Hell on Wheels: Season 3 (2013)

SEASON:

Season 3
Hell on Wheels

Critics Consensus

Hell on Wheels' third outing teases an exciting new direction for its characters but unfortunately loses locomotion in the end, leaving its characters stuck in a stranded narrative boxcar.

50%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 10

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 110

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Episodes

Air date: Aug 10, 2013

Cullen and Elam travel to New York to secure their positions on the railroad. Durant fights for his prison legacy.

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Air date: Aug 10, 2013

A roadblock means Cullen has to make a difficult choice as a reporter arrives. Elam is not getting along with his new boss.

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Air date: Aug 17, 2013

A stranger's arrival threatens Elam's family. Cullen and Elam's food is stolen.

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Air date: Aug 24, 2013

After a railroad accident, Cullen and Elam forge deep into Indian territory to secure a new lumber source. Meanwhile, Durant tells Louise a secret about Cullen.

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Air date: Aug 31, 2013

Cullen helps Elam track down a dangerous criminal. Meanwhile, chaos erupts in Hell on Wheels as the town prepares to move down the tracks.

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Air date: Sep 7, 2013

Cullen's position is threatened after Durant files an injunction against the Union Pacific. Meanwhile, Elam deals with a dangerous newcomer.

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Air date: Sep 14, 2013

A cholera epidemic in Hell on Wheels has Cullen seeking fresh water to help save his workers. Meanwhile, Durant faces political fallout.

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Air date: Sep 21, 2013

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

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Air date: Sep 28, 2013

Cullen's plans for the railroad to reach the nearby town of Cheyenne are jeopardised when he is captured by Aaron Hatch's armed men.

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Air date: Oct 5, 2013

In the Season 3 finale, Cullen deals with consequences, and Elam mounts a rescue attempt. Meanwhile, Durant receives Gen. Grant and the U.P. board in Cheyenne ahead of the deadline.

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Hell on Wheels: Season 3 Photos

Tv Season Info

Season 3 follows Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) and his efforts to push westward expansion of the Union Pacific Railroad. After securing positions on the railroad, Cullen and Elam Ferguson (Common) begin their work, dealing with threats such as attacks and accidents. Meanwhile, Thomas "Doc" Durant (Colm Meaney) tries to maintain influence regarding his legacy with the railroad.

News & Interviews for Hell on Wheels: Season 3

Critic Reviews for Hell on Wheels Season 3

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

The final nail in the coffin for Hell on Wheels is that scourge of all television programs that begin slowly: Most viewers simply won't have the patience to find out if the show's writers ultimately find their footing.

Sep 28, 2018 | Full Review…

A prickly alliance founded on mutual respect and constantly threatened by both history and present, unpleasant circumstance, it's more subtle and moving than your average TV bromance and brings out the best in Common and Mr. Mount.

Sep 28, 2018 | Full Review…

There are some new folks; a NYC reporter who is an unnecessary tough-dame-reporter caricature. What this well-written series does not need is a character whose only job [is to move] the story along with expository dialogue in the guise of interviews.

Aug 20, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

There's certainly some promise in this apparent new direction; if nothing else, the show seems to be more directly about railroads than it ever was in the first two seasons.

Aug 12, 2013 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

The Mormon subplot is quick-and-dirty writing that uses nasty stereotypes as shorthand. Because it's harder and takes longer to put research and effort into scriptwriting. It's harder to create characters who aren't just cartoonish clichés.

Oct 1, 2018 | Full Review…

An at times jerky return, but a fun one at that.

Sep 28, 2018 | Full Review…

The Hell on Wheels writers have taken us on a short ride that started out with a bang, dropped the speed for a couple of episodes in the middle there, started on an incline again, but only to never send us down the roller-coaster in an exciting fashion.

Sep 28, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

For a season that was primarily about redemption, season 3 may have wound up being about finding a way back to the middle.

Sep 28, 2018 | Full Review…

Overall, "Big Bad Wolf; Eminent Domain" wasn't the blast out of the gates premiere for Hell on Wheels that I was hoping for.

Aug 12, 2013 | Rating: 3.3/5 | Full Review…

These first two episodes reestablish Hell on Wheels as a series that isn?t quite as wacky?even if the show does start with ghosts and Bohannan fighting a wolf?and seems to have a much greater focus.

Aug 12, 2013 | Rating: 7.3/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hell on Wheels: Season 3

  • Jun 09, 2020
    The only thing wrong with this season is the end. I won't spoil it, but just know they set things going in a direction that doesn't lead anywhere. Other than that, this season was awesome with compelling character development and amazing cinematography.
  • Sep 03, 2019
    Season 3 is clearly not for everyone, decidedly, but the character turns and overall plot direction are packed with unpredictability and excitement, much like the times of the Wild West that it takes place in.
  • Dec 27, 2018
    The Mormon subplot felt a bit exaggerated, and there were a few episodes in the middle that were very slow, but season 3 did manage to throw all of its characters in new directions.
  • Mar 27, 2017
    I could not get enough of this story. I lost hours of sleep watching it on Netflix. The first part of the story with Cullen being the drunk Southern Solider went on a little to long for me but after that I absolutely fell in love with this story, Cullen Bohannon and the cast members. I truly hated the villians.
  • Jul 14, 2015
    cant wait for each season stayed up all night watching one after another
  • Oct 14, 2014
    Show keeps getting better.
  • Oct 04, 2014
    Out of nowhere, Hell on Wheels takes a leap in quality to go from a kind of ridiculous show that I watched with a vague half-interest to one of my very favorite things on TV. It carries right over into the totally badass fourth season, too! I even like Bohannon now! And Common stops acting so hard!

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