Deadwood: Amateur Night
(S03E09) Since there are only three episodes left this season, I was expecting this to be a much tenser hour. Don't get me wrong, it was great, but David Milch and Co. are being very economical about when, where, and how they're doling out the really explosive stuff. If anything, the final three installments will be brimming with what this whole season has been building up to: a final confrontation between the people of Deadwood and George "Boy the Earth Talks To" Hearst.
The day began with an odd scene. Seth gave Martha the combination to the safe at the hardware store. It contains all Seth's savings, title deeds, and other holdings. He seems genuinely worried that something may happen to him in the coming days. I suppose he has good reason. He is the sheriff and a platoon of torch-wielding guns for hire did show up in camp the night before.
Elsewhere, Stephen Tobolowsky reprised his fantastic role as Hugo Jarry. Jarry, a representative from Yankton, was in town previously to strike a deal with Swearengen and the powers he represents. That never really worked out but he's back now and he delivered a message to Hearst, informing him that there are hundreds of reserves ready to vote in Hearst's favor. So it seems like Hearst may be running for office in another county after he takes down Deadwood and leaves?
That was the impression I got, however it may not go that smoothly for him. Remember all those men that Wu recruited to work in the camp? They're waiting for word from Wu at Custer City. There's no doubt in my mind that Al will end up using them as reinforcements to stand against Hearst's Pinkerton freelancers.
The episode ended with an odd scene too. Cy confronted Joanie. He still seems to hold a lot for contempt for her. Possibly because he backed her at the Chez Amí and that fell through after Wolcott's killing spree. But I'm starting to think he's in love with her and anger is his way of coping with the feelings he has for one of his former whores.
- As the episode title indicated, Langrishe's troupe held an amateur night. The whole town came out to see singing, dancing, and people balancing axes on their foreheads. The highlight was Richardson juggling and EB kicking him off the stage. I love Richardson. He might be the most underrated character on the show.
- Hearst got a telegram saying that Odell had been killed. He told Aunt Lou and she flipped out. I hated how smug Hearst was though. He acted like it was such a tragedy and offered apologies, but he was obviously behind it. Why else would the telegram have been sent to him?
- Al skipped the amateur night and ended up getting drunk while cleaning up the Gem. Then he sang a song to the moose head mounted on the wall. We've never seen him do that before. I'm not sure that he's mentally prepared for what's coming.
Hearst (talking about Merrick): "You will not mistake the newspaper man. He looks like a big turtle."
Dan (insulting Johnny's claim that he understands Wu's handwritten message): "Oh yeah, I'm sure them f#%&in' scribblins is clear as f#%&in' rain-water to you Johnny."
Jane (telling Mose who she thought it was that blocked her sunlight): "Oh really? I thought it was Giganto, the runaway circus elephant."