A new guy has arrived in Deadwood. Actually, he's a guy we've seen before -- the same actor who played Jack McCall in Season 1 is back in Season 2 playing Francis Wolcott, an evil bastard of the absolute first class. Allegedly, he has come to Deadwood representing the interests of George Hearst, famous gold mining millionaire. E.B. tries to run a scam on him, and it backfires, big-time. It is revealed that Maddie not only recognizes, but has arranged to provide services for Mr. W, as he likes to be called. Cy also gets pulled into the stranger's web when Mr. W suggests Cy could do business with his boss. Bullock and Sol make up, smiling, as do Charlie and Jane. Across the thoroughfare, the employees of the Gem are in turmoil. Al has sequestered himself behind locked doors. None of his people know that in his office, Al is laid out on the floor in true suffering with bladder stones. Finally, they break in and Doc performs the scariest old-timey medical procedure any man could ever imagine. He INSERTS a STICK into Al's PENIS in order to clang it around his bladder, hoping to hear the stones. It is only partially successful in relieving Al's pain. The rest of the camp is treated to his screams of anguish as his staff cringes and frets. Meanwhile, Mrs. Garret is bitching her way all over town, insulting everyone she encounters and threatening to buy E.B.'s hotel. Hell hath no fury like a good episode of Deadwood.
Oh, gracious. We open this episode hearing the soft groaning of Al, who is on the floor of his rooms, laid out in his union suit beside the overturned, empty piss pot. Al is in a bad way. A very, very bad way. Shivering and grimacing, he seems truly beside himself with anguish. Outside his door, his employees are oblivious to is condition. The whores are ready to open for bidness, but Dan tells them, morning coffee in hand, that the Gem will open "when me and Johnny fuckin' say so, and you three, hovering around like buzzards outside Al's door, will not hasten the situation." Big words, but Johnny doesn't seem so confident about the unique situation of Al's absence, here. Dan tries to reassure him by whispering out of earshot of the whores that Al's just tired, having worked until sun-up, and deserves to sleep in. Johnny is still worried, though. "He locks the door, Dan, when he leaves his office," Johnny says. "Al does not lock the door when he's inside." Dan's worried but he's not going to let Johnny see it, so he smarts back with, "Well, that's just the exception that proves the fuckin' rule."
Outside, E.B. Farnum is welcoming a new guest to town. The guy seems a bit of a dandy. He also seems...kinda familiar. The same actor who played Jack McCall in Season 1, Garret Dillahunt, is back to play the new guy, Mr. Francis Wolcott. Tricksy Milch with the double-casting. I really like Dillahunt, but what? Are there just not enough actors in Hollywood to go around? This is not a stage play where you can trot out the guy from Act I who played "Gambler Number 3" at the horse track, and now suddenly after intermission he's a waiter at the Hot Box and nobody notices because we're all twenty rows back. I mean, I'm looking right at the guy.
I'm just saying, it's an interesting choice -- Dillahunt is pretty incredible, in both parts, so in that way it's rather fascinating.
Wolcott has a bunch of fancy luggage, and seeing this, E.B. practically licks his lips, clearly thinking he's got a mark. He asks Wolcott what he's doing in Deadwood, and receives a quick answer: "Gold."
In the House of Clench, Bullock is sitting down for breakfast. He notes that his wife, Martha, has bought provisions for the house. She says yes, she bought stuff last night while waiting on him to come home. "Twenty-four-hour camp," he says, and they share a smirk. Ah, free enterprise. I wonder if there's a Super Wal-Mart in Deadwood these days. If so, we learn here that they came by it honestly.