I finally watched the “Deadwood” movie. I think I was holding on to it and hoarding it with the feeling that if I didn’t watch it there would always be more Deadwood for me to see. Eventually, I got over my sentimentality. The “movie” opens with Calamity Jane returning to Deadwood on a hill looking in on the city, and so we return with her. Ten minutes into the story the ever colorful Trixie returns. After ten years she hasn’t lost her talent with words. We have returned right back into Deadwood. I am feeling full of heart.
The timeline takes place ten years after the conclusion of season 3 and when the residents of Deadwood gather to commemorate Dakota’s statehood in 1889. In seems Senator George Hearst has returned to “celebrate” the commemoration. It’s pretty clear, he’s really just returned to stir some shit up and he does successfully. In fairness, the confrontation was instigated by a VERY pregnant Trixie who is also supposed to “dead”. She wanders onto one of the infamous balconies and let’s Hearst have it in full Trixie verbal assault. If you didn’t feel like you had returned to Deadwood with the casual interactions prior to this, Trixie brings you right back home. It becomes the catalyst for a series of events that ultimately brings us to the closure we all so desperately needed. We finally get an end.
We are also privy to what has happened to our characters. True to Deadwood some have faired much better than others. The absence of Powers Boothe does leave a sense of sadness. I think that is represented by Joanie though not directly addressed. Garrett Dillahunt wasn’t returning as a third character, but I had secretly hoped it a super secret surprise cameo. Alas, a girl can dream. Calamity Jane, Doc Cochran, Charlie Utter, Al Swearengen and the ever colorful Sheriff Bullock were back along with pretty much the rest of the cast. A bit older, some rougher around the edges, but each very much so themselves.
Bringing Us Back
After we are re-introduced we get right back into it and it’s like we never left. There’s no hesitation to make sacrifices or getting down to the brutal nature of things. We are quickly reminded by what a sickly formidable force Hearst is. In contrast, a very pissed of Bullock is over his bullshit and while it’s evident things will be summed up by the end, the suspense and ride getting there is a rough and well justified one.
There is a darkness and brutality to Deadwood, but there was always something powerful about how they town would come together against a common enemy. Particularly Hearst, but other instances as well. It’s best represented by the relationship between Swearengean and Bullock. And physically by those standing on their balconies watching the peasants bellow them like Greek gods of old, swaying their powers for good or evil.
There is a shift to flashbacks of events that transpired mostly on the last episode for viewers that may not have watched the show so I understood it’s necessity. Even so it was still a distraction for me, but also the only complaint I had. For fans of the show, this was the end we deserved.
It was absolutely worth the wait. If it had been ten more years it would have been worth the wait. Sometimes actors can lose the essence of a character and the same goes for everyone on set. But you could feel the love each of them had and everyone involved. I re-watch the series once every year or so and it’s always bittersweet as I get to the end, but now it doesn’t have to be. I have closure and so does the story, even though it doesn’t really end. The only dream I have for myself is eventually dragging a foe across the street by his/her ear.
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