The Lord's Day

"The Lord's Day"

Season Number: 2
Episode Number: 8
Airdate: September 30, 2012
Director: Rod Lurie
Writer: Mark Richard & Chris Mundy
Producer: Tony Gayton
Joe Gayton
Jeremy Gold
John Shiban
David Von Ancken
Episode order
← previous
"The White Spirit"
next →
"Blood Moon"

"The Lord's Day" is the eighth episode of the second season of the AMC series Hell on Wheels.


Thomas Durant returns to Hell on Wheels with his wife Hannah Durant‏‎. Lily Bell is concerned about her future with the railroad. Thor Gundersen sabotages a steam powered winch used to build the bridge.


Cullen Bohannon and Gregory Toole are at the bridge repairing the steam engine winch when Lily Bell approaches with supplies and news that Thomas Durant is returning. Cullen assures Lily that Durant will not overlook her contributions to the railroad in his absence, but Lily is doubtful.

Back at Hell on Wheels, Durant's train arrives. Sean McGinnes pulls Mickey McGinnes away from a card game in the Starlight Saloon and demands his cut of the profits, explaining he needs to pay Durant his share of the land parcels. Mickey says he's short on money and Sean chides him for drinking it away.

On the train, Eva helps Durant prepare for his return to Hell on Wheels. Durant insists on making his way to the office unaided, taking a large swig of opium before leaving the car. Lily is surprised to find Durant's wife, Hannah Durant, has arrived from Chicago and is giving Thor Gundersen orders.

Feeling the effects of the opium as he walks to the office, he spies Lily and Hannah making plans for dinner and quickly hides to avoid them. Later, Durant orders Cullen to join the dinner as Lily's escort.

Waiting for Cullen and Lily to arrive, Durant and Hannah debate whether Lily has deciphered the fraudulent mileage but are interrupted by Lily and Cullen's arrival. Outside, The Swede approaches the steam engine with a wrench.

Over dinner, Cullen reveals his high-society background. Durant jokes that he'd like to send Cullen to deal with the board in New York on his behalf. Marginalized from the conversation, Lily excuses herself. Cullen escorts Hannah back to her car and emphasizes Lily's importance to the railroad.

The next day, Durant and Hannah reprimand Cullen for being behind schedule. They demand Cullen finish the bridge in one week, half the time Cullen estimated. At the church, Sean asks Ruth to marry him. She hesitates, but agrees to think about it.

Cullen barks orders as a trestle is raised at the bridge site. Cullen sees Gundersen watching from a distance. The winch breaks and the trestle crashes to the ground, crushing workers beneath it. Back in town, Cullen orders Toole to figure out what caused the malfunction. Durant blames Cullen for damaging the engine, but Cullen blames the unrealistic timeline.

In Cheyenne garb, Joseph Black Moon finds Ruth at church and explains he is not a Christian. He warns her of the White Spirit: If she stays in Hell on Wheels, she'll die. Mickey watches them talk from the saloon.

Toole and Cullen examine a stuck pressure valve on the engine and finds a Norwegian øre coin lodged inside. Lily tries to convince Durant of her importance to the railroad. He cuts her off, pointedly asking how Cullen knew about the mileage shortfall.

At the saloon, Sean again demands money from Mickey. The two begin brawling. Presenting the deed to his riverfront property, Elam tells Durant that he's quit the railroad. Durant tears up the deed and tells him the only to leave the railroad is to die. When Elam doesn't back down, Durant invites him to take a seat.

Citing Durant's nightly discomfort, Hannah evicts Lily from her train car and takes it for herself. Lily moves into Cullen's caboose and invites him to stay, since Durant already knows about them but he declines.

A drunken Sean waits for Ruth in her room and demands to know if she slept with Joseph. She asks him to leave and Sean stumbles out.

Cullen tosses his lantern in Gundersen's empty tent, setting it ablaze. Later, Cullen joins Elam on the floor of his unfinished house. Elam says Durant offered him a job that Cullen wouldn't approve of.




  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. C. Adam Leigh as Andrew
  2. Terry Lawrence as Poker Player


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. Todd Desrosiers - 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. Chris Mundy - Writers
  24. Rod Lurie - 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


  • The Norwegian øre coin which Bohannon finds inside the engine wasn't introduced until 1875 - nine years after the events in the episode. In 1866 the Norwegian currency was Speciedaler and Skilling.

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