You may use the quick links provided below to navigate to the episodes easier.
1.01 – The Macon 7
|Directed by: Anthony Hemingway||Air Date: March 9, 2016|
In 1857, a slave named Noah is captured while running through a forest. He is placed in a cabin with other captured runaways, where he finds a dying slave has carved a song containing a map to freedom into the wall. He copies the song on to a piece of his shirt before being taken back to the Macon Plantation, where he convinces Tom Macon that he was not trying to escape, but merely got lost on his way to another plantation. A house slave, Rosalee, helps her mother, Ernestine, deliver a baby to two of the field slaves, only for the baby’s mother to drown it to protect it from the world. Ernestine tells her she does not know what it is like to want to protect her children from the world. When she tends to Noah, she realizes he is hiding something. Later, after her brother James and Tom Macon’s son cause an accident with the overseer, she takes the blame to protect him. Noah tells another slave, Henry, that he has plans to run, but they cannot do it alone, and they consider bringing others with them while being observed by Cato, a slave driver with a burnt face working under the overseer. Lawyer John Hawkes attempts to draw attention to the injustices of slavery, but no one except abolitionist William Still listens, and attempts to recruit him to the cause. He tells his wife Elizabeth, who believes the cause is just, but someone else should do it, as they are trying to have children. That night, at a party to celebrate the birthday of Tom Macon’s daughter, Macon and John Hawkes are revealed to be brothers, and he asks John to manage his campaign for senator. Elizabeth witnesses the cruelty of slavery firsthand, and notices the southern women do not care. That same night, at the funeral for the baby, Noah speaks to the other slaves he considered bringing: Moses, a preacher who Noah believes can read, Sam, a carpenter and Rosalee and James’ half brother, and Zeke, a large muscular slave and the baby’s father. Zeke agrees, Sam refuses, and Moses considers it, taking the song. He is later revealed to be illiterate when he asks his wife Pearly Mae to read it to him. Rosalee later arrives, and after speaking with Noah, also considers running. Cato, having realized Noah is planning something, threatens to reveal his plan to Tom Macon if Noah does not include him. Elizabeth and John talk about their belief in freedom, and about how she does not want to bring a child into a world of slavery, and they decide to join the cause. Meanwhile, August Pullman, a man struggling to pay for his wife’s treatment at a mental institution, finds a runaway slave and helps her hide from catchers, only to later turn her in himself.
1.02 – War Chest
|Directed by: Anthony Hemingway||Air Date: March 16, 2016|
Noah and the group discuss how to escape the plantation, accounting for various problems. Sam agrees to build something enabling them to get under the bridge, Pearly Mae forges freedom papers and learns that Moses plans to bring her and Boo along, and Noah and Henry plan to steal a gun from a neighboring plantation during a dance that night. Other men arrive at the plantation to consider funding Tom Macon’s campaign. After hearing some of the other house slaves talking about the dance, Rosalee wonders what freedom will be like, and Ernestine subtly urges her not to run, claiming their life is the easiest they can achieve. Later, one of the guests makes sexual advances toward her, but she is saved by her mother, who later has sex with Tom after making him promise James will not work in the fields. After Cato nearly gets Noah caught, Noah tells him about the plan to steal the gun. That night, a group of slaves, including Noah, Cato and Rosalee go to the dance, where Noah tells Cato to steal the gun while he has sex with the mistress of the plantation. This is shown to be a lie when the mistress decides to have sex with Cato, allowing Noah to steal the gun. When Cato tries to retaliate, Noah threatens him with the gun. Later, Rosalee and Noah dance, and he asks her to join him when he runs. Meanwhile, John and Elizabeth meet William Still to join the cause, only to find a runaway has been brought to him, and slave catchers are looking for him. They are trapped, but eventually manage to trick the slave catchers into assaulting them, causing the sheriff to arrest them. A wolf kills August’s chickens, and he and Ben track the wolf, eventually killing it. When August finds bare footprints leading away from the wolf’s body, he follows them, eventually catching a runaway slave and killing him, which is witnessed by Ben.
