Episode 5: Complications
A short black man wearing an Union Army cap is in the camp; he refers to himself as N****er General (yup, the N-word is used throughout this ep by BOTH black and white characters). The other black man (older/taller) is the blacksmith who owns/operates his own business; we saw him a BIT in S1.
General is surprised when Jane offers him a drink, then sits and chats w/ him outside the jail. Jane is a good person deep down, though she puts on that tough/cranky persona and drinks way TOO much. After General is tarred (on his shoulder) by an angry mob, led by Steve (Michael Harney- who’d later be on Orange is the New Black), Jane helps him out.
Al is on the mend, though Doc (privately) tells him that he has suffered a mild stroke. Al looks VERY serious, telling Doc that NO ONE should know about that fact! This reminded me of how maybe a king (or other type of leader) would’ve hidden their health issues. Later on, Bullock brings Al news of what’s happening in the camp. Now, don’t look for a bromance- they are merely civil to each other.
Now the BIG news: Alma has been throwing up in the mornings. Uh oh, we know what THAT means (at least in TV world)! She steels herself, gets a male escort (Richardson, the grungy/loyal old cook at E.B.’s hotel), and goes to The Gem. Since Trixie isn’t there, Alma (looking pale and nervous) heads to the hardware store. Bullock and Sol are there working; Trixie is learning the books. Alma calmly asks to speak privately w/ Trixie.
When they get out in the alley, Trixie instantly knows what’s up (or could be up). Talk about street smarts! Trixie suggests she drink a tea w/ certain ingredients; she also confides that she’s taken it 7 times (w/ laudanum). Alma admits that she’s esp. scared b/c she’d heard from doctors that she couldn’t have children, or if it happened, she could die.
Later on, Trixie goes to the Doc’s house and tells him that Alma needs his expert advice, BUT won’t go to him (b/c how judgmental he was when she was getting off laudanum- see S1). Doc is surprised by Trixie’s blunt manner, BUT he says he’ll go see Alma the next morning. Trixie says to go under another pretense. I think she has a soft spot for Alma, though they’ve lead VERY different lives. Trixie has been though a LOT of hardship and seen much of life; Alma is more sheltered (though has become less so since coming to Deadwood).
Next, we see Doc finishing up a check-up of Sofia in Alma’s hotel room. As he packs up, he asks her if there is anything ELSE that she is concerned about. Alma is hesitant before she explains her fears. After Doc examines Alma, he concludes that indeed she is pregnant; it will be difficult though (given some childhood illness she had). He says it’s her choice now to decide what to do.
One of Al’s men (Silas) quickly) falls under the spell of Mrs. Isringhausen. Before (boldy) hitting on him, she stayed in his room the previous night b/c she feared for her life (at the hands of Alma). Mmmm hmmm, where is she going w/ this?
Seth stops a mob (like in the series pilot) and puts the County Commissioner, Hugo Jarry, in jail for his own protection.
Episode 6: Something Very Expensive
There is a new Chinese (or “Celestial”) man, Lee (Philip Moon) in town doing all sorts of business (incl. selling women and drugs). Of course his angers Woo, who demands that Al (as his ally) get to the bottom of it. Woo hides behind the screens of Al’s bedroom while Al meets w/ Lee. He gets two sacks of money from Lee, BUT I don’t know why. Maybe so Al leaved him alone w/ his enterprises? Or was it for drugs? We know that Lee sold some Chinese women to Cy, though this wasn’t the case w/ Al.
We see EXACTLY what Wolcott is capable of- cold-blooded murder. He kills Doris (who was a spy for Cy) after figuring out that she spilled his secrets to her former boss. Poor, clueless Doris had NO idea what she’d gotten into! We don’t see her being killed, just her lifeless body w/ throat cut. I was MORE shocked when Wolcott (w/o blinking) killed doll-faced Carrie (his favorite girl). Maddie’s death was just- WOW- I was speechless! I wanted to know more about her, BUT not even that tough cookie could handle such a monster! It wasn’t quite like the Red Wedding (Game of Thrones), BUT it was deadly! It’s dangerous it is to be a woman in Deadwood w/o a husband, money, powerful friends, etc.
Cy helped Joanie cover up what had happened after she rushed to the Bella Union. I liked how he (sternly) told her to stay away from Chez Amis. Though Joanie was VERY upset, she borrowed money from the bartender, then had Charlie (who she likes/trusts as a pal) bring around his wagon. The pros were hidden under blankets in that wagon, given money, and sent away that night. It’s NOT safe to be a woman in Deadwood. Only Al saw what was up from the balcony of The Gem.
There were a FEW light moments in this ep, such as Trixie playing matchmaker for Alma and Ellsworth (w/o Alma’s knowing); also, Merrick’s (obvious) crush on the schoolteacher new to town, Ms. Stokes. I LOVED how Trixie explained the importance of such a marriage- it’s all about the appearance of respectability, sparing others shame, and doing the right thing for a woman in trouble. I think she cares about Alma, but ALSO wants to keep the peace in the (fragile) society. We know Trixie hates Bullock; he put Sol in danger. Wasn’t it weird when Trixie went over to check on Al and told him about her relationship w/ Sol? I’m pretty sure Sol is in love, BUT what about Trixie’s feelings? We’ll have to wait and see. The character development here is strong, even more so than the other women; Trixie is a survivor making her own way in Deadwood now.
At the end of the ep- we see Merrick’s newspaper office and vandalized (Cy had sent some of his men to break his printing press and make a mess). Merrick got this treatment b/c he refused to run a certain announcement (let’s say “fake news”) in the paper in E5 under the orders of the County Commissioner.