Here Was a Man

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

Well, her mood ain't good. We hear a bottle breaking and cut back into the room where she has thrown the laudanum against the wall and broken down in sobs. E.B. chooses this moment to offer his services. She yells that she will certainly need a coffin. He says he'll see to it and then asks that she open the door so he can say something to her face. She complies, and he tells her that he is overcome with remorse, having failed to change the course of events by allowing himself to be outbid on the claim when he was up against Brom to purchase it. Of course, since the purchase was a scam set up by Al to bilk Garret out of his money, E.B. is overcome here by nothing but greed. He tells the widow that if it will simplify her situation in any way, he'd like to renew his offer for the twelve thousand dollars. Sneaky bastard, E.B. Mrs. Garret smells a rat and shoos him away, telling him he'll have an answer shortly. E.B. oils away.Glancing at her wasted laudanum, Mrs. G steels herself and leaves her room to cross the hall. She knocks on Wild Bill's door and finds Jane. "Is this Mr. Hickok's room?" Mrs. G asks, confused, and when Jane wants to know who's asking, she starts to explain. "My husband's just died under suspicious circumstances," she says. Jane interrupts, rolling her eyes: "Suspect someone else," she says. "When Bill's killed a man, he says so and states his reasons." Now there's a born public relations spokeswoman if I've ever seen one. Mrs. G quickly says that she does not suspect Bill, and explains how Brom had previously tried to hire Bill to look into Al's meddling on his gold claim. "And I thought," she says, "though they hadn't come to terms, that Mr. Hickok might be willing to advise me on my current situation." Jane is listening to all this in a confused but sympathetic manner -- she feels sorry for Mrs. G that she has no one else in the camp, and does what she can to awkwardly express condolences. It's a sweet scene, but Molly Parker is still doing the whole laudanum addict whispery graceful lady voice, which I cannot abide. Speak up, lady! It's the Wild West! All these people are partially deaf from constant fighting and syphilis and pouring whiskey directly into their ear canals! They can't hear you. Jane tells her to go back and wait in her room -- she'll get Bill, but "it'll take him a while to get the phlegm situated."

Down at the Bella Union, Cy and Joanie are meeting with the doc to set up their whore-doctorin' schedule. They propose an exorbitant fee for Doc's services, and he agrees, wide-eyed. It's all just to get one over on Al, of course, who does not take even slightly good care of his working girls, but I'm glad Doc benefits. Powers Boothe -- who, honest to God, wears more makeup on this show than Cyndi Lauper in the '80s -- looks up at the end of this conversation to see a serious man walk in with a satchel. He goes over and gives the guy a "howdy," and the man introduces himself. "Name's Cramed," he says. "I'd like a room; I'd like exclusive use of the safe; and I'd like to shoot some dice." Cy smarms that he'd like to consider this the first day of a long friendship. They walk through the saloon talking about the safe and the room and all that, and when Cy leads him behind the cashier's cage, it is revealed that all this introduction crap was a ruse for the locals. They know each other quite well. "So," Andy Cramed says, after saying hello to Eddie and Joanie, "let's go. Let's get something working." Apparently, these four have run scams together in the past. "We could rob Cy," Eddie jokes. Rob him of what? His funds or his foundation? Because Cy has got a storehouse full of Cork Silk loose powder somewhere that ought to be worth big dollars on the black market. Cy has another suggestion, anyway. "How about a bath first? And a nap," he says. "And...some sex with an unfamiliar woman." Oh, Cy. You do know how to please a man. Andy says sure, but the dude is on edge and he repeats that he'd "like to get something fucking working." They're all looking at him funny, because he's a bit sweaty and acting weird, so when he walks off, Cy asks Joanie how she thinks Andy looks. She says a bit defensively that he looks like a guy who just took a long road trip, and I have to be on her side about this one. If dirt and sweat and foul mood were evidence of illness, everyone in Deadwood would have to be quarantined for life. Speaking of those three qualities, over at the Gem, E.B. is reporting on Mrs. Garret's reaction to his offer on her claim. Al is a tad surprised that she did not accept it outright, but then, remembering who he's talking to, gives E.B. the eyebrow to confirm that he did offer than whole twenty thousand, as ordered, right? E.B. has the nerve to try to deny it for a second, but then gives in. He only offered her twelve, he admits. Al can't believe it. "Did I ask you to play her?" Al sighs. E.B., nervy once again, says that he thinks Mrs. G will take the twelve thousand and be glad to get it. "And all you'll have to decide," he closes, "is how much of the eight you save shall go to me." In spite of himself, Al is impressed. "You're incorrigible," he tells his slimiest lackey, and E.B. says he does his best.

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