Here Was a Man

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

In Al's office, E.B. thinks he's subtly quizzing Al on his reasons for wanting to buy back Garret's claim. He doesn't know yet that it isn't worthless. The timing could not be more perfect for Al, for as he takes a sip of his morning coffee, he glances down into the street to see Dan leading a horse with the dead body of Brom Garret over its back. "Jesus Christ," he says, all falsely dramatic. "The dude must have had some kind of accident." E.B. doesn't seem overly surprised. Now Al can explain to E.B. about his (fake) plan: "See, my reasoning was," he lies, "get the dude his money back, keep him from asking in the Pinkertons." E.B. slyly notes that it appears now that buying back the claim will not be necessary. Thus, E.B. is surprised when Al tells him to make a $20,000 offer on the claim to Garret's newly widowed wife. E.B. is no longer following: "Al, once that dope fiend throws her skirts over her head and hightails it back to New York," he asks, "do you think she'll give one wet fart about what goes on here in this camp? Let alone send the Pinkertons out?" He closes, reminding Al that twenty grand is a lot of money. See, Al doesn't need to be told how much money it is, is the thing. Al knows. Al knows...everything. Why E.B. hasn't caught on to that after so much hoodwinking and mouth-smacking and ball-busting and multiple hours staring into the dark recesses of Al's mustache, I don't know. He hasn't, though, and now Al has to school him (further), explaining that twenty thousand is a small price to pay if it keeps the Pinkertons from coming in and killing him. This is true, sure, but what he's not telling E.B. is that the claim actually has gold on it, and that is why he wants to buy it. He tells E.B. to "go see to the grieving fucking widow," and the lackey snakes out to the street where the grieving fucking widow has gone to view the body of her husband.

It's a great scene in the thoroughfare, for real. For all the drama of the whole dead-husband thing, the street is flooded with sunshine, almost to an obscene degree. Molly Parker, who should wear this color every day for the rest of her life, is dressed in a green velvet robe over a pristine white nightdress. She silently observes Brom's head wound while Dan musters up his best mournful look and stands by, looking sad.

E.B. emerges from the Gem, hat in hand, offering his slimy condolences and asking if she requires the doctor. "To treat your terrible grief," he swiftly adds, glancing at the obviously dead body of Mr. Garret. Mrs. G turns and says that yes, she would like to see the doctor, but that she first would like him to examine her husband's injuries. "I'd like his opinion on how they were sustained," she says. E.B. stupidly says that he assumes Mr. Garret died in a fall. "All I asked you," she snaps back, "was to get the goddamned doctor." As E.B. oozes off, she turns back to Dan and asks him in her laudanum whisper if this tragic accident was truly that, an accident. Dan says he's sorry, and sees from the look in her eyes that she doesn't believe any of this accident story for even a second.

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