Al receives a telegram from Hawkeye saying he's got reinforcements -- to the tune of twenty-three men -- en route to Deadwood. As one might expect, Al is dubious. Meanwhile, Hearst is positively brimming with backup. For one thing, he's got Jarry's ballot-stuffers in Sturgis (one of whom, by the way, is played by David Anders), who get clenched at by Bullock as he prepares to make his stump speech. Hearst's also got his new hired guns in Deadwood, and their first order of business is to murder poor, sweet Ellsworth. It is awful. And the aftermath is intense. Alma and Sophia huddle up at the Gem, while a thoroughly distraught Trixie strides bare-breasted up to Hearst's room and SHOOTS HIM...in the shoulder. Dude won't even have to take a sick day. So Trixie knows she's fucked (metaphorically this time) and begs Sol to kill her lest he take a bullet in her stead. Neither happens. The troops rally at the Gem, including Bullock, Charlie, and Langrishe. And also E.B., whose usual impotent flutterings are now pointed in the direction of Hearst's demise.
Knowing he needs muscle and needs it right quick, Al commissions Wu to go fetch men from Custer City, and Wu -- who will tell you he is a "big man" -- sets forth with an emphatic "heng dai!"
Elsewhere, Merrick pens an editorial that "wafts" blame for the Alma shooting onto Hearst, Jane takes part in a rousing game of "Duck, Duck, Goose," and Harry Manning still can't stop farting. One episode left!
It's dark in Deadwood. At the hardware store, Bullock paces back and forth as Charlie, Sol and Trixie look on nervously and Harry dozes outside in his saddle. Everybody's hackles are up tonight. Cy's at the Bella Union, switching between violently smoking a cigar and violently abusing his new whore's emotions. Leon rushes in to give a report on what's going on at the hardware store. "It's Bullock, Star, Utter, and Trixie," he says. "And Harry Manning's outside on a sorrel." Cy asks what Trixie's doing over there. "I don't know," Leon answers. "They ain't fuckin' her." Ha, ha, Leon. As you should already know and will soon be reminded, Trixie's got a bit more going for her than those particular talents.
Thing is, Cy isn't the only one jumpy about the clenching over there. In his room at the Gem, Al bitches to a nude Dolly about his own worries. He doesn't get why Bullock isn't meeting with HIM instead of taking the counsel of others. "What the fuck is afoot in that hardware store?" he bites. "Facing the dawn united, we're even odds for disaster, let alone in fuckin' factions." Al tells her that though he knows Bullock to be crazy, he's sure the sheriff wouldn't go against him. He laughs, figuring that Bullock has decided that this Hearst bidness can only be faced by the righteous and upstanding members of the camp. Well, Al ain't having it. "I'm going over there," he declares. "I am going the fuck over. Let them fucking try to exclude me, huh?" With this, he prepares to storm out, but catching another glimpse of Dolly's uh, well...humongous rack, can't help but add, in a not unfriendly tone, that "you know, saying I like you hefty don't mean you couldn't stand losing a couple of fuckin' pounds." Aw, man. Poor Dolly lowers her eyes and prepares to go on Richardson's cabbage soup diet. I mean, I figure he's on one -- he looks like he smells like cabbage and, anyway, what in the world else is there to make a soup with in that camp?
Outside his room, Al is confronted by the moaning Merrick, still in pain from his rib-thrashing. The newspaperman has, however, rallied and prepared an article for which he seeks Al's approval. Al has no time. "Whatever you'd have me scrutinize," he says, trying to wave him off, "must wait until certain cocksuckers have received a piece of my mind." They are interrupted by Blazanov with a telegram for Al. While he reads it, Merrick pesters him about the article, which is about Mrs. Ellsworth being fired upon in the thoroughfare. "Short of accusation," he asks, hopefully, "do I waft the odor of complicity at Hearst's direction to settle not only upon his clothing, but as it were, on the man himself, in the very fabric of his being?" Al hasn't heard a word -- he's reading the telegram. "This is bullshit!" he screams, causing poor Blazanov to apologize. It's a telegram from the hated Hawkeye, who claims he has hired 23 men and that they are on their way to Deadwood. "This squaw-fuckin' idiot," Al complains, with hatred, "proves in eight words he's incompetent and a fuckin' liar." There's no way, Al says, that Hawkeye could have already seen to the hiring of quality muscle and, furthermore, he rants right in Blazy's face, "'on our way' means they're getting drunk and blown in some saloon in Cheyenne and running their mouths about this big fuckin' filibustering expedition they're being commissioned for under the command of the famous Hawkeye -- the laziest, most shit-faced whore-mongering cocksucker to ever piss my money away!" Adams, who has just stuck his head out one of the upstairs doors, thinks better of appearing right now and retreats, leaving Blazanov to bear Al's wrath alone. "Please do not strike me!" the messenger begs, and Merrick moves in swiftly to distract the raging Al with the rest of the article.