'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 1, Episode 5: 'The Trial of Jack McCall' (Veterans edition)

The most important passage in all of "Deadwood" appears in this episode, and it features language that David Milch didn't write. The scene is the funeral of Wild Bill Hickok, and the passage is the Reverend Smith's quoting of St. Paul's epistles to the Corinthians - specifically, the section about how all a body's parts are of the body, and are necessary to make it function. Seth regards it as gibberish, in part because Smith's bearing seems increasingly manic (though it's more the result of whatever causes him to suffer a seizure in his tent after the funeral), but mainly because he doesn't want to hear what the passage - what "Deadwood" itself - is all about. 

This show is about the formation of a community, and a community, like a body, requires its many parts to work together in order to function. When we entered the series, Deadwood was not a community, but a collection of loners pursuing separate agendas (or, in the case of the staff at the Gem, a small collective furthering the agenda of one individual against everyone else). And that's fine for an outlaw, illegal mining camp, but not for what Al and Cy and everyone else hopes will eventually become an annexed part of the United States. Sooner or later, the foot's going to have to learn to work with the knee, the eye with the ear, and all the parts together - not all the time, but often enough for the body that is Deadwood to work as a whole.  Read More...



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