Eeek it has been so long since I did a blog post! I’ve been quite busy this last year. Honestly I have also been lazy and uninspired to write about anything. But that has changed since last night when I watched the first four episodes of Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix.
Santa Clarita Diet is a suburban zombie comedy that recently premiered on Netflix. Joel and Sheila Hammond (Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore) are realtors whose quiet lives get upset when Sheila suddenly becomes a zombie. As I watched the show I couldn’t help but be amazed by Timothy Olyphant and his comedic chops. I have loved him as a dramatic actor for a few years now. And anyone who has seen him make an appearance on Conan knows that he is a naturally funny guy in real life. There is some dark humor to Raylan Givens on Justified. But it is nothing like the gross out and physical humor that is on Santa Clarita Diet.
It amazes me that someone who has played Seth Bullock (Deadwood) so brilliantly can also play realtor Joel Hammond with so much alacrity and ease. Bullock is so serious and dead set on dishing out justice. As is Timothy’s other great dramatic television character, Raylan Givens. Timothy is a master at playing on subtlety in his inflection and physical presence. He owns the screen, but in a quiet subdued way.
Maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising that an actor as talented as Timothy can pull off a show like Santa Clarita Diet. But it seems to be a difficult feat for most actors to accomplish. They either fall into the dramatic or comedic sandbox, rarely playing within both categories. Comedic timing and physical humor can be difficult to pull off. But Timothy does it brilliantly with his quick dialogue and genius use of his brilliant smile.
So far I am thoroughly enjoying Santa Clarita Diet. As a whole the show is funny with some shocking (and often gross) humor. Some people may initially think that Drew Barrymore is the star of the show. And while her role is integral, it is really Timothy Olyphant that has to do all the heavy lifting. Drew’s performance is a little dead and flat feeling. Some of that is probably intentional (she is a zombie after all). But her Sheila Hammond is a difficult character to connect to. Not just for the audience, but also for the characters on the show. That is why it is important for Timothy to connect with the audience instead. We sympathize with his struggle to coexist with his zombie wife. Even if we are also laughing at each disastrous scenario his wife puts him through. Timothy Olyphant’s charming smile carries us through even when we are thinking WTF!!!
I strongly encourage you to give Santa Clarita Diet a try. As well as Timothy’s dramatic work in Deadwood and Justified. Do you have a favorite actor that can play both dramatic and comedic roles?
Well, he is one of the most talented actors working today and probably hardly anyone knows his name. Although that is sure to change after the release of Quentin Tarantino’s western, The Hateful Eight.
When you look up Walton Goggins on IMDB the film that first comes up next to his name is Django Unchained. I find that extremely funny because he has quite a small part in that film and he has done much more substantial work. He is one of those character actors that you have probably seen in many works, but you just don’t know his name. His best work is mostly on TV; The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, Justified. But now Walton is (arguably) the star of The Hateful Eight.
In The Hateful Eight, Walton Goggins plays Chris Mannix. Chris has the most lines of any character in the film (and that’s A LOT of lines since it’s a Tarantino movie). Quentin specifically wrote the part for Walton. That’s pretty amazing, especially since Walton isn’t a very high profile actor.
But he deserves to be, and hopefully now he will get the attention he deserves. I recently started watching Justified not too long ago (I’m only on the fourth season still, so no spoilers!). Justified is a very good show that really hits its stride in its third and fourth seasons. The show hinges on the relationship between Raylan Givens (played by the wonderful Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). It is so interesting to watch these two amazing characters/actors face off against each other. Raylan is a Deputy Marshall and Boyd is a hillbilly criminal mastermind. Often times the two are struggling against each other, but they also have moments when they are allies. Their interactions always feel organic and it is hard to know which character to root for. Walton has this great cadence as he plays Boyd. When Boyd speaks it feels as though the audience is being treated to a piece of poetry. Hard to believe when faced with Boyd’s appearance of wild hair and swastika tattoos. Walton creates so many layers to this character; Boyd is someone to be feared, but he also has a sympathetic heart at times. And he is also very funny. Boyd does terrible things at times, but when he proposes to Eva, his brother’s widow over a stack of drug money, you can’t help but feel your eyes tear up and hope that everything turns out the way Boyd wants it to. There are a million reasons to dislike Boyd, but Walton’s acting instead makes you love him.
When I was watching The Hateful Eight I was so excited when Walton came on the screen. I was so looking forward to hearing his lovely voice a la Boyd Crowder. After all, both Boyd and Chris Mannix are southern boys, so I figured Walton would play them in a similar way. But I was dead wrong. I was disappointed at first because Chris’s voice isn’t as poetic as Boyd’s. But Chris still has some of that same charm. I am amazed actually by how different Boyd and Chris are. The two characters are completely distinct from each other and both are quite amazing. The Hateful Eight is a very good film (not Tarantino’s best, but still good). I found the film lacks energy at times, but whenever the attention shifts to Walton suddenly everything becomes lively again. Chris seems to always be playing everyone else in the room and it makes me wonder whether he actually really was the sheriff.
