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

Cy interrupts Joanie's rest in her room, asking what the hell is wrong with her and complaining that she's not doing a very good job "creating atmosphere" in the saloon. She gets all mopey, saying this fresh start in Deadwood isn't very fresh after all. Girlie, even the peaches aren't fresh in Deadwood. Cy doesn't like it that she's unsatisfied, and says he'd do anything to make her happy. Of course, he says it in megasmarm, stroking her face like Dr. Creepy, saying he only wants to touch her in a nice way: "Don't make me do it different." In front of the Pioneer offices, Merrick is setting the type for his smallpox story, guided by possibly the most unqualified editorial committee of all time: Al, Cy, and E.B. He goes over what he already has, reading the part about riders being sent out to secure the vaccine. "Maybe you should add there," Al says, "that they're already probably on their way back." Merrick is not thrilled with this suggestion, but puts it in. "Thanks also to the aforementioned merchants," he says, meaning these three gathered here, "the vaccine will be distributed gratis." Al thinks. "Free gratis," he says. Merrick can't let that go, and says that "free gratis" is redundant. "Then leave gratis out," Al says, solving the issue. Merrick sighs. "What luck for me, Al," he says, "that you have such a keen editorial sense."

Cy pulls Al aside now, and thanks him for not "putting the stink" on him with the rest of the get-together -- he's relieved Al didn't tell anyone about Cy bungling the first mission to get the vaccine. Al, so magnanimous, doesn't even blink. Jane strides up at this moment, heading into the hotel and saying she's going to call on Mrs. Garret and the little girl. Disgusted, E.B. tells her to be brief. "Be fucked," Jane answers with a head snap, and damn if I don't rewind it ten times to see it over and over, it's that brilliant. In the creative quagmire into which the writing on this show can occasionally sink, that's a two-word moment that is worthy of much praise. "Her gutter mouth and the widow in an opium stupor," E.B. says to no one. "A conversation for the ages."

Upstairs, Jane knocks on the door to find the little girl all pretty and cleaned up since she last saw her. "Hello, Jane," the squarehead cutie says, and Jane is overcome. So much so that she's even polite to Trixie, whom she so recently badmouthed to Doc. She tells Mrs. G that she looks like shit, and fights back tears when the widow expresses her condolences about Bill. "You ought to get your husband out of that creek," Jane continues, talking of where Brom's body is continuing to cool, and Mrs. G says she will when she's feeling better. Jane says that she's glad to see the little girl, and Trixie tells her to come see her any time. "I'm a fuckin' drunk," Jane says. She goes on to say that she might be helping out with the smallpox soon, but she's going to always remember the little girl's pretty face, "and put a penny aside every time I curse."

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