will hide in Elam's house and expresses remorse over her role in Toole's death. Elam insists she's not to blame. Gundersen escapes his handcuffs and slits his guard's throat.

That night, the Sioux attack. Cullen, Elam and the townsmen fire at the Indians as they stream into town. Durant protects Hannah in the railway office as Indians raid the buildings, setting them on fire. Elam and Lily protect the whorehouse, and he sees the Durants flee the besieged railway office. Eva cowers in Elam's house as fire-arrows hit the wall. Elam rescues her, and they run as the house goes up in flames. As Hell on Wheels burns, Gundersen dances in the street.

The next morning, survivors clean up the carnage. Exhausted, Lily returns to her car where Gundersen is waiting for her. He attacks, pins her down, and strangles her. He tips a candle over as he leaves.

In present-day, Cullen tells Howard that he protected the bridge, not the town, because it was a strategic asset while the town and its people were replaceable.

In Lily's burnt train car, Cullen sits by her body. He carries her corpse through town, leaving it at the church. Gundersen and Cullen walk out on the bridge, where Cullen ties a noose around Gundersen's neck, but before Cullen can secure the rope, Gundersen jumps into the river and floats away.

Howard tells Cullen that the President has ordered railroad construction to continue and asks if Cullen would take over Durant's position and finish this road. Cullen ties a red sash around a rail marker and stakes it next to the bridge, then walks into the distance.




  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. Chris Ippolito as Young Engineer
  7. James Dugan as Carl the Bartender
  8. Patrick MacEachern as Infirmary Guard
  9. Sean Hoy as Captain
  10. Gerrick Winston as Freedman


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. Kevin Krasny - 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. John Shiban - Writers
  23. John Shiban - 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. Philip Chipera - First Assistant Director (AD)
  6. Lorie Gibson - Second AD

External linksEdit

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