Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 5; The Trial of Jack McCall

Jack McCall (Garrett Dillahunt) on trial for Wild Bill Hickock's murder.
Jack McCall (Garrett Dillahunt) on trial for Wild Bill Hickock’s murder.

I’ve come up with a rating system for Deadwood, I think. This episode gets 2 out of 5 Hoopleheads (every time Al says that I laugh). But keep in mind, 2 Hoopleheads for Deadwood is like 8 stars for another show. Deadwood is in a class by itself.
This episode is very slow and melancholic. It is the after math of Wild Bill’s death and everyone is hurting (well not Al or Cy). I think one theme that runs throughout the episode is the value of helping each other and understanding that we are all in this together. Everyone has a part to play in order for the community to function. Sol (John Hawkes) helps Bullock (but he always does that). Jane is nurse once again, this time to small pox (?) ridden Andy. And Trixie, the whore with a heart of gold, decides to help Widow Garrett overcome her addiction to laudanum. And then there’s the Reverend going on about how everyone is a part of each other (or the part of a part of a part as Bullock says).

Also interesting is how it becomes apparent that the Gem and the Bella Union crews somewhat mirror each other. Al and Cy are quite similar, although I think Al has more heart (Al has a heart?!?!). Trixie (Paula Malcomson) and Joanie (Kim Dickens) are the two that are the most similar. At first glance Joanie appears to have more autonomy and power than Trixie (and she also has the advantage of bathing regularly). But Joanie is unable to prevent Andy from being dumped in the woods. And she also needs Cy’s permission to attend Bill’s funeral. The only difference I can see is that Cy has not exerted his power physically over Joanie yet.
• The Widow and Bullock finally meet. She she’s taken with him, but Bullock is aloof.
• Is it bad that I find every interaction between Jewel (the gimp) and Al hilarious? He is so rude to her. But I feel like deep down he actually likes her. Why else would he keep her around?
• I love the Reverend, he is so sweet. And Bullock is so mean to him. I don’t really understand their relationship. Does Bullock hate him because he talks so much? Or is Bullock an atheist or does he have some other issue with religion/God?
• Garrett Dillahunt is great as Jack McCall. He’s hilarious and somehow quite charismatic despite playing such an asshole.
• Apparently “Nebraska pussy” is really good. I didn’t know that was a thing.
• William Sanderson as E.B. is also excellent. I love the scene where he talks to himself.
• Jack cleans up for his trail yet still looks like he’s caked in dirt.
• “You want a blow job while I talk to you?” Oh, that Al, so considerate.
• Bullock has to help bury yet another body. That’s at least one an episode so far.
• Jane is such a wonderful, gentle nurse. “Shut the fuck up!”
• Trixie is supposed to get the Widow hooked on more dope, but instead wants to help her get off it. I foresee a beating from Al coming soon.
• Jack is found “innocent.” He proceeds to get drunk and celebrate.
• But his bubble is broken when Al tells him he better get out of Dodge before he gets murdered.
• “Jack McCall runs from no man,” Jack says as he runs out of the Gem.
• Jane is more comfortable with sick, vulnerable people. Perhaps because she can relate?
• The Reverend is epileptic. People see him have a fit and don’t care. It’s so sad. 
• Of course Bullock wants to chase after Jack and kill him.
• Umm, what was with Joanie’s lesbian scene? It was hot, but…. Why? I don’t get it.

Instances of:
• Fucking: 15
• Cocksuckers: 5
• Cunt: 1
• Pussy: 1

2 thoughts on “Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 5; The Trial of Jack McCall

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