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S02.E03: New Money

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A scout for a powerful mining operation arrives; an ailing Swearengen refuses visitors and medical attention; Farnum finds someone to buy the Hickok letter.

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This was probably my least favourite episode of the series so far - I think mainly because Al had nothing to do except lie on the floor unable to move, and then lie on the bed screaming while the doc attended to him. This show is always better when there is plenty of Al. Also, there was way too much Cy and way too much EB, both of whom are better in small doses; there was Trixie turning out to be a mean drunk; and there was Alma being hateful to Miss Isringhausen.

Francis Wolcott is a most unpleasant character with his fastidiousness and creepy attitude towards women. Maddie's description chilled me to the bone: 'Mr W enjoys being cranky with his women. But sometimes when disappointed his crankiness runs away with him.' And then when Joanie asked about the likely fate of the girl Maddie is keeping 'on ice' for Wolcott, Maddie said, 'I wouldn't rule out a wooden box.' Ugh.

There were some nice moments scattered through the episode:

  • Bullock offering to take William fishing when he saw how disappointed William was at the red-headed boy's leaving town
  • Charlie's tenderness in giving Wild Bill's coat to Jane to use as a blanket
  • Ellsworth gently urging Alma not to be petty about buying EB's hotel and turning him out into the thoroughfare, especially his 'If punchin' somebody in the nose would help, I volunteer one that's well broke in.'
  • Jane's face when she was listening to drunk Trixie complain about Sol and worry about Al
  • Joanie's ballsy way of dealing with Mr W at the Chez Ami

Also, while not exactly a 'nice' moment, I did love the scenes at the end where Al's screams of pain were echoing through the camp as everyone listened with varying degrees of sympathy.

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I always see Joanie wearing those white boots when she is out and about in the muck that is the streets. She must have one of her girls as a full time boot keep as they always appear clean on the indoor shots. 

I enjoyed seeing how Jane was moved that it was Wild Bill's coat she was sleeping under, but Charlie making sure that she knew that it stayed there with him. Her first question upon waking about whether they both were in jail as she saw the bars surrounding them shows how just unaware she get during her blackouts and drinking spells. Good on Charlie Utter making use she drank water. IRL she did have some sober spells although I must say some of her drunken antics are funny as all get out. 

Also loved seeing all of the town feeling Al's pain during his procedure and wincing at his screams. As much as he can be hard to deal with they all are aware of his vitalness to the town. 

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