Deadwood: The Catbird Seat (late review)
(S03E11) Forgive the extreme lateness of this review folks, but between work and my cable being out for a day, I just haven't had the opportunity to sit down and watch this episode. But now that I have... wow. Words cannot describe how excited I am for tonight's season three finale. So take this review as sort of a refresher on the season as a whole as we prepare ourselves for the final stand-off between Hearst's men and the camp of Deadwood.
George "Boy the Earth Talks to" Hearst first made his presence known in Deadwood during season two when his geological prospector Wolcott murdered two women at the Chez Amí. Since then, Hearst has arrived in camp and over the course of this season, he's made nothing but enemies. "The color" (read: gold) is all that matters to him and nothing will stand in his way. Hearst, via Wolcott, has bought up every claim in the camp except for the Garrett claim, still held by Alma.
In an attempt to get Alma into vacating her ownership, Hearst sent Pinkertons to scare her with gunfire. It didn't work and Merrick has now reported on the incident, strongly alluding to Hearst's involvement. At least the article "wafts that way" according to Al. Well it must've worked, because only a few minutes into this episode, and one of the Pinkertons put a bullet in Ellsworth's head as retaliation. Alma was devastated, convinced it's her fault that her second husband is dead, and even Al seems to think that her selling the claim might be the way to go in an effort to avoid more bloodshed.
What seems to have everyone worried is what will it take to really push Hearst over the edge. He's close but Trixie finally pulls out the lynch pin. Upon seeing Ellsworth's body being wheeled into camp, she pulls out her gun and knocks on Hearst's door, with her breasts exposed. George is distracted at the sight and Trixie fires into his shoulder, missing any vital organs. She runs off and Sol hides her in a back room at the Gem.
Seth, campaigning in Sturgis with Harry Manning, finally returns to camp and consoles Alma and Sofia. Word that Trixie shot Hearst and he lived finally made it's way around camp. Doc Cochran explained the extent of the injury to Al.
Hearing all this, Al quickly decides he's uncomfortable with the prospect of Hawkeye bringing in 25 men in time for the imminent war. So Al summons Wu to bring in the 100+ Chinamen that have been waiting in Custer City since the beginning of the season. Their numbers will outrank Hearst's but their strength will ultimately depend on their skills with the guns Al will supply.
And now we wait. But there are still other questions lingering. Will Alma make a play for Seth's attention now that she is widowed again? After all, her heart was always for Seth, despite her marriage to Ellsworth. And what about the elections? Will Hearst's stooges win via his "purchased" votes? Related to that, nice cameo by David Anders as one of those "votes." Most will recognize him as Sark from Alias. And will Langrishe be used as a decoy to take out Hearst next time he offers up a massage? Lots of questions, but one exchange from the episode seems to sum up what we might see tonight.
E.B. (worried about standing up to Hearst): "I'm a dead man."
Swearengen (contemplating his next move): "You ain't gonna be alone."