Deadwood | Season 1 | Episode 6


TV-MA | 52 MIN

Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Written by Malcolm MacRury

"Treat the hoople-heads free, that's cheap good will."

On the trail of the murderer Jack McCall, Seth Bullock is ambushed. Though he manages to kill the Indian who attacked him, Bullock is beaten and bloodied and soon collapses.

Back in Deadwood, a john falls ill at the Gem, showing the same symptoms that felled Andy Cramed. Worse news follows when Joey, Tolliver's messenger, arrives back at the Bella Union without having made Nebraska. He, too, is becoming ill and was not able to bring back the smallpox vaccine. Doc Cochran tells Swearengen about the outbreak, but the news is kept quiet for the time being.

Smallpox is not the only thing on Swearengen's mind; he is still determined to steal Alma Garret's gold claim. He sends Farnum to spy on the widow to find out if Trixie has succeeded in re-addicting her to dope, but Farnum reports back to Al that she's not high. Al confronts Trixie and makes it clear that she is to dope the widow--or else.

Knowing that Swearengen means business, Trixie tells Alma to fake intoxication whenever Farnum shows up. Alma understands, playing the part perfectly, and Al is immensely pleased when he gets the report.

Calamity Jane returns to Deadwood, and heads to Cochran's office to get an update on the Metz girl. The doctor doesn't want to deal with Jane, but is surprised when she tells him that she knows about the smallpox. Jane explains that she's been caring for Cramed, and Cochran realizes she may be immune to the disease.

Despite the growing number of smallpox cases, it's business as usual at the Bella Union, where Ellsworth is spending a lot of time at the craps table. Tension grows between Tolliver and Joanie Stubbs, and when she shows a soft spot for Ellsworth, the boss makes it clear that she needs to improve her work in the Union-or he'll give her a reason to be morose.

Outside of Deadwood, Charlie Utter finds Bullock, still unconscious from the attack. Charlie cleans him up, and when Seth comes around, he tells Utter about Hickok's death. Utter is eager to make his way back into town, but Bullock presses him to carry the corpse of the Indian to a proper resting place in a show of respect.

Realizing the growing smallpox threat, a small group of Deadwood's town leaders meet at the Gem. It is decided that they will put together money to pay for riders to get the smallpox vaccine. They also decide to set up a tent for those afflicted.

In his newspaper, Merrick-with heavy editorial influence from Swearengen--tries to minimize the fears that will no doubt arise when the rest of the town learns of the outbreak. The tent is erected for the sick, staffed by Cochran, Reverend Smith and Calamity Jane.