Episode 7: E.B. Was Left Out
Al Swearengen figures out that there is a door and walkway that connects The Gem to the newspaper office. Hmmm… could this lead to Al putting “fake news” in the paper? Guess we have to wait and see. We learn that Ms. Stokes, the teacher D.W. Merrick had been crushing on, has fled town. Then Al gives a FAB speech (pep talk w/ LOTS of cursing) to Merrick, who is looking VERY depressed after his printing press was destroyed (Ep.6). So what if he got beaten down? He’s got to keep on going!
After Joanie Stubbs confides (re: murders of some her friends) in Charlie Utter, he gives her a hug. Later, at the hotel, Utter picks a fight w/ Wolcott and beats him up in the street. Yay, I wanted to cheer! The fight is ugly, muddy, and drawn-out. Doc tells Wolcott that he has several broken ribs, BUT he doesn’t seem too concerned re: the pain. Wolcott tells Doc to tell Utter to come see him re: Wild Bill’s last letter to his wife. Later on, he gives that letter to Utter after they have a conversation.
There is another council meeting (w/o E.B.- who we know has no real power as mayor) re: what to do w/ Wolcott, who MAY represent evil (or a force that’s outside their control). There are more canned peaches eaten (as we saw in S1). After a short discussion, these town leaders decide to let it go; they will do NOTHING. It’s cynical, yet probably more true to life/history than we (esp. those w/ a more idealistic nature) want to admit. A powerful man has gotten away w/ murder!
Al meets w/ Alma re: Alice, the tutor who turned out to be a spy. She could be working for someone connected to Brom (her dead hubby) or another party. This is VERY well-written and acted. Alma also has a (awkward) mini-reunion w/ Seth Bullock, who learns that yes, she is pregnant w/ his child. In S2, Bullock has grown as a character (and become MORE interesting)! Yeah, he’s still angry, BUT there is a LOT of disappointment and self-loathing in the mix. He’s got more social obligations now (Martha and William); it’s not just about the hardware store or being sheriff. Bullock hates that he can’t be w/ Alma, the woman he loves, BUT he knows he brought this on himself.
Episode 8: Childish Things
Al has a LONG monologue (reminiscent of a villain from Shakespeare). It turns out that he’s talking to a package containing the head of an Indian (Native American) chief. Dan is worried about Al; Johnny hovers around him a BIT too close. Al meets again w/ Alice (who we now know is a Pinkerton detective); he tells her that he has spoken w/ Alma.
Martha and William come (w/o notice) to visit Alma and Sofia at their room in the hotel. While the kids go into the bedroom to look at Sofia’s books, the ladies have a chat. It starts out nice and polite. Alma wants them to have tea, BUT she can’t manage to light the potbellied stove (being nervous and confused, I’m sure). Martha doesn’t mind that; we know she came to check out Alma from up close on her own. Since Ms. Stokes is gone, Martha suggests that she teach the children of the town. Alma looks surprised, then gets upset when Martha says that she’d like to have Sofia come and learn alongside her son. Alma insinuates that Martha wants to take Sofia under her care (like how she has done w/ Bullock).
Later on, Alma goes to Alice’s hotel room, wondering why she hasn’t left yet. Alice gets all up in her face, NOT intimidated in the least!
It looks like everyone in town takes a FEW minutes to watch the bicycle ride. Even Wolcott manages a brief smile!
Utter encourages a hung-over/bruised Jane to go and meet w/ Joanie next door; she has decided to stay alone at the Chez Ami. Cy wanted Joanie to come back to the Bella Union, BUT she refused. The two women end up talking and drinking together. “Violence” happened to her friends, Jane guesses correctly. Deadwood creates odd friendships!
I was saying to myself: “No, no, no, no, no” when I saw Wolcott walk into the Chez Ami later that night. Joanie thinks that he’s going to kill her, BUT Wolcott looks unsure (like he doesn’t know WHY he ended up there). While he is ruminating out loud, Joanie breaks a bottle against the side his head. Then she quickly locks herself in one of the bedrooms; she has her little silver pistol w/ her for protection. I REALLY don’t want anything to happen to Joanie- she’s such a great character!