Episode 3: New Money
We see Al in his long underwear, lying in pain on the floor, unable to move or speak. Wow, I did NOT expect that! Three of his loyal employees (Dan, Johnny, Jewel) think that he wants some quiet time, BUT then they don’t hear a peep from him, and get worried. Doc comes to visit, wondering what’s up. When Trixie comes back to The Gem, she sees the Doc’s concern. She had been out the previous night caring for Sol. Jewel has Dan break down the door- finally! It takes time, BUT we learn that Al is suffering from kidney stones. Of all the employees, Trixie is the MOST upset, maybe feeling guilty re: NOT being there before? After all, these individuals depend on Al for their livelihoods!
A new man arrives in town- tall, bearded, and dressed well. This is Francis Wolcott (Garrett Dillahunt), a surveyor/engineer who works for a mining operation run by the famed Mr. Hearst (though that name should NOT be mentioned). E.B. tries to make some money off of him, BUT Wolcott is no chump. Later, Wolcott makes a business deal w/ Cy, who is unsure what to make of the no-nonsense/imposing man. Ellsworth knows him from a mining accident years back in another state; he tells Wolcott to get off Mrs. Garret’s claim ASAP (unless he wants harm done to him). The more I see of Ellsworth, I more I like him! He’s one of the FEW honest men in this town.
Maddie has been awaiting Wolcott; in an earlier ep, told a (VERY concerned) Joanie that this “Mr. W.” is a dangerous man who gets rough w/ pros. She has banked her retirement on him; she sends for his favorite pro, Carrie. It turns out that Wolcott is interested in Joanie (for her mind); he thinks it’s too bad that she’s stuck at the Chez Ami instead of making her mark in the wider world.
Episode 4: Requiem for a Gleet
Doc contemplates a procedure that could cure Al, BUT it could kill him. While boiling instruments for surgery, Doc exclaims (in front of Johnny) that he doesn’t want to kill another man. I LOVE this character, probably b/c the actor (Brad Dourif) just puts his whole heart into the role.
Bullock looks to be liking domestic life w/ wife Martha and adopted son William (who is interested in gardening). It’s easy to like this kid actor- he’s just got the period era manners/attitude down. I hope that William has a chance to make a friend or two, perhaps w/ Sofia (unless Alma forbids it).
Alma cuts ties with Sofia’s tutor, Miss Isringhausen (a youthful/brown-haired Sarah Paulson). She gives the tutor 6 mos. pay and allows for her to stay in the hotel while she finds another job/ponders her next move.
At the hardware store, Sol is recovering from his shoulder wound and teaching Trixie how to keep the books (at her request). She also cries over Al, wondering if he will die. I like their relationship- it’s complicated (mainly on HER part), yet also caring and gentle.
The County Commissioner (veteran character actor Stephen Tobolowsky) arrives in camp; this causes rumors to fly re: validity of ownership of gold claims
Trivia: BOTH Dillahunt and Paulson had supporting roles in the Oscar-nominated film 12 Years a Slave.