During "Any Sum Within Reason" the 12th episode of Hell on Wheels' season five: (S05E12)

When he returns to his quarters, he finds Mei gone. On the bed, he finds the box her father left her – the box that would beckon them back to China once emptied.

It isn’t empty. Inside there is a note but nothing more. Mei is on a ship home. She leaves with Cullen’s words in her heart and the belief she’s saved them both. –channelguidemag.com

Was Bohannon aware of the significance of the tea box, and if so how, and from who? Why would it be the first thing he checks? Is this item discussed in earlier episodes?

Why is Mei's tea box significant at all? Are there cultural ramifications that I'm missing here?

  • I always assumed that it was a special kind of medicine that could not be had anywhere outside of Asia. I am late to the show but I really love it. It all makes more sense than the old stereotype westerns. Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 23:38

1 Answer 1


At the end of episode 510, Mei tells Bohannon about the box: "Father say when this box empty, we leave Gold Mountain and go home. Last leaf inside for two years. I never take it out."

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