The Catbird Seat

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

In the hotel hallway, Hearst comes face to face with Langrishe who is struggling to get his key in his lock. He stares Jack down, ramrod straight, and Jack fumbles crazily to get into his room, obviously sensing that Satan has finally arrived in town.

Al strides swiftly out of his office. "Ready for fuckin' Freddy?" he asks as they all reach for their guns. "Hearst's let his dogs loose." He starts handing out orders. "Davey, get to the Russian. Tell him to wire Sturgis. Say to wire Bullock as agreed." Charlie brings Alma, sobbing, into the Gem. "I want my child," she begs him, and he assures her that he'll go get her now. He looks at Al. "Mr. Ellsworth..." he says, desperate, "Mr. Ellsworth's been shot. Mr. Ellsworth's been killed." Again, Alma cries out for Sophia, and Charlie rushes out. Alma is hanging by a thread. "Oh, what did I do to him?" she groans to Al, who is using all his strength to hold himself together. "We'll go upstairs, get you a drink," he tells her, quivering with intensity. She continues to keen: "What did I do to that poor man?" Al looks her straight in the face. "You," he says, firmly, "didn't fuckin' shoot him. And don't be going off into fucking hysterics, huh?" Alma stops her gasping and stares at Al, her old enemy, now the voice of reason. After the briefest hesitation, she steps to him and in one swift movement, he has linked her arm through his and is patting her hand. The motion is so powerful, Agnes de Mille could not have choreographed it better. Al escorts her upstairs, speaking very calmly. "Collect your child," he says. "Utter will be back with her here any minute. Come on." He leads her up the stairs, and Jewel comes out, announcing to the fellas, who are all gunned up and hanging around the door, that she is going to make Mrs. Ellsworth breakfast. Well, that ought to make her feel better.

Outside, Trixie is coming across the thoroughfare when she sees the wagon carrying Ellsworth. She is filled with dread as she realizes what has happened, and openly sobs. E.B., too, from his window, watches the body go by and puts his hands to his head in shock. From his position at the Bella Union door, Cy has also seen the wagon. He shoots a look up at Hearst's balcony of total scorn and derision. He swings around in disgust to his henchmen, heaping hatred on Hearst, calling him a "pinchbeck mothefucker."

Words, though, are not enough for what Trixie's feeling. Still crying, she pulls up her skirt, yanks her famous Derringer from her stocking and heads for the Grand Central. Like a fearless warrior, she yanks open her shirt to reveal her bare breasts. E.B. sees her coming and, if he had any reservations before about whose side he would end up on in this fight, he's made up his mind, now, as he desperately tries to cover for Trixie, pretending that Hearst must have called her over to the Gem for a rendezvous. "My goodness! Bare-breasted. My word!" he trills, trying and failing to keep it light. "Who has commissioned such behavior? Who summons you with such power to do his will?" She's already up the stairs and knocking on Hearst's door. "Mr. Hearst? Mr. Hearst?" she calls innocently. Hearst is at the window, smug bastard, witnessing the parading of his handiwork. He goes to the door and as he opens it, Trixie whips up her skirt, exposing herself fully. Why does she do it? Could be to show that she's not afraid of him. Could be to fully distract him -- which it does -- so that she can aim and fire. She shoots him...unfortunately only hitting him in the shoulder. Wounded, he slams the door in her face and she moves swiftly back down the stairs, her shirt still open, as his goons rush up. E.B. continues his attempt at coverage as she passes by on the way out. "Did someone interrupt your rendezvous?" he asks, overly loud. "Did someone else attack him? Cover those things!" Yes, Trixie, please do -- that was possibly the most overstimulating, amazing thirty seconds of television I have seen in long time. Bravo, Paula Malcomson.

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