Walton imbues Chris with all these little nuances and effectively steals every scene he is in. If you didn’t know who Walton Goggins was before, you’ll never forget him after The Hateful Eight.
“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.
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. Tidbits:
• 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
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. Tidbits:
• 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.”
• 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.
• 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.
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)
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. Tidbits:
• 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.
• 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
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.
• 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.
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 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.
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. Tidbits:
• 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.
There’s one interesting thing I forgot to note about Deadwood’s previous episode, Plague. And that is the absence of Bullock. While the community of Deadwood is banding together to prevent a small pox epidemic, Bullock is off fighting an Indian. If Bullock had been in the camp during the plague dilemma I think there would have been a lot of chaos as opposed to unity. Bullock is an interesting character because at first glance he seems like ‘the good guy,’ someone always trying to do/be right. Yet he creates a lot of problems and tension everywhere he goes.
This episode in which Bullock returns to Deadwood is not one of the best. It’s 2 Hoopleheads out of 5. This episode could also be called “That moment when I forgot Veronica Mars was on Deadwood.” Kristen Bell plays Flora Anderson, a young, orphaned girl that arrives in Deadwood with her brother, Miles. The two seem very sympathetic, innocent children. At least at first. There are brief hints that the two are more cunning and worldly than they first let on. Are they planning on trying to rip off both the Bella Union and the Gem? Can they (or anyone) accomplish such a feat? And survive?
• Bullock finds Jack McCall, but doesn’t kill him. He instead takes him to Yankerton to be put on trial. An instance of Bullock abiding by the law. Kind of.
• Dan (Al’s henchman) develops a creepy attraction/obsession for Flora. Like, really creepy. Like, killing a man for looking at her creepy. (Funny since Dan looks at her so much).
• So far on Deadwood there has been a funeral every episode. Last time it was the Indian’s. This time it’s Garrett’s (remember him? His death seems like a long time ago).
• I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Jane is a huge source of the show’s profanity. HUGE. More so even than Al.
• Sol Star (Bullock’s business partner) seems to have a thing for Trixie?
• Veronica Flora chooses to work at the Bella Union instead of the Gem. Can’t really blame her.
• EB tries to talk business with the Widow during her husband’s funeral. Baaad move EB.
• Alma aka the Widow decides to stay in the camp FOR NO GOOD REASON. She pisses me off. As Trixie says fuck Bullock and get out of Dodge!
• Am I the only one picking up on some lesbian undertones between Veronica Flora and Joanie? It’s almost as creepy as the Dan thing.
• Trixie is quite smart. And logical. She’s one of the only people able to successfully stand up to Al. And maybe grudgingly earn some of his respect. Just a little. Trixie totally owns her decision to go against Al and wean the Widow off dope.
• Bullock has remorse over his conflict with the Indian. “He was trying to live, same as me, and do honor to his friend.” A great, genuine moment from a character that so often tries to hide his feelings.
• Bullock: “Can we have a private talk?”
Al: “Sure we can. Should I be hard?” Ahaha.
• Al eating canned peaches!!!!
• Al starts calling Bullock “your holiness.” Perfection.
• The scene in which Jane and Charlie talk to Bill’s grave is so touching and sad. “Can I tell him some more tomorrow?” *GrabsKleenex*
• Alma acts like a school girl over Bullock. Trixie says everything I would say to her. Okay, maybe not exactly. But we would have the same point.
• Alma gives Trixie the option of leaving town with the little girl. But Trixie refuses. She knows her place in the world. And for all the abuse she suffers, a part of her seems to like being at the Gem with Al. Instances of:
• Cunt: 2
• Fuck(ing): 49 (That’s a lot of fucking)
• Shit: 3
• Cocksucker: 4
• Titty: 3
In this episode the small pox hits Deadwood. This episode is notable because it shows how a lawless society, filled with volatile and combative personalities, can come together to overcome an obstacle that threatens its existence. They organize, help each other, and come up with solutions. And no blame is laid anywhere. Just a surprising amount of positivity. If only society could always function that way. Tidbits:
• Bullock has a WTF fight with an Indian. Bullock bashes the guy’s head with a rock 15 times. That is literally overkill.
• I think Elsworth is the only genuinely likeable character on the show.
• “Truth isn’t in you, Al.” “That makes two of us.” EB and Al really are a lot alike.
• “You better have a paying dwarf underneath you.” Al to one of the whores as she is sitting there crying, afraid she’ll get small pox.
• “Stick to hand jobs for a day or two if you like.” Al’s way of being nice to this whore.
• Calamity Jane becomes Nurse Jane since she is immune to the pox.
• Joanie is depressed by her life. But at least Cy gives her some time, he doesn’t beat her or rape her. But the threat is still there if she doesn’t cheer up soon.
• Al does Cy a favor by not ratting him out to the community (since Cy was trying to hide Andy and the small pox).
• The scene in which Al, Cy, and EB “help” Merrick write a newspaper article about the plague is pretty funny. Poor Merrick.
• “Is the idea to inform your reader or make him feel like a fucking dunce?” I’ve thought the same thing many times, Al.
• “Truth is, as a base of operations, you cannot beat a fucking saloon.” Cheers to that Al!