Seth Bullock is a righteous man who really did not want to be sheriff of Deadwood.
But now he’s the sheriff of Deadwood.
Pretty much everyone and everything around him was pushing Bullock to pick up that discarded tin star. The previous holder had tossed it away when he realized what Bullock knew all along: that man was not up to the task of actually keeping the peace.
Meanwhile, a visiting Cavalry general asks Bullock why he isn’t the sheriff if he’s a former United States Marshall.
Heck, Swearengen wants Bullock to be sheriff.
That’s an excellent question. Swearengen likes to run things in Deadwood, and we’ve seen he’s engaged in plenty of illegal activities. Or activities that would be illegal if he were anywhere but a lawless territory. Heck, Al kills two people this episode: a magistrate that was giving him nothing but trouble, and a mercy killing for the increasingly delirious Reverend Smith.
Bullock, meanwhile, showed Alma’s father how he can take his best shot at the sleaze looking to control his daughter’s fortune to his own benefit instead of hers. Granted, his way dealt with rumors and innuendo that probably works fine in New York City. Bullock prefers a punch to the jaw. Methinks I know which method works better in Deadwood, South Dakota.
But having a sheriff, a good sheriff, may actually make it easier for Deadwood to become a legal town. Swearengen does want that. He wants to be under the laws of the land. He’s said as much. Having Bullock there makes that easier, even if there’s a good chance that may bite Al in the ass in other ways later, and not just because Seth sees unexplained blood stains on Al’s hardwood floors.
So, the season ends, and the dynamic that it sure looked like was coming has come. I’d say we’ll see how this works out for everyone, but Deadwood famously was canceled before the story was completed, so maybe we won’t.