Monday, April 18, 2005

More Punishment in Store

Look y'all, I know most of you aren't watching Deadwood. But you should be. Not only is it the best show on television right now, but in my opinion, it's the best show on HBO, too. Yes, that includes The Sopranos, which has been on the decline since, oh, season 3. And it's way better than the maudlin Six Feet Under. I have to say, Deadwood is even better than The Wire, although not by much. It's not too late - season 1 is on DVD and you can always On Demand the second season.

So, highlights for last night's epi. Hands down - Al Swearengen, thankfully on the mend from his health problems, calling on Alma Garret. Hard to believe that despite all the connections between these two (he ordered Dan to kill her husband, his road agents killed little Sophia's parents, and everything with Bullock) they have never met. Her quick tongue and obvious disdain for him seemed to amuse him and it was a pleasure to watch the two of them discuss her options for Miss Isringhausen and the Pinkertons. Loved it when Swearengen told Alma, "Tell the little one, no hard feelings."

Another high point for me - Trixie returning to the hardware store, swallowing her pride and apologizing to Bullock. Bear with me, I will try to repeat what she said. She suggests that Bullock lighten up a little, "what with Moses already doing most of the heavy lifting by bringing those stone tablets down from the Mount." Thank goodness someone told Bullock his "world on my shoulders" attitude is wearing thin.

Lastly, Charlie Utter, who is one of the truest friends Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane or Joanie Stubbs could ever have, kicking Wolcott's ass. Too bad Bullock pulled him off, although I suppose that there will be more excitement with Wolcott to come.

But a lot of this episode, besides forwarding the plot issues involving Hearst and Swearengen's scheming, involved two very different versions of friendship. Charlie lends Joanie a shoulder, beats the snot out of the cowardly and murderous Wolcott, protects Joanie's secret, retrieves Hickock's last letter, and sends Jane off to bed following her latest bender. All of this out of his sense of loyalty and decency. Juxtaposed with Al, who both smacks Merrick and gives him a pep talk about rebuilding the paper, looks out for Alma, while it also advances his own intentions, and pushes Trixie out of the nest again, even while it also serves his purpose. In the end, intentions are less important than actions.

Can't wait to see how Swearengen is going to handle the Pinkerton Miss Isringhausen next week. And it looks like Alma is in for a tough day, with a visit from the Pinkerton and Martha Bullock. Gulp. Also can't wait to see if Wolcott will really kill Joanie. I personally think that she hopes that he does.

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