A Constant Throb

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: A | 7 USERS: A
A Constant Throb

Jane and Joanie are talking to Charlie at his post outside the schoolhouse. They've come to ask him if they can relieve him, but he wonders if they've gotten this directive from Al. "When did you start giving that cocksucker Swearengen a 'by your leave' and 'if you fucking say so?'" Jane asks him, loudly. "All's I asked, Jane," Charlie says, "[is] did he know you was relieving me?" Jane makes Charlie's bad day worse, suggesting that maybe Al's taken charge in Bullock's absence because Charlie isn't up to the job. Pure mean drunkenness. "We just thought we could release you to other responsibilities, Mr. Utter," the sweet Joanie assures him. "And I could run get you if they hetted up." Jane snaps that this is, of course, assuming the unlikely need to do so. Charlie grumbles an "all right" and heads off, leaving Joanie to grimace about Jane's behavior. Jane senses this: "That's how you have to fuckin' deal with him."

Ellsworth is coming to in one of the Gem's back rooms. He's all tied up, laid out on one of the sofas. "How you doin' Ellsworth?" Dan asks, casually. "What the fuck did you hit me for?" Ellsworth asks, wincing from the pain in his head. "You realize that was me?" Dan asks, surprised his knockout is so well known. 'All right, I'll tell you what happened; fill you in on the full fucking circumstance." He helps the abused Ellsworth sit up and takes a seat on the stool in front of him. "Now, uh," he starts, sighing, "Mrs. Ellsworth is completely safe." It's a good try, but Ellsworth immediately freaks and starts struggling with his bonds. "Calm down or I will hit you over the fuckin' head again," Dan cautions. "Maybe use some more of them spirits under your goddamn nose." Please calm down, Ellsworth! The awesome, awesome W. Earl Brown wrote this episode and can kill you at any time! Ellsworth, as calmly as he can, asks what happened. "Well," Dan tries again, choosing his words carefully, "there was some completely-no-fuckin'-damage-done gunfire taken at Mrs. Ellsworth, fore and aft." As Ellsworth freaks anew and recommences his fight with the ropes, Dan quickly adds that "she couldn't be no better!" Somehow, call him crazy, Ellsworth does not find this reassuring. "I'll kill that cocksucker!" he spits. "You get out of my way or I'll kill you fucking first." Um, Ellsworth, did you not just wake up with a dent in your head? Placed there by this guy in front of you, himself? Right. "Fruitless struggle, Ellsworth," Dan reasons, "and stupid goddamn thinkin'." He rhetorically asks why the shooters wouldn't have just blown Alma's head off if they really wanted to, but Ellsworth is in no mood for logic and puts up an even bigger fight on his bindings. "Calm down and think about it!" Dan shouts. "They took shots at her fore and aft so that you would come running; so they could do to you what they could have done to her but they didn't," he explains. "And to Bullock too, maybe." Have I mentioned how much I adore the way Dan says "Bohllock?" That's not really the right phonetic spelling, but his Kentucky accent is so fabulous on that name, I smile every time. Ellsworth is beginning to at least understand the issue, no matter how much he may hate it. "So," Dan concludes, "do you see how goddamn irresponsible it would have been of me to allow you full fucking conscious movement?" He puts Ellsworth's hat back on for him, and reaches for his knife. "I'm gonna cut loose them throttles," he says, "but you best not make me regret it."

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