This episode is mildly more exciting than the last. 3.5 Hoopleheads out of 5. This episode is largely about introducing Mister Wu. He’s been seen in snippets before, but now he is a factor in the storyline. Mister Wu is a great, hilarious character. Mostly because the only things he can say are “Swigin” (his version of Swearengen) and “cocksuckah.” Wu is the Al of Deadwood’s Chinatown. He runs things over there basically. In this episode a couple white junkies (one works for Al, the other for Cy) murder an Asian man and steal some dope that was meant to go to Wu which in turn he was going to give to Al. Kind of complicated. So Al has to find a way to fix the situation and appease everyone at the same time.
Al Swearengen is one of the greatest television characters ever created. There is not enough recognition for him, the writers, and for Ian McShane. He is so intriguing and complex. The first episode or so, the audience sees him as a villain. A funny and charming one, but a villain none the less. But as the show goes on he is given so many subtle, incredible layers. Al is very intelligent and pragmatic. He’ll always do what’s best for business. But he also has a heart. He genuinely cares about Trixie, asking the Doc how she is doing not physically, but emotionally. He is also quite gentle with the Reverend (at least at first) and seems to care about him too. Al is far from evil. Although occasionally he does do terrible things. What an amazing character.
• E.B. continues to act like the big man around town. Although Al still runs everything behind the scenes.
• Bullock is taking his position as health commissioner very seriously. Like he does everything.
• Bullock and Alma keep exchanging those lusty looks. When will they get it on?! Presumably before the wife comes to town.
• E.B.’s servant, Richardson, makes an appearance! He’s one of my favorite characters on the show.
• Joanie and Charlie continue to confide in each other.
• Merrick is so boring and annoying. Even the other characters on the show seem to think so.
• According to Al “lying causes cat piss smell.” A very funny scene with one of the dope fiends follows.
• The Reverend is hanging around the Gen so he can hear the piano. So sad! He breaks my heart.
• Joanie and Eddie continue to distance themselves from Cy as much as they possibly can.
• Al: “You can’t cut the throat of every cocksucker whose character it would improve.”
• Cy is of course being difficult over the Wu problem. So al has to sacrifice his own guy in order to keep the peace with both Cy and Wu.
• Bullock: “What I’ve done, Sol. And you have to admire me for it – is moved 300 miles to set the same damn situation up I left Montana to get away from. Drawin’ up proposals for refuse disposal.”
• Sol: “I don’t guess you need me to say it. If there’s a heaven, your brother sees what you did and he’s grateful.”
Seth: “Maybe he sees me borrowing his life so I didn’t have to live my own.”
• There’s a great, very touching scene near the end of the episode between the Reverend, Bullock, and Sol. The Reverend reveals his fears of what is happening to him. And that Seth and Sol are the best friends he has in the camp. So sweet.