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October 10, 2015

Deadwood: Leviathan Smiles

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jul 30th 2006 11:19PM

Deadwood - Leviathan Smiles

(S03E08) This show just continues to impress. After missing last week's episode, I sat down an hour early tonight and got a double dose. Talk about a great two hours of television. We pick up the morning after Al's impromptu meeting with the rest of the camp elders. Tensions are high as Merrick and Blasinov distribute fresh copies of The Pioneer around camp. The waiting game came next as it would only be a matter of time before Hearst saw Bullock's letter to the families of the murdered Cornishmen. And find it he did. He had some words with Merrick about printing the letter. But Hearst is no fool. He knows it was published to embarrass him and shed light on the murders he clearly had a hand in. If anything, all this has done is strengthened his already powerful dislike for the camp and its residents.

As the day unfolded, new visitors arrived in Deadwood. Wyatt Earp and his younger brother Morgan created a stir as they rode in, firing shots every few seconds. I'm not exactly sure what introducing The Earp Brothers does for the story, but at least it's in line with Earp's history. His Wikipedia entry does mention a stop in Deadwood. Perhaps we'll see the brothers take sides with Seth and Co. when the time comes to defend against Hearst's men. Until that moment arrives, the Earps seems perfectly content working on their timber plot and scamming Al's whores for free hummers.

Steve has finally hit rock bottom. While he won't come out and admit it, he clearly wants Samuel to hang around and help out with the stable. In an effort to stall The Nigger General's departure from camp, Steve tries to remove the horseshoes from Samuel's steed. While doing so, Steve took a hoof in the forehead. He's still alive, but brain-dead seems to be a likely diagnosis. It did lead to a great scene where Jane couldn't get Steve to eat some mashed potatoes and Samuel instead flung them all over Steve's face.

Langrishe, who thus far hasn't really had a huge role in this season, progressed a lot in this episode. His actor Chesterton finally passed, which means the opening of the theatre isn't far off. He also conned Hearst into believing that he learned some exotic massage technique for curing severe back pain. Not quite sure how that will help, but when Al learned of the show Langrishe put on for ol' George, Swearengen seemed like he had an idea or two for it.

As the season wraps up (only four episodes to go), I think we can expect a lot of conflict as Hearst's masterplan falls into place. His hired men finally arrived. Twenty or so, all bearing torches. We won't find out what they do with those torches until next week.

Best Quotes

Bellgarde (telling Chesterton how he'll be transported to the theatre): "We shall swaddle you like the baby Jesus!"

Jane (to an unresponsive Steve who won't eat): "Without a day's education, medical or otherwise, I'm about safe on this f#&$in' truth - those that don't eat without exception, fail to survive."

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I have a reeeeaaaal long shot to mention. I wouldn't bet one cent on this one. BUT, the moron who works for E.B. may not be a dumb as he pretends. I was surprised to see him hasten over to pick up the newspaper with a smile on his face. He can't read.. we assume.. and I don't think the deadwood press has a comics section. Who could he be, who could he represent?

Again, no chance of this one meaning anything, but it is the kind of surprise that would definitely SURPRISE!

August 15 2006 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Skip Maison

I agree on your choices of best dialogue, but
Jane says....
"I vouchsafe on this F...ing truth....
Great sight! Thanks.

August 01 2006 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This season is just beautiful. While watching I sometimes find myself not really paying attention to the plot but analyzing the subtle nuances of every actor's delivery. I'm getting excited for the upcoming fireworks, especially with Hearst's posse on it's way into town. My wonder, what does Al have up his sleeve? They knew the posse was coming so I'd be disappointed if Al didn't have something planned. Also, the addition of Earp was a nice surprise. I definitely think the actor is doing quite a good job protraying the Earp I would have imagined as a young(er) whippersnapper, causing trouble and battling the good/evil before he matured and became the Earp of legend. I see Earp and Bullock fighting side by side in a blaze of glory (cue Bon Jovi)...

August 01 2006 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Still do not understand why this emmy/golden globe winner is 5 weeks from finished.i actually am having anxiety attacks.it is the only show on t.v.
Loved the drama of the 25 torch carrying guns/bricks.It made the show.

p.s.I trust you know that 2% of nuthin is nuthin

July 31 2006 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I felt that introducing Wyatt Earp as he is in this episode is in keeping with the historical context. Some historians indicate that the way Wyatt was depicted in this episode was in fact the way he was in his youth. I think it is important. This is one show that continues to keep one on the edge of their seat from week to week!

July 31 2006 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Derek Bil

The Earp thing caught me off guard as well.....but what we're seeing is the Earps in their development. By the time they got to Tombstone they were a lot older, in experience if not in years.

July 31 2006 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hearst is beautifully, coldly driven. Like a shark, one can hate him for what he does, but one can also understand it.

The lesbian thing is a little distracting...

Steve was a jerk, I hope he is gone soon.

Wyatt Earp SURE ain't the Wyatt Earp one would expect. I think maybe they picked the wrong actor for that part, but maybe seeing a legend reduced to normal size is more historically correct? And brother Morgan comes across as a poontang hunting psycho.

Sy doesn't seem focused. Al is always good. Bullock seems one dimensional.

The gunmen riding in with the torches were a nice touch. Hearst looked so pleased.

July 31 2006 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SuperFan Ken

I've grown to like the "Steve the Drunk" character. I hope this is not the end of him, but I fear it is.

July 31 2006 at 3:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brady Westwater

I've never seen Gale Harold before, but he is way over his head as Wyatt Earp. It isn't so much sending a boy to do a man's job as it is that he isn't even the same species as Wyatt Earp.

July 31 2006 at 1:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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