Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Deadwood recap – “Something Very Expensive” S2E6


The dropping: Al is back and having to make up for lost time. Bullock finds out whose daddy he is. Merrick experiences both love (well, not really) and loss (definitely) all in one day. Joanie has to have a Going Out of Business sale a little sooner than she'd hoped, thanks to Mr. W. (Not Mr. Wu, mind.)

In front of the Bella Union, Wolcott and Cy watch Li, Hearst’s Tong representative, drive into camp with a wagonload of something. Wolcott reassures Cy that this first stage of Hearst’s plan is almost complete. At the hotel, Alma has invited Sol to discuss the establishment of a bank. Sol is hesitant to become involved, and she insinuates that Bullock should put the good of the camp over his personal feelings about her. Then, in front of Sol and Ellsworth, she urps up her breakfast into the washbasin. Secret’s out! Back down on the street, Mr. Wu rips the cover off the wagon: it’s full of the new Celestial whores, whimpering and begging. Wu is infuriated, but powerless.

“You, Al, are an object lesson to the healing powers of obstinacy and hostile disposition,” says Doc, slightly in awe. Swearengen is ready to meet the world, and the world is lined up, waiting for him: E.B., Trixie, Tom Nuttal, Miss Isringhausen and Adams, Wu. E.B. tries to go in first but Trixie claims dibs. When E.B. complains as to her preference, she asks, “Anyone else suck his prick?” No one argues with her there. Commissioner Jarry has had it with the crazed Deadwood hoopleheads and is leaving camp, furious that Cy and Wolcott all but threw him to the mob. Wolcott wonders what report Jarry will make to Yankton. Cy: “That your money spends and I’m a dangerous man with whom to disagree … don’t that make us that very image that Mr. Hearst would want Yankton to make of him?” Wolcott seems to agree. When the stagecoach gets to camp, Jarry pushes his way on board, shoving the new schoolteacher, who is just arriving, out of his way. Merrick gallantly steps up to help poor Miss Stokes with her baggage and give her a tour of the camp.

Al meets with Trixie who tells him of the proposed bank to be established by Mrs. Garrett and run by Sol; E.B. confesses his part in the camp’s unsettlement over the gold claims and also informs him that it’s Hearst behind the scam; Miss Isringhausen reports that she is working for the Garrett family to implicate Alma in her husband’s murder and scoop up her gold claim, offering $50,000 for his assistance; Wu wants the situation with the San Francisco cocksucker dealt with. Downstairs, Ellsworth finds Trixie to tell her that Mrs. Garrett took sick in the meeting with him and Sol. Trixie then proceeds to demonstrate that she has paid close attention to the how-to-pull-strings-and-manipulate-people lessons Al was teaching. She explains to Ellsworth that Alma is pregnant and asks him if he would marry the widow to help her save face (and protect Martha and William Bullock from the humiliation). She has to spell it out for him but he finally gets it. “Would … would she fuckin’ have me?” he wonders. “I’d work on that next,” says Trixie.

At the hardware store, Bullock is furious that Sol met with Alma about the bank. Sol points out that Alma was the one who called the meeting and who proposed the bank, but Bullock won’t hear it and storms off. He goes to Nuttal’s bar where Steve (the mob leader) is pretty much shitfaced. The sheriff warns him off further murderous intent and cuffs him upside the head for good measure. Cy and Wolcott are finishing their business with the transfer of the gold claims and Cy starts in. It’s like he can’t help provoking people. He tells Wolcott that he knows about “Mr. W’s” sexual deviancies and wonders if Hearst would take interest in such knowledge. Wolcott completely insults him, but gets away with it because Hearst already knows all about Wolcott’s proclivities. Cy, having overplayed his hand, has no power over him. Wolcott storms out and Cy, rather than looking angry, looks like a cat that just swallowed a bowl of cream.

Wolcott strides purposefully towards the Chez Ami, talking rather madly to himself. He’s figured out that it was Doris who ratted him out to Cy and, when Maddie tells him Carrie is not currently available, says he’ll take her [Doris] instead. I think Doris’s storyline just ended. Joanie comes in and Maddie tells her that Wolcott is in with Doris. Joanie thinks that’s a bad idea but Maddie is all shaking and crazy-excited. Wolcott suddenly emerges from the back room and asks for Carrie, his right hand hidden behind his back. At the Bella Union, Cy tells Con Stapleton and Leon to go vandalize Merrick’s newspaper as a message for not having been impartial enough with regard to Jarry’s notice.

Joanie is even more upset once Carrie goes in. She should be: Carrie is in tears, staring at Doris who’s had her throat cut. Wolcott is completely calm. Carrie asks him if he knows how to kill her without it hurting. He doesn’t answer but grabs her and slits her throat with his straight razor, slicing right under her lacy choker. In the front room, Joanie can’t stand it anymore and says she’s going in. When she looks for her gun, Maddie pulls it on her, telling her to get out. Joanie runs to the Bella Union, crying. Wolcott comes out of the bedroom and Maddie asks him what he’s done. “Something … very expensive,” he says. She rises, pointing the gun at him, and then starts shouting that she wants $100,000 each year, for the rest of her life in exchange for having provided him with the girls to kill. She’s gone completely nuts. He steps up, grabs her hand and cuts her throat too. Joanie finds Cy and tells him that Wolcott is making trouble at her place. “Don’t you fuckin’ follow me,” growls Cy and heads out. Joanie borrows money from the bartender and sends Lila to Charlie’s for a wagon.

Al is now meeting with a very stoic Li. He tries to bribe him with $20,000 in gold but Li, in perfect English, says he doesn’t want it. “Good meeting you,” says Al, and Li leaves. Mr. Wu comes out from where he was hiding and Al tells him, in so many words, that this man is connected (to Hearst) and that he’ll have to think on how to proceed. He reassures Wu that Wu and “Swidgen” remain allied. Cy gets to the Chez Ami and finds Wolcott staring at dead Maddie. He promises to clean up the mess and now, my friends, Cy has some legitimate power over Wolcott.

Bullock apologizes to Sol for acting so irrationally earlier. Sol tells him that Mrs. Garrett (1) never once mentioned Bullock’s name, (2) wants the bank to better the camp, (3) wants Sol to run the bank and (4) seems to be with child. Dang – way to ease that into the conversation, Sol. Merrick is all but falling over himself showing the new schoolteacher around. When they get to his newspaper office, it’s in a shambles, totally wrecked and reeking of poo. Merrick finds Cy and accuses him of sending the vandals to destroy his newspaper and set a dog to shit all over the place. Cy: “I doubt they had a dog with them.” Eeeuw.

It’s a little tense at the Bullocks’ house for dinner. Martha and William try to fill the silences but all Bullock can think about is the fact that he may actually be a father. Luckily, we soon cut to Al’s room where Doc is checking on Al one more time before he calls it a day. After Doc leaves, Al tells Dan that they need to “muscle up” for whatever’s coming. He asks about Crop-Ear and Dan tightly says “he ain’t available.” Hee hee. Johnny and Dan maneuver Al over to the door to the balcony. He doesn’t want them to appear “as triplets” and sends them away, managing to limp out onto his usual perch under his own power. Joanie loads her remaining fancy whores onto Charlie’s wagon, covered by a blanket so no one can see them. She gives them $1,400 to share among themselves and tells them never to come back. As she walks back to her place, her eyes meet Al’s and he gives her a barely perceptible nod. She continues on and he stays on his balcony, glad to be back in his world.

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