The first season of Hell on Wheels largely centers around Cullen Bohannon’s quest for vengeance in seeking out those who murdered his family. This quest is his singular focus during the season, particularly early in the season. As Durant’s right-hand man, The Swede is prominently featured maintaining strict security while continuing to undermine Cullen.

Moral and identity struggles are common themes throughout the season… stemming from Cullen’s personal vendetta, Elam’s struggle with equality, and Lilly’s independent struggle with establishing her own identity separate that of her dead husband.

1-01: Hell on Wheels (Pilot)

At the end of the Civil War, numerous arrive in Hell on Wheels, the roving town supporting the construction of the first transcontinental railroad...

Airdate: 11/06/2011

1-02: Immoral Mathematics

As the Swede closes in on hanging Bohhanen for murder, a wounded Lily limps through dangerous territory with the much sought-after maps in-tow...

Airdate: 11/13/2011

1-03: A New Birth of Freedom

Bohannon uses his newly appointed position as foreman to leverage his quest while Durant frantically continues his search for Lily and her maps. Meanwhile, Elam...

Airdate: 11/20/2011

1-04: Jamais Je Ne T’oublierai

Lily adjusts to life in Hell on Wheels while the McGinnes brothers pursue opportunities. Meanwhile, Elam tries to win the heart of Eva...

Airdate: 11/27/2011

1-05: Bread and Circuses

Reverend Cole's long-lost daughter, Ruth, arrives in town as he and Joseph try to establish peace with the Cheyenne. Cullen and Elam fight out their...

20 screencaps
Airdate: 12/4/2011

1-06: Pride, Pomp, and Circumstance

Senator Crane arrives to negotiate with the Cheyenne and follow-up on railroad activities...

31 screencaps
Airdate: 12/11/2011

1-07: Revelations

Lily accomplanies Durant to Chicago, where he continues dealings with Senator Crane while she attends to matters relating to the death of her husband. Meanwhile,...

21 screencaps
Airdate: 12/18/2011

1-08: Derailed

When the Cheyenne derail a train, Durant dispatches Cullen to pursue. Durant kicks Lily out of his car when he learns of her deceit...

18 screencaps
Airdate: 01/01/2012

1-09: Timshel

After dealing with the Cheyenne, Bohannon completes an important construction milestone. Mr. Toole rises from the dead to spoil Elam and Eva's future plans. The...

25 screencaps
Airdate: 1/08/2012

1-10: God of Chaos

As Hell on Wheels celebrates, Cullen continues pursuing his personal vendetta. The Swede falls from grace when the town's merchants fight back...

36 screencaps
Airdate: 1/15/2012