One Less Mule - Recap
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The Swede prepares for his baptism while Ezra sings. When Joseph dips him underwater, the Swede pulls Joseph in with him. He stabs the father underwater and kills him. Eleanor runs in to help but the Swede kills her too. Ezra runs away but the Swede promises to find him like he always does.
Cullen breaks up a fight between two men near the tracks. A man's mule blocks the rails and it knocks Cullen over. Cullen stands up and shoots the mule. It is only then that he says it has a broken leg and wouldn't have lived anyway.
Louise gets off the train and greets Cullen. He says there's one less mule and one more jackass as he sees Durant. Durant promised Cullen that if he returned it would be the reversal of Cullen's fortune. He has brought Ulysses S. Grant with him. Durant gives Cullen a cease and desist for Cullen to stop construction on the railroad until their investigation is concluded.
Elam picks up a package that has just been delivered, when he sees a man arrive in town and follows him.
Durant has brought the board of Credit Mobilia to Hell on Wheels to bring trust back to the public. Durant has been cleared of all charges but papers have been running stories that Cullen is a murderer. The board is there to have a competency hearing, Durant wants Cullen kicked off the railroad construction. He reads off all of the men that Cullen has murdered. Cullen says it was Grant's men who murdered his family and maybe he should be on trial. A 10 minute break is called. The newcomer in town follows Cullen and starts to pull his gun out. Elam stops him though.
Sean reminds Durant that since he gave him information he must still protect him. Back at the hearing Louise is questioned about the articles she has written on Cullen. Next, Durant questions Mickey and Ruth but he words the questions so that any answer reflects negatively on Cullen. He thinks the events are being construed so that Durant can come back into power.
Elam sits down to talk with the new arrival in town. The man says he is looking for railroad work but Elam finds out that his brother is one of those murdered by Cullen. He takes the man's bullets and puts him on the next train out of Hell on Wheels. Elam is up next to be questioned. The board asks about the men Cullen has killed and if Elam has ever seen him murder a man.
The board decides to clear the room and vote on whether Cullen will remain or not. Grant stares at Durant as they decide to clear the room. Cullen drops off a contract for Elam that will bind him to the railroad whether he is there or not. He visits Ruth at the church. She thinks that he needs to move on from the past and until he does, the railroad can't save him.
Durant's partner, Senator Metcalfe, tells him that their plan better work so that his nephew can lead the railroad instead of Cullen. He thought Congressman Oakes would agree with them as soon as he heard the evidence but that hasn't happened so far. Durant has a backup plan in case their plan fails. The backup plan is a statement that Cullen must sign that says he didn't kill the men. This will allow them to show that Cullen is innocent and he can keep his job. He says that killing is not something you can put behind you, but only Grant would understand because he went to war. Cullen refuses to sign the statement because it isn't true. He makes no apologies about his temper and leaves the makeshift courtroom.
Louise asks Durant if the entire hearing is just to get him his railroad back. The only thing he ever wanted is to be known as the man who built the Union Pacific Railroad. Durant asks why she is here covering this story when she is the most read journalist in the country. The truth is she is there because of one small indiscretion and if she was a man no one would have noticed. She asks that since she wrote a story that helped him then he help her get back to New York. He says he wishes he could.
That night there is a dance at the bar. Mickey refuses Louise a drink but Cullen buys one for her and dances with her.
Elam shows Eva the contract that Cullen gave him that will allow him to continue working for the railroad. He feels like he has a future but he wants more than that. He wants a house, a boy and for Eva to be his wife. Elam proposes to Eva with a ring and she says yes.
While Cullen is away from the dance he sees a man lurking between the train cars. He holds the man at gunpoint and it turns out to be the man that Elam talked to earlier, Jasper Prescott. Jasper is there to kill him and there is no way to talk him out of it so Cullen shoots him in the head and walks away.
At the bar, Cullen buys Grant a shot of whiskey after the general complains about the beer. Grant says that because he is running for President he usually can't be seen drinking in public. Cullen invites him on a snipe hunt. Grant wants Cullen to run the railroad and says if he can reach Cheyenne in 20 days he will do everything he can to get the government's support for Cullen. Grant renamed the town of Durant to Cheyenne, just to spite Durant.
The Swede drives the Dutson's carriage away from the scene of their murders.
Sean attempts to board a train car as everyone prepares to move Hell on Wheels. Cullen stops him though and says he is fired. Sean accepts this with silence and walks away. As his train departs, Cullen stares out at Sean and Durant in turn.