“Plague” foretells chaos in Deadwood. As small pox breaks out, local business leaders (and religious figures) step in to keep order. Meanwhile, Jane (Robin Weigert) reenters camp and looks into the girl she helped save. Alma (Molly Parker) continues to wrestle with addiction; Trixie (Paula Malcomson) offers support at risk to her own life. Out in the frontier, Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) sets off to hunt down a killer following the outcome of “The Trial of Jack McCall.”
J and I begin by discussing the cold, foreboding confrontation between Bullock and an Amerindian man. We explore how director Davis Guggenheim depicts the interaction with a dreamlike flair. We then contrast this with the ironic rigidity of a town that prides itself on being beyond the reach of the law. We give particular attention to the Pioneer and how the business leaders seem to see the inherent power in controlling the press to spin public opinion.
Finally, we dive into Jane’s loud and often amusing entrance into the camp. Her three-way friendship with Alma and Trixie shows promise for the future of female enterprise and agency on the show. However, I do mention my concern that their development thus far has been contingent upon strict adherence to gender roles (caretaking especially). We’re eager to keep an eye on this aspect of the show.
Check in next week where we’ll be talking about Season 1 Episode 7, “Bullock Returns to The Camp.” I wonder what happens in that episode?