Directed by: Ed Bianchi
Written by: George Putnam
Waking up and getting dressed the morning following Trixie's return, Al Swearengen is agitated: the United States government is poised make an agreement with the Indians to annex the Black Hills-- and therefore Deadwood-- and Swearengen is to meet with a magistrate to discuss the matter. "It'll be different after the annexation, that's all," Al says, nervously.
When the magistrate arrives, he lays out the thinking of the legislature. Should the treaty be accepted, the rule of the land will be "you're on it, and you improve it, you own it." Of course, nothing is that simple, and a steady supply of bribes will likely be required to grease the wheels of progress. Also, an ad hoc government will need to be established, to show that there is something to build on. The magistrate also mentions that an arrest warrant has appeared in Yankton accusing Swearengen of a murder in Chicago. Dealing with that will require $5,000.
At the Grand Central, Bullock introduces Alma to Ellsworth, explaining that he is the man that found the gold on her claim. Ellsworth can work her claim to retain her title, Bullock says, if she trusts him. Alma and Ellsworth hit it off quickly.
Farnum's employee, expresses his excitement to have rediscovered a letter that Hickok wrote to his wife just hours before his death. A letter he was supposed to mail out for Mr. Hickok. Farnum berates him for having the letter, and then summarily pockets it.
With a bad eye and a bad arm, the Reverend's health continues to deteriorate, and he is beginning to imagine that his body is emitting an odor of decay. He also frets that he no longer feels the full love of Christ when he reads his scriptures. He quickly annoys Jane with his delusions and she wastes no time in cursing him out for being a fool and for hiding his condition from Doc Cochran.
Joanie Stubbs decides to take Tolliver up on his offer and goes off in search of a location. While walking around Deadwood, she runs into Charlie Utter, himself busy with his new business, Utter's Freight and Postal Delivery Service.
Back at The Gem, Swearengen has assembled the Deadwood's leaders. "We're forming structure enough to convince those territorial f*cks in Yankton that we're worthy enough to pay them their f*cking bribes," he says. The first order of business is appointments, and Farnum immediately request the position of Mayor. Since there are no immediate objections, the hotelier is given the title. The rest of the "elections" continue similarly until all posts are filled, with Utter serving as Fire Commissioner and Bullock on board as Health Commissioner-only, he says, because he didn't want to be made Sheriff.
After the appointments, life returns to normal in Deadwood. Business continues at The Gem, and Trixie is back on the job. Starr goes to the Gem to see Trixie, but she does her best to discourage him. "I don't want what I can't have," she says.
Smith's health issues continue, and Cochran finally feels the need to step in. He examines the Reverend, but Smith seems to attribute his physical and mental problems to the will of God. Cochran doesn't take to this explanation, but he also realizes that there isn't much he can do without Smith's full cooperation.
The execution of Flora and Miles is still weighing heavily on the mind of Eddie Sawyer. He sits in the Bella Union with a morose look on his face, greatly angering Tolliver. Later, Cy confronts and insults Eddie. Their job is to sell the illusion of a fresh start, he tells Joanie; now people close to him seem to be believing the illusion themselves.
At the end of a long binge, Calamity Jane decides it's time to ride out of town. "The direction of this camp makes me f*cking sick," she says. "And it bores the shit out of me." She runs into Utter, but he's unable to convince her to stay and continue her work with Cochran. She says her goodbyes to her former running partner, and staggers off into the night.
Bullock visits Alma in her room to check up on her, and see if she feels that Ellsworth is capable of working her claim. Uncomfortable in their mutual attraction, Bullock and Alma talk a bit, and the widow stiffens upon learning that Bullock has a wife and a son in Michigan, and that he has written them to come join him. As he leaves, Bullock explains that his wife is his brother's widow, and that the child isn't actually his. The pair lingers over their goodbyes, and Bullock leaves her clearly unnerved.