Doc prepares to kiss major ass as Senator Crane comes to Hell on Wheels. As you may recall, Crane was the one Doc bullied into working on his behalf back in the pilot. Now he needs Crane to get him some soldiers, cut a deal with the Cheyenne and basically get him the funds he needs to make his forty-mile quota. The Swede, putting his eavesdropping skills to good use, tells Crane about Doc's shady stock dealings in exchange for help in tracking down Sergeant Harper. Crane is downright gleeful to have turned the tables on Doc, having sold his land in Nebraska, his shares in the railroad and now threatens him with utter ruin.
Things just aren't going Doc's way. Many Horses and a band of Cheyenne have come to town to negotiate peace. The "negotiation" involves Doc and the Senator telling Many Horses to move his people onto a reservation or else. They can't even comprehend why this isn't a tempting prospect to the Indians. As talks break down, Many Horses tells them about his son's vision. The son, who seemed much younger with body paint last week, is invited to race the train on horseback. He loses, of course, but Doc's triumph is short-lived because Many Horses still won't deal.
In the subplots, Lily gives the maps to Doc once she realizes how dire the situation really is. She also nearly comes to blows when she sees a Cheyenne woman wearing Robert's hat. Because Joseph is awesome, he gets the hat back for her while also opening her eyes to their mutual tragedies. Meanwhile, Cullen is mostly in the background for the episode, but he does manage to fire Toole for being a useless jerk. Toole, all het up and looking for someone to blame, targets Elam and his tattooed lady friend. The episode ends with the two of them being dragged out of a tent and into the night. Stay tuned for the recap.
Think you're a TV or movie expert? Prove it! Play Trivia Without Pity, our new online trivia game with over 2,000 questions about the shows and films you love -- and love to hate.
What are people saying about your favorite shows and stars right now? Find out with Talk Without Pity, the social media site for real TV fans. See Tweets and Facebook comments in real time and add your own -- all without leaving TWoP. Join the conversation now!
Previously: A Cheyenne soldier shot Lily with an arrow. She returned the favor by yanking the arrow out of her shoulder and turning him into a kabob with it. Doc bribed Senator Crane into working on his behalf by threatening to route his railroad around the Senator's land in Nebraska. Elam won a boxing match against Cullen, thanks in part to Sean slathering Elam's wrappings with pepper. Lily confessed to Doc that she has her husband's survey maps, but she didn't hand them over. Reverend Cole asked Joseph's father, Many Horses, to come to Hell on Wheels and talk peace. The Swede overheard Doc sending a suspicious telegram to his stockbroker. Elam made secret friends with the tattooed lady.
Currently: Doc has slapped a festive veneer on the open sewer that is Hell on Wheels. The train platform is bedecked with patriotic bunting and a big banner welcoming an as-yet-known visitor. Three musicians practice some distance away until Doc calls them closer to the platform. One man plays a fiddle, another a trombone. A shabbily-dressed woman -- likely a repurposed prostitute -- plays a tuba. I hope she becomes a regular. A tuba-toting hooker in the Old West is just automatically one of the most interesting characters on the show. Doc is exasperated to learn that the band leader plans to play "Dixie," and requests "Battle Hymn of the Republic" instead. As a train draws near, Doc hurries a photographer up onto the platform. Much to Doc's surprise, Lily wordlessly comes to his side and slips her hand into the crook of his elbow. "She takes my arm even as she stabs me in the back," he passive-aggressives. Lily remains cool. "Have you given my proposal any further consideration?" He calls it extortion. Lily calls it fair. Doc puffs up his chest and refuses to deal, but Lily just smiles like she has all the time in the world to wait for him to come around.
Doc excuses himself as the train pulls up. He commands the band to start playing. They're not terribly good, but one can't be too choosy. The last car in the train also bears patriotic bunting, which just seems like an open invitation to robbers. Senator Crane steps onto the platform, all smiles for the assembled masses. He looks like an alien from another planet in this setting, dressed as he is in a natty black suit, ascot and top hat. Doc refrains from dropping to his knees and puckering at Crane's posterior, but just barely. He turns to the crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor for me to introduce a true friend of the railroad, who has come here with the full backing of the United States Senate to meet with the Indians, to thwart their opposition to our cause! From the great state of Illinois, Senator Jordan Crane!" Crane stands there with a big smile, eating it all up. Polite applause goes up from the gathering. Cullen, seated on his horse, watches from the back of the crowd and looks unimpressed.