A lot of focus on Alma and Bullock here, neither of whom are my favorite characters on the show. This one also had some of the corniest lines, like the whole "you've changed" exchange between the two of them. I could do without their romance, just because they're two of the more stilted characters on the show, so I don't get a lot of sparks from them when they're together. (Sol and Trixie, on the other hand, are pretty adorable, and them I'm rooting for!)

But then again it also has Charlie being circumspect but still clearly shaken about why Bill let himself get killed like that. And to boot, it has the tremendous scene with him and Calamity Jane standing in front of Bill's grave, both uniting in their grief and finding a way to get their moorings without their friend and leader there to give them guidance.

And we're also introduce to a brother and sister (Kristen Bell!) who initially look like they're being primed and manipulated by the folks in charge of both saloons, but it turns out that they're running their own con and are not quite the babes in the woods they present themselves as. I'm sure there's something thematic there, but I can't quite figure it out. There's something very creepy about how Dan starts to fixate on Flora, and something just as creepy about Cy trying to turn her out. But the reveal that the whole thing is an act suggests something about city fathers who try to take advantage of the innocent, not prepared for the innocent being ready to bite back.

There's a decent amount to that as a larger theme. Al seems to underestimate or at least resent Bullock and considers him naive, but Bullock's also smart enough to see through the con. Alma talks down to Trixie a bit, and Trixie pushes back at her for it. There's a sense that the disregarded or underestimated in Deadwood have more force than those in power or social status might realize.

That extends to Andy, who Cy underestimated through the simple act of survival. His resentment for Cy when he comes to collect his things is palpable and understandable. But the fact that he's there to rub Cy's nose his living breathing status at all is a tribute to how the folks in charge didn't quite see all the angles, and didn't predict how the folks weaker than them might stick around to be a thorn in their sides.

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