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This article contains spoilers for all three seasons of Deadwood and Deadwood: The Movie.
Discretion is advised.

Alma Russell Garret, later Ellsworth, moved to Deadwood with her new husband Brom Garret, who left the high society of New York to experience frontier life and while in Deadwood buys a claim in the gold-rich territory. It is not long before Garret falls afoul of Al Swearengen: after Garret perceives the gold claim he purchased in a deal brokered by Swearengen to be worthless, he threatens the saloon owner with Pinkerton involvement should his money not be returned to him. Garret is promptly murdered on Swearengen's orders, only for the claim to turn out a very rich one. Now, stranded in Deadwood and dealing with attempts by Swearengen to buy the claim back, the 30-year-old widow Garret decides to try her luck on the new frontier rather than sell the claim and return East.

She hires Wild Bill Hickok to investigate both the claim and Swearengen's interest. Hickok soon nominates Seth Bullock to assay her gold claim, shortly before Hickok is murdered, which event renders Bullock the sole guardian of Alma's interests. Eventually, Bullock and Alma begin an affair, which is cut short by the arrival of Bullock's wife and stepson, and his and Alma's mutual revulsion at the prospect of marital infidelity. Alma is, however, brokenhearted, jealous, and furious with both Bullock and his wife Martha, although she knows that feeling is irrational. Her mood is not aided by the revelation that she has become pregnant by Bullock.

In the meantime, Alma fends off not only her own father, who has heard of her newfound wealth and come seeking a share, but also a surreptitious plan by her husband's family to frame her for his murder and thereby take over the claim for themselves. The intense interest of George Hearst's mining empire in her claim also poses future problems. To ensure she is not ridiculed during her pregnancy, Trixie tells Whitney Ellsworth he should propose to Alma. After a period of hesitation, Alma accepts Ellsworth's proposal and marries him the following week in front of several Deadwood citizens and friends. In the early episodes, Alma struggles with an addiction to laudanum, which she overcomes with Trixie's assistance. She also takes Sofia Metz, an orphan girl whose family was murdered, under her wing as a foster daughter.

In the third season, Alma loses her baby to miscarriage and returns to her laudanum addiction. Seeing her addiction as a sign of her unhappiness, Ellsworth decides they should separate, after which she is able to end her drug habit. She uses the wealth generated by her claim to open Deadwood's first bank but is under increasing pressure to sell the claim to Hearst. She tries to negotiate to sell him a substantial portion of the claim, but he will only accept full ownership. Hearst tries to intimidate her by having one of his men shoot at her in the street, presumably to provoke Ellsworth into being killed in a fight. Swearengen stops this from happening, but Ellsworth is later assassinated by one of Hearst's men. With no alternative other than to flee the camp, Alma reluctantly sells to Hearst.

In Deadwood: The Movie, Alma returns to Deadwood along with Sofia to oversee her banking interests in the town, having spent some years away. There remains strong romantic tension between her and Bullock, though they decline to act on their passions. Alma defies Hearst when she outbids him for the former land of Charlie Utter.[2]


Season 1[]

Season 2[]

Season 3[]