Here Was a Man

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

At the Gem, Dan is talking things out with his counselor, Trixie. He's apparently told her all about Ellsworth seeing him kill Brom, and has explained his conflict over whether or not killing Ellsworth is going to be necessary. "I like Ellsworth, too," Dan says, shrugging an Emmy-worthy shrug. Dan figures Ellsworth doesn't normally get into other people's bidness, but worries that his own standards as to who's reliable "ain't the same as Al's." Trixie: "So Ellsworth has to leave camp over the difference?" Dan says that he does if it's between that or killing him. "He said to tell him if those were the choices," he explains. Trixie exhales her nine hundredth drag on her homemade cig, saying "don't you do it." Dan gets serious. "Which?" he asks. Trixie: "Either." Poor Dan. He just needs advice on whether or not to kill his buddy, okay?

Upstairs, Al is beginning to see the situation with Wild Bill and Mrs. G as it really is. "Asks a bribe for something he never intends to do," he mutters. "Takes my hundred and fifty, then tells her not to sell." E.B., standing by, wonders how Al can be so sure Bill has done this. Al goes through it with him yet again. Hickok couldn't have told her to sell it, or she would have already agreed to sell it. Al is supremely frustrated. "I'd say Hickok has to die if I have to kill him, myself." E.B. can't take it. "Jesus, Al," he says, worried. "With all that's going on? How would it sit with the widow, for one thing?" Al's over it. "Let me pose you a question, E.B., you fucking c*nt: Someone comes at you, what are you supposed to do about it?" For whatever reason, E.B. chooses this moment to challenge his boss and mentor. He gets almost surly with Al (though it is all out of love, of course). "And I'll pose you a question back, Al Swearengen," he half-yells. "If a friend, or at least a professional colleague has the mistaken impression that someone is coming at him who isn't, what are you supposed to do then, huh?!" Al is taken aback at this show of loyalty. Wide-eyed, he asks E.B., "You don't think he's coming at me?" E.B. says no, he doesn't. He goes on to say that Al's got so much on his plate, he sometimes gets to feeling "beset" and, in that frame of mind, takes things personally. Al considers this as he lists all the things he's currently worrying about. "I need to fuck something," he says, calling for his tried and true stress reliever, Trixie. You know, some people just meditate, Al, damn.Trixie goes to the bar to get a bottle to take up, and confronts Dan with a jutted chin and a thumb pointed over towards Ellsworth. She wants to know what Dan's decided. "Don't be pointin' your fuckin' thumb for me, Trixie," Dan tells her. "Me and you done talked that subject out." Pissed, she heads upstairs. From his place at the corner table, Ellsworth calls out to Dan, asking him what's new. "Nothin'," Dan answers, with significance. Ellsworth pushes the point: "No news at all?" Dan sighs. "If I had somethin' to tell you, Ellsworth," he says, "one way or another, I'd tell it to you." I guess this passes for assurance in Deadwood. In any case, Ellsworth reckons he'll have another drink.

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