Deadwood/Reconnoitering the Rim

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Reconnoitering the Rim
Season 1, Episode 3
Airdate April 4, 2004
Production Number 99747
Written by Jody Worth
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
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DeadwoodSeason One
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Reconnoitering the Rim is the third episode of the first season of Deadwood.

Guest Stars: Jeffrey Jones (A.W. Merrick), Timothy Omundson (Brom Garrett), Garret Dillahunt (Jack McCall), Ray McKinnon (Rev. H.W. Smith), Sean Bridgers (Johnny Burns), Kim Dickens (Joanie Stubbs), Peter Jason (Stapleton), Ricky Jay (Eddie Sawyer), Larry Cedar (Leon)


Plot Overview

The big news in Deadwood is the opening of the Bella Union, a new upmarket saloon whose owner Cy Tolliver bought up a hotel in secret. Swearengen is furious, and puts on his best suit to meet Tolliver, but the new saloon owner and his staff are not impressed by his veiled threats. Swearengen feels someone must've acted as advance agents for the new saloon, and suspects Bullock and Star until he sees Farnum visiting the Union. He confronts Farnum and gets him to confess that he was the intermediary, but rather than kill him he makes it clear he's to act as an informant. He has also enlisted one of the Union's staff, Leon, as a spy, but Leon is a plant from Tolliver and will tell Swearengen only what Tolliver wants him to hear.

The stakes in Wild Bill's poker game get higher and he bets both his pistols on a hand which turns out to be his first win, but McCall pushes Bill too far and he finally tells the young gambler what he thinks of him. Bill leaves the game, deciding to take his future business to the Bella Union. McCall later turns up drunk at Bullock and Star's store, and Bullock throws him out advising him not to come back.

The girl rescued by Jane runs a fever, so she and Utter bring her back into town where the Doc recommends she be kept warm. Jane is refused a room at Farnum's hotel, so Bill tells Farnum to house the child and Jane in his room while he shares with Utter. Jane spends much time talking to and doting on her charge.

Bullock and Star finally buy their plot of land from Swearengen for $1,000 with several caveats, mainly that they won't have any gambling, whoring or drinking on their premises. They immediately begin work on building the store, Bullock already having had the lumber cut, and Utter and Hickok help, Utter pleased that Bill is spending time in Bullock's company. This only lasts until a drunken admirer raises Bill's ire, and he heads off to gamble at the Union.

Brom Garret talks to Hickok about helping him to retrieve his money, but while sympathetic Hickok refuses to help him. Garret takes matters into his own hands and, despite Bill's and his wife Alda's advice, demands Swearengen give his money back. He threatens to bring in the Pinkertons, a group of private investigators with whom his father has influence. That gets Swearengen worried, so he asks Dority to take Garret to "reconnoiter the rim", claiming the gold must've washed down some distance from where it was found. Garret agrees on the condition that he gets his money back if no gold is found, unaware that Dority is under orders to kill him and make it look like an accident.

That night, Garret and Dority go reconnoitering the rim and Dority pushes Garret from a cliff. On the way down to make sure he's dead, Dority discovers a gold seam in the cliff wall and covers it up before finishing off the badly crippled Garret. He returns to town to advise Swearengen of the gold, still unaware that the murder was witnessed by the prospector Ellsworth.


Arc Advancement





The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


"If I'm stooped when next you see me, Alma, it won't be worry weighing me down, but bags of our recovered gold." - Brom Garret's last words to his wife.