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"Childish Things" is the eighth episode of the second season of Deadwood. It is the twentieth episode of the series overall. It premiered on April 24, 2005. It was written by Regina Corrado and directed by Tim Van Patten.


Wolcott offers on a rich claim operated by two ornery brothers, and reports to Hearst on their progress.[1]


Al Swearengen calls a sit-down with Seth Bullock to enlist him in "the coming campaign," explaining that their cause is "survivin', not being allied with Yankton or with cogs of the Hearst machine." He wants Bullock to consider contacting his judge friend in Montana, with an eye toward annexation. Creating a dispute between Helena and Yankton might offer the opportunity for a new territory, statehood, or even a new republic, and Swearengen wants Bullock to be Deadwood's "trustworthy mug.". Bullock says he's not interested, but Al disputes it. "To not grab an ankle [for an ass fucking by Yankton] is to take a position," he says, and an unspoken agreement is made.[2]

Francis Wolcott writes to his employer George Hearst that he has consolidated many claims and that, with the exception of Alma Garret's claim, every considerable deposit in the region is now under his control. He also outlines the brutal steps that have been taken at the mines to control the workers -"Germans and Cornish" - who are bent on stealing, but suggests that bringing in Chinese laborers and moving to a 24-hour operation is still a delicate issue. He closes the letter saying that he is looking forward to Hearst's arrival in town and promising that what he will see is "the largest and most forward-looking gold operation in the world."[2]

At the Bella Union, Doc Cochran offers to check in on the Chinese whores, who are being treated abominably, denied even food to keep them alive. But Cy Tolliver declines, saying that he is trying to be tolerant of a culture that considers the women disposable. When an outraged Cochran says he'll do the work pro bono, however, Tolliver changes his view.[2]

The stage brings a pair of interesting arrivals to town. One is the new telegraph operator, Blazanov, who will rent office space with A.W. Merrick. The other is an enormous "bone-shaker" bicycle that has been ordered by Tom Nuttall. Showing off the specimen at his saloon, some patrons express doubt that it is built to handle streets as rutted and muddy as those of Deadwood. A bet is soon made, with many of the citizenry taking a position.[2]

Martha and William Bullock pay a surprise visit on Alma Garret and the two are able to conduct a civil conversation. Since the new school teacher has already fled town, Martha proposes that she take over in the education of the camp's children. Alma agrees that it is a good idea, but their unspoken conflict looms large, and whatever civility the two have mustered quickly evaporates. After a terse discussion of past slights, Martha leaves upset.[2]

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.[2]

Martha's visit to the widow Garret leads to a chain reaction of discomfort. Recounting the conversation to Seth, she sees her husband grow quiet and distant. Bullock then promptly argues with Sol Star about the future location of Alma's bank.[2]

At the Grand Central Hotel, an agitated Alma finds herself knocking on the door of her former employee, the Pinkerton spy Miss Isringhausen. Seething, Alma condemns the woman, and when Miss Isringhausen icily mentions Bullock, Alma moves to strike her. But Miss Isringhausen is no naïf and, grabbing Alma's wrist, she dismisses the widow: "Alright, Mrs. Garret, you've had your fit of temper. Get the fuck back to your room."[2]

Calamity Jane is in a bad way, throwing up on the boardwalk in front of Charlie Utter's store. Charlie suggests that Jane's experience in losing a loved one could prove useful to Joanie Stubbs. "How does standing in my own puke prompt you to volunteer me to give a condolence call?" Jane asks with disdain.[2]

Tolliver introduces Wolcott to Mose Manuel, a large, surly saloon hound who co-owns a lucrative gold claim with his brother, Charlie. The brothers have had a falling out, and Wolcott offers $200,000 cash if they'll both sell.[2]

Soon after, the entire town gathers to watch Nuttall in his quest to ride the bone rattler and win his bet. Richardson goes looking for his boss to ask permission to observe the spectacle, and bursting into E.B. Farnum's office, finds him choking on a poultice he had applied to a bad tooth. The old man digs out the obstruction and saves Farnum, earning him a tongue-lashing and a stomp on the foot.[2]

