Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-02-23 Entry: "More Deadwood"

More Deadwood, and we begin with "Bullock Returns To The Camp" where we presumably have Seth Bullock returning from his killing of Jack McCall... Okay, they turned him over to the federal marshalls rather than killing him. Swearengen discovers that Trixie and Alma have been faking being doped up.

Two children come to Deadwood looking for their father, who doesn't appear to be there... the son gets a job sweeping at the Gem Saloon, while the daughter gets a job whoring at the Bella Union... the son probably won't like that... nor will Swearengen, but what can you do? Ah, the two kids are working a con on the two managers...

Bullock threatens Swearengen over Alma's gold claim. And Trixie goes back to the Gem to take the consequences from Al.

In "Suffer The Little Children" some of the riders get back with vaccine for the smallpox, as well as news of a possible treaty with the Sioux. Innoculations take place at Bullock and Star's hardware store. Trixie goes missing. Alma decides to leave for New York with the child. Swearengen recommends an assayer for Bullock to examine the gold claim.

The Doc finds Trixie on the floor of his shack, having injected herself with something. She doesn't manage to kill herself though, and the Doc persuades her she should go to New York with Alma and the child.

Except Alma and the child aren't going to New York - they're staying put, and offering a hell of a lot of gold to Trixie.

The two children try to make their con on the Bella Union, but things go badly, and they get seriously beat up because of it. The manager shoots the boy, and forces Joanie to shoot the girl.

And Trixie returns to the Gem Saloon. To borrow my favourite phrase - this isn't going to go well... or maybe it will - she gives Swearengen the gold in return for her being allowed to come back.

"No Other Sons Or Daughters" sees Charlie Utter (Hickok's friend) opening a freight and postal business. Swearengen meets with the judge to determine who he needs to pay off for land rights under the new treaty. There's also a warrant our for him for the charge of murder in Chicago.

Al Swearengen decides to form a government. Joanie's planning to set up her own place and get out of the Bella Union, and Cy, the manager, has agreed to help her set up and keep her distance. Joanie's search for premises lead her to discover the remains of the children in the pig-pen, or at least their clothes. She runs in to Mr Utter, and they discuss the vagaries of starting a business. If Joanie's planning to open a brothel, will Trixie move over there? Or are she and Swearengen going to be an item?

The Reverend is getting mighty sick, twitching and shaking most of the time, and emitting a funny smell - okay, he only thinks he smells, but he's emitting no unusual odour. Calamity appears to be drinking again... maybe quite heavily. Bullock is threatening to send for his wife and son.

And the meeting begins - Swearengen has the bribe sheet - and the business leaders are all there to form an informal governing organisation. E.B. Farnham tries to appoint himself Mayor, and somehow gets nominated.

Bullock volunteers as Health Commissioner... but only because he didn't want to be sheriff and because the Doc had been arrested for graverobbing seven times... and then found out there wasn't going to be a sheriff. Utter becomes Fire Marshall.

Sol shows more than a passing interest in Trixie at the Gem Saloon, and I think Swearengen knows there's something between them.

Calamity Jane leaves the camp. Seth and Alma compare notes on Ellsworth and the gold claim... if he has a wife and child, should he be showing such an interest in the widow Garrett? Ah... he had a brother in the cavalry, who died two years ago, and his wife is his brother's widow (the child being his brother's).

"Mister Wu" is presumably about the chinaman and his pigs? We'll see... Bullock is regretting having raised his hand at the meeting. Farnham treats the position of Health Commissioner with the contempt in deserves in Deadwood.

Mister Wu comes in the front door of the Gem Saloon, which causes more than a little consternation. He wants to talk to Swearengen, but there's a bit of a language barrier. Two white cocksuckers stole the dope that some chinaman was supplying to Wu, that Wu would then supply to Swearengen. Al's really glad he taught Wu the relevant swear word!

Merrick (the journalist) tries to form the first Club in Deadwood. The Ambulators?

Swearengen tracks down the thieves, and volunteers to give up one of them to Wu. But one of them works at the Bella Union, and the other one is a major dope fiend. So who does he give up?

His payoffs to the Cheyanne government don't go all that smoothly, but he swings the guy around to his way of thinking when he includes him in the Wu situation. Swearengen ends up forcing the two of them to draw straws, but drowns the first guy who draws - his guy... who gets fed to the pigs...

The Reverend is determined to listen to the piano in the Gem Saloon. But his memory is going... and he can't even be sure he's recognising Bullock and Star correctly. He's possibly not long for this world...

So two episodes to go... and I have absolutely no idea where this is going...

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