Well, it finally happened.
We learned the show was so committed to realism that Alma has unshaven armpits.
Oh, and Bullock and Swearengen finally go at it.
But wait, we all thought everyone, including Swearengen, wanted Bullock to be sheriff? He seems to be doing the job OK. He’s got the look, he made Charlie Utter his deputy, and he’s enforcing whatever passes for law in Deadwood. What’s Al’s problem?
The problem is Alma’s claim. She’s making a lot of money off it, but she’s sending all the gold under a heavily-armed guard to Denver. That means it isn’t helping out the, shall we say, local economy. That means Al. Al doesn’t like that, but it’s something of an open secret that Seth and Alma are carrying on, and it doesn’t take much taunting from Swearengen to get Bullock to come up to Swearengen’s second floor office to maybe settle things. Bullock takes off his gun and badge, Al says he has no knife, and then they get to fist fighting.
Of course, word spreads and both guys have their back-up waiting. For Swearengen, that’s Dan Dority, former government bagman Silas Adams, and seemingly dumb Johnny Burns. For Bullock, that’s Charlie and Sol. Sol got alerted by Trixie.
Who wins the fight? Well, the two take a tumble off Swearengen’s balcony into the mud, Swearengen on the bottom and Bullock seems to be pounding him senseless. That’s when Dority clocks Bullock upside the head with his rifle and the only thing keeping him from killing the sheriff is Adams stopping him. Then Burns shoots Sol in the shoulder and grazes Charlie’s head. Oh, and Al does have a knife he can now use on the groggy Bullock. What stops him?
Stagecoach just arrived with Bullock’s wife Martha and stepson William onboard. Al won’t kill a man in front of his family.
Considering Martha is really Bullock’s brother’s widow, the two are hardly close, but it does lead to a very awkward introduction and welcome wagon gift basket from Alma.
Is that it? Not quite. Bullock drops his unexpected family (they didn’t exactly call ahead) off at the house he had built for them and goes off to see Alma, possibly to break off what they had. Sol is getting treated by Doc Cochran, but no one seems to be dead. Both Bullock and Swearengen are in pain, but one thing is certain.
Bullock needs to go back to Al’s place to get his badge and gun.