Into the West

Season 1 Episode 4

Hell on Wheels

0
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jul 08, 2005 on TNT
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
53 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Hell on Wheels
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The race is on as the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads lay down track across the U.S. bringing east and west together. Jacob Wheeler's one son, Abe, joins the railroad crew, while his other son Jacob Jr. becomes a scout for the army. Jacob's daughter Margaret and her photographer husband are captured by the Cheyenne, but her Lakota heritage saves them and they are adopted by the tribe. When the village is attacked by overzealous U.S. soldiers, many are murdered. Witnessing the brutality, Margaret decides to stay with her Cheyenne family.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The building of the transcontinental railroad forces change to the west and it’s inhabitants. All along the roadbed boomtowns spring up, first to support railroad construction but leads to permanent settlement. The settling of the west sparks conflict betmoreless

    9.9
    The episode while very difficult to watch shows what is usually called “the opening of the west”. Seldom has this story been told with realistic emphasis on the racism of the whites and their genocidal treatment of the Indians. Also highlighted is the role of Chinese labors in the building of the railroad and the prejudicial attitudes toward them. Touched on only briefly is the anti-Irish prejudices of the era.

    Using as a storytelling technique this series follows the branches of one family (the Wheelers), which allows the brutality become personal. The behavior of Skiffington at Sand Creek and Custer’s attacks on old men, women and children are usually omitted in historical accounts.

    Margaret Wheeler’s decision to return to her mother’s people is courageous and understandable from her point of view and her meeting with Jacob Jr. pulls at your heart as they both try to make their way in the clash of their parent’s two cultures.

    moreless
Daniel Gillies

Daniel Gillies

Ethan Biggs

Gil Birmingham

Gil Birmingham

Dog Star (older)

Irene Bedard

Irene Bedard

Margaret/Light Shines (older)

Rachael Leigh Cook

Rachael Leigh Cook

Clara Wheeler

Russell Means

Russell Means

Running Fox (older)

Tom Berenger

Tom Berenger

Col. J. Chivington

Steve Reevis

Steve Reevis

Loved by the Buffalo (oldest)

Guest Star

Forrest Fyre

Forrest Fyre

Thomas Durant

Guest Star

Kurt Sorenson

Kurt Sorenson

Thomas Wheeler

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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