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August 27, 2015

Deadwood: True Colors

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 26th 2006 11:41AM

Deadwood - True Colors

(S03E03) New arrivals in the camp. Wu has returned from his recruiting mission in San Francisco. The rest of his workers he's hired will be arriving in "ten day." Nice to see that his vocabulary is growing. His return set the tone for the episode though. Wu is a changed man. Believe it or not, he's become quite the shrewd businessman despite his lack of English skills and his appearance is slightly updated too. Let's be honest, he looks ridiculous. But Wu's transformation seems to mirror that of the camp's. Things are changing and I don't think the end result is going to be what anyone expects.

Right on the heels of Wu's return is a new character. An old friend of Swearengen, Jack Langrishe (played by Brian Cox) runs an acting troupe and he's come to Deadwood with the hopes of opening up the area's first theatre. I love the character. Cox is perfect for the role and it adds another level of humor to the show. Something tells me he might have something else going on though. I'd find it hard to believe that his only reason for showing up is to run a theatre.

Hearst continues to make changes at the Grand Central and removes Richardson (one of the best minor characters on the show) from his post as cook. Hearst has brought his Aunt Lou on board as the new chef. Lou is a hefty black woman with a flair for peach cobbler, late night gambling, and cigars. Another nice addition.

Alma seems to be getting much better, but Cochran has doubts about her chipper attitude following her surgery. I'm still confused though - did she or did she not have an abortion? Last week I thought she did. Now I'm not sure. And if not, what surgery did the Doc perform? Regardless, I'm still inclined to believe that she's back on the laudanum. She said she threw it away but why else would she be so perky? She even had the notion to try and deal her claim to Hearst but he laughed in her face at the offer of only a 49% holding.

The real story was what Bullock found out: the reason for the killings in the Gem. The first two Cornishmen who were shot mined for Hearst. But they were talking about unionizing and Hearst got wind of it. He covered his tracks though. When he set Al up to take out his original hired guns with witnesses in place, Hearst took away any power from Bullock. That is, if Bullock wants to keep Swearengen out of jail, which at this point is a certain. All this leads to a harsh realization for Seth. If the upcoming elections are to mean anything, laws may need to be enacted.

Other happenings:

  • The Doc got sick when Trixie was smoking in front of him. He started vomiting up blood. Seemed pretty serious.
  • Blazinov also returned with a new duplex telegraph machine. I think it can receive two messages at the same time.
  • Hearst may be nuts. Literally. After he enlists Cy's help, Hearst admits that he came close to killing Seth and raping Alma today. He's just as bad as his former geologist, Wolcott.

Best quotes:

Langrishe (seeing Wu's pigs): Ahh, bacon!

Al: Might have a bit of a human aftertaste.

and my personal favorite,

Al (referring to Langrishe): Tuesdays, he'll often hold amateur nights. I've been to several. One guy farted it seems for an hour.

Johnny: Don't sound like no amateur.

Everyone in the camp had better get their acts together and stop acting like amateurs though, and soon. Or else things are going to get a lot bloodier than they already are.

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People can blame HBO, Chris Albrecht, money, or any other person place or thing they can think of for the demise of Deadwood. The hard cold truth is David Milch is the reason Deadwood won't be back next season. It was his baby to abort and he aborted her. You don't come up with a new HBO series right smack in the middle of the one you're already doing and expect to do them both at once, especially the hands-on, hours-intensive way Milch does things. He may be a brilliant story teller but he's only one man. This "surf noir" show he's developing is his new baby. My only hope is that maybe he'll cast some of the Deadwood folks in John of Cincinnati, and that it is anywhere near as good as Deadwood.

June 27 2006 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a brilliant show. Trixie: "You think she's talking out the cunt?"

(After EB finds out they are being replaced)
Richardson: "What did we do wrong?"
E.B: "Your error, surprisingly enough is not to be a grotesque of inconceivable stupidity, but that you are white and male, and not repulsively obese."

While lots of us are complaining that HBO is cancelling Deadwood, ratings for this season are actually down, and ratings for Entourage are up.

June 26 2006 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes - we all hope HBO comes to their senses. Deadwood is the best written show on TV, better even than Sopranos who have jumped the shark. And only Rome has better production values. Surely HBO isn't as myopic as these cancellations might indicate. Well - get em while you can anyway.

June 26 2006 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In Episode 3 of Deadwood - True Colors - Ian McShane, Gerald McRaney and Brian Cox collide in a potent mix of thespian talent so rarely witnessed in television. Indeed, Season 3 of Deadwood is one of those magical moments in which story telling far surpasses anything in the history of the medium. HBO is privileged to be the forum of this brilliance - why truncate it now and forever tarnish its reputation as the source of seminal, genre-defying shows?

Deadwood's cancellation seems to spring from the misguided notions of a few myopic executives at HBO who are completely unaware of the long-term consequences of their decision. Indeed, with the Sopranos ending after two consecutively lackluster seasons, and Rome slated for cancellation after its second season, HBO's program is beginning to resemble, day by day, regular network television. Despite the deluge of publicity it has received, few of us are inclined to subscribe to HBO purely for Entourage even if Mr. Albrecht's daughter stars in it.

Many of us are long-term subscribers to HBO who hold it to the high standards of yore. Does HBO want its future increasingly thought of in the past tense?

Unlike most shows, Deadwood seems to get better with time. (Remember, it was not until Season 3 that the Sopranos became a national sensation.) Season 3 bravely mirrors the contemporary Bush regime of rigged elections, backroom deals and laws enacted for the preservation of the wealthy...That HBO is content to walk away from a show, which among many other things, critiques the politics of our times, reveals cowardice of more than one ilk.

HBO has irrevocably alienated viewers by canceling Deadwood.

Few in the cast believe that the movies will ever get made. Once fans get wind of this, they will begin tsunami of anti-HBO negativity. The last barrage of emails and letters will look like a wave in a lap pool.

It's time for Mr. Albrecht to step down. It is time for Deadwood to rise up again for a final Season 4.

June 26 2006 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Keith L. Dick

This is one seriously funny show... I haven't watched much TV in the past couple of years but I have been watching Deadwood along with the ScfFi Channel of course... I love the characters and the writing and the facts behind the show... It's taking me a bit of time to get used to all the "cursing" that goes on since I have never seen any Movie or Show that has as much as Deadwood does... hehe

Definately on my Always Watch List...

June 26 2006 at 6:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the doc coughed up blood, not vomited. I'm guessing consumption. He's the closest thing the camp has to a saint and its hard to see him fall.

It seems Bullock is lost at sea. He can solve problems with violence but now he's just a piece on a chess board and he doesn't know how to play. It's too bad since his character is remarkable for its directness and that doesn't work this season. I like the Hearst/Al war, but I hope Bullock will figure more into the story.

June 26 2006 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Alma did have an abortion to prevent her miscarrying and hemmhoraging to death.

Also, I don't think she's back on the stuff--she's much too alert. In contrast, when she takes laudanum, she goes kind of dull and dead-eyed. The doctor's fear is that she was going through some kind of manic hormone-induced mood swings due to the termination of her pregnancy, and this is most likely the case.

June 26 2006 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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