1.03 – The Lord’s Day
|Directed by: Anthony Hemingway||Air Date: March 23, 2016|
On Sunday, Noah and Henry decide the escape will happen next Saturday night after headcount, as there is no work on Sundays. When Seraphina is sold to another plantation, Zeke attacks the men escorting her away, breaks their wagon, and is sent to the box. Sam devises a way under the bridge, which Noah tests, nearly being caught by Tom Macon. Realizing their falsified papers mean nothing unless stamped with the Macon seal, Noah has Sam enlist Rosalee to steal the seal from Tom’s office. Despite having doubts about running, she does, but is unable to return it before Tom notices it is missing. Cato has Zeke released from the box, convincing him that Noah was going to abandon him. Tom forces the slaves to stand in lines and hold railroad beams, telling them they will all be punished if they all fall before the thief steps forward. Ernestine realizes Rosalee is the thief, and has T.R. Macon, Tom’s son, pretend he stole the seal. Rosalee admits to Sam she is too scared to run, and decides to tell Noah. While looking for him, she is harassed by the drunk overseer. Noah finds her, and she tells him they have to run, as the overseer is dead, resulting in them sneaking out in the repaired wagon. Meanwhile, John and Elizabeth encounter Elizabeth’s former fiance, Kyle Risdin, now a U.S. Marshal, who reminds them of the governor’s ball that night. After meeting other members of the Underground Railroad, who outfit their house with ways to hide runaways, they attend the ball, where Elizabeth distracts the guests while John takes new information on boat patrols and new marshals from the governors office, which he later gives to other members of the cause. Later, a runaway comes to them seeking help, only to attack John, believing the lawyer sold his wife into slavery.
1.04 – Firefly
|Directed by: Anthony Hemingway||Air Date: March 30, 2016|
The overseer is tended by Cato and Ernestine, and manages to tell Tom Macon that Rosalee stabbed him. Believing he will die, Macon promotes Cato to overseer, and he exercises his authority over the others, who distrust him. Sam tells Ernestine about the escape attempt when pressured. Later, she hears from Mrs. Macon about a train leaving north that day. Noah and Rosalee stop at another cabin to rest and get fresh clothes, and share a quiet moment. Later, while fleeing through the swamp, Rosalee proves her worth by poisoning the dogs sent after them. August and Ben arrive at the plantation, and Macon agrees to hire August if the runaways are not brought back by nightfall. Noah and Rosalee find shelter, and kiss, before Noah decides to go back for the team. Ernestine tells Cato about the train, knowing about his ambition. Cato later brings the entire escape team to be punished, and reveals he burned his own face to hide marks that he attempted escape, before burning the cotton field to create a distraction for them to run. However, August realizes the burning is a distraction, and catches the runners at the bridge. Pearly Mae blocks him, allowing the others to escape. Henry is nearly captured by a slave catcher, who is shot and killed by a returning Noah, who leads the team to Rosalee. When they regroup, she realizes Pearly Mae and Sam are missing. Sam is shown to not have run, instead helping put out the fire. Meanwhile, John and Elizabeth are held captive by two slaves who came seeking help, and eventually the man who accused him of selling his wife forces Elizabeth to whip John, at which point he tells them about the wife he helped sell into slavery. The man realizes he is lying, and tries to kill them, but they are saved by Kyle Risdin. John reveals part of his story was true, and they decide to continue their work as abolitionists.
1.05 – Run & Gun
|Directed by: Romeo Tirone||Air Date: April 6, 2016|
Off the plantation, Noah, Zeke, Cato, Henry, Moses, Boo and Rosalee race to catch the train headed north, pursued by August and Tom Macon’s men. Noah, Cato and Moses try to get information from Frog Jack, a man who cares about nothing but money, in exchange for their revolver, but are found quickly by August. In the ensuing fight, Moses is shot in the arm, and the others find out he cannot read. After Zeke beats Frog Jack and the catchers attack August, they escape, Cato taking the revolver. The group splits up to divert the slave catchers from Moses, Boo and Rosalee. The catchers pursue Cato and Zeke to a river. Zeke suggests fighting them together, but Cato shoots him in the knee and escapes. The catchers attack him, and shoot him fatally, though he manages to kill them all before August arrives and he collapses dead. After encouraging Moses and Boo, Rosalee separates from them to find supplies to treat his injury, and runs into August, who tricks her into revealing the train after telling her he saw Zeke. However, he also reveals to her how to interpret part of the song they are following. The runaways regroup, and Rosalee reveals she gave up the train’s location. They arrive at the train, but August has already arrived as well. Moses and Boo manage to board it, but Noah, Rosalee, Cato and Henry are forced to escape on foot. Meanwhile, back at the plantation, Tom interrogates the slaves, and treats Pearly Mae well in an attempt to get her to reveal where the escapees are heading. Sam gets an opportunity to kill Tom, but does not do it. Susanna Macon eventually convinces Pearly Mae to give up the slaves in exchange for freedom for herself and Boo, though not Moses. Since she and Susanna are half sisters and knowing Tom Macon looks after his family, including Rosalee and James, she agrees. However, Ernestine, not wanting Rosalee captured, kills her with poison in her drink and then slits her wrists with a table knife to make it look like suicide.
