Born to neither power nor money, mining magnate George Hearst sends his agent, Francis Wolcott, ahead of him to Deadwood to secure a set of claims. When Hearst finally arrives by coach, Wolcott has managed to consolidate all of the major claims for his employer - save one, Alma Garrett Ellsworth's. She refuses to sell. But Hearst is not a man accustomed to being denied. He keeps his hands clean, but is quick to bloody others (including his second, Turner), in his quest to control all the gold in Deadwood.
His plan: to build a gold mining empire, staffed round the clock with cheap Chinese laborers. Wu and Lee fight to the death (Lee's) for the business. Meanwhile, Hearst wastes no time securing himself a place of prominence, purchasing the Grand Central from Farnum for $100,000 and installing him as manager. He remodels immediately, busting out a veranda to rival Swearengenâ€TMs balcony, as a place to watch over his intended domain. Even Swearengen is forced to form uncommon alliances to deal with this ruthless outsider.