Overview: Season 3

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 7:16 pm
Season 3
Season 3

Episode 25:

Tell your God to ready for blood, “Tell your God to ready for blood,” first episode of the third season.  The power struggle that exists from the very first episode changes with the tide but is always underlying. In the third season, Deadwood has moved into the final throes of its lawless beginnings and its inevitable evolution.

Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen
The Bar at Al's Place, the Gem Theater
The Bar at Al

The first episode of the third and final season opens with a murder that Swerengen believes was a setup devised by Hearst, in yet another move on the chessboard of control. It’s not the first time something like this has happened; the sacrifice of ones own people to advance an agenda of  spreading fear and debt, based on greed and wealth, the fast track to power. Al is in his war-room planning his stratagies to outmaneuver Hearst’s plots to take over the reigns of deadwood.geraldmcraneyAccording to the real George Hearst was not a dragon.  He was someone dragons—little, mean-spirited, much less talented dragons—followed around in hopes of making a killing off his hardwork.


George Hearst (1820-1891) (www.picture   prod_5788

  George Hearst was a Democratic U.S. senator and mining prospector and owner from California. Hearst also acquired the San Francisco Daily Examiner in 1880 which his son, William Randolph Hearst, took over management of in 1887 Corroborating evidence as to Hearst’s ruthless character could not be found. The political air of the series seems to draw certain parallels with the nature of the occupation of Indian lands and the occupation of other lands of today. Though the commodities have changed, the dynamic seems familiar.   


Episode 26:   “I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For”

Swearengen basically tells Hearst that he will not bend to Hearst’s demands for obedience and surrender. It seems possible that with Swearengen’s reputation as a contemptible person that his character in the series tries to balance his character to gain acceptance. Almost like the guy you like to hate, then he does something that can be portrayed as compassionate. Unlikely.


Hearst has his personal thug, Captain Turner, knock Al senseless and holds his hand on the table while he, Hearst, takes a pick hammer and chops off Swearengen’s fingertip (didn’t happen).

While this goes on, the speeches for office of Mayor and Sheriff are being held. Hearst was showing Swearengen his determination for control of the camp and influence over people in his employ, and of course, his power. This was very dramatic in the series but cannot be corroborated.

Episode 27: “True Colors”

Hearst is not letting up on his intimidation of Swearengen. In fact he has extended intimidation to others he dealt with like Alma for one. He confronted Alma and bullied her into submission to his greater power. Again, this seems highly unlikely since there is no record of Alma Garrett existing in Deadwood.

He also confronts Sy Tolliver and conveys that there are only two kinds of people in his life; niggers and white men that obey him like dogs. Not corroborated because Sy Tolliver didn’t exist in the records of Deadwood.

Wu, returns from San Francisco with news for Swearengen, of Hearst’s acquisition of more hired guns from San Francisco. Swearengen is realizing the reality of the need to circle the wagons against Hearst’s power play. 







Episode 28:  “Full Faith and Credit”

Alma Elsworth opens Deadwood’s first bank.  Nope!

Bullock steps in to settle a dispute between Hostetler, the livery owner, and Steve the drunk who wants to buy Hostetler’s livery. This relationship focused on the pure racism of the time.

Episode 29:  “A Two-Headed Beast”

This was an especially dramatic episode. Hearst, in his drive to power, instigates a confrontation between his second, Captain Turner, and Swearengen’s second, Dority. Captain Turner seems to be the sure winner but Dority kills him, and it is the first time Hearst experiences defeat from his enemies. Though very dramatic, no proof exists for these statements.


Bullock asserts his authority as Sheriff and drags Hearst off to Jail, creating even more tension between them.  Bullock may have done this on occasions due to the nature of the camp but certainly not with Hearst.


Episode 30:  “A Rich Find”

Swearengen and Bullock decide to combine efforts and go up against Hearst.


Aunt Lou’s son comes to town, from Liberia, with a gold prospect for Hearst. Aunt Lou Marchbanks was a close representation of the character portrayed but not as Hearst’s cook though she was kitchen manager at the Grand Central Hotel. She was believed to be the first black woman settled in Deadwood.

