Since Cullen Bohannon returned to Cheyenne in Season 4 of “Hell on Wheels,” he has been trying to make a peaceful life in the town with his new wife and baby. But nothing in the AMC drama is ever peaceful, and Bohannon has had a hard time just making an honest living. Episode 7, which debuted Saturday, may have been the most difficult one for Bohannon yet, and it seems the railroad man is in for more trouble, judging from the synopsis and sneak peek video for episode 8, “Under Color of Law." 

Episode 7 saw the return of Elam Ferguson, who was reintroduced to the show in Episode 6 after recovering from the Season 3 bear attack at a Comanche tribe camp. At the end of that episode, he was riding for town with three girls tied to his horse as slaves. In the latest episode, Bohannon rode out to meet his old friend -- who didn’t even recognize him -- and insisted he would be selling his three slaves at an auction in town. When Elam finally arrived in Cheyenne, he caused quite a stir: Bohannon tried to talk him down, but Elam attacked him -- forcing Bohannon to kill the fan-favorite character.

Considering that the last time fans saw Bohannon, in episode 5, he had to rescue his family from the murderous ex-soldier Syd Snow, whom he'd let stay in their home, you could say he’s been having some tough luck. Elam might have been the breaking point for Bohannon’s wife, Naomi. The promo video for episode 8 shows Naomi riding away from town in a wagon with the baby while Bohannon chases after her. He catches up and, without a word, stops her, ties his horse to the wagon and takes over driving. Is he bringing her back to town or is he leaving yet again?

Meanwhile, the synopsis for the new episode reveals that John Campbell will bring in a federal marshal to help lay down the law in town. Campbell could be at his wit's end after the Elam debacle played out in the middle of the streets. Plus, in the last episode Durant killed Heckard, one of Campbell’s men, in retaliation for Heckard beating him after Mickey killed Jessup. That may have been the last straw for Campbell.

Episode 7 saw both Durant and Campbell vowing there would be no compromise in their power struggle with each other, each declaring they will have the railroad or bust. Meanwhile, Bohannon might just lose his family if things don't start going his way soon. How will it all play out? Fans will have to tune in next Saturday to find out.

Episode 8 of “Hell on Wheels” airs Saturday, Sept. 20, at 9 p.m. EDT on AMC. What did you think of Elam’s death? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.