The WORST episodes of Hell on Wheels

Every episode of Hell on Wheels ever, ranked from worst to best by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The worst episodes of Hell on Wheels!

Hell on Wheels tells the epic story of post-Civil War America, focusing on a Confederate soldier (Mount) who sets out to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who have killed his wife. His journey takes him west to Hell on Wheels, a dangerous, raucous, lawless melting pot of a town that travels with and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, an engineering feat unprecedented for its time.

Last Updated: 1/10/2024Network: AMCStatus: Ended
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Gambit
star
7.42
1305 votes

#1 - Gambit

Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired 7/2/2016

Durant's plot to ransom himself takes an unexpected turn when Campbell arrives in town with the Cavalry to coordinate a rescue operation.

Directors: Adam Davidson
Watch Now:Amazon
Hungry Ghosts
star
7.43
1071 votes

#2 - Hungry Ghosts

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired 8/22/2015

Cullen and Mei escort precious cargo through the California wilderness; Eva nurses Louise back to health.

Directors: Neil LaBute
Watch Now:Amazon
Chinatown
star
7.46
1147 votes

#3 - Chinatown

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired 7/18/2015

Cullen is in California with the Central Pacific Railroad, and must deal with the new workers.

Directors: David Straiton
Writer: Jami O'Brien
Watch Now:Amazon
61 Degrees
star
7.46
1338 votes

#4 - 61 Degrees

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired 6/25/2016

Cullen's nitroglycerin experiment provides an explosive backdrop for the railroad life in Truckee. Durant's plan turns deadly.

Directors: Michael Nankin
Writer: Max Hurwitz
Watch Now:Amazon
Return to the Garden
star
7.50
1349 votes

#5 - Return to the Garden

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired 6/18/2016

Cullen faces life-changing decisions in Utah as Truckee adapts to life without him.

Directors: Marvin V. Rush
Writer: Jami O'Brien
Watch Now:Amazon
Bear Man
star
7.51
1473 votes

#6 - Bear Man

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired 9/6/2014

Following an attack by a bear, Elam struggles to survive in a Comanche village and find his way back to Cheyenne.

Directors: Clark Johnson
Writer: Max Hurwitz
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
Struck
star
7.53
1040 votes

#7 - Struck

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/8/2015

Cullen solves a Chinese labor strike in the wake of violence. Meanwhile, Durant pulls Mickey deeper into Union Pacific business.

Directors: Clark Johnson
Writer: Max Hurwitz
Watch Now:Amazon
Bleeding Kansas
star
7.53
1236 votes

#8 - Bleeding Kansas

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired 11/8/2014

Cullen and Durant work to save the life of a criminal; Louise supports Ruth as she copes with a loss.

Directors: Seith Mann
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
Searchers
star
7.55
1658 votes

#9 - Searchers

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 8/31/2013

Cullen helps Elam track down a dangerous criminal; the town prepares to move down the tracks.

Directors: Neil LaBute
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
It Happened in Boston
star
7.59
1529 votes

#10 - It Happened in Boston

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired 9/21/2013

After his workers defect to the Mormons, Cullen recruits Durant to help get them back. Meanwhile, Sean and Mickey's past comes back to haunt them.

Writer: Mark Richard
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
White Justice
star
7.61
1082 votes

#11 - White Justice

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired 8/1/2015

Cullen contends with violence in Chinatown set off by disgruntled railroad workers. Meanwhile, the Swede manipulates Phineas in his plot against the Mormons.

Directors: David Straiton
Writer: John Romano
Watch Now:Amazon
Mei Mei
star
7.63
1095 votes

#12 - Mei Mei

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired 7/25/2015

Cullen and Fong find themselves in peril as they transport a locomotive over the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Swede gains Phineas' trust.

Directors: Billy Gierhart
Watch Now:Amazon
Pilot
star
7.63
3440 votes

#13 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/6/2011

A former confederate soldier journeys to the transcontinental railroad to seek vengeance.

Directors: David Von Ancken
Watch Now:Amazon
Thirteen Steps
star
7.63
1163 votes

#14 - Thirteen Steps

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired 11/15/2014

Cullen grapples with Ruth's unexpected decision; Louise jeopardizes her reputation to fight for a story she believes in.

Directors: Roxann Dawson
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
Viva La Mexico
star
7.63
2033 votes

#15 - Viva La Mexico

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 8/12/2012

In the Season 2 premiere, Durant and Lily steer the railroad further west, while Cullen and Elam land on opposite sides of the law.

Directors: David Von Ancken
Watch Now:Amazon
Jamais Je Ne T'oublierai
star
7.65
2532 votes

#16 - Jamais Je Ne T'oublierai

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 11/27/2011

Cullen's search for the sergeant nears its end; Durant keeps to his hidden agenda while assisting in Lily's recuperation.

Directors: Alex Zakrzewski
Writer: Jami O'Brien
A New Birth of Freedom
star
7.66
2727 votes

#17 - A New Birth of Freedom

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 11/20/2011

When Lily goes missing, Durant organizes a search party. A subsidiary request prevents Cullen from his continued search for the sergeant involved in the murder of his wife.

Directors: Phil Abraham
Writer: John Shiban
Watch Now:Amazon
Elixir of Life
star
7.66
1073 votes

#18 - Elixir of Life

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired 8/15/2015

Unexpected violence erupts in Chinatown during the festival of Tin Hau Don; Cullen confronts the Swede; and Durant involves Maggie in his latest scheme.

Directors: Karen Gaviola
Watch Now:Amazon
Reckoning
star
7.67
1241 votes

#19 - Reckoning

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/23/2014

Cullen deals with trouble at home as he takes railroad matters into his own hands. Campbell makes a move against Durant and Mickey.

Directors: Dennie Gordon
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
The Lord's Day
star
7.67
1935 votes

#20 - The Lord's Day

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 9/30/2012

A new arrival stirs things up in Hell on Wheels, while Eva gets caught between Elam and Mr. Toole.

Directors: Rod Lurie
Watch Now:Amazon
Two Soldiers
star
7.67
1465 votes

#21 - Two Soldiers

Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired 6/11/2016

The Swede's murderous rampage on the Hatch homestead results in a long overdue showdown with Cullen.

Directors: Michael Nankin
Watch Now:Amazon
The Elusive Eden
star
7.68
1377 votes

#22 - The Elusive Eden

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired 8/2/2014

Cullen awaits the birth of his baby, laboring under The Swede's thumb at Fort Smith. Durant deals with the fallout from a railroad accident.

Directors: Neil LaBute
Writer: Mark Richard
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
Scabs
star
7.69
1997 votes

#23 - Scabs

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 9/2/2012

A tragedy leads Cullen to defuse an internal threat to the railroad.

Writer: Chris Mundy
Watch Now:Amazon
Any Sum Within Reason
star
7.70
1245 votes

#24 - Any Sum Within Reason

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired 7/9/2016

Chang force Mei to leave Truckee after discovering her secret; Cullen exorcises some old demons during his search.

Directors: Tim Southam
Writer: Thomas Brady
Watch Now:Amazon
Chicken Hill
star
7.70
1341 votes

#25 - Chicken Hill

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired 8/16/2014

Cullen goes back to work on the railroad and butts heads with his new boss. Durant and Campbell battle over a valuable piece of real estate.

Directors: Dennie Gordon
Writer: John Wirth
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV