Things have not been easy for Cullen Bohannon since his return to Cheyenne in “Hell on Wheels” with his new wife, Naomi, and baby. Bohannon has been trying to keep his head down and earn an honest living to provide a decent home for Naomi, who complains early in episode 5 about rats getting into the baby’s crib in their makeshift house. Bohannon has a new ally in episode 5, "Life's a Mystery," but can he trust him?
A promo teased the appearance of Syd Snow in Cheyenne and fans got a taste of the new character in the episode’s cold open. In the riveting scene, Snow escapes from his would be executioners in Mexico, all with a rope around his neck. Next we see he’s in Cheyenne where he recognizes Bohannon. Bohannon does not know if he can trust him and he also tires of Snow’s inability to suppress his Confederate racism and war stories, but he gets him a job and lets him sleep at his house, perhaps welcoming a friend in Eli’s absence.
Meanwhile, in Campbell vs. Durant territory, Campbell has taken over Mickey’s saloon and instituted an unpopular gun ban. Not to be undone, Durant literally takes Campbell’s roof out from over his head, seizing his government office via imminent domain to build a train roundtable to send trains back East “where some people belong.” Mickey, though, isn’t doing well after losing his saloon and after being taunted in the bar, attacks and kills one of Campbell’s men after a brutal fight.
Later in episode 5 of "Hell on Wheels," Snow begins to cause problems for Bohannon. After telling a crude war story over dinner in front of Naomi and then revealing that bounty hunters are likely after him from Mexico, Bohannon revokes his offer to let him stay with his family. Soon, though, the bounty hunters do catch up with Snow and Cheyenne serves as the backdrop for the biggest shootout so far this season. Snow evades his captors, but not Bohannon, who captures Snow after he kills a storeowner and child before finding a hiding Naomi.
Over at Fort Smith Brigham Young showed up to pass judgment on the Swede after his accidental confession. When the Swede comes before the leader, Young makes sure he knows that the Swede is guilty, but seems to decide to allow him to live to help with a greater scheme to go after Durant. (Who saw that coming?)
Speaking of Durant, in the final scene one of Campbell’s men, and presumably a lover of Jessup, the man Mickey killed, shows up at Durant’s house in the middle of the night -- sure he is responsible for Jessup's death. Durant tries to explain, but before he can he is brutally beaten before the screen went black.
"Hell on Wheels" Episode 5 left fans with many questions. Is Durant dead? How will the Swede factor in to Brigham Young’s plans for Durant? And will Bohannon’s life in Cheyenne ever get any easier? Fans will have to wait until next Saturday to find out; after all, life is a mystery.
What did you think of "Life's a Mystery?" Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.