Alma rests in bed as Doc frets over his medical bags. She asks for an update on her prognosis. "I could wish your symptoms further remitted," he says, shaky. Things are not good. "You don't do as well as I'd hoped," he says, after she bitches at him a little for being vague. His opinion, he says, is that she will lose the baby and her symptoms are such that it would be most prudent if she would allow him to "intervene." They don't put it into so many words, but she needs an abortion to avoid a massive miscarriage and hemorrhaging death. She asks if she has time to see to some arrangements (as no doubt such a procedure would have been life threatening). He nods, asking if he can also see to his.
The boys are in turmoil at the Gem. Dan wants to know why, if they know Hearst is going to come after them, they shouldn't just go across the road and kill him first. Now, this scene is a good place to mention...this episode, it's wordy. I mean wordy beyond even my abilities to comprehend, and I enjoy nothing more than dissecting the 400-pound dialogue dished out weekly by Milch and his band of Yalies. But, well, I can't translate what Al is saying in this scene. Dan wants to go kill Hearst and Al starts soliloquizing on forgoing rocks for daggers and whatever else, and I swear to you, I don't know what it means. I have tried to look it up; I have tried to think in metaphors; I have tried to read it backwards. The only possibility I can force is that perhaps Al is reflecting on their time in the woods when they came to Deadwood and were panning for gold, and that they emerged from the forest to build the Gem together and that they might need to make a similar lifestyle change, now. Let it suffice to say that Dan, Johnny and Adams are worried about Hearst and Al is playing it as cool as a man can who knows that a force more powerful than himself is gunning for him and that the inevitable showdown can't be avoided. "I'm older," Dan spits, "and I'm much less friendly to fuckin' change." Sanguine, Al says that change doesn't show up to make friends. "Change calls the tune we dance to," he says, as Captain Turner blocks the sun from the doorway and silently delivers the message from his boss.
At the Bella Union, Joanie has arrived again to see after Cy. All Cy scenes in this episode grate on my nerves. He has been relegated now to a third-string villain of no importance and as well as Powers Boothe does to make him still seem at least personally menacing, all I can ask is: what's the use? These scenes are filler and this one, in particular, has got some convoluted dialogue that doesn't work at all, much like we just saw between Al and Dan. Joanie is queasy as she straightens up around the room. Cy gets preachy on her, waving his Bible, saying it brings him peace and can do the same for her. "I try to believe," she says, before finally breaking down, choking back tears and telling him that she almost shot herself at Shaunnessey's the day before. He says she put the gun to her head because she's removed herself from her rightful and useful occupation. "I don't see you try to kill yourself here," he says, indicating the Bella Union. "All you do here is good for the girls, and me, too." Joanie is desperately miserable. "I don't want to run women no more," she says. Cy: "And that's turnin' from your gift, and your training!" Ugh. Nice one, Cy. Joanie tells him that when he speaks, she feels like it's the devil talking and he squints, no doubt in appreciation. They are interrupted by Con Stapleton (back in his hat) who announces that "fuckin' Lila is in extremis." Joanie goes out to see to the girl and Cy grimaces, foiled again in his attempts to control anyone or anything.