“No Other Sons or Daughters” puts the brunt of its focus on the new ad hoc government of Deadwood. As the United States begins to move further westward, Al (Ian McShane) and the other leaders in the town worry about what sort of outside forces and order that might bring to the town. In the meantime, Reverend Smith’s (Ray McKinnon) health continues to decline, Jane (Robin Weigert) contemplates leaving the camp, Joanie (Kim Dickens) strikes out on her own and Alma (Molly Parker) and Seth (Timothy Olyphant) dance around a significant barrier to their blossoming affection.
J and I pay particular attention to Deadwood‘s commentary on government in this episode. It remains to be seen if the show will take a firm stance on whether government and laws are benevolent components of society, but we already note the direct link between bribery/protection money and taxes. The generally farcical nature of this and past episodes on the topic of leadership would lead me to believe Milch and Co. are fairly cynical about the government, but we’ll see how things shape up in coming seasons.
Further, we once again consider the differences between Al and Seth; the former earns respect through fear, while the latter has law, morality and likability on his side. We posit that this is why Al attacks Sol (John Hawkes) on the basis of his religion — either to assert his dominance and to get at Seth, who otherwise seems immune to Al’s threats.
Finally, what begins as a healthy discussion about the technical acumen of this particular episode quickly devolves into porcine admiration. We first discuss Xavier Grobet’s fantastic almost Spielbergian camerawork as he follows characters as they enter and exit scenes. Yet as we explore one of these moments (wherein Joanie traverses the camp to find a suitable location for her new business), J couldn’t help but point out how remarkably photogenic Mr. Wu’s (Keone Young) pigs are.
I’m not entirely clear as to why they felt a need to point this out, but let’s get #PhotogenicPigs trending anyway.
Be sure to stop on by next week for Season 1 Episode 10 where we’ll finally meet the enigmatic Mr. Wu.