Deadwood is amazing. But for the background. Dan Dority, for example, played by W. Earl Brown, is totally realized. On screen, his manner, style of speech, habits and shape fit into Deadwood’s world without seam.
Last week we saw Dan streetfight with Captain Turner (Allan Graf). Dan is getting it pretty good. He reaches out, plucks the Captain’s eye out of his head with his fingers, and then finishes the scene with a club. It’s a quick fight, as most are, but the arc lumbers to conclusion: it feels longer than it is, wonderfully edited. The aftermath, the outcome of the scene, never goes away, though. The memory of the act can be seen in Dan throughout and into the next episode like an icon over his shoulder, a shadow cast behind him. He’s not the same. He knows it. We know it.