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Deadwood is the first episode of the first season of Deadwood. Newcomers looking to strike it rich have run ins with established locals with mixed results.
Seth Bullock, leaving his previous job as a Marshall in the Montana Territory, arrives in the town of Deadwood to open a hardware business selling mining tools to local gold diggers with his partner Sol Star. Upon arrival Bullock and Star rent a lot from Al Swearengen, local bar owner and purveyor of all things illicit and illegal. Swearengen is not happy at the presence of a formal peace officer in the lawless town of Deadwood and extracts promises from Bullock not to compete and not to interrupt his business in exchange for renting the lot.
Arriving at the same time as Bullock and Star is the legandary Wild Bill Hickock, already a well known and feared personality in the west. Recently married Wild Bill is looking to stake a gold claim and get enough money to bring his new wife to Deadwood and support her. Instead he finds himself in a losing streak at cards and the object of the dark envy of one Jack McCall who vows to gut him at poker when he has the chance.
It isn't long before news of the massacre of a family of homesteaders by Indians reaches town, prompting Hickock to put together a party to investigate. Bullock, being one who likes his law orderly, agrees to accompany Wild Bill. They find the family dead except for one small girl whom they take to the local physician, Doc Cochran, for treatment and safekeeping. Bullock and Hickock then confront the man who brough news of the massacre accusing him of staging the event to cover up his robbery of the family. He denies this and a shootout follows which leaves him dead at the hands of Hickock and Bullock.
Meanwhile Brom Garrett is duped into buying an apparently worthless gold claim by Al Swearengen and his henchmen Dan Dority and E.B. Farnum. An Irishman named Tim Driscoll is also enlisted as the supposed owner of the claim, but when he goes against Swearengen's wishes and pushes Garrett up to the limit of his funds, Swearengen refuses him his agreed share of the proceeds. Driscoll is angry and Swearengen orders Dority to kill him to ensure his silence, making a second room free at the hotel for Wild Bill and his friends.