Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: B+ | Grade It Now!

Al is having a hard time letting go of his editorial duties. After all the type is set, and Merrick runs a copy, he worries that the headline should have a question mark. "The Plague in Deadwood?" he reads aloud, for dramatic effect. Merrick tells him he can't change it, now, and Al shrugs with that "well, I guess if you want it to suck" shrug, like he's in charge of the features desk at Vogue magazine, and someone has just suggested putting Gwyneth on the cover in a pashmina instead of a cashmere wrap.

Dan and Johnny deliver the Gem's john down to the sick tent. They're both holding their breath, trying not to get the smallpox germs. The Rev begins his ministering immediately, sweetly calming the sick man and trying to relax him. Fat chance, since Jane comes barreling up right this second, accompanying the Bella Union folks who have brought Joey on a stretcher. "Are you sure you're up to this?" Doc asks Rev. Smith. The preacher smiles. "Oh, yes," he answers. "I'm right where I'm supposed to be." Doc looks sad about this. Damn, surely nobody is supposed to be in Deadwood. He goes out to see Jane directing another stretcher into the tent area. "Well," he asks her, "you already been exposed. You want to follow him in?" Jane says she might, and finally does after Doc gives her a low bow.Back out in the woods, Bullock and Charlie are dealing with bodies, too. They shove the dead Indian up on his funeral pyre next to his headless comrade. Charlie looks frustrated the whole time, but when the Indian's leg slips off the thing, he turns back to push it back up.

At the Gem, Al reads the paper aloud. "'The Pioneer is assured of their imminent return,'" he says. Dan smarts off that he'll believe it when he sees it, and Al is mildly offended. "'Imminent return' is one of my contributions to the fucking article!" he says. Aw. Al's so proud of his foray into journalism. He ought to check into other kinds of writing jobs available around town. Shoot, Al would be a great recapper for TWoP. Oh, how I would love to read what he'd have to say about the Gilmore Girls. He'd have that shit down to one page, and it would be like: "What the fuck is wrong with Rory? She needs to shut the fuck up, coming in here with her books and donuts and the like. And if that bitch Emily were to say shit like that to me, it'd be a shank to the ribs and a boot to the neck before the hooples could fart twice." Reading more of the article, he is suddenly reminded of Cy's lot being used for the sick tent. "What about that fucking Tolliver," he says, amazed, "buying up property on the QT." Al says it shows that Cy has good ideas and a long-term vision for the future. He returns to the article, showing Dan where Merrick wanted to use the word "gratis." "Now, is the idea to inform your reader," he says, "or make him feel like a fucking dunce?" The balls of David Milch for suggesting that less is more when it comes to the English God, the man's balls.

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