1.06 – Troubled Water
|Directed by: Romeo Tirone||Air Date: April 13, 2016|
Tom invites a reverend to the Macon Plantation to support his campaign, but seems unable to please him, even after his new son Samuel is born. He later tries to force himself on Ernestine, but she leaves, admitting her disillusionment with her life and her murder of Pearly Mae to the reverend’s slave. The runaways, starving, attempt to commandeer a gunboat which could contain food, but are caught by August and Ben. Though they escape in the boat, August breaks the rudder. They find the boat contains no food, and a man, who promises to help them escape via his Indian friend. Tensions rise between Noah and Cato, especially after Cato kicks the man overboard and reveals to Rosalee he knows she is Tom Macon’s daughter. Rosalee later leaves, causing a confrontation between Noah and Cato. August and Ben travel to the town the boat will eventually float to, where August has sex with a prostitute, disgusting Ben. They are later found by a posse of slave catchers working for Patty Cannon, who try to force him to join them, but are forced to leave after getting a message that August’s wife has escaped the mental institution. As the boat floats down the river, they are found by the slave catchers, but their pursuers are driven off by Native Americans, brought there by Rosalee. Meanwhile, John and Elizabeth enhance their home to allow runaway slaves to hide, which is observed by Kyle, who later enlists John to help catch a runaway in the area. The two men find the runaway, who turns out to be Clyde. He knocks out Kyle, allowing John get him safely away and claim he escaped. Later, after Clyde is captured, John decides to rescue him.
1.07 – Cradle
|Directed by: Kate Woods||Air Date: April 20, 2016|
August’s wife escapes from the mental hospital she is in, forcing August and Ben to track her down. When they find her, Ben sees how badly his mother is affected. After they bring her back, Ben questions how good a man his father is. Moses and Boo continue to run, and he tells her the story of his Biblical namesake, but Moses is eventually shot by arrows when crossing a river, and dies after getting across. Boo escapes and eventually runs into Elizabeth, who shelters her while John is out of town, but she is discovered by Kyle. As Henry anticipates freedom, Cato rejects him, while he bonds with Noah and Rosalee, seemingly planning to become a family with them when they reach freedom. He sacrifices himself in an explosion to save Noah when they are attacked by slave catchers. On the plantation, James is forced to work, and manages to adapt. Sam protects him, and later tries to buy his freedom, and Ernestine tells him the truth about slavery. T.R. Macon, Tom and Susanna’s son, also sees the harsh realities of slavery, eventually witnessing Sam escaping. He tries to maintain his friendship with James, promising to release him when he comes to own the plantation. When James refuses, T.R. tells his father he saw Sam escaping.
1.08 – Grave
|Directed by: Kate Woods||Air Date: April 27, 2016|
Rosalee treats Noah’s injuries before they manage to escape with Cato, but he develops a fever. Rosalee hatches a plan to get medicine from a doctor’s house by posing as free blacks, and forces Cato to help her by withholding the location of the next safe house. She manages to charm the doctor into letting them stay. August catches up with Patty Cannon’s gang, and makes a deal to join them. When Ben questions his motives, he shows his son a bank letter supposedly telling them they have a month left to pay the mortgage on their house, and claims he has no choice, but Ben is unconvinced. They accompany the gang to town, where August discovers stolen clothes. Later, he discovers the bank letter actually says the bank wants to buy his land since it contains mercury. Rosalee convinces the doctor’s house girl to help them, but the sheriff arrives, revealed to be the doctor’s brother. He nearly catches them, but is drawn away by a report about Noah, who stumbles through a cornfield while hallucinating Henry. He gains the resolve to continue running, and escapes a slave catcher, reuniting with Cato. However, Rosalee is captured by August. Meanwhile, at the Macon Plantation, Sam is brought back after attempting escape. Tom decides to cripple him as a warning to future runaways, but is unable to go through with it. Later, after conversing with other southern men to support his bid for senator, he publicly lynches Sam during a speech announcing his bid. He later reprimands John for neither supporting him nor stopping him.
