Monday, July 2, 2007

Mouse Droppings

At the request of my husband, who has complained that these Deadwood recaps are too long, I’m going to try a new feature: mini-recaps, with one sentence per character. Kind of like haiku, if it was longer and about South Dakota in the late 1800s and had a lot more syllables. So, you know, nothing like haiku.

Deadwood – The young and pretty ex-Marshal Seth Bullock goes to start a life of hardware merchandising in the Black Hills but finds that leaves a life of law behind is more difficult than he thought. Wild Bill Hickok, when he is not drunk, hung over or playing poker, proves to be the quick-draw scourge of murderous road agents. Calamity Jane discovers that not only can she be a badass motherf%&*er, she can also be a mother. It is probably good advice to stay at home if you happen to be scrupulously clean, naïve and rich New York City tenderfeet or if you are a family of Norwegian farmers. And the master of the Deadwood Universe, Al Swearengen, manages to cover up a murder, beat a whore, rent a prime piece of real estate, swindle a dude out of $20,000, put a hit on a bald Irishman and pacify a potential posse with the offer of free booze and discounted sex … all within the confines of a forty-minute episode.

Dark Water – Al’s paranoia is readily apparent although he manages to keep his cool, waking a coma patient and stabbing a loose end through the heart. Not able to control his own fiery temper around Al, Bullock embarks upon a new career as semi-professional funeral-goer. Shooting a man who was about to shoot him seems to cure Wild Bill’s case of the grumpies, which were brought on by having his negative income pointed out. Jane further explores her care-giving potential but nearly self-destructs when face to face with the awesome fearsomeness that is Al Swearengen. Brom Garrett can’t handle the physicality of prospecting and decides that his best course of action is to threaten Al – because Brom is even dumber than he looks. Charlie proves he can hold his own when singing two-part harmony.

Reconnoitering the Rim – Wild Bill almost loses his famous revolvers in a poker game, naps in the hallway and shows the viewing audience that he has no idea how to hold a hammer. Bullock gets cranky with Sol and crankier with Jack McCall, but he finally gets to start building his store. Alma Garrett demonstrates that she has way more brains than her husband does – especially as he manages to get what little he has splattered all over the ground after getting tossed off a cliff. You can dress Al up but you can’t keep him from getting uptight about the fancy new game in town.

Here Was A Man – Bullock makes a new friend, makes me drool, promises to help a widow and then gets something in his eye. Alma is proving to be a much tougher (and savvier) nut to crack than her husband was. Al’s paranoia kicks into overdrive as he and Wild Bill attempt to play each other – luckily, Trixie is around to help relieve some of that stress. Typhoid Andy arrives in town. Wild Bill comes to the end of his days, leaving us all with this life lesson: never ever sit with your back to the door.

The Trial of Jack McCall – Alma, realizing that she maybe is not cut out to be a mom, asks for help and gets a nanny AND a sponsor. In some bizarre show of civic duty, Al allows the trial to be held at his saloon; he then makes up for such public service by pimping oral sex to the judge. Jane really begins to come into her own as a Wild West Florence Nightingale. Jack McCall is found innocent at the most absurd trial since Alice In Wonderland. Bullock glowers and snarls and rants and breathes heavily until Sol gives him his blessing to hunt down Wild Bill’s murderer. Oh – and Joanie gets a little girl-on-girl action, just so she doesn’t have to talk to her boss.

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