Johnny comes into his own a little when he defends the dubious honor of one of the Gem girls, calling upon his years of Al/Dan training.
Destiny arrives for Steve in an ironic package -- when trying to unshod the NG's horse, he gets kicked in the head and ends up in a vegetative state from which he is unlikely to return.
Having endured the long weeks of the delightful but seemingly inconsequential storyline of Langrishe's troupe, we are rewarded with the much-anticipated passing of Chesterton, who dies a quiet, extremely moving death with his friend at his side.
Langrishe, by the way, has offered his quasi-chiropractic back healing services to Hearst. He does not, unfortunately, shank him when he has the chance, which is a shame, as, just when everyone thinks they are going to have a peaceful night's rest, Hearst's goons arrive in town.
It's early morning in Deadwood, and Merrick, assisted by Blazanov, comes out of his office to deliver The Pioneer. In the relative quiet they cross the more-disgusting-than-usual thoroughfare and make their way into the Grand Central, where Richardson is sweeping the dining room. They acknowledge him with polite bows and leave their stack of issues. Richardson wastes no time in scurrying happily over to pick up a copy. He shakes it open and "reads" intently with a soft smile on his face. Surely, y'all, Richardson can't read. Even if he can, however, it only endears him to me more that he would so enjoy the machinations of reading the paper.
Merrick and Blazy make their way to the Gem where Johnny is wiping down the bar in near darkness. Merrick quietly leaves him a stack, also, and heads out. I love the way this sequence is lit -- it makes the set feel and look very real. Johnny picks up a copy and is joined by one of the Gem girls who looks over his shoulder as he points to each word and reads aloud. Aw! In my last poll, I threw something in there about Johnny finding love. I didn't mean anything by it, other than to joke, and now here he is teaching one of the whores to read and being awfully sweet. Did I make this happen with my mind? If so... next week, Hearst will be killed by a raging bull who sweeps through town and carries him out on his horns!
At the Bullocks', a classic Married People fight is going down. The sheriff is jerking his coat around, getting ready to stomp out. Evidently, they have been arguing about the new schoolhouse. It's ready for the kids to move in, but Martha isn't quite ready to move them. For some reason, this goes all over Bullock, though Lord only knows why. "I fail to understand," Martha says, frustrated, "if I, who am most affected, am not disturbed, why you should be." Bullock is all pissy and says that maybe he's upset for a reason she doesn't even know. She patiently snarks back that he should forgive her, then, for believing the reason he gave her in the first place. Good one, Martha. He finally says that he disapproves of the move date being changed every day. "What disturbs me," he goes on, "is your accepting the uncertainty without quarrel." Clench, this control-freakiness has got to stop. Roll off for a second, damn. You ain't the schoolmarm! She says that whatever reason the theater people have for their delay, the larger point is that she doesn't want the children to vacate their school without seeing that it will be used for something else. Now, yes, this reasoning is maybe a bit of contrivance created so that we can see them fight, but...I don't know, people have weird reasons for things all the time, and really, she sees no point in rushing the move. "Fine, Martha," her husband clenches. Fine. When we saw this, my husband and I smiled and shook our heads. It's amazing how two grown-ass adults will revert to such sarcastic teenagerisms, but this is what it's like sometimes. Let this be a sign unto you, single people. Being married can be so great -- I love it, as a matter of fact -- but there will be mornings that you will wonder how you made it this far without whipping out a switchblade on your one true love because...why don't they just shut up and quit bugging you for five seconds, huh? That's exactly what Mrs. B is thinking when she mildly launches her final zinger. "It seems you waked intent we quarrel," she says. Bullock clenches and breathes like he's about to go off, but she doesn't let that stop her. "Nor, may I say, claiming that you were pleased with the outcome of your meeting with the other men of the camp," she goes on, "did you retire last night with your customary sweetness." HA! I love them SO MUCH. Olyphant is awesome as he lurches into his jacket and tries to deliver his sarcastic retort. "Do please then forgive me, for Christâs sake," he snaps, but doesn't even get to the door before he thinks better of it and genuinely apologizes.