“Suffer the Little Children” earns its darkly ironic title. Flora (Kristen Bell) and Miles (Greg Cipes) finally reveal their true colors to the townspeople and the fallout affects everyone differently. Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) immediately reacts with unbridled rage, while Joanie (Kim Dickens) finds herself pitying Flora for her chosen path. Al (Ian McShane), on the other hand, realizes he fell hook, line and sinker for their ruse and deflects his vulnerability by mocking Dan Dority (W. Earl Brown).
Josh and I explore the parallels between Al and Cy in their perception of Flora and Miles. We extend this comparison to Trixie (Paula Malcomson) and Joanie and delve into the nature of abusive relationships, particularly as they’re depicted in Deadwood. This culminates in an analysis of the last scene of the episode, a distinct callback to one of the first interactions we ever saw between Al and Trixie in the series premiere.
The other major storyline this episode concerns Alma Garret (Molly Parker) and her decision to stay in the frontier town. Complicating matters is her care for the girl, recently named Sofia (Bree Seanna Wall), who has no one to look after her. Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) also insists on having her claim assayed and upon finding gold, Alma begins to reconsider her plans. This becomes particularly salient as Trixie, seeing no escape, resigns herself to a live under the thumb of Al Swearengen.
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Check in with us again next week as we discuss Season 1 Episode 9, “No Other Sons or Daughters.”