Hell on wheels Wiki
Mei / Fong
Also known as: Mei - Female Alias

Fong - Male Alias

Occupation: Central Pacific Railroad Worker
Marital status: Single
Relatives: Tao - Father (Deceased)

Unnamed Mother (Deceased)

Relationships: Unnamed Rebel Leader - Arranged Fiance

Cullen Bohannon - Lover

Behind the scenes
Portrayed by: Angela Zhou
Season: 5
First episode: "Chinatown"
Last episode: "Any Sum Within Reason"

Fong is a Chinese worker for the Central Pacific Railroad. Fong is a woman named Mei who dresses as a man in order to work on the Central Pacific Railroad.


Background Information[]

Born Mei, she was born to Tao. In order to escape becoming the bride of a rebel leader that burned her village during the Taiping Wa, Mei was forced to cut her hair and dress as a man, known as Fong. She and her father sailed to America on the Pacific Grace and began working at the Central Pacific railroad.

Season 5[]

When Cullen visits Collis Huntington in Truckee, California, to lay out a plan for the Central Pacific Railroad to traverse into Nevada and Utah to meet the Union Pacific, Huntington pays him to start tracking down "fresh Chinamen" for hire. Cullen enlists help from restaurant owner Chang, Tao, and his son, Fong.

During their work in the Sierra Nevadas, Fong becomes injured and is in a tent. Cullen comes to check on Fong, and sees his chest is bandaged instead of his gut, where is injury is. When he cuts the bandage Cullen sees breasts and finds that Fong is actually a woman. Cullen agrees to hide this fact from the other workers, but forces Fong to stop working on the railroad, putting Fong on the sick list.

Cullen refuses to let Fong continue work on the railroad, but after talking to Tao and finding that Mei is masquerading as a man to hide from a promised marraige in China. Mei and her father are also fearful as Chang knows about the arranged marriage and if he were to recognize Mei he would likely turn them in. Tao warns Cullen against the feelings he has for Mei as Tao can see the way they look at each other, but Cullen assures him he has a wife and child.

After Tao's death at the hands of Chang's henchmen, Cullen accompanies Fong as they head for San Francisco. Fong plans to bring her father home to China, as their custom dictates, however the body is lost during an accident and she had to bury him instead. In the tent as they fall asleep Mei and Cullen have a moment.

When they arrive back, Cullen must leave for a meeting in Salt Lake City between the heads of both railroads, Brigham Young, and President Grant. He later finds the location of his family and heads off to save them. When Fong hears from James that Cullen has found his family and will likely not return, she becomes despondent and spends the night with one of Chang's whores. She only sings to Fong, but can feel as she touches Fong's legs that Fong is a woman. Fong later gives her mother's dress to Wai-Ling. When she later wears it, Chang realizes who it belongs to and forces her to tell him who gave it to her.

When Cullen arrives back in town Fong enters his cabin and the two kiss and eventually sleep together. The next morning they go back to work, this time using nitroglycerin to blast the tunnel. After several workers die or are injured it is up to Cullen alone to set the fuses and blasts. Fong stays with him in the tunnel to help drill a dangerous hole to blast a charge that the fuse broke off of.

Chang catches Cullen leaving Fong's tent. While Cullen makes an excuse about orders for the Nitroglycerin, Chang becomes suspicious. After finding out who gave Wai-Ling the dress he is sure that Fong is actually Mei, and gets his company men to attempt to abduct her.

Cullen has rushed Mei off to Cheyenne to keep her safe, but she is caught halfway by Chang and his men. Cullen kills him and the others he can't convince to leave, and the two go back to Truckee. Mei leaves for China, as she will ever be safe in America, and leaves a note for Cullen, written in Chinese.

After the completion of the railroad and a congressional hearing, Cullen gets a worker who can read and speak English to interpret Mei's note. It is an address in China. The show ends as Cullen leaves San Francisco on a ship bound for China.

Attributes and Personality[]

Fong is stubborn, but quite smart and capable of doing men's work, though she is a woman. She has great love and respect for her father, and the Chinese culture. She falls in love with Cullen, and the show ends with the allusion that the two end up together in China.


Season 5 appearances
"Chinatown" "Mei Mei" "White Justice" "Struck" "Elixir of Life"
"Hungry Ghosts" "False Prophets" "Two Soldiers" "Return to the Garden" "61 Degrees"
"Gambit" "Any Sum Within Reason" "Railroad Men" "Done"