Friday, October 19, 2007

Deadwood recap – “New Money” (S2E3)


The dropping: There's a new kid in town and he is cree-py. Al's gonnorhoea-induced urinary tract issues are fast approaching the break-point. E.B. weasels and sweats over everything in sight. And Joanie gets all dressed up with no place to come. Er, go.

This is a bad start: Al is on the floor in his office, convulsing, sweaty, alone with the door locked - but not in a good way. Downstairs, Dan and Johnny try to convince themselves that everything’s fine. Out in the thoroughfare, E.B. is busy sucking up to the new fella, just arrived in camp: Francis Wolcott. This guy is as clean and tidy as Mrs. Garrett’s dead husband but without the weenie vibe. Things are still awkward at the Bullock household but at least Seth and Mrs. Bullock are talking to each other: he apologizes for his strangeness of behavior the day before, what with the concussion and all.

E.B. pops in at the Gem, wanting to see Al about the new guy in town and also the new Chez Ami whorehouse, but the boys take a message instead. I’m sure that gossip will make Al feel better in a hurry. Speaking of the new whores, Joanie and Maddie make their way through the muck back to the Chez Ami and Maddie fills her partner in on what she knows about Wolcott: he’s a trick with specific tastes (i.e. likes to hurt whores), she’s got the girl he wants, and is poised to make him pay mucho dinero for use of the girl. Joanie’s not sure how she feels about this plan.

As Wolcott tries to settle into his room at the hotel, E.B. drags him into some complicated scheme involving Wild Bill’s last written letter (remember that?). Wolcott agrees to it but I’m fair certain the he sees through the slimy mayor. Bullock arrives at the hardware store (Trixie hightails it out of there in a hurry – no love lost between them). Bullock, using as few words as possible, lets his partner know that he decided to let go of the widow and stay with his wife and child. Sol is approving but doesn’t make a fuss about it. Back at the Gem, first Doc and then Trixie try to get Al to open the door. No luck: we get a peek at him, however, and he looks awful but at least he’s still conscious at this point. Trixie goes back downstairs and tells Dan: “If he doesn’t present himself in a few hours, kick the door down and get the fucking doc in there.”

Wolcott strolls over to the Bella Union and has a meeting with Cy. These two together make my skin crawl, I gotta tell you. Wolcott reveals for whom he works – George Hearst – and that name strikes enough fear into Cy to get him to shut up and straighten up in a hurry. It’s pretty amazing. Wolcott uses his intimidation to enlist Cy to start spreading rumors about Deadwood’s imminent demise so the miners will cut and run, selling their claims on the cheap. At Charlie’s store, which also doubles as a jail apparently, Jane has been put to bed in a spare cell, tucked in under Wild Bill’s buffalo robe. Jane is extremely hung over but manages to show some appreciation for Charlie having taken care of her. At the Chez Ami, after Joanie sends her fancy girls to sit on the porch with “wide knees,” the business partners are having their first disagreement about “Mr. W” and Maddie’s plan. When told that the split will be 50/50, Joanie asks “What’s the girl’s end?” Maddie: “I wouldn’t rule out a wooden box.” Dang – that’s cold.

Jewel and the Doc finally give up on trying to reach Al through the door, and Jewel calls to Dan to break the door down. “If I was you, Doc, I’d get out of the fuckin’ way,” she screeches. Dan charges up the stairs and throws himself at the door, probably breaking his shoulder. One good kick later, they’re in. Doc gives Al some laudanum as Dan and Johnny look on shocked. Charlie swings by the hardware store with a box of sheriff-type inquiries from other jurisdictions; he and Bullock go through them at the hotel’s restaurant, feeling extremely put upon. As Ellsworth drives Mrs. Garrett back to town after a tour of her mining operation, she announces her desire to buy E.B.’s hotel out from under him in order to turn it into a private residence for herself. Noticing that she’s got her dander up, Ellsworth (I love Ellsworth!) offers: “If punching somebody in the nose would help, I volunteer one that’s well broke-in.” She gives him a little smile because he’s so cute. Trixie goes back to the hardware and asks Sol to teach her to do accounts. Apparently whoring isn’t so lucrative as I thought. She says she’ll “pay [him] … or [he] can take it out in c**t.” Sol is slightly offended and says he won’t teach her if she continues to talk like that. Trixie storms out.

