"I am a sinner who does not expect forgiveness. But I'm not a government official."
Francis Wolcott, Deadwood
I've heard some mixed reviews about last night's Deadwood. I'll agree that it wasn't the best episode of the season, but it was pretty damn great in my opinion. With one notable exception, there was great scene after great scene.
The funny. This episode did not lack humor. The standouts were Richardson standing in front of the large antlers and "praying" to them for little William Bullock's well-being. Farnum's quip to the new Rev. Cramed that he should not look to the left if he finds idolatry offensive, followed by a cut to Richardson had me laughing out loud. The exchange between Commissioner Jarry and Silas Adams was priceless. And Doc Cochran explaining that he would be at Joanie Stubbs', operating on a whale? Awesome.
The poignant. Trixie's meltdown throughout the entirety of the episode and her argument with Sol in the Gem saloon. Sol is always so level-headed, it's fun to watch him lose his cool, snap at Al, tell Dorrity to get lost and call Trixie out on her motives for working at the hardware store. Tom Nutall crying behind his bar - no good deed goes unpunished in this camp and he removes the offending bicycle that had previously given everyone in the camp a laugh. Hostetler and the NG discussing their options out by the campfire. Hostetler's commentary on why he would rather kill himself than be killed by the settlers was touching and under the circumstances, completely understandable.
Supposed to be poignant, but wasn't. Of course, the scene where the Bullocks talk to young William while he lies unconscious and near death. I think I might have been moved if Seth hadn't been there. He annoys me.... I couldn't help but feel that his own sadness at what happened has more to do with his self-centered attitude than anything else. It would be nice if he could stop thinking about himself for two minutes and maybe lend some support to Martha. And really, I'd like to see a little rage with the grief from Martha. But when they were talking to William, I felt nothing.... the whole thing felt very contrived and over-done, which is not a criticism that I frequently have of this show.
What's next? Is Miss Isringhausen really gone? Will Al get his elections? FYI, we can expect the imminent arrival of George Hearst, who will be played by Major Dad Gerald McRaney.