“Childish Things” is outstanding television. Director Tim Van Patten and writer Regina Corrado offer beautiful vignette-like portraits of human relationships within Deadwood. Meanwhile, the denizens of the camp — enemies and allies alike — coalesce around a charming wager as to whether or not Tom Nuttall (Leon Rippy) can ride his newfangled bicycle across the thoroughfare and boardwalk.
We also see some course correction from last week with regard to the Chinese part of camp. This week, Doc Cochran’s (Brad Dourif) abject horror at the condition of the Chinese women is palpable and explicit; this feels more in step with what we saw in “Something Very Expensive” rather than the comedic take in “E.B. Was Left Out.” Whether we’ll get to see any more of the internal politics between Lee (Philip Moon) and Wu (Keone Young) remains to be seen.
Finally, we get our first glimpses of a potentially fruitful relationship between Joanie Stubbs (Kim Dickens) and Jane (Robin Weigert). These are two characters at the ends of their ropes, but perhaps their lack of direction or hope will give them something something to bond over. This is certainly hinted at in the episode’s final scene where Wolcott (Garret Dillahunt) appears at the Chez Amis and Jane makes her way over to defend her new friend.
Next up on Hoopleheads, we’ll be discussing Season 2 Episode 9, “Amalgamation and Capital.”