Upstairs at the Gem Al is screaming as Wolcott and E.B. enter the saloon. They are discussing the fact that the deal they made together has pretty much screwed over Wolcott. Wolcott then name-drops his employer, Hearst, and E.B. almost swallows his tongue in panic. Wolcott then swoops in and screws E.B. right back, twice as hard, insisting on his part in the scheme against the claim holders. Wolcott’s disgust at dealing with E.B. is palpable. At the Bella Union, Cy pushes all the customers out and stands on the stairs to make a speech to his employees, alluding to the “fact” that the claims are bullshit. Wolcott has wasted no time in getting his claws into Deadwood. The scheme is to get the hoopleheads to dump their claims at a low price, thinking that they’re going to lose them anyway, and then Hearst, via Wolcott, will swoop down and buy up all the gold in the Hills. Sneaky!

Doc and Trixie discuss Al’s prognosis as Doc prepares to stick a metal probe up Al’s penis and into his bladder to try to hear any gleets clinking against the metal, and thus determining that it is stones and not prostate trouble. It’s going to hurt a lot. Trixie is getting distraught so she goes outside and starts drinking in the street with Calamity Jane. Soon enough, Trixie’s rage, which is how she expresses her worry about Al, surpasses even Jane’s general sociopathy – and Jane, while bewildered at her drinking partner’s ranting, is sympathetic to her regardless. “Maybe [Al] has a good side to him too that I entirely fucking missed, it’s always fucking possible being as drunk as I am fucking continuously. [beat] It’s nice to see you,” she says warmly to Trixie, and then stumbles off.

Miss Isringhausen reports to Mrs. Garrett that she returned Bullock’s watch to him and then insinuates that there is something the two ladies should talk about privately and not in front of Sophia (i.e. Bullock’s suggestion that Sophia and his stepson William, being somewhat of the same age, might play together sometime). Mrs. Garrett is apparently still wound up from this afternoon and has an entirely irrational response: she fires the tutor. Miss Isringhausen recovers enough to point out that she came all the way from Chicago and is going to need something for her trouble. Mrs. Garrett gets all up in her face about how Miss Isringhausen has shown no affection towards Sophia, like Alma has been so warm and fuzzy towards her charge thus far. Good grief, I can’t stand Alma Garrett.

Ah, the Chez Ami with all the fancy whores decked out in their finest for Wolcott. He enters and is particularly strange, and annoyed that his favorite whore is not present. Joanie decides to play her own game and flirts strenuously, finally drawing Wolcott into the back room, much to Maddie’s dismay. Joanie also sassily flashes a secreted pistol at her partner as she closes the door. “If she kills that fucking cocksucker I’ll be working the rest of my life,” complains Maddie. The next REALLY LONG scene is between E.B. and his cook, Richardson, and is a very Shakespearean soliloquy by which E.B. lays out the future of the camp. I’m not recapping any more than that – you’ll just have to watch it and marvel at the language. Once behind the closed doors with Joanie, Wolcott is no less strange. They talk; she offers to screw him (declined); and then to masturbate herself while he watches (also declined). I think Wolcott is both fascinated and repulsed by Joanie – she’s not quite like anyone he’s met lately.

Here we go: Doc apologizes to Al for how much pain he’s about to cause him, what with pushing a pole up his penis and into his bladder. Dan holds his boss down but Johnny runs out onto the balcony, helpless. Trixie, in the street below, squawks at him to get back in and help. He does, but leaves the door open so that the entire camp can hear the horrible screams as Al tries to piss out the stones. Everyone is crying: Al, Dan and Johnny, Trixie. Finally, Doc pulls the instrument out but the stones are still inside. Al’s ordeal is not yet over.

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