Deadwood: I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For
(S03E02) Episodes like this are the reason why people were so ticked at HBO for being stingy with the season four funds. Actually, I really shouldn't put it that way. Any episode of Deadwood is reason enough for the outcry. This one especially, though.
Picking up right where we left off last week, I'm guessing it's probably the following morning. The mental chess match between Hearst and Swearengen is in full throttle as the two continue to jockey for the upper hand in the camp.
Using his bodyguard (I don't get why they call him "The Captain") as the go between, Hearst sends Al a sealed envelope. The contents are a crude layout of the Gem with some X's and O's drawn in. I think the entire point was Hearst putting Swearengen's mental faculties to the test. What he had sent him were the positions Al's killers would take in the bar. If Al cracked Hearst's treasure map (which he did) and figured out what in the hell was going on - adios to Hearst's hired hands. If he didn't, Al would no longer be a player in Deadwood.
While dragging away the two bodies (Al slit one guy's throat and Dan took care of the other), one of the deceased let go some posthumous gas. Johnny commented, "that'd knock a buzzard off a shit wagon." That would have taken best quote of the episode had it not been for Al's quip about seeing Johnny's rear-end through his longjohns flap earlier in the episode: "Would you close your flap that I don't forego my boiled eggs?" I really want to sit in on a writer's meeting for this show.
OK, back to the episode. Alma's condition is getting worse and Doc Cochran attributes a lot of it to the pregnancy. Even though Alma expressed her desire to keep the child, it seems an abortion is the only option. At first I thought a premature delivery was being discussed... until Trixie said she's had seven and was still healthy. Before going under, Alma speaks with Bullock and essentially cuts Ellsworth out. Bullock and Martha tend to Sofia and it seemed that Ellsworth wasn't too happy about that. Not to mention the fact that he married Alma because of the pregnancy in the first place. I'm thinking that marriage might be over sooner rather than later.
As evening fell, the election speeches finally took place. For the mayor's seat, EB's only competition is Sol. EB combated his very Jewish opponent with about two minutes of anti-Semitic gibberish. Offensiveness aside, it was pretty damn funny. He hit just about every stereotype from crooked noses, to Moses and the Exodus, to circumcision - all done with that flair for idiocy that EB embodies so well. Best scene of the episode if you ask me.
Cy is still recovering. Joanie stopped by to see him and admitted that many of her suicidal tendencies have stemmed from the life she's chosen. Tolliver wanted to hear none of it and Joanie accused him of being the Devil. Ironic that he was holding a Bible. Later, when the Reverend Cramed visited, it became clear that Cy wasn't so saintly after all when he pulled a pistol on the man who stabbed him. He never shot Andy though. I really thought Cramed was going down.
Bullock and Martha seem to be getting along much better. They're far more flirtatious and they bicker about things that couples bicker about, like tea strength. Other than that, Bullock was removed from this episode for the most part.
As usual, the ending was a shocker. Al once again met with Hearst, this time under The Captain's gun pointed at him. When Swearengen refused to help Hearst acquire the Garret claim, Al's fingers met the business end of a crow bar. I'm not sure which end is the business end... I suppose they both are. Al stumbled out into the street, bleeding, laughing - ready to retaliate. He will. I think last week's episode title might have been more appropriate here: tell your God to ready for blood.