Producer/director Gregg Fienberg returns to Deadwood with “True Colors,” an often odd but wildly exciting episode of television. This week brings some returning cast members, too, including Mr. Wu (Keone Young) and Blazanov (Pasha D. Lychnikoff). Carriages also bring in newcomers Jack Langrishe (Brian Cox), a thespian and comedian with connections to Al (Ian McShane) and Aunt Lou (Cleo King), a cook and housekeeper in George Hearst’s (Gerald McRaney) employ.
“True Colors” lives up to its name in every sense as Lou and Langrishe draw out the essence of their counterparts. With Hearst, Lou hears his innermost thoughts as he speaks to her as if she’s his mother. He retreats into his childlike façade, maybe even believing it, allowing himself to be vulnerable with the assumption that Lou is totally and completely under his control. We learn later in the episode, of course, that Lou is neither meek nor broken, but rather an enterprising woman who sees right through Hearst to his dark heart.
In quite a different way, Brian Cox’s Langrishe brings out a wholly different side to Al. Langrishe is so familiar with him with that we’re almost convinced Al has a friend – and, indeed, maybe he does. This is someone who’s comfortable enough with the murderous pimp and powerbroker that we’ve come to know that he is bold enough to spank him and fears no repercussion. Underlying Langrishe is some vague
A great article on the real Aunt Lou, who apparently had no associations with the real George Hearst (but who was a major figure in Deadwood) can be found in The Black Hills Pioneer. Jack Langrishe, “The Comedian of the Frontier,” who was not only a reporter before becoming an entertainer (as I mention in the podcast), but actually took over the Pioneer from Merrick while he was away. We may not be historians, but w are suckers for these historical tidbits!
On the next installment of Hoopleheads, we’ll be discussing Season 3 Episode 4, “Full Faith and Credit.”