BAD LANGUAGE AHEAD
Al, getting his ribs wrapped by Doc, attempts to get some scoop on Bullock’s condition while, for his part, Doc persistently asks after Al’s kidney stone symptoms. Al is determined not to seem weak, however, and declares a moratorium on the subject. Over at the hotel, Bullock and Alma sit tensely in her room. He grits out that these are their choices – leave the camp together or stay in camp and completely sever all connections – and the decision must be made tonight so as not to humiliate Martha any further. He says that Alma must be the one to make the decision because he doesn’t feel he can be trusted to have much sense about now. (Seeing how he looks like he's been poleaxed, I think he's probably right.) Alma is taken aback and says she needs some time to think.
At the hardware store, Charlie and Merrick help Trixie put Sol to bed. Charlie muses that maybe he’d better go get some more weapons to back Bullock’s play to get his own gun back. His hunch proves pretty accurate as Bullock stomps in just then to have a word with Sol. However, Sol is still drunk and doped and in no mood for his partner’s death wish bullshit, telling him that running away with Alma won’t solve any of his problems. As they wait outside, Trixie (ever the opportunist) offers Charlie a “quick, open-air blowjob.” He bemusedly turns her down. Tagging along with Bullock, Charlie quickly realizes the sheriff is on a kamikaze run after Al and Dan; suddenly Charlie staggers, exclaiming that he feels faint. It’s enough to distract Bullock, who offers to take him back to his freight office to recover. Good job, Charlie.
At the Gem, Adams is a not-killing Bullock proponent, spouting some more complicated politics as evidence, something about Yankton thinking Bullock has support in Montana and using such as leverage. Al can apparently decipher his meaning better than I can and considers the alternatives. Dan, on the other hand, starts getting all het up over Adams’s interference. Alma is mulling over her options with Mrs. Isringhausen. Mrs. I speculates that running away with Bullock would be exciting for sure, but also dangerous, and when Alma plaintively asks if perhaps some happiness might be mixed in with the excitement, Mrs. I says she can’t really allow as to it. Joanie and Maddie bring their girls to the new Chez Amies cathouse: there’s decorating work to be done before they can get down to their true calling.
Trixie chastizes Sol for getting involved in Bullock’s insanity, declaring she enjoys sucking prick to today’s activities. Sol (still a little stoned) says he’d settle for a vigorous hand-holding, and that makes her giggle. Doc is autopsying someone (Bummer Dan maybe?) when Calamity Jane makes herself known outside. He comes out to find her upside down in a mess of ropes by which she tied herself to her horse in an attempt to keep from falling off while drunk. He tries to undo her and gets a “Jesus Christ, you’re bad with your hands!” for his pains. After examining her, Doc says that she must stop drinking or she really will kill herself. Cut back to Alma and Mrs. I: Alma is shocked to suppose that Bullock might have meant only the two of them leaving camp together, leaving Sophia behind. “She’s part of my life!” she exclaims, near tears. Whatever, Alma. First you hired a whore to play nursemaid to the girl; now you’ve hired another nanny so you can screw the handsome young sheriff whenever you like. I find it difficult to believe you're suddenly overcome with maternal feeling. I’m so over Alma.
Bullock has been telling Charlie about how his brother was killed and his subsequent run to Mexico to retrieve his body. Charlie agrees: “Wrong to let’em lay there. [beat] Unless you’re a Mexican.” Adams’s sidekick shows up late (?) and Adams is all angry about it for some reason. Dan pounds a huge drink of whiskey and proceeds to put a serious beat-down onto Adams’s sidekick. When Adams tries to break it up, Al calls him off, so instead a frustrated Adams grabs Slippery Dan, who is drunk and cheering on the fight, and impales him on a stuffed deer head. “Eeeeuuuw!” says the crowd. “He just twelve-pointed Slippery Dan,” marvels Tom Nuttal. Dan Dorrity doesn’t leave off punching the sidekick until Al grabs a shotgun and fires off a round into the ceiling. “Next one’s to your head,” says Al, “Do not doubt me.” Dan is stunned, “Well that’s just fucking great, fucking beautiful.”
Jane is regaling Bullock and Charlie with tales of her travels, but Bullock has lingered as long as he can stand it. They reluctantly bring Jane up to speed on current events and she’s ready to help, especially seeing how it’s against that “Limey cocksucker.” Charlie is certain that Jane’s help will be no help at all but there seems to be no way around it. Dan is crying in his room, certain he’s lost Al’s favor. Al reassures him that the two of them are together for the long haul and they spit and shake on their renewed alliance. This is a great scene and I hope that we get some back story along the way to find out how Al came into Dan’s life. Alma has grown a backbone and decided she is not taking orders from another man; she’s staying in camp with Sophia. Blah blah blah. Just have to scratch that itch elsewhere, I guess.
Al is pursuing a home remedy with Dolly, the luckiest Gem whore in the world. You’ll just have to watch it. In the meantime, Trixie sees Bullock, Charlie and Jane advancing on the Gem and reports to Sol, wild. (Bullock is so not Trixie’s favorite person ever.) Dulled faculties notwithstanding, Sol cowboys up and has her fetch him a gun. Standing in the street in front of the Gem, Bullock calls out Al (who, being in the middle of another blowjob monologue, is going to have to take a moment to make himself presentable). Bullock is definitely on a suicide run here but does feel guilty about Charlie and Jane’s involvement: “I wish the fuck the two of you would let me finish this the way I prefer.” “Well,” drawls Jane, “we wish the fuck you’d find something else to wish for.” The campfolk gather, anticipating the showdown. Trixie sends Sol ahead with a revolver while she keeps a rifle for herself; she aims the rifle, muttering “selfish cocksucker.” I think she’s aiming at Bullock! As Sol staggers up, Jane rolls her eyes. “A hardware Jew at less than full force – now they’ll be fucking quaking.” Jane, how I've missed you!
Finally, just as everyone is getting antsy, Al strolls out of his saloon, carrying Bullock’s gun and badge. He holds it out to the sheriff and turns on that fatal Swearengen charm; Bullock is entranced, wide-eyed, silently accepting his gear. When he’s recovered a little, Bullock shyly asks if Al found his hat. Now Al rolls his eyes (or the one that’s in good enough shape to roll – he looks awful) and tells Dolly to toss down the hat. Bullock puts it on and turns to the hotel in time to see Alma pull the curtains shut. She’s obviously made her decision and he accepts it, big eyes shiny. At the close of the episode, Bullock enters the house he built for his wife and her son. Martha has waited up for him and, after she asks if he minds that she removed the bundling board he had installed there (he doesn’t mind), they go up to bed together.
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