Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 3

Reconnoitering the Rim (4 Apr. 2004)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Crime, Drama, History
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Competition arrives for Swearengen in the form of the Bella Union, a new gambling outfit from Chicago operated by savvy Cy Tolliver, Madame Joanie Stubbs and gaming guru Eddie Sawyer. ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:


Competition arrives for Swearengen in the form of the Bella Union, a new gambling outfit from Chicago operated by savvy Cy Tolliver, Madame Joanie Stubbs and gaming guru Eddie Sawyer. Hickok puts up precious collateral in a poker game with McCall; Bullock and Sol strike a deal with Swearengen on a lot for their hardware store. Garret threatens Swearengen before investigating his gold claim. Written by WyattJones

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



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Release Date:

4 April 2004 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Al Swearengen: You do not want to be a dirt-worshipping heathen from this fucking point forward.
Al Swearengen: [Turns to Joanie] Pardon my French.
Joanie Stubbs: Oh, I speak French.
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Theme From Deadwood
Written by David Schwartz
Performed by James Parks
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User Reviews

Trouble comes to town in the form of a new gambling outfit. Swearengen now has competition as loyalty comes into play
25 August 2012 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Swearengen wakes up to find competition landing just outside his door step one morning. A new gambling outfit operated by a smooth-talking giant of a man Cy Tolliver from Chicago has opened up just across from the Gem Saloon, and offers gambling and fresh whores. It's also a more up-market and cheery looking place on the inside. Swearengen is obviously vexed by this, and instructs E.P. to head over there to check it out and report back to him. He also hires an informant to go undercover there this week and to report everything that goes on, while Al himself heads over to formally introduce himself to his new business rival. Meanwhile, Brom Garret confides in his lovely wife Alma that he believes he has been duped with the gold claim. Against Alma's wishes to just get the hell out of Deadwood, Garret enlists the help of Wild Bill Hickcock and Charlie Utter, who refuse to be 'guns-for-hire' and advise him not to stand up to Swearengen on his own. Brom tries a different approach and threatens Swearengen that he'll get the Pinkertons involved if he does not refund his gold claim. Al is genuinely set back by the mention of the Pinkertons, and instructs one of his men to lead him back up to the woods to a different gold claim and to 'make it look like an accident'. Seth and Sol purchase the loft off Swearengen, on the grounds that they do not associate with the new gambling joint in Deadwood. With the help of Hickock and Charlie Utter, they get to building right away. "Reconnoitering the Rim" presents some competition for Al Swearengen in the form of a new up-market saloon that offers gambling to the grim and primitive inhabitants of Deadwood. In his introduction to Cy, Al explains how he neglected introducing gambling to his saloon in fear of 'confusing' people. Cy looks to be a force Al may not want to reckon with, but if we know Al, we know that he'll back down from no one. However, his intimidating stare doesn't appear to be working on the people from Chicago. Another fast-paced and brilliant episode with excellent dialogue and acting.

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