I’ve thought before that Al Swearengen would make a good shrink (if shrinks took to stabbing their more annoying patients or slashing their throats, that is). I now think that the Indian head in a box he’s got might do an even better job; at the very least, it’s doing a great job of calming down Swingen’s temper. Or perhaps it’s gleets that do that to you.
I have to admit though that I wasn’t too keen on “Childish Things”, last night’s episode of Deadwood. There was something off about the writing and some of the acting – somehow it felt more like someone trying to imitate the Deadwood style and not quite managing. I wonder whether that’s also down to the director, Tim van Patten, who’s done quite a lot of Sopranos but no Deadwood. Added to which he directed some of the weaker episodes of the late, great HBO mobster series.
Still, there was a lot to like or even love about “Childish Things”. There was the gripping scene between Francis Wolcott and Joanie Stubbs in the darkened front room of the now defunct Chez Amis. (One of the things that make Wolcott so fascinating is that you really never know what he’ll do next. He doesn’t seem to know himself, and there’s this subtle trace of sadness at his own ignorance in him.) There was the priceless scene where Dan finds out about Al’s favourite rotting head-in-a-box. There was the moving scene where Charlie Utter confesses to Wild Bill’s grave just how worried he is about Calamity Jane. And there was Ellsworth sweet proposal to Alma Garrett.
But damn, boy, Bullock and his wife ought to go and see a marriage counsellor real soon. Who knows, perhaps Al and his amazing head could give the two of them a good talking to…
P.S.: No points for those who guessed what film the title quote is from. Anyway, perhaps you specifically need an Indian head to get the positive effects; Gwyneth Paltrow’s may have more of a “Must shoot the smug bastard several times and then go bonkers!” effect on people. Or at least on Brad.