As the huge crowd whoops in excitement, the bicycle ride is successful. Swearengen - accompanied by his confidante, The Chief-watches from his balcony, and Merrick preserves the moment for posterity with his camera. By the time Nuttall has completed his ride, Al, Bullock-even Wolcott-find it difficult not to smile at the event.[2]

Two people not in attendance are the Manuel brothers, who are discussing Wolcott's offer. Mose implores his brother Charlie to accept the deal, but he refuses--and Mose promptly shoots him dead.[2]

Jane pays her condolence visit to Joanie, who is waiting in the dark at the Chez Ami. Even in her intoxicated state, Jane manages to piece together the events of the murders and Wolcott's beating at Utter's hands.[2]

Whitney Ellsworth, after much soul searching and discussion with his dog, pays call on the widow Garret. Explaining that he lost his wife and baby girl to typhus, he gingerly explains that he understands Alma's condition, and offers himself as a candidate for marriage. Alma is clearly moved and surprised, and asks her friend for a brief interval before giving an answer.[2]

At the Bullock house, Martha confronts Seth, telling him that he is an able provider and a good father for William and that no further demonstrations of affection from him will be necessary "as other duties claim your attentions." Bullock makes it clear that there have been no other duties since Martha arrived at camp, but his wife becomes incensed. "Do not sacrifice further on my account, Mr. Bullock," she says angrily.[2]

Dropping in on his neighbor Merrick, Swearengen offers a newspaper item that suggests that Bullock "would not confirm" his discussions with Montana regarding annexation. Surprised, Merrick asks if the story is true. "Did he fucking confirm it to you?" Al asks. Then, seeing the telegraph apparatus, Al upbraids Merrick for not keeping him informed.[2]

Utter visits his old friend Wild Bill in the cemetery, and describes his concerns about Jane's self-destruction. "I won't stand before you claimin' optimism," he says. He also promises to deliver Bill's final letter to his wife.[2]

In the alley, Doc Cochran is horrified by the treatment of the Chinese whores, and Mose Manuel is overwhelmed by his act against Charlie. "It's not easy to forget a fucking brother," he yells. "Money has properties in this regard," Wolcott tells him.[2]

Unnerved by the staring eyes of the Chinese prostitutes, Wolcott finds himself at the Chez Ami. Joanie, her back to the door, tells him to "do what he came to do." But Wolcott seems uncertain what that is. Finally, Joanie smashes him in the head with a bourbon bottle and runs to the back room. "I got a gun in here. Get the fuck out and lock the front fucking door," she says, seemingly out of her reverie.[2]

Jane, drunk and late as always, stumbles out to keep an eye on Joanie, and discovers a bleeding walking Wolcott down the street. "Are you the fucking cocksucker," she asks him, pointing her gun. Wolcott, a little stunned at the recent turn of events is calm. "I may well be," he says.[2]



  • Captain Joe Turner
  • Blazanov
  • Mose Manuel
  • Charlie Manuel


  • Charlie Manuel



Guest Starring

  • Pruitt Taylor Vince as Mose Manuel
  • Sarah Paulson as Alice Isringhausen
  • Pasha D. Lychnikoff as Blazanov
  • Philip Moon as Mr. Lee
  • Maury Sterling as Elmer
  • Kirk Fox as Charlie Manuel
  • Mei Melançon as Chinese Slavewhore
  • Zack Ward as Hotel Desk Clerk


  • Gill Gayle as Huckster
  • Allan Graf as Captain Joe Turner
  • Allen Keller as Marvin Somes
  • Ted Mann as Rutherford
  • Ralph Richeson as Richardson


  • Frank Turner as Barney
  • Danielle McKee as Gem Whore
  • Jaden Christopher as Chinese Slave
  • Linda Wang as Chinese Slave Whore

Cast notes[]

  • Twenty of twenty-one starring cast members appear in this episode.
  • Starring cast member Titus Welliver (Silas Adams) does not appear in this episode.

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"