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.
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."