Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Deadwood recap – “E.B. Was Left Out” (S2E7)

Recap x Deadwood = lots of bad language ahead. (That's about as math-y as I get.)

The dropping: Charlie drops a load of whup-ass on Wolcott and folks drive themselves crazy trying to figure out why. Bullock and his baby-mama have a quick meeting and everyone's clothes stay on, thank you. Jane is largely missing from this episode and I miss her. Al continues to be smarter than everyone else put together. Oh - and E.B. gets left out.

It’s nighttime in Deadwood. Al discovers that an upstairs passageway connects the Gem and the newspaper office. Like he’s just figured that out – please. Al knows everything, including how to snap Merrick out of the blue study he’s in after the vandalism of his newspaper (and the subsequent departure of the schoolteacher – she didn’t stick around long!). Charlie rides back into town, I’m assuming after delivering the surviving whores to wherever they went. Cy smarmily asks Li if he uses pigs as well for the disposal of bodies, but Li’s not saying. Joanie comes back into the Bella Union, repaying the bartender the $1,400 she borrowed from him last night, plus an extra $100 as thank you, then goes in to talk with Cy. After determining that Wolcott did, in fact, kill the three women, she wants to bury the remains. Cy tells her that there are no remains. Poor Joanie.

E.B. arrives at the Gem per a summons from Al, who instructs him to ask Mrs. Garrett if Al can call on her later today. E.B. asks what about and Al, cranky from exercising his stroke-weakened leg, nearly takes his head off. Alma is only slightly less vicious to E.B. when she gives him her reply that Al may attend her later that afternoon. A distraught Joanie stops by the freight office and tells Charlie what happened at the Chez Ami last night. She asks him not to do anything about it: “It’s a secret, Charlie, it’s only between us. I told you as a friend.” “And that’s how I took it,” he says gently, “Don’t ever walk past me.” Then he awkwardly gives her a hug. Joanie doesn’t know how to respond at first – I suppose a man has never yet touched her without sex factoring into it. Later, while in line for lunch at the hotel, Wolcott is in front of Charlie who picks a fight with him – ostensibly for stomping on his toes. It’s ugly and terribly humiliating for Wolcott as he ends up face down in the muck, getting his ass literally kicked. Observing the altercation, Cy mutters to his lackeys, “I’ll be at Swearengen’s place,” and heads over there. Bullock runs out and drags Charlie off Wolcott.

When E.B. returns to the Gem to apprise Al of the time of his meeting with the widow, Al asks him about the fisticuffs in the street. Surprisingly, E.B. doesn’t know much, mentioning the alleged toe-stomping. “If Utter has corns, that might could set him off,” offers Johnny. That it could, Johnny, for sure. Dan busts in next, announcing Cy’s presence downstairs and Al goes down to meet with him. Cy tells Al that he thinks Wolcott should be more or less above the standards set for the rest of the hoopleheads, seeing how he’s connected to George Hearst and all. Al says he’ll set up a meeting of the camp’s powers that be. I foresee canned peaches in the near future! After dragging Charlie into the hardware store, Bullock tries to get a straight answer to no avail: Charlie won’t talk about it. Doc examines Wolcott and diagnoses some broken ribs; he also updates Wolcott as to the identity of his assailant - the best friend of Wild Bill. Wolcott considers this and then asks Doc to tell Charlie that he has Wild Bill’s last letter and will give it to him. Doc raises an eyebrow: “If I deliver this message, will there be a renewal of the violence?” Wolcott chuckles, wincing in pain: “Oh, I hope not, Doctor. I … I didn’t do well in the original.” Even crazy psychos can make jokes!

Al gets all tidied up and crosses the thoroughfare for his meeting with Alma. This is the first time they’ve met, in a season and a half, and it is super-fun. She is at her icy best and he has an extremely difficult time keeping a civil tongue – she calls him on the carpet for every “fuck” he unwittingly utters. Al comes quickly to the point: Miss Isringhausen works for the Pinkertons and is out to implicate Alma in Brom’s murder. He explains that he really doesn’t like the Pinkertons and thus is likely to side with the widow rather than with Isringhausen. If Alma were to sweeten the deal with $50,000 (to match what the Pinkertons will pay him), then he’d be her man for sure. She says she’d like to think about it. As he takes his leave, she asks him what kind of tea he enjoys (following up on an earlier “I take tea” comment of his). Al turns and enthusiastically says, “I like that fuckin’ black Darjeeling!” and then cutely/flirtily goes “oh” and covers his potty mouth as she shakes her head. Downstairs Al hisses, “She’s a good fuck,” at E.B.’s nosy inquiry.