Alma battles a drug problem. Again, no such person in the history of Deadwood.

Bullock and Swearengen contemplate a preemptive strike against Hearst. Unlikely.

Episode 31:  “Unauthorized Cinnamon”

Soon, all the camp elders meet to discuss plans to deal with Hearst.

Hearst is desirous of destroying Deadwood, he loathed it and its inhabitants and wanted to burn it to the ground after he’d gotten all the gold he could get from the hills. Ravage and burn was his plan.

Episode 32: “Leviathan Smiles”

Two new characters to deadwood were Wyatt and Morgan Earp. They came to prospect. They were somewhat portrayed as close to what they were doing in Deadwood.

Hearst’s hired guns, the Pinkerton’s, come to town and the townspeople are wondering what’s coming next.

Aunt Lou is concerned for her son Odell who is getting involved with Hearst. A mother worried about her son playing with the wrong sort.

Tolliver and Hearst plot against Bullock and the Earps. Tolliver seems to be for sale to the highest bidder.

Episode 33:  “Amateur Night”

Actor Langrishe




Langrishe, the stage actor and friend of Swearengen’s, who arrived in town in an earlier episode, sets up an amateur night to audition for players in his troupe. This is the town activity for this segment and this character was in fact a real person in Deadwood and was a thespian. The politics enter in when Jarry arrives from Yankton to see Hearst about the upcoming elections.

Hearst attacks Merrick, or is he attacking the Newspaper? Is he using one of the oldest methods there is, to control, fear.

Aunt Lou’s fears are realized when she gets the news that her son was killed. She felt it was Hearst that had it done.

Episode 34:  “A Constant Throb”

Hearst makes another power play with a staged murder attempt on Alma. Swearengen comes to the rescue and protects Alma from the threat. Hollywood.

Bullock is out of town on a campaign trip. Swearengen gets back at Hearst by killing one of Hearst’s messengers. It was the same guy hired by Hearst to beat Merrick, the newspaper editor.

Episode 35:  “The Catbird Seat”

A sad one, this one. Ellsworth, one of the gentle Ben characters in the series is executed by one of Hearst’s henchmen. It was retaliation from Hearst for Elsworth’s degrading of him in the meeting of he and Alma, when they were first discussing their business options. Trixie became enraged and horrified when she saw Elsworth’s passing through town on the back of a wagon. She goes to Hearst’s room and when she calls him to the door and he opens it, she shoots him.


Alma and Elsworth (married)
Alma and Elsworth (married)


Swearengen Adams and Wu plan to retaliate against Hearst.

Episode 36:  “Tell Him Something Pretty”

It becomes obvious by Swearengen, Bullock and others that the elections were already decided. Rigged elections are possible even today so this was not hard to believe.

Before Hearst is to leave camp, the season is ending, he insists on seeing the corpse of the girl who shot him. Swearengen wouldn’t see Trixie killed so he kills another whore who looked like Trixie and displayed her, to satisfy Hearst. When the episode, and series ends, Hearst is pulling out of town, having done what he set out to do (all except for destroying the town and its people), get the color, the gold.

Though loosely based on actual characters of Deadwood and some of the major themes of life in Deadwood, few characters mentioned in the paragraphs above were actual residents of Deadwood. There was a lot of issues going on in the background of the series, it seems that it would balance out at 50-50 on fact and fiction. Even though the focused events of the TV series didn’t happen as depicted, life in Deadwood in those early days probably had many of the same drama, though not recorded, as the show wants to bring it to you. It is the most expensive series show that has been done and is probably the cause of its demise.

An Interesting thing occurred today; after telling my three daughters to check out the site and to tell their friends, which most I’ve known for 20 years or longer, she said she had never heard of Deadwood until I mentioned our blog endeavors and the very next day she ran across the add below.


At the bottom it says it’s next to Molly’s House of Sin in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. It appears the ad was posted in 1896 , by Pioneer Printing. Funny how you’re not aware of something until it’s brought to your attention by another, then you see, or hear, of it more frequently. The power of word of mouth. The computer being a rather large mouth. I wonder what the ad cost and how it cleared without the King’s Stamp?




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