And so, last night, the second season of Deadwood came to a stunning conclusion. Lord, how I love this show.... and don't know what I'll do before it returns for season three, sometime next year. Le sigh.
So, first things first. Cy Tolliver finally got his comeuppance! Woo-fucking-hoo! I actually taped last night's ep because I was out at the movies, and I'm glad I did because I actually had to rewind the scene where the Reverend Cramed stabbed Tolliver in the gut. My question? I wonder if that was Cramed's plan all along - if his real reason for returning to Deadwood was to seek revenge on the man who left him for dead.... or if it was just Tolliver's constant assiness that caused Cramed to stick him. Loved how he said, "God is not mocked, you son of a bitch," and then cooly walks away while Tolliver stands there, horrified, clutching his stomach and Joanie looks at him like he's a piece of shit on her shoe. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
I'll admit that I was a little nervous about Major Dad Gerald McRaney coming on as Hearst. But he was actually really good. I particularly enjoyed the scene where he and Al discuss whether Hearst will use Wu's services.
Ultimately, though, what made this ep so great, such a strong link in an already tough-as-nails chain of story-telling, was that it included a little bit of every character, and combined the smallest amounts of humor and poignance with the bloody, violent, and scheming.
Personal favorite moments - E.B. Farnum acting like a complete loony toon in front of Hearst and commenting on his diarrhea (he really is out of a speciman box, isn't he?); Tom Nuttall nearly crying in front of Al because he feels guilty about William's death - and Al offering comfort(!); Jane and Joanie getting ready for the wedding and Joanie's little rhymes about not wearing the same undergarments to a wedding as a funeral, along with Jane decking that guy at the wedding; Al referring to Bullock as "his holiness" and then kicking him out of the Gem; and Alma's moving graveside conversation with her dead husband ("I am so afraid that my life is living me, and soon will be over, and not a moment of it will have been my own — and of how my body now tells me that is fine and right.").
And last but not least, Wolcott. Garrett Dillahunt, who plays Wolcott, also played Wild Bill's murderer Jack McCoy last season. I couldn't really understand why Milch brought the same actor back this season. But I really do get it now - Dillahunt completely makes you forget that he was McCoy. He's that good. He was truly excellent last night - his nervousness around Hearst, his attempt at explaining himself when Hearst finds out about what he did...
And finally, this is Al's town. Watching all of his maneuverings come to fruition and his down right cheerfulness as he stands on the balcony with The Chief, watching the wedding festivities? The perfect way to end a great season.
Things to ponder before next year. Is Tolliver going to die? I'm guessing not. Will Joanie reopen her brothel? How will Bullock react when Alma has the baby? Will Alma even survive childbirth? What's Al's plan after elections? Will Wu learn more English? Will Johnny ever get a clue? Will Bullock stop being such a goddamn tool?
See you next year, hoopleheads.