Television Tuesday :: Deadwood and relationships, part two

7 Oct

What I want to talk about tonight specifically is Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine).  Fella is in exactly four episodes of the show, right, the fourth episode of season one (“Here Was a Man”) ends with his body, recently shot, slumping to the floor and being discovered by Seth (Timothy Olyphant) and Jane (Robin Weigert).  But fella manages to touch so many lives in his short time and have such a lasting impact.

He comes to camp with Jane and Charlie (Dayton Callie) and continues to be the glue that holds them together long after he’s gone, at least in part.  Jane is extremely loyal to Bill, loves him deeply, and the smiles she smiles when Bill is sweet to her are a rare little thing of beauty; she respects him infinitely.  Charlie respects Bill, even if he questions Bill’s life choices (and Bill questions Charlie’s questioning his life choices).  It’s the fact that they have Bill in common that keeps Jane and Charlie joined later, especially when Jane refuses help.

And Bill is so sweet with Sofia (Bree Seanna Wall), she doesn’t know what he’s saying to her or what anyone is saying to her really but he helped rescue her and he’s standing there tickling her and making her downright giggle as he talks to Jane and gosh, but how she must be comforted by at least that friendly touch.

Bill befriends Seth and Sol (John Hawkes) and helps them build their hardware store and talks to them, especially Seth, about life, reveals more to Seth than he does to nearly anyone else, makes this profound impact on them that others notice, are even suspicious of because of how close it seems from the get-go.

Bill lets himself get involved in the affairs of first Brom (Timothy Omundson) and then Alma Garret (Molly Parker), offers counsel at first gently and then more firmly, but he gets more involved once he sees that his first counsel wasn’t taken and he gets involved despite the fact that he has no real reason to, aside from the offered money that never visibly changes hands.

Bill interacts with Al (Ian McShane) and E.B. (William Sanderson), he interacts with Tom Nuttall (Leon Rippy) and Merrick (Jeffrey Jones) and my Joanie (Kim Dickens) and of course Jack McCall (Garret Dillahunt) who kills him, he has these dealings with so many characters and affects them both on the personal level and, through spurring a proper trial in camp, the politics of the camp as a whole.  And some of that is because he’s a famous figure, but some of that is just because of the kind of person he is to affect everyone.  And that’s fascinating to watch.

–your fangirl heroine.

i'm the nice one

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