Deadwood
A Constant Throb

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Al Lowe: A | 7 USERS: A
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A Constant Throb

We come now to Langrishe's meeting with his second mystery woman. She is the very lovely unknown woman we've been wondering about for a few episodes. Well, keep wondering. Here's what is clear: Her name's Mary and she's an artist who loves Langrishe and has been waiting for years to live with him openly, so she followed him to camp thinking, I guess, that Deadwood would be the perfect place for their love nest, only to find that the harlot gypsy woman is also there and will be moving into the theater. For some reason, this ruins everything, even though Jack swears he's "laid no carnal hand" to the other woman. "What does installing her accomplish [that] acknowledging me could not?" she asks, pained, sending Langrishe into a tizzy. "Jesus Christ!" he shouts. "Jesus Christ. That I'm old, that I've lost my belly for sham!" But...what's the sham? Isn't she asking him to STOP the sham and acknowledge her? Why can't I figure this out? I'm offended by the obtuseness. It's possible that, since Mary is staying in the hotel, he's been seeing her this whole time, but if so, they haven't made that clear enough. I could go insane trying to speculate, but since they concentrate on her artistry so heavily, I figure they're trying to reference a particular American artist or painter, but I don't know who it is, which makes me even madder. She picks up her book of drawings, imploring him to understand. "Every drawing I made in this sketchbook, every one I've dreamed of painting from," she says, "near a home where we'd live." Langrishe is upset by all of this and asks her to at least admit that he never asked her to love him. Bad form, Jack. Mary is shocked. Langrishe asks if she wants him to keep the sketches she's made. When she says no, he looks into her eyes and tells her to paint every fucking one. It'd be a very lovely scene -- the woman is gorgeous -- if 1) I understood it at all; and 2) that other woman didn't look a hell of a lot like this one, adding to my confusion.

Al and the HB are throwing back a few shots in his office. "How well do you know the other guy?" Al asks Hearst's current note bearer. "We served in the 69th in New York," the HB says of Captain Turner. Al takes a swig. "Was that a Mick regiment?" he asks. The HB drinks and smiles. "Mm-hmm," he says, "what were you doing?" Al raises an eyebrow and shrugs. "Cuttin' throats," he says. The HB, somehow, does not hear the bell fuckin' tolling for him over here. "I was asking whose flag you were under," he says. Al raises his glass as if in salute. "The famous cocksuckers' brigade," he says, reverently. "Command of the all-whore detachment." He drinks and pours another. When he asks if the HB was distressed by the death of the Captain, the guy has the gall to smirk. "Let me tell you something, Mr. Swearengen," he says, making the first of many tactical conversational errors. "You don't scare me, and you don't fucking know what happened with the 69th New York." Al listens, seemingly with interest. (I listen, seemingly, to my mother, the unstoppable JoLowe, who does that same Southern-born "let me tell you something/let me ask you this/my question to you is/I'll tell you this" preamble at the start of every conversation.) "I will tell you this," the HB goes on (ha!), "I didn't like what happened to Joe Turner. Mr. Hearst came to him and said, 'Make it last, even if you gain the upper hand and can kill him.'" He says he feels this was selfish on the part of Hearst, drawing out the fight, and that if he hadn't, Turner might be alive today. "But," he concludes, taking a drink, "that's as much as I feel like saying, and that's neither here nor fucking there." Al can't argue with that. He takes another fortifying drink himself. "Fair enough, he says, standing. "All right, then." How the other guy doesn't feel the cold hand of fate circling his jugular, I don't know, but he doesn't. "All right," he says back, all reasonable. "But I'll tell you this (see?): You don't seem halfway like such a halfway bad fucking person." Al smiles and laughs a little as he walks to the door. The HB stands to follow. "So, should I tell Mr. Hearst that there's no messa..." he starts, but can't get out the full question before Al KNEES him in the CROTCH and knocks him down, grabbing away his gun.

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Deadwood

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