This episode takes some liberties with the facts but since its featured character was known to sometimes do the same, perhaps we shouldn't fault the writers too much.
The legendary frontierswoman known as Calamity Jane was actually born Martha Jane Canary (not Conroy) in Missouri in 1852. Orphaned at the age of 14 she took whatever jobs she could to support her numerous siblings. Eventually her extreme wanderlust found her employed as an Army Scout, Pony Express Rider, and occasionally as a local prostitute. She joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West show in 1893, but did no Annie Oakley-style trick shooting, merely appearing in "mannish" costume as a story teller, recounting both her real and fictionalized adventures to enraptured audiences. Plagued by alcoholism from an early age she was a complex character, known for displays of kindness that contrasted starkly with rough life she led until her tragic and unexpected death in 1903.
"Taking the Cure" was for a very long time a euphemism for what what we now describe as "undergoing Rehab". And Jane, when we first see her, is in desperate need of it, passed out drunk on one of the sofas in the lobby of the prestigious Carlton.
Paladin -- an old friend -- immediately begins his version of "intervention". Learning that Jane has resorted to booze because her publisher-promoter has replaced her with a younger, more attractive model while keeping all the profits from their sundered partnership, he's determined to see Jane recoup both the funds to which she's entitled and salvage at least some of her reputation. There's some wonderful interaction between Jane and Paladin as they track down her ex-promoter and Jane's latest incarnation, who sports a bouffant style hairdo and "fishnet" tights.
The ending's a bit of a surprise but entirely in keeping with what we do know about the real Martha Jane. And you won't want to miss the spectacle of two "Lady Gunslingers" facing off against each other!
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