Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 12; Sold Under Sin.

The shit hits the fan.
The shit hits the fan.

Grab some more canned peaches because the season finale of Deadwood is about to get under way! This is one of my favorite episodes in the entire series. A lot of the conflicts and issues of the first season come to a head here. And the after math of it all is… very optimistic and uplifting. Which is surprising for a show that can be so dark and violent. Yet that’s what I love about it.
• The Reverend is shown to be even worse, to the point of not being to function anymore. 😥
• The Magistrate arrives in town and is a total asshole as was expected.
• Al is sighted eating a peach!
• Doc Cochrane gives Jewel the boot/brace she was begging for last episode.
• The Doc can’t nurse the Reverend 24/7 so some of the whores at the Gem take over. Seems appropriate for a man of the cloth.
• Leon (Cy’s henchman) is shown to start an argument with the Chinese over his laundry.
• Alma’s Dad, Otis, is not the nice guy I had hoped he was. He wants Alma to pay off his debts (apparently she has already done this for him once before). Alma freaks out at his persistence and runs to her hero, Bullock.
• Joanie and Charlie are basically BFFs now.
• Bullock is super pissed and goes on a Hulk like rampage. BULLOCK SMASH!

• Bullock beats Otis to a pulp in Cy’s saloon. Alma (and I) swoons. Bullock: “Leave this camp, and draw a map for anyone who wants to believe your fuckin’ lies. Anyone who wants to put your daughter or her holdings in jeopardy, you show ‘em how to get here. And you tell ‘em I’ll be waiting.”
• Leon again argues with the Chinese. One of the Chinese gets shot in the scuffle. Con Stapleton (the Sheriff) sides with Cy and Leon. Even Tom is super pissed that Con could be bought that easily (seriously, he didn’t even last one episode!).
• Bullock is still rampaging when he sees the injustice of it all. He seizes Tom’s sheriff badge and throws it in the mud only to pick it up a moment later. That moment reminds me a little of the Napoleon quote, “I saw the crown of France laying on the ground, so I picked it up with my sword.”
• The Magistrate and the General choose to stay at Cy’s saloon. Can’t say I blame them, EB is super annoying, why stay at his hotel if you don’t have to.
• Bullock goes over to the Gem and hints to Dan that he should kill Otis. Not such a white knight anymore is he?
• Al to Wu: “When did you start thinking every problem had a remedy? You come to camp for justice? Or to make your fucking way, Wu?”
• Adams is back in town. But is he on the side of good (Al) or evil (the Magistrate)?
• The Magistrate is easily bought off by Cy, but the General not so much. The General to Cy: “If I were sheriff I’d have you hanged.”
• Now Bullock wants the General to protect Otis? Did he have a change of heart or is he trying to set up Al? I’m pretty sure it’s the former. Bullock can’t help doing the right thing.
• Joanie gleefully brings Alma Otis’s teeth which she collected from the Bella Union floor. Joanie empathizes with Alma as she too had a controlling, manipulative father.
• Alma and Bullock finally get it on!!! YES! There’s so much chemistry going on between the two of them this episode. But eww at Alma’s hairy armpit. I know it’s historically accurate, but seeing it still makes me cringe.
• The Doc has an emotional breakdown scene. It’s a really powerful moment and the acting from Brad Dourif is superb. He prays to God, begging for the Reverend to be put out of his misery. This also leads into some PTSD flashback for him to the Civil War. “Jesus Christ, Just Please, God, take that Minister. What conceivable godly use is his protracted suffering to you? What conceivable godly use? What conceivable Godly use was the screaming of all those men? Did you, did you need to hear their death agonies to know your—your omnipotence?”
• Well, the Doc gets his wish, maybe not in the way he had expected. Al suffocates the Reverend in order to be compassionate and end his suffering. “You can go now, brother.” (a hint at Al’s own brother?) Al even cries a little afterward.

• Adams slits the throat of the Magistrate in front of Al. I guess we know what side he’s on now. Al also kills two birds here as the Magistrate happened to have the warrant for Al’s arrest on him.
• Jewel’s boot is a success, the Doc is plastered, so the two dance around together. It is a joyful moment, pure and simple. “I’m as nimble as a forest creature.”

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• Bullock visits Al.
Bullock: “I’ll be the fucking sheriff.”
Al, gesturing to the badge: “On the tit.”
Bullock: “I know where it goes.”
• Bullock acknowledges to Al that he and Alma have a thing going on. Al is quite understanding and allows them to gaze at each other across the street like two star crossed lovers.
• Trixie and Al exchange a look. The episode ends with the happy exchanges between these two, Alma and Bullock, and Jewel and the Doc.

Instances of:
• Fuck(er)(ing): 36
• Tit: 3
• Cocksucker: 6
• Shit: 2
• Bag of shit: 2

This episode gets 5 out of 5 Hoopleheads.
Now then, what show should I watch next? Should I continue on with Deadwood? Should I go back and finish watching The White Queen? Or Should I watch a season of Ray Donovan? Leave a comment if you have a suggestion for me, I’m conflicted at the moment.

Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 11; Jewel’s Boot is Made for Walking

jewels-boot-is-made-for-walking-01-1024 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. 2750118481_00ce55a1dc

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!

Bullock and Alma's father (William Russ).
Bullock and Alma’s father (William Russ).

• 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.

Wow, first EB is mayor, now this guy on the left (with the lovely hat) is sheriff?!?! Deadwood is looking like a real fucking paradise!
Wow, first EB is mayor, now this guy on the left (with the lovely hat) is sheriff?!?! Deadwood is looking like a real fucking paradise!

• 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.”

How can EB be so cruel to this man?! He has a beautiful head of hair!
How can EB be so cruel to this man?! He has a beautiful 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.

Instances of:

  • Fuck(er)(ing): 92 (mostly from Al in that last scene)
  • Cocksucker: 7
  • Ass: 2
  • Pussy: 1
  • Shit-hill: 4
  • Ass-fuck: 3

Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 10; Mister Wu

A meeting of kindred spirits, Al Swearengen and Mr. Wu.
A meeting of kindred spirits, Al Swearengen and Mr. Wu.

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 poor Reverend as played by Ray McKinnon.
The poor Reverend as played by Ray McKinnon.

• 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.


Instances of:
• Fuck(er)(ing): 118 I think that’s the most Fucks so far!
• Cunt: 2
• Cocksucker: 38
• Cat piss: 4
• Hoopleheads: 1
• Tit-licker: 2