So many good characters on this show. The longer the show goes on even more characters are introduced. But it never feels too overwhelming and each character is very distinct. Even Al’s lackeys, who perform basically the same functions, have their own unique personalities. One of my favorite characters is Jewel, Al’s maid (Geri Jewell). Al criticizes her at every turn, calls her a gimp, half the time does her job for her. Yet he keeps her around. She can keep a close eye on the whores when Al can’t. But Jewel is not some mindless cripple nor is she Simple Jack. She is very sweet, funny, and more than capable of standing up for herself against Al (a feat only Trixie can do). Al treats Jewel like he does everyone else, with vile criticism. Yet she is one of his most loyal followers and he gives her a purpose. Jewel shows some of the good in Al and is a really fun character. She’s an integral part of the show.
This episode is also significant because it marks the beginning of the fracturing of Al’s relationships with Cy and with Bullock. Al has always held different beliefs from these two men. But up until now they have managed to get along and set aside their differences for the benefit of the community. But now Cy is slowly making moves against Al, using the incident with Wu from last episode as his excuse and ammunition. And Bullock and Al are faced with each others differing views on the law. Al is pessimistic and believes the law only functions with bribes and serves the interests of those with the most money. But Bullock is optimistic and believes in lawful justice, that the law is inherently good. It’s part of why he objects to a shit-hill being sheriff (although he repeatedly says he does not want the job himself). No physical clash has happened yet, but you can tell that the moment is drawing near.
• Al confides some of his worries and problems to Trixie. She is his only real confidant and their intimate moments together are probably the only times he’s truly honest.
• Jewel visits the Doc because she wants a brace made for her leg since her leg dragging drives Al crazy.
• Merrick is super excited about getting a camera. I actually agree with him for once, that would be really thrilling. But no one else seems to care.
• Charlie and Joanie continue in their awkward friendship.
• Ellsworth is becoming infatuated with Alma, but she is oblivious to anything that doesn’t involve Bullock.
• Alma’s dad is in town!
• Andy comes back to Deadwood, but where the fuck is Jane?! She’s been gone two episodes now.
• Al: “What was your purpose at the Doc’s?” Jewel: “I’m knocked up.” You can see Al thinking, “Is she fucking with me? Or is she serious?”
• Al wants Adams to kill the magistrate and make Al’s warrant disappear. This is basically his initiation ritual.
• Alma’s dad seems pretty nice to me. He cares about Alma and is good with Sofia. But Bullock thinks he’s an asshole. I think Bullock is a little right, but I think Alma’s father is coming from a good place.
• Tom: “I’d rather lick a bear’s ass than pay a fine to EB Farnum.” Yeah, I would have to agree.
• Con Stapleton, some random friend of Tom’s, decides he wants to be sheriff. And so he is! This pisses Bullock off immensely even though he keeps reiterating that he does NOT want the job. His Holiness doth protest too much.
• Cy makes Leon (one of the dope fiends) talk shit about the Chinese people and Al. Cy = the ultimate shit disturber. His blatant racism is another thing that sets him apart from Al.
• Trixie visits Sol at the hardware store, “Want a free fuck?” Yes, Sol DOES want a free fuck. And Bullock walks in at the absolute WORST time. But he makes a good recovery and quickly leaves. It is also interesting that throughout their scandalous encounter Sol tries to kiss Trixie, but she refuses. Until he kisses her anyways.
• The Reverend is seen talking to some bulls in the street about circumcision. He has OFFICIALLY LOST IT. IT IS TOTALLY GONE.
• Al would actually rejoice if Bullock was sheriff, but yet again he refuses.
• Oh shit, Bullock drops the bomb to Al that at that moment Trixie and Sol are screwing. Way to fuck over your friend, Bullock!
• Al is shown out on the porch, listening to the Reverend spew his randomness. And Al is crying. But why? Is it Trixie? Did he think she really liked him and does he now have hurt feelings? Is it the Reverend? Does he remind him of his brother and does he feel sorry for him? Is it the Reverend’s steadfast faith in the face of so much injustice? Is it the fact that Al is OUT of canned peaches?!?! (It’s definitely the last one)
• Alma, Dad, Sofia, and Bullock have dinner and EB is their oh so subtle, eavesdropping waiter.
• Richardson: “May I look Mr. Farnum?” EB: “Yes, when you’ve grown a full head of hair.”
• Sol goes to see Trixie at the Gem, not knowing that Al knows what the fuck is up. Al is predictably a dink, “You pay or she pays.” Sol pays up to spare Trixie. Al repeatedly says it is seven for an ass fuck (though that didn’t happen). For some reason this makes the exchange all the more cruel.
• Alma is quite conscious that she has no say in her fate, that it will be decided by Bullock and her father. It is a very sad scene as she relates this to Sofia.
• “I’ve learned that no matter what people say or how civilized they seem, their passions rule.” Alma’s father has picked up on the vibes between Alma and Bullock. He wants Bullock to be with her, despite Bullock’s marriage. Bullock days fuck no and leaves.
• Eddie is back working for Cy. Cy rejoices. Little does he know Eddie is only there so he can steal from him.
• Al tries to replace Trixie with another whore in one of the stand out scenes from the show. How did Ian McShane not win all the awards for this? Al goes off on one of his soliloquies, at once funny and sad, all while receiving a blow job. He reveals being abandoned by his mother at an orphanage. It is the first real glimpse into his past.
This episode gets 4 out of 5 Hoopleheads.
- Fuck(er)(ing): 92 (mostly from Al in that last scene)
- Cocksucker: 7
- Ass: 2
- Pussy: 1
- Shit-hill: 4
- Ass-fuck: 3