In attendance at the peach meeting are Al, Cy, Bullock, Sol, Doc, Charlie and Tom Nuttal. Cy maintains that Wolcott, working for whom he does, should not be beaten like any old hooplehead. (I love that word. If anyone can tell me its definition, I would be so grateful – heck, I don’t even know if it’s a real word.) Al wants to know what provoked Charlie, as do the others, but Cy bulldozes right over the issue, disclaiming any interest in what Wolcott may have done. This, of course, raises Al’s and Bullock’s suspicions, but no one – not even the sheriff – seems to want to pursue this further. Doc delivers Wolcott’s message to a perplexed and concerned Charlie. At the hotel, E.B. has a small rant about being excluded from the latest summit. His prying questions get him nowhere with Cy, who strolls in with the sheriff after the meeting ends. Hey – why wasn’t E.B. included? Everyone else was there.

Bullock immediately goes upstairs to see Alma. They are incredibly uncomfortable around each other and she’s a bit defensive, understandably, I guess. They chat about establishing the bank, Bullock finally lending his support, and then he asks if it would be better for her if he (and his family) left Deadwood. She’s annoyed with this question and says she will not make any such decision for him. Then she softens, asking, “Will you stay? Will she be certain to know?” Bullock won’t answer that, instead telling her “it becomes you,” as he leaves. Meanwhile, Cy is trying to ingratiate himself with (or exert some influence over) the wounded Wolcott, with no luck whatsoever. Trixie is in Al’s office when he returns, complaining about the nagging and harping going on during the accounting lessons at the hardware store. “Who’s harping - the Jew?” asks Al. Trixie is not amused, so he sends her back to keep an eye on things, saying, “Mind your decimals.”

Bullock and Sol are at their store, agreeing that they think Charlie’s beating of Wolcott was in retribution for Wolcott’s suspected involvement at the Chez Ami. Bullock also confirms the widow’s pregnancy and Sol’s expression is sympathetic and quizzical. There’s no time to discuss it further, however, since Trixie comes in … and apologizes for her bad behavior! She even offers the figurative peace pipe to Bullock, making some Biblical reference that I don’t get because I’m a damn heathen. Sol asks if she also has guidance for him. Trixie: “Tread lightly who lives in hope of pussy.” Turning away, Bullock raises an eyebrow and smiles.

Now, this is a little strange: Al is giving a soliloquy in his office, but he’s alone, talking to the rotting Indian head from last season – thankfully it’s wrapped in a brown paper package. He picks up the package and heads out to Charlie’s freight bidness, hoping to get more information. Jane has already shown up there, two days late, hung over and bruised. Charlie sends her inside to get cleaned up and she’s in such rough shape that all she says is “thanks.” Al shows up and does his charming best, but Charlie is unmoved, “I’m done fuckin’ talkin’ about it.” So Al heads back home, philosophizing “Every fracas ain’t a victory, Chief.” E.B. walks with him a bit, asking why he wasn’t allowed at the meeting. And Al gives him (and me) the answer (which I should have known, had I thought about it): if E.B. had been at the meeting, the urge to blackmail would have proved irresistible to him. “Am I still the mayor?” whines E.B. “For all of me,” quoth Al, “in perpetuity.”

Back at the Gem, Dan says he’s ready to go to Cheyenne to hire the muscle but Al says there’s no need any longer. He has figured out that Cy is no longer the golden boy of the Hearst machine – Cy just hasn’t figured it out yet. Cy finds Joanie, perhaps a little drunk and definitely trying to pick up tricks at the Bella Union, and tells her that she needs to move on. He’s not very nice about it, but I suppose he has a point: she better get her head on straight or she won’t last long here in this camp. Charlie has steeled himself and has come to Wolcott’s room. I have to watch this whole scene from behind my fingers because I am SURE that Wolcott is going to kill Charlie. He doesn’t, though: he asks enough questions to get Charlie riled up, but Charlie heatedly insists that he’s not going to tell anyone about what Wolcott did. That psycho believes him and hands over Wild Bill’s letter. Charlie leaves, subdued to be holding his friend’s last written words, and I breathe a sigh of relief. The final shot: Joanie sitting alone in the middle of the Chez Ami parlor, looking sad and so lost.

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  1. Love your recaps man

  2. Awesome! Every fracas ain’t a victory, Chief. One of my favorite lines to the Chief.