In “Bullock Returns to the Camp,” Deadwood seems to have found its fresh start. Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) has let off some steam and Alma Garret (Molly Parker) is mostly recovered from addiction leading to marked changes in their demeanors (and chemistry). Meanwhile the doctor (Brad Dourif), Jane (Robin Weigert) and Reverend Smith (Ray McKinnon) seem to have the small pox outbreak under control.
J and I discuss the arrival of Flora (Kristen Bell) and Miles (Greg Cipes) and what impact that’s having on Dan (W. Earl Brown), Al (Ian McShane) and Joanie (Kim Dickens). We note that trust doesn’t come easier on the frontier. These thieves or con artists (it’s not clear who they are) may once again throw off the good will that’s been generated in the moments of camaraderie over the past few episodes.
Trixie (Paula Malcomson) and Alma come to loggerheads over their social positions. Now that Alma is off of laudanum, Trixie has started to put distance between them. This may mark the end of an endearing if ultimately doomed relationship. J and I reflect on the way Alma navigates the town with some ease, but always with a sense of privilege that she can’t quite shake.
Finally, we commiserate over the profound sadness of watching Jane and Charlie (Dayton Callie) weep for their lost friend. It’s hard seeing characters who are normally so stony and resilient break down but I appreciated the sense of partnership Charlie and Jane feel that cuts across emotional boundaries. While other relationships are certainly funnier — J can’t get enough of Farnum’s (William Sanderson) bowing and scraping for Al — this one seemed to hit an emotional core for both of us.
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Next week we’ll see how deeply the Miles and Flora affect the people Deadwood with Season 1 Episode 8, “Suffer the Little Children.”