Wow. Mrs. Ellsworth, feeling much better and full of herself, finds out what life is like among the big boys. Tired of being relegated to the womanly sidelines, she goes to Hearst to offer him a buy-in on her claim but pretty much offers him her neck for boot-stepping. He humiliates and threatens her -- something Ellsworth warned her would happen -- and she is now more vulnerable to his evil than ever before. We'd no doubt feel for her, but she's mean to Ellsworth, which puts her on the hate list.
Al, recovered from his Hearst-induced wound, is genuinely happy (in his way) to see his old friend Langrishe arrive with his traveling entertainment show. Who else is in camp? Wu, that's who! Newly Americanized in an ugly suit, he comes back bearing news about the men he's hired to work in Hearst's mines. Along for the stagecoach ride from San Fran is Hearst's cook, Aunt Lou, who takes over Richardson's culinary duties, most likely to the great delight of everyone's internal organs.
Also: Hearst brings Cy off the DL. Doc might have the TB.
Al is in his office, looking slightly itchy about the injury we saw him receive in the last episode. I'm still mad about that, by the way, and frankly, I am still unsure to what degree Al was wounded. Did Hearst chop OFF a finger, or just bang it, or partially remove it, or what? That is not yet clear. What is clear is that Al is uncomfortable, but not necessarily in pain over it. Not at a gleets level, I mean.
Trixie comes in looking downright fresh-faced but for the cig in her hand. Apparently she hasn't seen Al in a while. "When did you turn recluse?" she asks with a laugh in her voice. He asks if she and Sol have settled in. "The Jew," she says, astonished, "is a born fuckin' householder. Scouts furniture in the fuckin' catalogues mornin' and night." She rants on about Mrs. Ellsworth and how she's up and about after her abortion, seemingly unscathed by the whole event. One eye on Al like she's waiting for an explosion, she goes on to announce that Alma has a meeting coming up with Hearst. Trixie figured Ellsworth would have been able to talk her out of such a thing, but he hasn't, and she offers to Al to attempt to dissuade Alma herself. "Don't you get in the fuckin' middle," Al says, pretty blasÃ© about it all. Trixie is shocked. "She might as well set herself afire," she says. A pause ensues while she stares at the Al. He just goes on looking out the window like he's depressed. "I can't imagine that cocksucker got to you, or you're foldin' your fuckin' tent!" she says, talking about Hearst. "The last shot ain't yet fired!" That's right, Al! Come on! It's time to get crazy, right? This defeatist shit is going to bring me down.
To Al's clear relief, he's spared any further discussion by the arrival of the stage. They go out on the balcony to see the coach roll in. Riding on top is Wu, newly Americanized, making his triumphant return. He's wearing an awful suit and hat -- hey, when Wu chopped off his hair and practically burst into Lee Greenwood's greatest hits last season, he was not messing around. "Oh my God, look at Wu," Trixie says. "He lost his mind in San Francisco." Al glances to Wu's side where rides a very large black woman carrying a parasol. "You think he married the n*gger?" he asks. I pause to appreciate the unspoken "Left My Heart in San Francisco" jokes floating in my head. "I'm talking about his suit," Trixie says.
The coach also contains Blasanov, who is greeted warmly by Merrick. Al is distracted from this scene by the arrival of another wagon. Evidently, he recognizes it, and perhaps not with fondness. "Oh, God," he says, as the thing rolls toward him. The sign on the side says Langrishe's Theater Troupe, and before it even stops moving, the man inside points up at Al on his balcony and declares in that way only old friends can declare: "I am barely speaking to you." You know when you are trying to be in a bad mood and some buddy of yours who really knows you comes along and won't let you wallow? Such is the pain Al is now experiencing. Trixie asks who the fuck the new guy is, but Al screws up his mouth and doesn't answer. Langrishe, meanwhile, continues his scolding from the thoroughfare. "A shabby, shabby exit from Virginia City," he says. "No 'farewell, Jack;' no 'by your leave,!' Nothin'!" Al: "Did you notice I was being pursued?" Hee. This means little to Langrishe, who ignores Al's and remarks that he will only communicate with him from now on with the most minimal civilities. Al looks, dare I say it, mildly chagrined, but you'd think he might mention that what passes for minimal civilities in Deadwood is stopping short of stabbing your breakfast companion in the gut.