I thought he was looking for it to happen. Maybe not that day, but he was giving up to his fate, not taking added precautions and letting death come since he knew it was destined. He hesitated right before he sat in the chair with his back to the door and then gave a sorta resigned grunt before taking his seat.


I’m thinking that was the “Indian” that took out the family that left that kid orphaned. Or at least that’s how Swearington will spin it.


Why does Al desperately not want the Pinkertons coming to town?

Who are (were) the Pinkertons, and what do (did) they do?


Al isn’t that concerned about the Pinkertons, it’s just a good front. He wants the claim back because when they killed Brom they found that the claim really hadn’t pinched out and did have a bunch of gold left in it.

The Pinkertons were a private detective agency, and would do security for hire, strikebreaking etc. as well.


Tom worked for them until he got shot by a woman.


Oh, I disagree with that. A penny-ante thug lord like Swearengen is petrified of those boys coming out, especially with the news that there’s gold in them thar hills. Then all eyes turn right on Al, and he probably gets strung up before the Pinkertons can get him back East. Or not, and he goes back there, anyway. They didn’t give you life in prison for murder in those days.


Actually it’s quite obvious that Al has a great fear of the Pinkertons. Those guys were no non-sense asskickers. In a place like Deadwood they could do whatever they wanted, and Swearengen knows they would have no compunction, if they figured that he caused Garrett’s death, to take him out quite easily. His connections, terrorizing demeanor, and reliance of the townfolk for his “wares” would be no defense against them.

— Alan


Ok, I think Al does fear the Pinkertons in general, but I really don’t see him currently being concerned about the wife calling them out. He could’ve just paid Brom off, but instead opted to have him killed. That was his solution to the Pinkerton issue, and I think in his mind he’s done with them. Now the Pinkertons serve as a cover story as to why he wants to buy the claim back, keep the wife happy so she doesn’t call the Pinkertons, but truth is he wants the gold and I really don’t think he’s concerned about her calling in the Pinkertons at all. That’s really how it looked to me. I’m sure it will become clearer next episode.


Let’s review: Brom claims there’s no gold in his claim. He wants to sell the claim. He goes up scrounging and WHOOPSIE dies in a fall. She calls the Pinkertons (so Al thinks; notice, she has not. Her resources appear to her to only be any in the immediate vicinity. I’m not sure she - I’m not even sure Brom - could call the Pinkertons), and they find that big gold vein, smeared visible by someone’s hand, right where Brom hit. Maybe they could be misled about particulars, but who the hell wants to risk that? The idea is to keep the Pinkertons as far away from Deadwood as possible. Sure, the gold’s involved - Al doesn’t want a soul to find out about it, the Pinkertons epsecially included. Mrs. keeps her due riches, and Al’s man, thus Al, look overwhelmingly suspicious. Then, just as Al would suspect, every motherfucker ever comes flying out of the woodwork to narc on Al. The guy doesn’t - and shouldn’t - trust a soul, hardly (how can he? The four most trusted people he has, the whore, the chubby henchman, EB and the other fruity guy who just seems to only be around to throw Al’s door open and exclaim that someone’s there to see him, and they ain’t takin’ no fer an answer, neither!, have respectively thought seriously about killing him, lied to protect an innocent that Al wanted dead, and sold him right the fuck out). Again, I think Al’s way too scared of them coming out. Not to sound dismissive, but you ought to read about the Pinkertons; nobody wanted to fuck about with them back then.


She can’t call the Pinkertons. The best she could do is prevail upon her father-in-law to call on them (which he might or he might not, but regardless, NY is a long way away). Women have no real power in this era, remember?


I know it’s early but I was worried that she was headed down the path to become one of Al’s prostitutes. It looks as though Will Bill arranged some protection for her.


And Brom didn’t fall, he was thrown under Al’s direction. Brom is the one that originally threatend to call the Pinkertons, the Wife hasn’t mentioned them at all.


I always thought she was meant for Bullock. But now we learn he has a wife and daughter out thar somewhar.


I always thought she was meant for Bullock. But now we learn he has a wife and daughter out thar somewhar.[/quote]

There was a far-looking preview last week that showed an interesting exchange between the two, though.


