Deadwood Wiki

"Let me suggest, Mr. Swearengen, you do not get distracted from your opportunity. Not who I work for should concern you, but the amount you'll be paid and the surety of its delivery."
―Miss Isringhausen bargaining with Al Swearengen[src]

Alice Isringhausen, better known as Miss Isringhausen, is a supporting character as well as an antagonist during the second season of HBO's Deadwood. She serves as the secondary antagonist of the season.

Hired as a tutor for Sofia Metz, she is later revealed to be a Pinkerton agent sent to somehow frame Alma Garret for the death of her husband.

She is portrayed by Sarah Paulson.


Tutor for Sofia Metz

Miss Isringhausen arrived in Deadwood as the new tutor for Sofia Metz. At first, Alma seems to trust Alice and asks her advice concerning her love affair with sheriff Seth Bullock.

As Bullock visits the Grand Central to call on Alma, Richardson goes to fetch her but returns with Sofia Metz and Miss Isringhausen instead, who informs Bullock that Alma is visiting her claim. Alice returns Bullock's timepiece, and though he is taken aback by the meaning of the gesture, he presses ahead with the message he'd intended for Alma, hoping to convince her to give up her child and depart with him: "As few children as are in the camp, certainly, if she decided it was appropriate, other parties would be delighted, and grateful."

The widow Garret, irritated by what she perceives as Miss Isringhausen's judgmental attitude towards her and the way she conducts her affairs, fires the young woman. "I'll say good night then" Miss Isringhausen says. "As is your custom," Alma points out, "without having spared one affectionate look for my child." "My training, Ma'am," Miss Isringhausen responds, "is that, being engaged to see to the child's education, my soliciting her affections would intrude on the mother's province."

Fired by the widow Garret

At the Grand Central Hotel, Alma formalizes her firing of Miss Isringhausen, but offers a generous severance package. Alma tells her: "Cotton Mather would have found hard and joyless the standards you so resolutely apply to me, and Sofia, and of course to yourself."

Later, Miss Isringhausen seduces Silas Adams at the Grand Central. When Adams is apologetic afterwards, he is assured: "You took no more advantage of me, Silas, than the Samaritan did the traveler from Jerusalem." She also tells Adams that the widow Garret claims she hired Al Swearengen to murder her husband, and asks if Adams will introduce her to Swearengen. "Why do I feel lucky," says an incredulous Adams, "we didn't meet across a poker table?"

Meeting with Swearengen

Al has been ill for some time, but starts to continue his audiences. He also meets Miss Isringhausen, who has been escorted by Silas Adams. The woman tells Swearengen that while in Alma Garret's employ, the widow, under the influence of opium, admitted to having her husband killed, and named Al as her instrument. Swearengen, seeing through this artifice, asks Isringhausen who she works for, adding that he hopes it's not the Pinkertons, sent by Brom Garret's family to swindle the widow out of her gold.

Miss Isringhausen declines to name her employer, insisting instead that Al focus on the money: $50,000 for his cooperation. Looking hard at Adams, Al asks if there is "no charge for the pussy" and asks for a day to consider the offer. Afterward, Silas is furious for being made to look like a fool. "Come on up and fuck me, why don't you," the former tutor says, promising to answer any of his questions afterward.

In bed, Miss Isringhausen describes how she was hired to answer Alma's ad for a tutor, but claims she was not told details about her employer. Silas suggests that Garret's family would seem a likely client of the Pinkertons, and Miss Isringhausen agrees.

True colors revealed

Al summons Miss Isringhausen to his office and agrees to the offer she has made. Al will sign a document that he instructed Dan Dority to kill Brom Garret at Alma's behest. Miss Isringhausen will sign a document outlining their arrangement. When Dority has escaped custody, final payment will be made, and Isringhausen's signed confession will be destroyed. However, Miss Isringhausen is not aware of the plan that Al and Alma have made to fool Miss Isringhausen and her employer.

Later on, Al once again meets with Miss Isringhausen, telling her that he has received a letter from Alma Garret, who has realized that she has betrayed their plan by letting it slip that she knows Isringhausen works for the Pinkertons. Al surmises that Miss Isringhausen's wire reported this to her bosses. Miss Isringhausen acknowledges this to be true, but adds that she assumed the bidding on his loyalty was still open. "The bidding's open always, on everyone," he replies, but goes on to explain that having the widow Garret's in-laws selling out her claim works against his interests. Under the circumstances, Al suggests that Miss Isringhausen's loyalties might be more affordable than his own. The former tutor accepts Swearengen's offer of $5,000 (and her life), under the condition that Bullock witness the signature of the confession document and that he escort her out of town.

However, The sheriff is busy since his son has died due to an accident. Al discusses the confession with Miss Isringhausen. The former tutor/Pinkerton is having second thoughts about signing the document, now that her escort is otherwise occupied, and refuses to sign. Adams meets with Swearengen and Miss Isringhausen, and the young woman is soon induced to sign the document -although not before trying one false signature. Reaching into his pocket, Al produces the $5,000 he had promised. "Wish I had five like you," he says as she leaves.

Behind the Scenes[]



Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
The Movie
Appears Appears as a corpse Appears in a flashback