Deadwood: A Constant Throb
(S03E10) Once again, great as usual... but man, they are really building up to this season's climax at a snail's pace. As much as that fact has me agitated, you still have to admire it though. Every move, every scene, every choice bit of dialogue in this show means something. It all ties together. It's just so meticulously laid out and that's why we're unfortunately not being treated to a full fourth season. It's too bad that series renewal relies on viewership and not the quality level of the program, because let's face it. Deadwood, along with a few select others (Rescue Me comes to mind), are alone at the top right now.
The episode began with another of Hearst's manipulations. He had one of his men fire a few shots at Alma, while she made her way to the bank. The man was instructed to miss, and Al as reasoned, it was done in an effort to get Ellsworth or Bullock to come after Hearst. Fortunately Bullock was campaigning on the outer perimeter of the camp and Dan was able to restrain Ellsworth in time. So nothing happened, but a show of violence is exactly what Hearst is looking for. He's just waiting for a reason to give his men the thumbs-up.
Al, always wise, is quick to understand Hearst's motives though. He wants the camp on edge. He wants people to be nervous and to walk around in fear. But Hearst will only get frustrated if he feels that people don't pay him any mind, which is why Al tells Alma to leave The Gem and continue her walk to the bank. Al wants to treat Hearst "like a three year old whose toys won't do what he tells them." This plan could backfire though as it serves to give Hearst reason to become bolder in his tactics.
Elsewhere, I'm starting to get slightly bothered with the sub-plots. I really don't find myself attached to Langrishe and his troupe. The success of the theatre doesn't sway me one way or the other. Jane and Joanie's pseudo relationship is plain ol' weird and I don't honestly see what it contributes, other than giving Jane cause to continue coming up with hilarious one-liners. I'm sure these plots will tie in to the finale but right now I just don't see where the connection will be. If anything, it leaves the element of surprise open but right now I'd rather be informed than forced to wait.
Back to the main storyline, we got some more info on Hearst's endgame. Al killed the cronie who shot at Alma, but before he slit the guy's throat, Al got him to admit that Hearst had 25 more Pinkertons on the way. This doesn't bode well for the safety of Deadwood's inhabitants or for the validity of the upcoming elections. That's not even counting the men Hugo Jarry has lined up and waiting. Right now, Al's only plan lies in Silas reaching out to Hawkeye for hired guns. We'll see what happens.
Swearengen (commenting on Jewel climbing the stairs): "Every step a f$#%ing adventure."
Hearst (on the possibility that he can't influence the elections): "Elections cannot inconvenience me. They ratify my will or I neuter them."