I read one particular preview about the series, where they said they got the first four episodes I think (and say tha it takes all four to really get the show going, once you get there, you’re hooked) and typically of course it went over all of the profanity, etc. The odd thing was that the show somehow implied that Bullock and Sol Star were homosexual lovers, which is even more odd as Bullock says in the fourth episode that he has a wife and child.

— Alan


Where did you read that preview? Man, I was hooked from the first 10 minutes. I really couldn’t be more hooked. And I’ve seen nothing to indicate Sol and Bullock are gay, except that neither of them have found comfort in the arms of an “unfamiliar woman.”


Crap, I don’t remember… it was like the day before the show came out. It might be linked to one of the “news” stories on the HBO website for the show.

— Alan


Er, why can’t she call the Pinkertons? Woman or not, I’m sure they would come west right away if she sent enough cash. And my read is that both her family and her late husband’s family are wealthy. She seems well educated and cultured, and I thought she mentioned or implied her own family wealth when she was trying to convince Brom to leave town and give up the money two episodes ago.

Also, Pinkerton hired a woman PI named Kate Warne (who became very famous as a great detective) in the 1850s, and subsequently hired a bunch of female agents. So I can’t imagine the Pinkertons discriminating about female clients. Oh, and the Pinkertons were headquartered in Chicago, not NY. So they’re not really that far away.

How’s this for synchronicity? I was reading a Flashman book last night that made reference to the Chartists, a mid-19th century group of socialist reformers, and thinking I should look them up online, as I was unfamiliar with the name. Today, I Google “Pinkerton Detective Agency” to double-check some stuff (I read a long section about the Pinkertons in a crime book years ago, but am fuzzy on the facts now), and up comes a biography of Allan Pinkerton which notes that he belonged to the Chartists, and explains what the group was all about. Pinkerton only came to North America because he was being hunted by the law for belonging to the Chartists at the time all these revolutionary groups were pushing Europe to go boom in 1848.

Man, it’s odd how you can encounter something for the first time, wonder about it, and then immediately see it elsewhere or have it come up in casual conversation as if it had always been commonplace. Hard to believe that it’s just coincidence, as it happens so frequently. To me, at least.


Just found this online as well:

“Remote agency offices opened across the sagebrush trails, from Kansas to California, from Texas to the Canadian border, so that wherever hold-up men tipped a bank, paused a money train or removed an express box from a stagecoach, Pinkerton detectives were a spur-dig away. By this time, Allan Pinkerton had begun to slow with age – physically, not mentally – and William took up much of the frontier legwork. He often conducted posses of agents in search of some of the West’s landmark names, Jesse James, Cole Younger, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, “Black Jack” Tom Ketcham, the Burrow Gang, Hillary Farrington, the Reno brothers and William Randolph.”

Seems pretty obvious why Swearengen’s so afraid of the Pinkertons. They must be operating all around Deadwood.


I thought women back then had no automatic inheritance or property rights? Was I thinking of an earlier Western era? EB, the Innkeeper, even tells Jane that she can’t rent a room by herself, because she’s a woman (I assumed that was a gender issue and not a “Jane is uncouth” issue. Regardless, I do know that 1876 was not a time when it was Ok to be an unnattached female - even a widow).

Anyway, Brom had nothing. Even that $20K he got from his father and he made it sound like it was very difficult to get it in the first place. She told Jane last episode that her family was wealthy but her father was in serious debt. Which is why she married Brom, and why her father thanked her for doing that, and why he was sorry for her, because it got him out of debt but doomed her to Brom. Now, with his son dead there’s no guarantee that Brom’s father gives a crap about her or even that he would believe his son was killed. He’d probably buy the story of him falling to his death. I mean, if you knew Brom, wouldn’t you?

Hiring the Pinkertons wouldn’t be a cheap prospect regardless. And since, right now, she has NOTHING but the land Brom bought… I don’t think Al is worried. He wants her to sell the land and he’ll mine it good. If she leaves without selling, then he might get worried about her somehow contacting the Pinkertons.

There’s been nothing to indicate the Pinkertons are anywhere near Deadwood. And if they were, don’t you think they’d have come around over the dead Squarehead family incident?

Al’s afraid of them because by 1876 they were pretty famous.