4,491 votes


HBO 2004

In the Black Hills Indian Cession, the town of Deadwood is a settlement violating treaty obligations; a violent and uncivilized outpost that attracts outlaws and entrepreneurs, ex-soldiers and racketeers, Chinese laborers, prostitutes, city slickers and gunfighters.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Deadwood

Deadwood - S1E12

#1 - Sold Under Sin


Season 1 - Episode 12

The U.S. Army--under General Crook a.k.a. "Custer's Avengers"--rolls into Deadwood, prompting a parade...and business solicitations from Farnum and Tolliver. Swearengen delivers a tortured soul from suffering; Bullock reacts decisively to Russell's intentions regarding Alma; Con Stapleton's new commission proves short-lived; Adams shows Clagett where his loyalties lie; and Bullock and Alma have a late-night meeting.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Deadwood from 708 votes.

Deadwood - S2E12

#2 - Boy-The-Earth-Talks-To


Season 2 - Episode 12

Swearengen's shrewd manipulation of the rumor mill pays off in a Yankton counter-offer that requires only slight amending. Meanwhile, George Hearst's arrival in Deadwood has shaken up the camp's status quo from Wu to Farnum to Wolcott. Tolliver, for his part, seeks to avoid marginalization by offering the tycoon damning nuggets about his engineer's nasty habits.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Deadwood from 588 votes.

Deadwood - S3E5

#3 - A Two-Headed Beast


Season 3 - Episode 5

As Tolliver tries to find a respectable employee suitable to be his liaison with Hearst, Swearengen tries to understand the reasoning behind Hearst's actions. The conflict becomes more tense as Dority and Captain Turner violently settle their differences. Bullock tries to finally settle the dispute between Steve and Hostetler and another murder brings Bullock once more face to face with Hearst, forcing him to take action. Trixie becomes suspicious of Alma's odd behaviour at the bank. Ellsworth and Alma have a close encounter that alters their relationship. Langrishe welcomes more arrivals from his theater troupe.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Deadwood from 558 votes.

Deadwood - S3E11

#4 - The Catbird Seat


Season 3 - Episode 11

Bullock holds an impromptu morning meeting to determine which emergencies warrant wiring him in Sturgis, where he and Harry are delivering campaign pitches. The first summons doesn't take long, as Hearst follows up Alma's close call with one that's decidedly more on-target. In the aftermath, Alma takes refuge at the Gem, again, while Trixie decides to take matters into her own hands. Langrishe has a falling out with Hearst, giving him little time to huddle with his new lineup of actors. Dismissing the likelihood of ever seeing 23 mercenaries promised by Hawkeye, Swearengen turns to Wu to deliver more reliable, if not quite weapons-tested, reinforcements from Custer City.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Deadwood from 515 votes.

Deadwood - S1E4

#5 - Here Was a Man


Season 1 - Episode 4

Swearengen directs Farnum to buy back the Garret claim; Alma prevails on Calamity Jane and Hickok for help; Hickok commissions Bullock in his stead; Charlie Utter leaves the camp; an ailing colleague, Andy Cramed, rejoins the Bella Union; and Hickok's run of luck at poker yields an unexpected return.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Deadwood from 908 votes.

Deadwood - S3E10
#6 - A Constant Throb
Season 3 - Episode 10

With the Sheriff out of camp, Alma is assailed by Hearst's men and as she never would have expected, shelter comes form Swearengen. Barrett is sent to the Gem, but Al resorts to old fashion methods of enquiring to his employers plans. Meanwhile, Langrishe recruits a new actor.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Deadwood from 523 votes.

Deadwood - S3E2
#7 - I Am Not the Man You Take Me for
Season 3 - Episode 2

Captain Turner tips off Swearengen with a cryptic note to another bloody incident at the Gem; later, Hearst makes his intentions known in a more straightforward way. While Jane finds a captive audience for her oratory skills, the candidates for mayor and sheriff aren't as fortunate. Alma's health raises the issue of Sofia's stewardship and newly reformed Andy Cramed pays a visit to Tolliver, with a different agenda and outcome.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Deadwood from 575 votes.

Deadwood - S2E9
#8 - Amalgamation and Capital
Season 2 - Episode 9

Eagar for the latest news from Yankton, Swearengen enlists Farnum to keep tabs on Blazanov and his telegrams, and admonishes Merrick for over-hyping the Montana rumors in his paper. Wolcott gets a new moniker; Jane and Joanie continue their unlikely alliance; Sweargengen strikes a departure deal with Miss Isringhausen; and Fields and Hostetler attempt to tame a wild horse for the cavalry with damaging results.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Deadwood from 619 votes.

Deadwood - S2E1
#9 - A Lie Agreed Upon (1)
Season 2 - Episode 1

Swearengen and Bullock have a violent confrontation; Bullock and Utter discover that mistaken identity led to a fatal shooting at Nuttall's.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Deadwood from 690 votes.

Deadwood - S2E2
#10 - A Lie Agreed Upon (2)
Season 2 - Episode 2

Alma and Bullock face an abrupt decision about their future; Swearengen prepares for another showdown with Bullock; Calamity Jane returns to camp.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Deadwood from 668 votes.

Last updated: feb 24, 2021



Ian McShanes character Al Swearengen must be one of the Top 10 TV-characters of all time.


Bravo for Ian McShane! Sooo fukin amazing character he performed!!!! Loved this show, sad its closed :(


This show is absolutely amazing, and Ian McShane playing Al Swearengen is god!!!


This series is an amazing representation of the transition between a lawless, survival-of-the-fittest community to a state-belonging, normalized and ordered one, which not only reminds North American west history but makes me wonder about my own country's absorption of such communities around the same years. Each character symbolizes an unique contribution of ideas and moral behavior that influenced such a transition, without losing touch with their deepest feelings fueling their beliefs. Some will say its language was gratuitously foul (also accommodated to modern tones for dramatization), yet it's not for the whole show but helps framing the mental image in which characters build their social contracts


Pain or damage don't end the world..or despair, or fuckin beatings..the world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back


Swedgin! Cocksucka. Al Swearengen: Yeah, glad I taught you that fuckin' word.


I´ve never seen anything that had this much foul language in it. Even if it were historical true I don´t know if it is necessary for the show to work. I´m no saint but It just feels way to much at times. As for the show itself I´m having a hard time rating this. Production is great, the sets are awesome. Casting is perfect from the lead down to the supports. It´s just I expected something else when I started watching. A bit more pace and action. And I felt cheated at the end. I was hoping for the great showdown. I read there was supposed to be a forth season wich never materialized. As it stands there are to much storylines that don´t got finished. But that´s how it works with todays TV. Personally I wouldn´t say I liked Swearengen that much. Not to take anthing away from McShane, his performance is great, but I was hugely impressed by Robin Weigert. My rather low rating of the show is more because it didn´t reached my expectation and it fell short. The quality is top notch. You can watch this in a rather short amount of time, so decide yourself.


Warning.. you will likely start using the "C" word in normal conversation after watching this series in rapid succession. LOL


Compelling Western. Absolutely worth watching again.


A smartly written western with a great ensemble (a usual thing for HBO!). Excellent eye to details and rich dialgue. The colorful language is fun for a short while, but also overkill the flow of the series as it soon feels more like the writers tried to create ways to have creative foul language on the show than have an overall arc . Some characters were also criminally underused. My favorites were Anna Gunn, Jim Beaver, Powers Boothe, Brad Dourif and John Hawkes on the show, but it was Ian McShane's show. Still, why doesn't people comment on "Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years" as it's inspiration. Now, that was a great show with a lot of fanastic story lines and had a fast pace.

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