At the theater, Langrishe is worrying about the troupe's opening with Claudia. No matter how good their productions are, he says, it will make no difference if no one comes to see them. In extreme frustration, he provides us a brilliant recap of the season: "The man Hearst is a murderous engine; my friend Swearengen, aware their combat is unequal, feels the appeal of the gory finish; others I've just come to know stand candidates in the elections, whose results they know may be moot," he lists. "What, one is disposed to ask, in fuck ought a theater man to do?" He says that there's no question they must at least delay their opening, but that he can't stand the thought of canceling outright. "To prevent that, if need be," he declares, even off the boards, one would take steps of one's fuckin' own!" Claudia watches as he paces the stage. "Why did you bring me here?" she asks, quietly. He sighs. "I don't know, child," he says. Well, we don't know, either, and if they don't make those damn films, I guess we never will. Hate you so much, HBO.
In the morning, Adams and Johnny emerge from Wu's meat locker with a rack of meat each over their shoulders. Johnny wonders why they've bothered leaving Al's I.O.U.s for Wu, when he can't even read English. "Wu gets back," Adams (hotly) explains, "he'll take Al the I.O.U.s for interpretin', find out Al did the rightful thing while he was gone." Johnny thinks on this. "That's big point with Al, ain't it?" he asks. Adams nods. "When he ain't lyin'," he says, "Al's the most honorable man you'll ever meet." Beautiful.
Not so beautiful, what Adams sees next: Hawkeye, staggered up against the side of a building, trying to stay upright having clearly drunk his weight in booze. Adams goes white. He shoves his rack off on Johnny and tells him to go inside. "What are you gon' do?" Johnny asks, confused. Adams, never taking his eyes of his leprechaun friend, merely mutters under his breath: "murder." I kind of wish he would, too. I know he's Adams's buddy and all, but damn, I'm beginning to think Al was right about this little dude. Hawkeye blurbs out that he and his men have been camped up at the Spearfish Meadows, so as not to tip Hearst off until Al can deploy them. "I mean, I rode into town to tell you," he boozily adds, "but I fell one saloon short." Adams grabs him and heads down the thoroughfare. "Lots of chinks in that meadows up there," Hawkeye continues drunkenly. "Is the railroad comin' to camp?"
Alma, once again in her widow's weeds (and let's face it, she looks great in black), is brushing out Sophia's hair, explaining, through frustrated tears, the current state of affairs. She's selling the claim to Hearst. To have kept it they'd have had to both leave Deadwood and hire goons to out-goon Hearst's expert goons. She's sick about it. Yes, Hearst will be paying her a ridiculous amount of money, she says, but "how I hate to give that man what he wants." She sighs and stops her vigorous brushing. "Your hair has survived my diatribe," she tells Sophia, who has remained single-minded through it all. "If we left, we wouldn't be able to see Mr. Ellsworth," the little girl says. Alma takes a ragged breath and turns Sophia to face her: "And we are not leaving." Downstairs, Jane is there to babysit Sophia while Bullock and Star accompany the widow to the Hearst meeting.