Deadwood: Jewel's Boot Is Made for Walking   Rewatch 
February 26, 2017 4:05 PM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Alma's father, Otis Russell, arrives from New York to "help" with her claim. Swearengen strikes a bargain with Adams to rid him of some legal baggage involving the arriving magistrate. Jewel journeys to Doc's cabin for help with her leg. Eddie resumes work at the Bella Union, while Bullock is angered by the choice of the corrupt Con Stapleton as the new sheriff.
posted by porpoise (5 comments total)
A couple of details I like about this episode: The "Gem Saloon Now Open" sign that remains hanging from the balcony, and Seth carrying around that dang vise thing he picked up when he walked in on Seth and Trixie.

"If you treat her the way you helped the minister, she'll be kicking up her heels in no fucking time."

"A cheat, a broad tosser, and a clip." ...what is EB seeing in Alma's dad here to speculate on his motives?
posted by rhizome at 12:07 AM on March 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

This one is hard for me to love, entirely due to the ending. I'm not prescriptive or moralizing about my art, generally, and I think the carelessness with which Bullock undoes everything for Trixie and Sol (and so doing undoes Al) is great. But while the blow job monologue is something, and watching the combination of Trixie's betrayal and the Reverend's decline eat Al up inside is a pleasure and sets up the next episode nicely, I just hate the way he talks to Dolly and find it hard to watch, even though I understand it dramatically and I get the bookends of him sorting through the Chicago warrant situation and that he's talking to Dolly because he's drunk and lonely and doesn't have Trixie and that we know now how much more was on his mind when he sent her out to pursue her own ends.

Re: Alma's dad: I think I'm with you in your hesitation, rhizome. You can see Russell gathering information rather smoothly but constantly, and Bullock reacts to him as well, but for EB to be so certain he's a charlatan.... I guess EB is a fair judge of character, though. His problem is that he can't control his own toadying impulses, but he did e.g. correctly talk Al out of his feeling under threat from Hickok, and can scent the wind pretty well even if he seems constitutionally unable to do himself any good with that talent. And EB is a swindler himself, if without, again, Russell's manners and self-control, so there's some case to be made for his sensitivity to it, even if he's mostly just a blunt force cheat and thief (due to that aforementioned lack of finesse).
posted by felix grundy at 6:27 PM on March 3, 2017

Alma's dad's character was set up as a skeezeball. Kissing her on the lips was great for throwing a little ambiguity around before the reveal.*

Agreed absolutely - it takes one to know one, and EB can certainly smell his own. Good point, felix, I hadn't considered that EB was thinking about protecting his own racket from a fellow grifter; I thought he was showing an iota of character and was angry that Russell was such a shitheel to grift his own daughter. Bullock was pretty incensed after he susses that Russel was a grifter, too.

*which shares some symmetry with Sol (albeit clumsily, iirc but also ongoing) trying to help Trixie gain some self respect/self worth (outside of being a receptacle for sex).

re: Al's monologue was powerful but, yeah, definitely uncomfortable - but he had been leaning too much into the 'hero' territory of 'anti-hero' and the audience needed something to reset the equilibrium.
posted by porpoise at 3:27 PM on March 4, 2017

Oh, nevermind about EB, I mis-read. I guess he was salty that he couldn't scam the claim away from Alma and now her dad gets a crack at scamming the claim away from Alma.

So, no, not an iota of character but rather reinforces EB's pettyness.
posted by porpoise at 3:43 PM on March 4, 2017

I've often thought that the clearest difference between CY and Al, two criminal murderous sociopaths, is that Al hired and is in his own way somewhat protective of Jewel. It's near impossible to imagine Cy even considering Jewel as a person.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:58 PM on June 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

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