Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 8; Suffer the Little Children

Miles (Greg Cipes) and Flora (Kristen Bell).
Miles (Greg Cipes) and Flora (Kristen Bell).

Deadwood has some of the most brutal, intense scenes that I have ever seen on TV or even in the movies. I’ve seen the whole series once before, but certain events will still make my jaw drop and make me want to cover my eyes. One of those scenes is in this episode involving the kids, Flora (Kristin Bell) and Miles, Cy (Powers Boothe), and Joanie (Kim Dickens). It is extremely brutal physically, but the psychological torment Cy puts Joanie through is equally as horrifying.
This episode of Deadwood offers a really interesting examination of the lives of the women who live there, particularly Joanie, Trixie, and Alma (the Widow). Joanie and Trixie parallel one another quite well. But I think the scene I discussed previously shows that Joanie’s position is worse than that of Trixie. Both women are ruled over by strong, cruel men. They are both ‘whores’ who have a desire to seize control of their lives, yet they are continually oppressed. Both women try to kill themselves this episode as it seems to be the only way for them to escape Deadwood. But when you see the relationship between Trixie and Al you get the sense that there is some kind of love or affection there. When Trixie is gone Al frets over where she is, what she’s doing. He’s a little afraid that she is out of his control, but he also seems worried about her.
Al: Now, what’s she doin’?? She makin’ a point? No grabbin’ at the cunt? Is that what she said to you?
Jewel: No.
Al: I mean, y—you—she told you, right, that I grabbed her. Did-did she have an attitude about it?
Jewel: She didn’t have an attitude she just said her pussy hurt.
Al: Agh. Point’s made with the snatch grabs, okay.
And when Trixie finally comes home to the Gem after her failed suicide attempt Al is not angry. He doesn’t say a word to her. There’s an understanding between the two that does not need to be put into words.

Cy (Powers Boothe) and Joanie (Kim Dickens).
Cy (Powers Boothe) and Joanie (Kim Dickens).

Cy on the other hand does pronounce verbal affection for Joanie. Yet it has a ring of insincerity to it. He says he cares for her, yet he ignores Joanie’s desires and her unhappiness. He wants to control her. And he does control everything about her life. Yet he can’t make her happy or make Joanie want to be with him. By making Joanie kill Flora, Cy commits a cruel act that even Al wouldn’t do. The death of Flora is also the death of Cy and Joanie’s relationship. She wants out. Desperately. There is no understanding between Joanie and Cy. Cy is incapable of truly understanding Joanie.

Alma (Molly Parker) and Trixie (Paula Malcomson).
Alma (Molly Parker) and Trixie (Paula Malcomson).

So while Trixie and Joanie want the hell out of Deadwood, Alma wants to stay there. Quite stupidly. Alma does not seem aware of the dangers in the community, especially for a woman. I guess she has Bullock to protect her. Alma is naïve and self-centered. I can’t stand her or her story line with Bullock. Alma has a life and position that Trixie and Joanie would probably love to have. Yet she is prepared to squander it because she wants to have sex with Bullock.
• Jewel! She should be on the show more often.
• Alma’s decided she’s leaving Deadwood.
• Nope, now Alma’s decided she’s staying.
• Newspaper Dude thinks he might have the small pox. The Doc just tells him he’s fat. Ahahaha.
• Flora: “You geek-looking fuck. Get away from me before I cut your fucking heart out.” Flora was quite a vicious little girl, that’s for sure.
• Flora: “[Joanie] held me in her arms all night like I was a fuckin’ little kid.” Flora is resentful of the kindness Joanie showed her. It seems to make her really hate Joanie.
• So the kids decide to rob the Bella Union. Definitely not a good idea.
• Bullock finds gold on Alma’s property.
• Alma is so bad with the little girl it is hilarious. Trixie and even Jane are much better with her.
• Even Al is giving Dan the side eye over his infatuation with Flora.
• The little is fond of Trixie and reveals her name: Sophia.
• Flora: “Who am I? (Stepping towards Joanie, Joanie backs up with each step) Your little baby? Your little sister? You?” I think Flora is spot on with that last guess.
• Of course the kids fail in there robbery attempt and there is hell to pay i.e. the brutal scene.

This episode gets 4 out of 5 Hoopleheads. It is so exciting, thought-provoking, juicy. And the MVP is by far Kim Dickens, she is incredible here as Joanie.

Instances of:
• Fucking: 70 (that’s a fucking record!)
• Hoopleheads: 2
• Pussy: 3
• Cocksucker: 3
• Cunt: 3

Side note: I recently discovered a website called Deadwood Chronicles which has transcripts of each episode (I used these for some quotes). And I also borrowed a few pictures from there as well.

2 thoughts on “Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 8; Suffer the Little Children

  1. This is SPOT ON!!! My new favorite blog! I started binge-watching Deadwood from start to finish a few days ago, and find myself getting somewhat confused if I get sidetracked and miss a few minutes. This blog is like some magnificent black hole of clarity.


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