I’m digging the vibe of Deadwood so far, but since I don’t quite know where anything is going, I’m also not sure how important many things are outside of basic character development.
As it is, we have the little girl who survived the massacre of her family being, maybe, comatose. She’s being cared for by Calamity Jane and Doc Cochran. Cochran is interesting since he actually tells Jane not to tell anyone–even the girl’s rescuers–that she’s probably going to live because Doc has no idea which answer won’t get anyone in more trouble. How trustworthy is Bullock for people who’ve just met him, after all?
The real problem is, despite claims otherwise, the Sioux didn’t kill the girl’s family. Road agents did. Or, as they are also known, highwaymen. Common thieves. And a lot of people are figuring this out. The dead man Hickok and/or Bullock killed has been identified by Reverend Smith, and the deaths don’t quite add up to a Native MO.
That distrust of Bullock, by the by, extends to others as well. Swearengen doesn’t believe for a moment that Hickok and Bullock have just met, and knowing Hickok is a legendary gunfighter and lawman, and Bullock was working with him, well, when Bullock and Sol go to buy their lot to build their hardware store, Swearengen makes some rather strict demands to sell the land in a manner that Bullock finds unacceptable.
Then again, Bullock finds Swearengen unacceptable anyway. It’s like Bullock can tell who is a criminal just by looking at him…
That seems to extend to Jane as well. Doc has to leave the girl for a bit and instructs Jane not to let anyone near her. Then Swearengen shows up and Jane…backs down after some bluster. Now, this is only episode two, and for all we know, this Calamity Jane is all talk and bluster. This is the first time she’s had to confront someone, and she does confess Swearengen scares the crap out of her. But will she back down to future threatening figures, or does she back up her tough talk?
So, let’s review one last thing: two episodes in, and we’ve seen four corpses in Deadwood. That’s the town, not the show. Two of them are fed to the Chinese man’s pigs. At the least, Swearengen won’t kill a small girl, the only witness to the thieves that obviously work for him.
Instead, he’ll just set up the thieves to die. That’s a form of justice I suppose…