Phew. Remember the first and second season finales of Deadwood? Basically happy endings, complete with mercy killings and stabbed Cy Tolliver?
Don’t expect that sort of cheery capper to season 3. Expect, instead, to curse and swear at your television – standing in, of course, for the Powers that Be at HBO. For cancelling a TV series intended to run for four seasons, and a brilliant written, acted, directed, filmed TV series at that, after it’s run for three of those seasons. In a world where another HBO series about old-fashioned romanticism dressed up as postfeminism gets a big screen outing, it’s more than just a shame that we’re not likely ever to see Deadwood end as would befit the series. It’s a crime. And it makes me think that Al Swearengen should be let loose with his knife in the dreams of those HBO cocksuckers (as he might put it if he was in a good mood) to put the fear of Al into them.
No, it’s not that Deadwood ends on an exclusively bleak, depressing note. There are lots of small moments that are beautiful, little smiles and touches that show some hope. Sol and Trixie. Richardson and Aunt Lou. Even E.B. standing on the roof of his hotel, bless his little cotton socks. But on the whole, the good (and not so good) people of Deadwood have been beaten, for the first time. They’ve been kicked in the kidneys. There has been blood, and for once, it’s less than clear whether any scrubbing will get rid of that blood.
So, until tomorrow I’ll try to get over my pissed-off-ness with the hoopleheads at HBO. Expect some lines on No Country for Old Men soon. At least that one’s got a two-time Deadwood veteran…
P.S.: Apparently, the person who was supposed to play Al Swearengen at first was one Ed O’Neill. Photo given below. No joke.