Deadwood
Plague

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Al Lowe: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Plague

Speaking of smart and dumb, Al is in his office now, dealing with E.B., who has still not made an offer on Mrs. G's gold claim. E.B. says he can't outflank Trixie, who is there to take care of the little girl, and who is also guarding Mrs. Garret like a mother hen. "She's dosed her with opium," Al argues. "Priming her for your approach." E.B. tries again to make an excuse, but Al has had enough. He tells him to go over there and tell Trixie that Al wants to see her, get inside, and make the offer to the widow. "Can you circumnavigate the child," Al smarts, "or must I map that for you, too?" Duly chastised, E.B. walks away, mumbling under his breath. Al is not one for passive-aggressive behavior, though. "Don't play that shit where you make me drag the words out of you," he says. "Declare, or shut the fuck up." If Al wasn't my hero before, that sealed it. I'd like to paint those words on a billboard and mount it over my house.

Doc comes in as E.B. exits and tells Al that it's bad downstairs. "Plague?" Al asks, and Doc says it's smallpox. "Would land in my joint," Al sighs, but Doc tells him the Gem wasn't the disease's first stop. The infinitesimal movement of Al's left eyebrow speaks volumes as he calculates the significance of this.E.B. is sputtering across the thoroughfare, chagrined at his continued charge of being Al's go-between on this widow job. "Al Swearengen's a cue," he rants to himself, "and Farnum merely his billiard ball." I am not sure why the writers continue to give E.B. all these little explanatory speeches -- we certainly get it by now that E.B. is just about the biggest Igor to hit the screen since Lugosi. Arriving back at the hotel, he goes to the widow's room, tells Trixie that Al wants her over at the Gem. "I'll be there when I get there, E.B.," she says as E.B. cranes his neck around, trying to see into the room. He asks how Mrs. Garret is, and Trixie says she's "hunky-dory."

The thing is, she's neither hunky nor dory. She's in a bad way, lying over the bed in her gorgeous green robe which I wish was mine, moaning and sweating. Trixie says she's got to go and, as she wipes the widow's brow, assures her that this bad part of kicking laudanum does pass. "All right," Mrs. G clenches out, and Trixie leaves.

The Bella Union crowd is still working Ellsworth over when Doc and Al stride purposefully through the door and straight to Cy. Al dispenses with pleasantries, instead asking loudly, "What do you hear on that vaccine?" Cy cringes and tries to lead them to privacy, "or shall the three of us jump up on tables and shout questions to each other across the room?" Al and Doc ain't got time for this, though. Al forcefully repeats his question and Cy admits that Joey has returned, sick and without the vaccine. "How the fuck long has that been?" Al asks, and Cy has the nerve to get offended. "You don't want to pursue that tone," he says, once again proving what a dumbass he is because, as we know, Al will pursue whatever tone he sees fit. Al doesn't even have to get mad here, though, because he so clearly knows he's in the right. "You sat on news," he says, pointing, "no one went after the meds, and I'm asking the duration." Cy thinks he's all steely when he responds that "questions in that tone and pointin' your finger at me will get you told to go fuck yourself." Big talk, Cy, but would you actually say it? I think not. Nor does Al think so, because he merely looks surprised at your nerve, rather than knifing you right through your eyeliner. Doc asks to see Joey, and they all go back, while Ellsworth continues his run at craps. "How long they been playin' this without me?" he hollers.

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Deadwood

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