Deadwood: Season 2, Episode 1; A Lie Agreed Upon Part 1

“Welcome to fucking Deadwood!”
The second season of Deadwood kicks off with a bit of a bang. The first season ended on a positive, hopeful note. But the second commences with plenty of violence, aggression, and negativity. I think a few months have passed between the two seasons, enough time for Bullock to build a house anyways (did he do it himself?). Al has a real hard on for Bullock this time around, I’m not totally sure why. They end up having a great fist fight that sends them flying over the balcony over into the muddy street. Al appears to win the fight and just as he’s about to deliver Bullock the final blow, he looks up into the eyes of Bullock’s newly arrived son. Al is unnerved by the boy (does he see himself in him?). He lets Bullock go.

Joanie has managed in the time since we last saw her to gather up enough money to buy a building and some whores for her own brothel, the Chez Amie. Joanie must be extremely clever because she was able to keep it all a secret from Cy. Cy is shocked and extremely pissed off when the whores arrive in town and Joanie announces her departure from the Bella Union. Cy is incredibly close to losing his sanity now, as he suffers a near nervous breakdown. But there’s nothing sympathetic about him here. He is at his most vile and despicable as he bides Joanie and her girls farewell. He is truly disgusting and no doubt he’ll try to undermine Joanie every step of the way.

Molly Parker as Alma Garrett.
Molly Parker as Alma Garrett.

Bullock and Alma have been having an affair for quite some time now. Everyone in town seems to know about it (part of why Al and Bullock get in that fight). Things get complicated with the sudden arrival of Bullock’s wife and his child. Bullock’s wife is his brother’s widow and his ‘son’ is actually his nephew. As such, Bullock has a really strange relationship with them. It is incredibly formal, and always awkward. They barely know each other. After the wife and child’s arrival, Alma becomes a quasi-stalker. She goes over to the hardware store, bearing gifts for the newcomers and wearing, of course, a scarlet dress. But she clearly just wants to scope them out and see how Bullock is doing after his fight with Al. This scene is the height of awkwardness as everyone says “how do you do” about ten times. All the players are very polite with one another and keep up the appearance of respectability. But everyone knows about Alma and Bullock’s affair and I’m sure that now his wife knows too.
• We get a real, good sex scene between Alma and Bullock. The aftermath of it is ruined yet again by her HAIRY ARMPITS. Please Alma, KEEP YOUR ARMS DOWN.
• Alma: “After we’ve made love are you sometimes happy?”
Bullock: “So often with you I’ve been perfectly happy.” He doesn’t really show it, yet I’m sure it is sincere. Bullock and Alma are able to relate to each other in a way that they can’t with anyone else.
• Al: “[Bullock] don’t know if it’s breathing or taking it in through fucking gills. He is that fucking cunt-struck. They’re afloat in some fairy fucking bubble, lighter than air—him, her snatch and his stupid fucking badge.”
• Al has some kind of mysterious pain in his abdomen going on.
• Calamity Jane spotting! She is shown asleep on a horse. A carriage going by wakes her up, she screams “Cocksuckers!” and falls back asleep.
• The carriage is carrying Bullock’s wife, Martha, and son, William, as well as Joanie’s whores. William is entranced by the whores’s jiggling breasts. I think he also farts? Typical boy, I guess.
• The fight between Bullock and Al is quite messy. Dan hits Bullock with the butt of his shot gun. Charlie and Sol get shot accidentally by one of Al’s guys. It’s just chaos.
• Alma has employed a tutor for Sofia. Alma is EXTREMELY cunty with her. I really hate Alma.
• Bullock refuses to go into his new house with his wife and son. He gives her a letter instead as he goes to say a kind of ‘goodbye’ to Alma. The letter is kind of weird because he only writes about how he built the house in extreme detail.
This episode is a little slow at times, so it gets 3.5 Hoopleheads.
Instances of:
• Fuck(er)(ing): 52
• Cocksucker: 8
• Balls: 3
• Cunt: 5
• Snatch: 2
• Piss: 4
• Hoopleheads: 1


Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 9; No Other Sons or Daughters

The moment E.B. becomes mayor simply because everyone is too shocked to object.
The moment E.B. becomes mayor simply because everyone is too shocked to object.

This episode of Deadwood isn’t terribly exciting. The most significant development is the formation of an ‘informal organization, non-threatening’ that functions like a government. This is so they can be annexed as part of the US. Or something like that. They have a mayor and everything! And who is the mayor? No, it’s not Al or Bullock o even Cy. It’s E.B. Franum. And EB has a great time with the role, getting shit faced and free hand jobs.
This episode gets 3 Hoopleheads out of 5.

This episode's best Al-ism.
This episode’s best Al-ism.

• Al again showcases his strange, awkward way of caring for Trixie. He asks her how her arm is and tell her not to try killing herself again, all while looking out the window. Physically distancing himself, as emotionally he draws near.
• Alma and Bullock put their trust in Ellsworth to look after her property. Ellsworth also gets along quite well with the child, Sofia.
• Jane has a strange way of caring for the Reverend. Basically tells him to man up and see the Doc. All while shouting at him and spewing profanity.
• Joanie is going ahead with opening her own brothel.
• Eddie, Cy’s assistant, seems to be the most sane character these days. He is still horrified by the murder of the kids last episode. He is also quite funny when at the meeting he brings up the issue of women’s rights in camp. Everyone is shocked.
• Charlie and Joanie share one of the more interesting scenes in the episode. They are both insecure. It is awkward and sweet.
• Charlie and his frock coat. Joanie says he looks fine. Jane tells him “I’ve seen you in some stupid fucking outfits in my time, but that one takes the fucking prize.”

• Pears and peaches at the meeting!
• E.B. notes that “taking people’s money is what makes organizations real.”
• Star goes to the Gem to see Trixie. He genuinely seems to like her. But she doesn’t want him to see her there, being a whore. She also doesn’t want Al to see them together, I’m sure.
• The awkward conversation between Cy and Eddie near the end. Is Eddie gay? Is Cy just being an asshole? What the fuck is going on here?! At the least, Cy is becoming more and more worried that he is losing the allegiance of those he counts on most i.e. Eddie and Joanie. They’ve seen his psychotic side and they don’t like it.
• “The direction of this camp makes me sick and it bores the living shit out of me.” So Jane is getting the fuck out of Deadwood. Somehow don’t think that will last long. But she says, “I cannot be a drunk where he [Bill] is buried. And I cannot stay fucking sober.”
• Bullock is the Commissioner of the board of Health. He only takes the position in order to avoid being sheriff.
• Bullock tells Alma he is sending for his wife and son. (Did we know he was married before this episode?) He also drops the bomb that he married his brother’s widow and that the boy is his son’s brother, not his. Bullock married out of duty and to protect them, not for love. I’m sure the second the episode ended Alma swooned with lust.

Instances of:
• Fuck(er)(ing): 75
• Cocksucker: 9
• Hoopleheads: 1

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.

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