After a brief hiatus, “Hoopleheads” is back! “The Trial of Jack McCall” is a heavy episode. It directly handles the consequences of the shocking events in “Here Was a Man” as it splits attention between four primary storylines. First, the trial itself: Jack McCall (Garret Dillahunt) has been caught and held prisoner as the camp decides his fate. Al (Ian McShane), Cy (Powers Boothe) and others begin to question the wisdom of holding court and the ramifications of bringing law to a lawless town.
J and I then move on to Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) whose usual barely contained anger hits its boiling point as the trial reaches an unlikely conclusion. McCall’s exoneration causes Seth to lose his cool even with Reverend Smith (Ray McKinnon), whose good-natured enthusiasm ends up rubbing the former sheriff the wrong way. In the meantime, Sol’s (John Hawkes) observations about Smith’s well-being turn out to be tragically prophetic.
E.B. Farnum (William Sanderson) continues to press Alma Garrett and I note how enjoyable it is to finally see Alma gain some allies and take charge of her life. Trixie’s (Paula Malcomson) support seems to set Alma on the right path and represents another strong female-female relationship on the show. This autonomy is also represented in Trixie’s defiance of Al’s direct orders, a reflection of Joanie* (Kim Dickens) and her open friction with Cy.
Finally, Jane (Robin Weigert) runs into a disease ridden Andy (Zach Grenier) in the woods. J and I reflect on the habit of characters to fade into the background and monologue when they don’t have direct impact on the plot. We also discuss the humor of Jane’s drunken obliviousness while also noting that she seems unaffected and unperturbed by Andy’s illness.
* Yes, I butchered her name again. I don’t know what it is about Joanie Stubbs, but I just want her to be “Jodie” so badly.
Check in next week where we’ll see the ramifications of Andy’s turn in Season 1 Episode 6, “Plague.”