Deadwood
E.B. Was Left Out

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: A | 6 USERS: A+
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E.B. Was Left Out

Good question, Mrs. G, but this time, blackmail is not at the top of Al's priority list. This one's personal. "I don't like the Pinkertons," he tells her. "They're muscle for the bosses -- as if the bosses ain't got enough edge." God. Too RIGHT, Al. I support any bad-mouthing of The Man. I feel the same way about my boss's secretary that Al feels about the Pinkertons. That woman may BE a Pinkerton, for all I know. Unlike Al, however, my only tactic thus far has been subversion of the system in my Office Space job, and believe me, I subvert with gusto.

Mrs. G interrupts here, asking, full of sarcasm, if Al is saying he's going to side with her "on principle." Raising one eyebrow at her audacity, he says, still politely, "I don't like the Pinkertons. And being the Hearst combine, and their fuckin' ilk, got their eyes on taking over, here, your staying suits my purpose."

Mrs. Garret lowers her voice even more, making me wonder what sort of powerful microphone technology they use on the set to catch her every breathy word, and asks that "as much as you can, please minimize your obscenities." Al squints like he doesn't even know what she's talking about, and she explains she's talking about the modifier he used "before 'ilk.'" Here, Ian McShane performs some kind of crazy magic that makes it possible to speak volumes in three seconds -- his eyes get wide before he pulls himself together, making a little nod, and moving the conversation forward. "Anyways...those are my prejudices and personal interests for sidin' with you," he says. "Also, if you want to match their fifty, that'd be between you and your God."

Mrs. G smirks, and asks what guarantee she'd have that Al wouldn't go back and play her offer against the Pinkertons for his further gain. Uh, Al's got all the angles covered, lady, so don't be trying to throw him. He starts out still in a steady voice, but his control breaks a tad when he mentions his nemesis: "Oh, I'd have them write their offer out, and their terms, and make 'em sign it...Pinkerton, himself, that cocksucker. I hate that bastard!"

Mrs. G renews her protest of the swearing. "Please!" she says. Al takes a breath and rolls his eyes. You can't cut the man a little slack, Alma? I mean, I know he killed your gay husband, but then your mens beat him up in the street and now he's here still gimped up from a stroke and the stick was in his penis and he's wearing a tie and...hell, what do you want, woman? Damn!

Al slowly runs through it again, about the written offer from the Pinkertons and how he'd turn the document over to Mrs. G to use in her best interests. After a pause, she asks him to let her consider this whole thing. He stands to leave, still full of manners, and asks her to tell Sophia "no hard feelings." Mrs. G watches him go, and before he makes it out the door, she asks him what kind of tea he enjoys. Turning back to face her, he says, "I like that fuckin' black Darjeeling..." swiftly covering his mouth in mock self-admonishment for his repeated sin of cursing.

E.B. is still oiling around downstairs as Al makes his way out of the hotel. "Have we a new pope?" Farnum asks (nice timing, Deadwood). Not even glancing his way, Al answers, "She's some fuck, E.B."

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Deadwood

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