Previously: Cullen Bohannon had a silly name. He also asked a Union soldier about Meridian and then shot him before he could answer. He headed west to look for work on the railroad that Doc Durant was building with big government money. An optimistic reverend decided to build a church among the prostitutes and lawless men of Hell on Wheels. Cheyenne Indians killed everyone on Doc's advance survey team except badass Lily Bell, who escaped with the team's precious maps. Cullen ran afoul of his new boss, Mr. Johnson, who was actually one of the Union men who killed his wife. Former slave Elam killed Johnson before he could give up the name of the sergeant who gave the order to hang Mrs. Bohannon.
Currently: We start off with a cloudy Nebraska morning, where flies are buzzing around the corpses of the departed survey team. Some of the campsite's fires are still smoldering, so not much time has passed, but a cleanup crew has already arrived. Dead bodies are stacked onto wagons. The flies are like, "Hey, we weren't done with those yet!" A man in spectacles photographs the scene. He holds up a pan of flash powder and ignites it, startling a nearby horse. As cumbersome as this seems to us now, this was probably, like, the iPod of the day. He's just glad he only got one hernia carrying that thing around.
Three men ride toward the campsite on horseback. The photographer looks nervous as they approach. Two other men ready their rifles. The newcomers draw closer. "It's Durant!" says the photographer to his armed associates. He doesn't look any less nervous, though. Doc's suede duster and white horse are both impeccably clean, although it's a bit disappointing he doesn't ride something like a gold-encrusted lion. "Are you the Chicago Tribune reporter?" Doc asks, dismounting. The multi-talented photographer confirms that he is. Doc is disappointed -- nay, disgusted -- to learn that the reporter has photographed one of the bodies. The reporter tries to stammer out an explanation, but Doc cuts him off: "Just the one won't do!" He orders the corpses taken off the wagon and returned to the crime scene. "I want this scene photographed exactly as you found it," he says. "I want an unblinking look at the horror perpetrated here!" Doc looks around at the carnage and doesn't find it quite horrible enough. He gathers up some stray arrows and proceeds to chunk them into the corpses. Most of the arrows go in without much difficulty, but one corpse proves a bit more resistant than the others. So Doc widens his stance, grips an arrow with both hands and augers that sucker on in there. There is much squelching and scraping. The reporter looks on with horror and confusion. Doc looks up, sees the man's expression and rolls his eyes. "He can't feel anything -- he's dead, for God's sake!"