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"A Lie Agreed Upon: Part I" is the first episode of the second season of Deadwood. It is the thirteenth episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 6, 2005. It was written by David Milch and directed by Ed Bianchi.


In the Season Two premiere, an anxious Swearengen calls out Bullock over the Sheriff's relationship with Alma.[1]


Seth Bullock's growing affection for the widow Alma Garret finds full expression. Even as a stagecoach bearing Bullock's stepson and wife-the widow of his brother-heads toward Deadwood, Bullock makes passionate love to Alma in her hotel room at the Grand Central Hotel.[2]

Their lovemaking is so exuberant that it threatens to bring down the ceiling on Sofia Metz and her new tutor, Miss Isringhausen, as they sit beneath the bedroom in the hotel lobby, trying to concentrate on Sofia's lesson. The ever-watchful E.B. Farnum also notices the commotion upstairs and comments about the impending shipment of Garret's gold to Denver.[2]

Elsewhere in town, other eyes scan the distance for the approaching stagecoach. Joanie Stubbs, now intent on separating from the increasingly poisonous Cy Tolliver, anxiously awaits the arrival of three prostitutes and an old friend, Maddie, who will serve as the madam in her new brothel.[2]

At The Gem Saloon, Al Swearengen is in a particularly foul mood as he learns that Governor Pennington of the Dakota Territory has divided the hill country around Deadwood into three counties, each with its own commissioner. Not only is Al upset by the inexorable encroachment of civilization on the perfect little corner of hell he controls, but by the fact that all three of the commissioners hail from Yankton and without representation from the Hills, which means they're less susceptible to his bribes or threats.[2]

Dan Dority, looking to cheer Al, points out that it "saves time travelin' to the one destination-- murder the three of 'em, 'see how they like being commissioners after they're dead." When he steps on to the balcony outside his office, Al's mood is not lifted by his view: workers have begun putting up telegraph poles. "Messages from invisible sources," he says disgustedly. "What some people think of as progress..."[2]

And when Bullock, fresh from his tryst, steps out of the Grand Central wearing his sheriff's badge, Swearengen's rage boils over. "Our sheriff, about his duties to the camp," he says loudly. "Lucky trouble didn't jump off earlier, eh Bullock? Might've found you mid-thrust at other business," he says, glancing towards the widow Garret's window.[2]

Outraged by the public insult, Bullock stares so hard at Swearengen even Al is unnerved. "What is it? Taken by a vision? You wouldn't want to be staring like that at me." But Bullock is on an official mission, having heard a gunshot, and strides away angrily to investigate. What he finds at the No. 10 Saloon is a practical joke gone very wrong. Warned that he would be shot if he urinated in the saloon's cuspidor again, a man named Slippery Dan has switched coats with fellow sot Bummer Dan and dared him to relieve himself in the establishment. The challenge was taken, according to witnesses--and Bummer Dan was promptly shot by Harry Manning, the bartender.[2]

Dismissing the matter, Bullock heads back to the Gem to even the score with Swearengen. Trixie alerts Bullock's partner, Sol Star, and Charlie Utter attempts to dissuade Bullock, to no avail. In short order, Bullock and Swearengen are fighting like rabid dogs, falling from the Gem's balcony into the muddy street, where they flail at each other. Bullock, bloodied and broken-nosed, gets the best of an even bloodier Swearengen, whose ribs are fractured in the fall.[2]

Into this chaos arrives the stagecoach. Dority is aiming his rifle at Bullock, ready for the kill, when Silas Adams bearhugs him from behind. "Ain't your kill," he tells Dority.[2]

Star, with his tiny derringer drawn, advances on the scene, and is felled by a shot from Johnny Burns, who then takes down Charlie Utter, wounding him slightly.[2]

As the stage pulls up, Swearengen looks up from the carnage. "Welcome to fucking Deadwood," he offers the stunned passengers by way of greeting. The arrival proves to be fortuitous. Swearengen, bested in the battle, has pulled a concealed knife and is advancing on Bullock, but stops when his eye is caught by Bullock's son William, whose look of terror and fear causes something in Al to disarm. He passes Bullock and limps back inside the Gem.[2]

