Last week promised blood, and “I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For” delivered. This episode opens with death, follows that up with murders and concludes with shocking, almost medieval physical assault. Neither Esther nor I were particularly impressed with director Dan Attias’s technical work here, but this was nevertheless a powerful episode.
“I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For” offers some fantastic character moments. In one scene, we see Jane (Robin Weigert) successfully tell the schoolchildren about serving under General Custer. This was something Esther and I had worried would end in disaster, but instead we see Jane actually enjoy her time with the kids, a moment of pure joy for her, the class and for Martha (Anna Gunn). In another sequence, Cy (Powers Boothe) challenges Andy Cramed (Zach Grenier) with a wildly theatrical performance, confirming his disingenuous religious turn and giving space to Boothe to fill the room with his magnetic presence.
Esther and I also spend some time on the themes that have come to underpin the show, not the least of which is its surprisingly anticapitalist sentiment. This is a show that has painted its most prominent businessmen as depraved cutthroats and murderers, from Wolcott (Garret Dillahunt) to Hearst (Gerald McRaney). Deadwood‘s heroes, if it has any, always stand in direct opposition to these figures. For example, Bullock has drawn is line in the sand with Hearst on the other side, while Elsworth (Jim Beaver) and Charlie (Dayton Callie) have deeply personal issues with the way Wolcott/Hearst’s operation has treated laborers in the past.
We’re both keen to see where this season (and the film) take this theme next.
Swing by next week where we’ll be talking about Season 3 Episode 3 of Deadwood, “True Colors.”