This episode takes place the next day after the first episode. Word has quickly spread of the ending of the first episode, as Seth Bullock and Bill Hickok come to the same conclusion of last episode’s tragedy.
In such a small town, it seems that not only news spreads fast, but everyone is quicker to take action against it. Everyone draws their own conclusion as to what happened, and it gets in the way of each other’s goals, whether they feel something personal or merely ruthless business.
Due to this one thing that happened in the first episode, everyone is questioning what is truly happening, suspicions arise, and who is in league with whom. It’s plain to see that Seth and Bill are seen as new powerhouses within Deadwood, and just as much as distrust spread amongst those who are trying to make something of themselves, so does fear and respect.
We also finally see the first true instance of being in the law free town. A murder, not in passion, not for a pure form of gain, not in personal grudge, but merely business, to cover tracks, a loose end. All because it’s speculated that Seth and/or Bill are protecting someone who must be murdered from someone’s perspective; proving Seth’s and Bill’s – only at this point assumed – friendship is enough for this other powerful person to take the road he’d rather not travel just to avoid them.
Revelations are also confirmed amongst certain characters, allowing us to see what really happened that night, and just how close certain characters are to death from a people’s brand of justice, whether this comes from killing from disgust at the act, personal scene of justice, or for the feeling of safety.
Other characters are beginning to show more of their colours; Bill seems to prefer to just relax but isn’t afraid to gun someone down if he sees fit; Seth’s moral justice and certain dislike of others starts to harm his own plans; Al is threatening and menacing, putting his justice aside for business, and almost seems Seth’s antithesis – Al the calm, threatening business man, putting business above justice, while Seth the hot tempered, threatening man, putting his own justice and ways above business.
No matter what happens next, we see that characters treading lightly around others, I guess that is what happens when you start living in a town with no laws, anyone can come along and put a wrench in your plans for their own gain.