June 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Deadwood “Plague”

Season One, Episode Six.

Plague sweeps through Deadwood, and I somehow did not realize the actress playing Alma Garret was also Jackie Sharp on House of Cards.

You know, until now.

First, let’s give it up for Trixie.  Al sent her to make sure Alma stays high and will sell her very valuable claim.  Instead, Trixie helps Alma dry out and go clean.  It’s tough work.  Farnum is snooping around, and Trixie can only keep that weasel away for so long, with Swearengen looking over both their shoulders.  So far, so good, especially since Alma can, if necessary, fake being high.

As for Bullock, he has a run-in with a Sioux warrior that kills his horse.  The warrior may have just been counting coup, looking to smack Bullock around and that’s that, but Bullock doesn’t know that and beats the Native to death with a rock before passing out himself.  We do then learn more about what kind of man Bullock is.  Found later by Hickok’s friend Charlie, Bullock insists on burying the Sioux, and then does something different in line with the Native’s actual beliefs.  Then and only then will Bullock proceed on to find Hickok’s killer, with Charlie assisting.

But hey, that plague is getting worse, especially since the young rider Tolliver sent out for the vaccine came back early with the plague himself.  Smallpox is no joke, so the town fathers get together to plot a course to save lives, prevent panic, and whatever else is needed.  Who are these men?  Swearengen, who had a case in his own place, Doc Cochran, Tolliver, Farnum, newspaperman A.W. Merrick, Reverend Smith, Sol (representing Bullock as well), and a few others.  What’s the plan?  Send riders to three locations to get the vaccine, in groups of five in case someone else gets sick, set up the sick in a special tent for Cochran and any helpers he might have to keep an eye on everything, and put a story in the local newspaper keeping people informed but calm.  All the men pony up some money to pay the riders and whatnot.

With Swearengen and some others dictating the wordy Merrick’s final copy, Cochran finds two helpers.  The first is Reverend Smith, who does so out of Christian charity, though he seems to be having seizures of late.  The second is, well, Calamity Jane.  She’d been tending to a victim out in the woods and didn’t get sick herself, and while she is loud, belligerent, and still drunk from mourning the lose of her best friend…is there a good way to end that sentence?  Sure, she’s going to help and she and Cochran work well together, but she seems the least likely (and least coherent) person in camp to be helping the sick.

Then again, this might be good for her.