Television Tuesday :: Deadwood and relationships, part eight.

17 Feb

As the second season goes along, what we’re seeing primarily is needs-based relationships, but even those are nuanced and different.

There’s Miss Isringhausen (Sarah Paulson) and her relationship with Adams (Titus Welliver), which springs out of seemingly nowhere and serves as a way for her to get an audience with Al (Ian McShane) so she can conduct her business.  She’s conniving, she’s ruthless, and she’s a typical siren in a lot of ways, wooing him with wide tear-filled eyes and a sob story and then turning cruel at a moment’s notice.

And then she speaks to Al about her contract to fix things for an unnamed party as regard Alma (Molly Parker) and this leads to Al and Alma’s first real interaction.  Funny, as he did for her husband and tried to do for her adoptive daughter, but their first interaction is what passes for civil, and Al even seems to respect her (he doesn’t outright deny his prior involvement in activities, he doesn’t balk at her apprehension, he keeps swearing even when she says not to but by the end seems to feel bad about it).  It’s a surprising sort of interaction, one that you wouldn’t necessarily imagine Al to be capable of but that it also makes perfect sense that he is.

Al has also developed a certain grudging respect for Seth (Timothy Olyphant) by this point.  Seth is a rule-following type cocksucker, but he’s still more of the camp than any outsiders they might want to stick in his seat, and therefore he’s useful.  Al understands this, and Seth seems to understand it too, when he’s not busy getting riled up.

Seth, meanwhile, is busy with his relationships with Martha (Anna Gunn) and William (Josh Eriksson), his dead brother’s wife and child, now his wife and child.  He’s put in a difficult place when Alma becomes pregnant, and his handling of the situation is less than ideal (asking her to absolve him of the responsibility of making an ultimate decision by doing herself) but once that’s brushed aside and they very slowly very tentatively begin to form a strained sort of little family of their own.

Alma, meanwhile, is dealing with the pregnancy as best she can, largely with the help of Trixie (Paula Malcomson) who she seeks out despite their not having been close for many episodes.  Trixie still has a bit of an attitude about Alma, though she eventually gives in to the urge to talk to her like a friend, but she’s quick to rally Cochran (Brad Dourif) and Ellsworth (Jim Beaver) to Alma’s aide should she need it.

Trixie is also busy learning accounts and pursuing her tenuous relationship with Sol (John Hawkes), a relationship born of Al’s desire to have eyes in the hardware store but that’s quickly grown into something new.  Trixie is interested in Sol, she’s interested in doing something to better herself.  And she’s interested in learning something practical, which will eventually play into her involvement in the bank that Sol and Alma start.

And then, in a completely different storyline, you have Jane (Robin Weigert) striking up a friendship with Fields (Franklin Ajaye) at first because they happen to be in close proximity and have a mutual affinity for liquor and idle conversation that then quickly becomes her participating in the fight to stop him from getting tarred and feathered and then participating in his wound care like the good sometimes-nurse she is.

–your fangirl heroine.

mannerly snark


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