Hell on wheels Wiki


Season Number: 1
Episode Number: 8
Airdate: January 1, 2012
Director: David Von Ancken
Writer: Mark Richard
Producer: Tony Gayton
Joe Gayton
Jeremy Gold
John Shiban
David Von Ancken
Episode order
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"Derailed" is the eighth episode of the first season of the AMC series Hell on Wheels.


A train is derailed by the Cheyenne and Thomas Durant orders Cullen Bohannon to lead a team to track them. Lily Bell moves out of Durant's coach and into her own tent beside the brothel, which allows her to become fast friends with Eva; and tension mounts for Cullen's team in the pursuit of the renegade Indian tribe.


Thomas Durant and Lily Bell's train returns from Chicago, only to stop for a derailment ahead of it. Lily attends to the wounded, while Durant surveys the train damage. Thor Gundersen arrives and Durant orders him to have Cullen Bohannon lead a team to respond to the attack. Gundersen tells him that Cullen and Elam Ferguson are considered wanted after the hanging incident. Durant scoffs at the idea of Gundersen's vengeance. Moments later, Cullen and Elam arrive at the scene on horseback. Gundersen and Cullen both pull guns, with Cullen the faster draw. Gundersen kneels, pleading for mercy. Cullen smacks Gundersen's face with his gun, then whips him with a leather strap until Lily and Durant intervene.

In his coach car, Durant orders Cullen Bohannon and Lt. Griggs, the lead U.S. cavalry officer, to track down the Cheyenne attackers. Griggs does not want to team up with an ex-Confederate but Durant threatens to contact his commanding general. Joseph Black Moon will accompany the mission to lead them to the Cheyenne camp and negotiate with Chief Many Horses. Alone with Cullen, Durant calls Griggs a hothead. They can't risk him starting a war, but the attacks must cease. He tells Cullen to kill the renegade Indians.

Outside the cathouse, Cullen asks Elam to join the Indian pursuit. Cullen doesn't trust the Union soldiers to not take revenge on a Confederate. Joseph, Elam, and Cullen meet up with Griggs, who sneers that his eight-man contingent now includes the three men. In Cheyenne country, Joseph tells Griggs that Chief Many Horses will know where Pawnee Killer is. Alone with Joseph, Elam questions the Griggs's pledge not to harm the Indian women and children. Cullen notices the Confederate sabre on Griggs's belt. "Spoils of victory" from the Battle of Antietam, boasts Griggs. Around the campfire, Griggs jokingly describes the Confederate retreat at Antietam. It only happened, says Cullen, because his side ran out of ammunition after killing so many from the other side. "We won, and you lost," taunts Griggs, holding up the sword to prove it. Cullen moves to forcefully take the sword from Griggs, but Elam restrains him. The next morning, the men awake to a Union soldier's screams and discover him hanging, mutilated, from a nearby tree. Griggs blames the incident on Chief Many Horses, but Joseph says it's the work of Pawnee Killer.

Back at Hell on Wheels, after previously being asked by Cullen if she was a "kept woman," Lily informs Durant that she's moving out of his train car and into the encampment, using the tent she and Robert Bell shared. He accuses her of playing him "like a fiddle" and denies her request for help in removing her belongings. Two men set up Lily's tent near the brothel. Eva appears and tells Lily to hire a carpenter to lay floorboards to avoid getting trench foot. At the outdoor mess kitchen, Eva reveals to Lily that Indians killed her family but spared her because she had smallpox. After she recovered, they sold her to another tribe. Lily describes her nightmares about the Indian she killed. His spirit wants to drag Lily into the dead world, Eva explains, and that Lily has invited "big magic." In her tent, Lily struggles in the mud to install floorboards. Outside, Durant calls to her. When she doesn't respond, he ties Robert's pocket watch to her tent.

