Deadwood
The Catbird Seat

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: A | 6 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
The Catbird Seat

Upstairs in his room at the hotel, Hearst perhaps feels he'd like to switch places with Al. "The camp is galvanized; people scurry about," he bitches to one of his bricks. "They've tasks to perform. They feel important." Aw, somebody feels left out. Again, if maybe you'd not be such a bitch, Hearst... He knows it, too. He feels the brick's eyes on him, and is uncomfortable in his vulnerability. "I oughtn't to work in these places," he says. "I was not born to crush my own kind." Yes, well, too bad you didn't think about that before you killed like, 97 people plus dear, sweet Ellsworth who should have just shot your ass full of buckshot like he wanted to all along.

Over at Sol's house, he and Trixie lay beside each other on the bed, staring at the ceiling.

Back in the Gem, Al is doing his nervous, OCD cleaning thing where he polishes the bar with pure hate, when Johnny nudges him that Wu is coming in the back door. Well, he's trying to come in, anyway -- the Gem girls turn up their noses at him and don't do much to get out of his way, making it clear that they are repulsed by his presence. Al barely lets him into the saloon before yelling, in a very collegial manner, that he's to go into the whore's ready room. Wu, back in his traditional Wu ensemble, looks confused, but goes in, casting a few bows to the slovenly Gem whores as he does so. Al steps among the girls and jerks his thumb at the room Wu's just gone into to: "When he leaves," he says, fully serious, "them that ain't lining this fucking hallway like he's the tallest, best-looking white man ever got fuckin' lucky better prepare for a fuckin' beating." Right ON.

In the side room, it's Al's turn to do the drawing. Wu watches as Al tries to scribble out a picture of Wu going to Custer City and bringing back all his guys to Deadwood. Wu doesn't even want to believe what this crazy white devil is saying. "Wuuuu...." he says, looking up to the heavens. "Back Deadwood?!" Al says yeah, and he's to bring back all his guys. Wu's pissed. Has he not already offered to do this and received no more than an eyeroll from Al? Does Al think, for Buddha's sake, that he spends all day waiting around to be sent off on these missions? He has pigs to feed! Wu throws up his hands. "Wu! Custer City! Back Deadwood!" he sputters, staring at Al and launching into some raging Chinese. "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday! Ten day, Swedgin!" Al sighs. "I am sorry, Wu," he says, frustrated. "I'm sorry I made you wait, but I want you to bring them now." Al goes on to say that while Wu's gone, Al will have to figure out some explanation for all these Chinese dudes suddenly showing up in camp. "Oh, we'll give 'em guns, yeah," he adds, causing Wu to swell with pride. "We'll provide 'em with guns, so any of the slant-eyed bastards know what one is, or, perish the thought, know how to use one, we'll enhance our prospects." This makes Wu very proud, indeed. He summarizes the whole arrangement: "Guns. Chung Kuo. Wu, Custer City, back Deadwood. One hundred fifty Chung Kuo cocksucka, Swedgin." To finalize the deal, he kneels in front of Al, who preemptively tells him to shut up. But, no. This is important. Wu looks at him long and hard, and more seriously than he's ever said it, gives Al the sign: "Heng dai." Suddenly very tired, Al gives it back. "Heng dai," he says. "Heng dai, fuckin' Wu." Very satisfied, Wu bows and leaves. As he steps into the hallway the whores line up against the walls and lower their eyes. Wu goes out, congratulating himself: "Big man. Wu -- big man." He smiles, smug to the hilt, and is gone. Al steps from the room and sees a Gem patron sleeping over to the side. He points to him and calls back to the girls: "Rouse him to spend on pussy, or rob the son of a bitch." With that, the whores do a quick rock/paper/scissors and the unfortunate loser walks over to the man and wakes him. Back at the bar, in the closest close-up I've ever seen, Al pours himself a drink, takes a shot, deep, deep, deep in thought, and sighs. It's been a long day.

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Deadwood

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