Hearst deigns to sit down for a meal with Odell, who is finally able to reveal his purpose in Deadwood: he's come representing a group in Liberia who wants Hearst's partnership in a gold find.
Johnny runs around camp inviting the influential men to Al's latest meeting, which features, as usual, peaches. This time, Jewel adds her womanly touch and includes cinnamon, which nearly kills the allergic Harry Manning. At the meeting, Bullock shares a moving letter he's written to the family of the most recent dead Cornishman. The elders decide to publish the letter in The Pioneer, playing the decency angle.
Blazanov violates his solemn oath to keep all communication private and goes to Al with the news that Hearst has ordered backup muscle. Al's dealing with a lot tonight -- he pretty much tells Doc that "if you die, I'll kill you."
Joanie has made it back to her room with Jane, and finally, after we've waited for two and a half seasons, the girl on girl action is about to begin!
Y'all, can you believe we have gone past the half-way point of the last season of Deadwood? I'm seriously crushed about it. Even though this thing is a right beyatch to recap, and even though they sometimes use words that I, lover of ninety-nine percent of foul language, find disturbing, and EVEN THOUGH I sometimes have to use complex algorithms to diagram Al's sentences just so I can figure out what he's saying...I sure am going to miss it. I haven't said much about the cancellation, preferring instead to live in denial, but this was one of my favorite episodes in a while, so I thought I'd air my protest. I just think it's a crime, is all, and the thought of those wanks on Entourage getting another season, leaving us bereft of Al and the gang? It nauseates me as bad as one of Richardson's stews. I'm glad about the alleged two-hour wrap-up films (though the idea of recapping them causes me to consider filing in advance for some workman's comp), but it still ain't right and I hope HBO rues the fuckin' day.
We pick up in this episode right where the last one left off, which is weird -- I got very used to the start in the morning/end that night formula. In any case, Aunt Lou has made it to the hotel, breathing heavy from her run through the thoroughfare. E.B. sneers that Hearst has gone up to his rooms with Odell and wants notice when she's ready to serve dinner.
Hearst is showing Odell his sledgehammer handywork. "I knocked holes in these walls," he says. "Confinement gives me the fidgets." Odell politely remarks that he's set himself up comfortably. "Let me confide as well, Odell," Hearst says, busting an accidental rhyme, "that when people only say to me with other words what I have just said to them, I quickly grow impatient." Though he is inferior in every other distinction, Hearst does share that trait with Al. He asks Odell to tell him about the gold. Odell plays the innocent, presenting an assay and metallurgist report, but acting like he doesn't really understand them. Hearst reads the report and discovers that Odell is representing theThird Baptist Congregation, Monrovia Settlement. "The congregation has title to the find," Odell explains. "I'm first deacon, sir." Odell makes his move. "Being you were known to me through my mama's letters," he says, "the when the proposals started to come to us..." Hearst's ears perk up: "Proposals?" Odell continues the naÃ¯ve act. "The different English proposals," he says, "to develop the find, yes, sir. I was sent to ask if you'd guide us." Hearst asks if the congregation is looking to partner with him, and Odell says however Hearst wants to do it is fine with him. "I do take in partners with the understanding that in dealing with the color, mine is the deciding voice," Hearst says, using "the color" the first of about ninety annoying times in this episode. Even Odell has to ask what he's talking about. "The gold," Hearst explains. "Securing and exploiting the gold." Finally, Odell shows him what he's really interested in: a big piece of gold, allegedly from the Liberian find. Hearst looks at it, studies it in the light and then puts it down without comment. "I can't imagine your mother's not nearly prepared our supper," he says to the surprised Odell, who asks him point blank what he thinks of the nugget. "It makes me hungry, Odell," Hearst says.