While the men are in the woods, the Cheyenne steal their horses. Cullen suggests returning to Hell on Wheels, but Griggs insists on marching toward the Indian village anyway. Cullen tells Elam that if the villagers don't escape before Griggs arrives, there will likely be bloodshed and the two of them may have to battle the Union soldiers. Cullen realizes that Joseph is misdirecting the group to buy time so the Cheyenne villagers can escape. Joseph admits it's true but vows that once his family is safe he'll track down Pawnee Killer. After hearing an Indian call, two soldiers begin firing, but Cullen warns them to stop. Griggs's party comes upon a recently evacuated Indian encampment. Griggs accuses Joseph of plotting with his brother. A young brave appears, and Griggs shoots him dead. As Cullen, Elam, and Joseph aim weapons at Griggs, an arrow pierces his shoulder, and a large Cheyenne war party, led by Pawnee Killer, begins to attack.


Lily: Mr. Bohannon, has anyone ever told you what an insufferable ass you are?
Cullen: Yeah.




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

Guest starring

  1. Gerald Auger as Pawnee Killer
  2. Colin Campbell as Choate
  3. Christopher Heyerdahl as Thor Gundersen
  4. Kasha Kropinski as Ruth
  5. Robin McLeavy as Eva
  6. Ty Olsson as Griggs

Also Staring

  1. Randy Birch as Deuce
  2. Dallas Bobby Desmond Arcand-Gladue as Indian Boy
  3. Brian Jensen as Dieter Schmidt
  4. Jonathan Love as Worker


Opening credits

  1. Joe Gayton &
  2. Tony Gayton - Creators
  3. Gustavo Santaolalla - Theme
  4. Kevin Kiner - Score
  5. Kevin Krasny - Editor
  6. John Blackie - Production Designer
  7. Marvin V. Rush - Director of Photography
  8. Mark Richard - Consulting Producer
  9. Paul Kurta - Co-Executive Producer
  10. David Von Ancken - Executive Producer
  11. Jeremy Gold - Executive Producer
  12. John Shiban - Executive Producer
  13. Joe Gayton - Executive Producer
  14. Tony Gayton - Executive Producer
  15. Chad Oakes - Episodic Producer
  16. Michael Frislev - Episodic Producer
  17. Mark Richard - Writer
  18. David Von Ancken - Director

Closing credits

  1. Scott Schofield - Associate Producer
  2. Jami O'Brien - Executive Story Editor
  3. Bruce Marshall Romans - Staff Writer
  4. Linda Rogers Ambury - Unit Production Manager
  5. Philip Chipera - First Assistant Director (AD)
  6. Lorie Gibson - Second AD
  7. Cathy Sandrich Gelfond &
  8. Amanda Mackey - Casting
  9. Cami Patton - Additional US Casting
  10. Jennifer Lare - Additional US Casting
  11. Jackie Lind, CSA - Canadian Casting
  12. Alyson Lockwood - Extras Casting

Featured Music[]

  • "Annabelle" by Gillian Welch.


Critical reception[]

TV Fanatic's Sean McKenna rated the episode with 3 out of 5 stars, saying "Hell On Wheels has created a cast of entertaining characters and while 'Revelations' continued to lay out the groundwork for their developing backgrounds, it seems as if the show isn't entirely sure what to do with them."[1] Phil Nugent of The A.V. Club gave the episode an F, stating, "The characters on Hell On Wheels who you're meant to hate don't last long, and the ones you're meant to like don't stay down for long, either. The ones you might be meant to have mixed-to-indifferent feelings about are few and far between."[2]


The eighth episode was watched by 2.51 million viewers, and had a 0.7 rating with the 18-49 age range — gaining more viewers and a higher rating than the previous episode.[3]


  1. McKenna, Sean (January 2, 2012). Hell on Wheels Review: On The Road Again. TVFanatic.com.
  2. Nugent, Phil (January 2, 2012). Derailed. AVClub.com.
  3. Gorman, Bill (January 4, 2012). Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Kourtney & Kim' Take New Year's + 'Mob Wives 2,' 'Rachael vs. Guy,' 'Leverage' & More. TV by the Numbers.

External links[]

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