June 19, 2024

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Deadwood “Childish Things”

Season Two, Episode Eight.

What does Martha Bullock want?

That’s an excellent question.  See, it’s not as if she married Seth Bullock out of love, or he married her for it either.  He married her out of obligation to ensure her son, his nephew William, had a father figure in his life after the death of Seth’s brother.  After Martha goes to see Alma about being the camp’s schoolteacher and a slip of the tongue has Martha figure out Alma is pregnant…well, Martha knows Seth well enough to know he would have taken pity on that recently widowed woman and, yes, he is probably that unborn child’s father.

Man, any wife character played by Anna Gunn has it rough.

So, she tells Seth she appreciates that he is going to be a father to William, but he need not concern himself with anything else, especially when Seth confirms that yes, he did screw around with Alma but quit as soon as Martha and William got to the camp.

That’s the sort of thing that makes Bullock look more human.  Take also how he responds to Swearengen asking Bullock point blank what Bullock’s first impression of Swearengen was.  Bullock’s reply?  That Swearengen is a murderer.  Yeah, he is, but it means Bullock is less interested in working with Swearengen to protect the camp from the Hearst people and it’s growing mining concern that is looking to, among other things, ship in supercheap Chinese labor.  In the meantime, Wolcott’s got German and Cornish miners that are subject to cavity searches to make sure none of those guys sneak gold out of the mine.  Seriously.

If he can’t get Bullock, Swearengen can make sure Merrick and the newspaper is on board, especially as Merrick’s new employee can operate a telegraph machine…

Will we see any joy in this camp?  Can Jane be of any comfort to Joanie?  Will Alma agree to marry the willing Ellsworth since he is offering just so the unborn child can have a father?

Well, there is one thing:  saloon owner Tom Nuttall got himself a bicycle, the kind with the giant front wheel.  His successful attempt at riding it brought most of the town out to see, and brought a lot of smiles out with it.