Sunday, July 23, 2006

Episode 30: "A Rich Find"

More set-up than story in this episode, with fear of a big, camp-destroying shootout looming, so allow me to fold my thumb and focus on favorite scenes and lines from the week, shall we?

As if being dragged to a cell by his ear the night before wasn't enough of an indignity, Hearst has to endure Charlies insults the next morning. Being asked "Who are you?" by Mr. Udder might've hurt ol' George more than Sheriff Bullock's ear-yank.

But Charlie takes it even further by pulling the cover off the Cornish corpse in the neighboring cell, and taunting Hearst: "That ain't your fucking knife, is it, George Hearst?" Hilarious, Charlie Udder!

And the way Charlie said "George Hearst" like it was some kind of title reminded me of the way RZA and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan referred to Bill Murray as "Bill Murray" (or "Bill Groundhog-Day, Ghostbustin'-ass Murray!") in Coffee and Cigarettes. Talking to your ass, indeed, Mr. Udder.

What Hearst lacked in humor, however, his testicular fortitude covered later on, when he was released from his cell. Pulling his knife out of the Cornish corpse, and then wiping the blood off on the rail? Coooold blooded...

I also enjoyed Albert Swearengen's Eddie Haskell routine while visiting the Bullock household in the morning. "I'd be grateful for coffee." What a nice, young man. And then he lays on the charm, when complimenting the house. "Swell. Stem to stern. The place." Almost enough to make Martha forget her first impression of Al, pulling a knife on Seth while sloppin' in the mud ("Welcome to fuckin' Deadwood!"), upon her arrival in camp, no?

But my favorite scene had to be the exchange between Al and Trixie (who's slated for a guest appearance on ER next season), who suddenly finds herself lacking for employment, following her dismissal by "Your ladyship," Mrs. Ellsworth. Likely more out of frustration at "trying to play it straight" than an actual desire to "lift her skirts," Trixie said she could go for turning a trick, which spurs some sweet indignation from Al.

"Get the FUCK outta here! We ain't hirin'!" And when Trixie inquiries as to why Al's so dead-set against her turning some tricks on the side, Al lays it out quite clearly: "I lose patience with cunts too ignorant to know when their lot's improved." The man wants a better life for a woman he clearly cares about, and won't hear any loopy talk about taking a step backward. Such an intriguing (and touching) relationship these two have.

And the best line of the week has to go to Calamity Jane, who should have one scene in every damn episode, regardless of storylines. When the N----- General suggests that Jane helping him out and accompanying him to the gravesite might not make her too popular in camp, she says something I occasionally ask myself: "Question I wake to in the mornin', and pass out with at night: What's my popularity with my fellow white people?" She should stop by The Number 10 and have a few words with Steve the Drunk.

Runners-up? Al noting that Aunt Lou isn't the fleetest of foot ("Not quick, but she does seem full of purpose") and Hearst's middle-finger salute to Al across the thoroughfare, while asking "How's the finger?" (Seth's comeback - "How's the fuckin' ear?" - lacked some snap.)

Questions and observations some 10 hours before the next episode:

▪▪ How many different ways (from Charlie, Sol, and Al) does Bullock need to hear that taking on Hearst and his men in a shootout would destroy the camp and all they've worked for? Denser than an iron coffee pot sometimes, that Sheriff.

▪▪ Does Ellsworth blame himself for Alma "falling back" into dope? Somebody buy that man a drink and help him nurse his self-esteem issues.

▪▪ Will some black guy in the camp eventually haul off on Steve and kick him through a wall? He certainly seems worried about it.

▪▪ I really hope Odell doesn't find himself on the business end of a shotgun blast from Seth or Big Dan. That'd break Aunt Lou's big "Abyssinian" heart.


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