1.09 – Black & Blue
|Directed by: Tim Hunter||Air Date: May 4, 2016|
August and the gang plan to use Rosalee to draw out Noah and Cato, and she burns her stolen dress when they try to take it from her. Noah and Cato commandeer a wagon to rescue Rosalee. Cato finds money in the wagon, and claims to only be helping because Rosalee knows where to go, but Noah disputes this. Rosalee bonds with Ben, while the leader of the gang subtly hints to him that his father cares more about the job than anything else. Cato admits to Noah that he has a wife and daughter he was separated from, but claims he does not care about them anymore. Cato distracts the slave catchers by spreading the money from the wagon in front of them while Noah gets into the hideout. Ben finds the bank letter, and realizing his father lied to him, frees Rosalee. August finds Ernestine, and realizes he is hallucinating due to Devil’s snare having been in the dress Rosalee burned. She causes him to realize he is obsessed with the hunt. Rosalee hallucinates Tom Macon, and reprimands him for his treatment of her. She eventually stabs him, but realizes she has actually stabbed Ben. August fights and nearly kills Noah, but stops when he hears Ben screaming, allowing Noah and Rosalee to escape, reuniting with Cato. They flee, pursued by the gang, but Cato is caught by an Indian trap. They fight back, but are forced to abandon Cato after he is shot with an arrow. Meanwhile, after managing to rescue Clyde from his old master, John returns home to find Boo, and Elizabeth admits what she and Kyle have done. When she reveals she has captured Kyle and is holding him in the hideaway, John angrily confronts him. Later, he and Elizabeth argue over what joining the Underground Railroad has done to them, and Boo nearly shoots John. They are then interrupted by the arrival of Noah and Rosalee, who Boo recognizes.
1.10 – The White Whale
|Directed by: Tim Hunter||Air Date: May 11, 2016|
The runaways at the Hawkes’ residence are trapped when slave catchers flood the area. After digging a hole near a house, John tells Rosalee that Sam is dead, and she and Noah have sex. Afterward, they reflect on what they have done to get where they are. Noah and Elizabeth go to the marshal’s office, where they stage a hostage situation and release all the captured runaways there. Meanwhile, after bringing Ben to a doctor, August kills the remaining gang members when they disagree with him on how to proceed, afterward going to John to get help, as he is Tom Macon’s brother. He tells John that Rosalee is his niece, but leaves after Elizabeth returns and tells him where Noah was. He returns through the secret entrance to the hideaway and tries to kill them, but John enables them to escape by collapsing the hideaway. August flees, leaving John and Kyle. Meanwhile, Noah is captured by Patty Cannon. She interrogates him, and he claims Kyle is helping them. At the hideaway, John reveals to Kyle he and Elizabeth have planted evidence framing him, and kills him under the Fugitive Slave Act. August pursues Elizabeth, Boo and Rosalee, eventually confronting the latter over Ben, only for Elizabeth to arrive. In the standoff, August is shot, and the women leave him to die. He is later found by Patty Cannon, who has him arrested for killing her gang. At the Macon Plantation, Tom reveals he is haunted by his lynching of Sam, and begs Ernestine to forgive him. She seemingly does, and admits she killed Pearly Mae. After seeing Tom bond with James, she has him hanged and stages it as a suicide. Cato is revealed to still be running, and finds a suitcase full of money. Noah is sent to a jail with other slaves. Suzanna Macon admits she knew Ernestine was sleeping with Tom, but didn’t care, but hated her because her children loved her more than their own mother, and sells her. Rosalee makes it to freedom with Boo, but tells Still she plans to go back to help other slaves do the same, having found a purpose. She returns, and meets Harriet Tubman.