Directed by: Michael Almereyda
Written by: Jody Worth
Al is surprised to find a door that connects his place to the Pioneer, and going through it, finds a despondent Merrick, who explains that Tolliver has wrecked his newspaper office in retribution for not publishing the county commissioner's notice. Swearengen gives him his version of encouragement-complete with a slap in the face-and tells him to "stand it like a man and give some back."
At the Chez Amis, Tolliver enlists Lee to dispose of the three whores' bodies. When Joanie asks him about the women later, Cy refuses to acknowledge them, instead inquiring about the three women that Joanie secreted out of town. "They're sent away, Cy, never to return or be a problem, and I won't be either." Tolliver seems unhappy about the departure. "It's a not picnic, is it honey," he sneers. "Runnin' pussy."
Joanie is badly shaken, and confides her secret to Charlie Utter. She reflects especially on Maddie: "She wasn't scared of any man. First I ever met," she says. When Utter asked why Wolcott did such an act, Joanie answers in a confused daze. "I don't know that. I'm not a man." As Charlie comforts her, she urges him to keep the information secret.
Meanwhile, Con Stapleton and Leon are having difficulty generating business for Tolliver's new Chinese whores. They "ain't pullin', even at a dime a pop," Leon says, and Cy recommends marketing their exoticism and anatomical abilities. "We are dwarfs in the company of a giant," Stapleton admires.
At the Grand Central, a seething Utter continuously insults Wolcott and accuses him of stepping on his foot. As the disagreement grows, Wolcott warns that if they fight, it won't end lightly, but Charlie unleashes a string of profanities and ends up beating the man brutally in the street.
Bullock finally stops Utter's savage attack, and Al, observing casually, begins to connect Charlie's actions to the evacuation of the prostitutes the night before. Tolliver, however, is disturbed, and entreats Al to call a meeting of the town leaders so he can make it clear that Wolcott is the "wrong ox to gore."
Tending to Wolcott, Doc Cochran explains that Utter is Bill Hickok's former partner. Wolcott, seeking to learn more of Utter's motives asks the doc to tell Charlie that he is in possession of a letter of Hickok's, said to be his last. Cochran is hesitant. "If I do deliver the message, will there be a renewal of the violence?" he asks. "Well, I don't know doctor," Wolcott replies. "I didn't do well in the original."
Still recovering from his illness, Al limps over to Alma Garret's room for an arranged meeting. Although the widow's disgust for him is barely concealed, Swearengen endeavors to earn her trust, informing her that her former tutor is in the employ of the Pinkertons. She has difficulty believing his story: that Brom Garret's family hired the agency to "bag her gold," and attempted to enlist Swearengen for $50,000. Asked how much payment he would require to tell the truth, Al shakes his head. "I don't like the Pinkertons," he says. "They're muscle for the bosses, as if the bosses ain't got enough edge."
He further explains that with George Hearst's agents in town, it serves his interests to have Alma remain. "If you want to match their fifty, that'll be between you and your god."
At the meeting of Deadwood's town fathers, Tolliver says that the incident with Wolcott cannot be repeated. "The background of the beatin' ain't the point," he says. "The Hearst interest requires special treatment." As Al and the crew enjoy some canned peaches Cy adds that no "human court" can convict the Hearsts, whether they buy judges, juries or "start to killin'.
With neither side seeking remedies, Al asks if Bullock would like to speak for the camp, but the sheriff declines. As the meeting adjourns, Cochran tells Utter about Wolcott and the letter.
Farnum, watching from the Grand Central is beside himself that he has been left out of the meeting, muttering obscenities and averring that "public service was never my primary career."
Bullock pays an uneasy visit to Alma Garret, but the two manage to hold a sincere discussion, talking politely about Alma's proposed bank. Circling around the issue of her pregnancy, Bullock asks her if he should leave the camp, but Alma refuses to make any decisions for him. As he leaves, they share a look. "It becomes you," he says.
Trixie tells Al she is done with the hardware store, but Swearengen convinces her to return. "Now harpin's on the same level of hardship as a boot on your fucking neck," he says of her complaints of Bullock's criticism.
In the alley, Con and Leon interview a man who has availed himself of one of the new whores. The customer tells them that there's a line of men waiting who have been "outpaced by white pussy's price." They're being watched over, he says, by a very tall Chinese man.
Calamity Jane shows up at Utter's for her package run, but she is two days late and sports a face that looks much worse for the wear. "It's getting the upper hand on me," she says to her friend, who tells her to go up to her room and clean up.
Feigning interest in shipping a parcel, Al tries to learn more about Wolcott from Charlie, but Utter won't bite. Later Swearengen tells Dority that the trip to Cheyenne to deal with the commissioners if off. He feels that Wolcott's troubles will spread to Tolliver, and that prospects are improving.
Utter shows up at Wolcott's room, and the two agree not to shake hands. Using Hickok's letter as a lure, Wolcott tries to learn what Joanie has told Charlie, but Utter becomes enraged at the mention of her name. He tells Walcott that he would rather blow his head off and take the letter from the corpse that divulge a secret, and Wolcott seems satisfied.
At the Bella Union, Joanie is in a stupor, drunk and upset. Cy sits her down for a talk and says that they should "wrestle the future to the ground," together. He tells Joanie that they'll reopen her place and asks her to move back to the Bella Union while "that maniac" is still in camp, but she rejects him. "Why'd you come here," says Cy, "If not to be protected?" Pulling her hand away from his, she answers, "I came to turn a trick."