Here Was a Man

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: B | 3 USERS: A
Here Was a Man

Looking out over the main thoroughfare, Bill comments that the "camp looks like a good bet." Bullock says that his wife and son are in Michigan with family and that he hopes he can bring them out soon. Bill says that when peace is finally made with the Sioux, Deadwood will turn into a real town with laws and "every other damn thing." I have to wonder what other damn things he's talking about, considering the damnable things currently featured. Bullock says he'd settle for just getting property rights, and Bill smirks, doubtful that Bullock would ever settle for anything less than complete justice for everyone in town. They talk about Bill's own wife, who runs a circus, waiting for word of his prospecting success. Bullock tells him on that subject that he and Sol have put aside their last sifting cradle for his use: "Why don't you go ahead and use it, Bill?" Hickok sighs. "What slows me down is thinking about freezing my balls off in a creek," he says. "Or the cocksuckers I'd lose my gold to at poker." Wild Bill knows himself. He pauses again before saying he's flat-out tired. This is all laden with symbolism, of course, with Bullock clenching meaningfully at his shoot-'em-up hero before oh-so-seriously telling Bill to "turn in," glancing back at the thoroughfare to add, "I got 'er covered." What's awesome is you can SEE Olyphant trying desperately not to make it cheesy. This little scene of friendship blossoming is very sweet, but the cheddar in this dialogue is so ripe you can smell it, and yeomen's work though both actors are doing, they can't overcome it. Bill says he believes he will turn in, and heads out, saying, "Goodnight, Montana," and adding as he walks away that "my pop called me 'Kite.'" With this he tacks on a weird little wave to Bullock (who gives an unprecedented smile in response) and makes his way back to the hotel.

There, he finds a fuming Charlie sitting on his bed in their room. Charlie says he was supposed to leave for Cheyenne two damn hours ago. "What kept you, Charlie?" Bill wearily asks. Charlie sighs, not even bothering to hide his eye-rolling. "You don't fuckin' sleep," he says. "I don't know what in the fuck is happening to you, Bill." Hickok doesn't really appreciate Charlie's mothering. "So," he says, like an asshole, "you stayed in camp to tuck me in?" Poor Charlie. So hopeful that he's going to wake up and have his friend be acting right. He tells Bill that if he doesn't want to prospect, he can take over one of Charlie's new mail routes. Bill ain't interested. "I'm doing what I want to do," he says, flatly. Charlie can't handle it: "Bull-shit." But Bill goes on and on about how at some point in a man's life, he's due to stop fooling himself about trying to be a good person and just admit that he's a big ass. I mean, that's the gist. It's got to be hard being Bill's friend, and I feel for Charlie in a thousand ways. This dude, he's got it all: the looks, the good hair, the shoot-'em-up skills. The girls like him. Mr. Perfect. Everybody loves him. Of course, he hates himself, so he's also a drunk who gambles away all his money, and Charlie has to run around picking up the pieces. What Bill wants to do, he tells Charlie, is gamble. "I don't want to fight it no more," he says. "And I don't want you pissing in my ear about it. Can you let me go to hell the way I want to?" Dayton Callie, who plays Charlie -- the guy is just a genius. He's a good friend to a guy who is bad at being friends, and the frustration when he answers "yeah, I can do that" comes through so strong, it brings a tear to my eye. He leaves, on his way to Cheyenne, and the two men say goodbye and wish each other luck.

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