Bullock, in sorry shape himself, is reunited with his wife and stepson. And Joanie, to the surprise and consternation of Tolliver, is reunited with her friend Maddie.[2]

Bullock and Swearengen minister their wounds while Doc Cochran tends to Star and Utter, neither seriously wounded. Farnum reports back to Swearengen that Bullock intends to return and retrieve his gun and badge. "Did it sound like he'll be coming back for more?" Swearengen wants to know. He also has noticed the new whores on the stagecoach, and demands to know where they'll be working.[2]

Meanwhile, Alma Garret is undone by the afternoon's events. The transformation of her new lover to a bloody, broken mess and the extraordinary complication of his wife and child having arrived on the scene have left her a bit daunted. Under the guise of delivering a welcome gift to Bullock's wife Martha, Alma visits the hardware store for a closer perspective, leading to an awkward moment between the three adults.[2]

At the Bella Union, Tolliver's rage over Joanie's impending departure is masked by a sarcastic facade. Feigning gentility, he asks Maddie if he could speak with Joanie alone. "Suck some pricks if you like, and keep whatever they give you. My way of saying welcome." Maddie responds with her own sarcasm: "Any blind ones out there?"[2]

Tolliver is suspicious about who is bankrolling Joanie's venture, suspecting the recently departed dealer Eddie Sawyer. "I knew Eddie'd been stealing from me. And he flees, and you turn up owning that place," he says. After hectoring her further, he decides to let her go: "I feel like a boy. I feel like skipping, I'm that fucking hopeful and excited for you."[2]

To celebrate Joanie's departure, he breaks out a bottle of champagne, but insists on pouring it in the mouths of Joanie, Maddie, the new ladies and the whores Joanie is taking with her from the Bella Union. He also insists that Joanie take the whore Doris with her, too. "Being funds stole from me by Eddie put the Chez Ami on its feet, I consider myself an investor, and I will have my interest looked to-sixty cents from dollar one-and a true count fucking verified."[2]

Bullock escorts his wife and boy to the new house he's built for them, but excuses himself rather than go in with them just yet. Departing the house, he walks back to the Grand Central and into the waiting arms of Alma.[2]






Guest Starring



  • Ralph Richeson as Richardson
  • Parisse Boothe as Tess
  • Chandra Richards as Rosie
  • Erica Swanson as Doris
  • Fiona Dourif as Enid
  • Channing Swift as Prospector
  • Lloyd Lineen as Miner in the Street
  • Sean LoGrasso as Cowboy
  • Tony Swift as Prospector
  • Unknown as Bummer Dan

Cast notes[]

Memorable Quotes[]



Episodes of Deadwood
Season 1 "Deadwood" • "Deep Water" • "Reconnoitering the Rim" • "Here Was a Man" • "The Trial of Jack McCall" • "Plague" • "Bullock Returns to the Camp" • "Suffer the Little Children" • "No Other Sons or Daughters" • "Mister Wu" • "Jewel's Boot Is Made for Walking" • "Sold Under Sin"
Season 2 "A Lie Agreed Upon: Part I" • "A Lie Agreed Upon: Part II" • "New Money" • "Requiem for a Gleet" • "Complications" • "Something Very Expensive" • "E.B. Was Left Out" • "Childish Things" • "Amalgamation and Capital" • "Advances, None Miraculous" • "The Whores Can Come" • "Boy-the-Earth-Talks-To"
Season 3 "Tell Your God to Ready for Blood" • "I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For" • "True Colors" • "Full Faith and Credit" • "A Two-Headed Beast" • "A Rich Find" • "Unauthorized Cinnamon" • "Leviathan Smiles" • "Amateur Night" • "A Constant Throb" • "The Catbird Seat" • "Tell Him Something Pretty"