E.B. distracts me with his breathtaking racism. "I'll not question those either who have faith in my rival, or make faith an issue of any sort," he says, whistling and making a gesture of a large nose. Sol and Bullock both clench. "We are long past the time of the Pharaohs," E.B. continues, stupidly. "I cannot decree Mr. Star make exodus."
Hearst continues to needle Al. "Were you whipped, Mr. Swearengen?" he asks, causing Al's eyes to narrow. "And does the lash snap still? Do you wait for the strike after all these years?" Oh, SHUT UP, MAJOR DAD. I can't wait for somebody to stab you. Al tries a comeback. "Would the grip have been the part you were versed with?" he asks. Hearst says that to the contrary, he was born to neither power nor money.
E.B. is finishing up in the most hilarious piece of writing I have seen on TV, ever. "A clear choice for Deadwood!" he shouts. "Farnum, twice measured. Star, once cut. E.B. Farnum! Assayed and proven true! Farnum! Christ knows he's earned it!" All over Washington, notes are feverishly made for the White House tree lighting ceremony this holiday season.
Johnny, Dan, and Adams nervously watch their boss man in what looks like an innocent conversation with Hearst. It ain't. "When last we spoke," he reminds Al, "you warranted your willingness to interfere with me." Oh my God, Al. PLEASE jump off the roof. You've done it before!
Sol is up, now, making a little Jew joke himself about parting the creek. He says he will live and stay in Deadwood for as long as God allows him to. "Keep people from shittin' in the creek," one of his constituents calls out, priorities in order. An original member of the Green Party, I see.
Hearst goes on that his intention in making the sacrifice of the parpers today was to show the virtue of consolidating their interests and power. Al ain't buying it. "I'd say that's naming horseshit virtue," he says, putting it out on the table. "Purposes butt up against each other, and the strong call 'consolidating' bending the weak to their will." As Al throws down this gauntlet, Captain Turner steps out onto the roof. "And I'd add," Al says, sensing him, "that whoever's behind me is about to study his guts." Hearst reveals that it is indeed the Captain at three steps removed. "He has heard," Hearst says, "about your knife work close in." He goes on, pointing out that the Captain's pistol is, in fact, pointed at Al's head away from his team's prying eyes on the opposite balcony. "Do you believe yourself enough an adept, Mr. Swearengen," he asks, "to overcome your disadvantage or will you walk with us inside?" Al smirks. "Not throwing my hands up or my skirt over my head," he says, "don't mean I ain't awestruck."