4,496 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 Worst Episodes of Deadwood

Deadwood - S1E1

#1 - Deadwood


Season 1 - Episode 1

After executing a last act of justice as a Montana marshal, Seth Bullock relocates to a gold-mining camp known as Deadwood, where he and partner Sol Star look to start a hardware business. Bullock soon crosses paths with another new arrival - legendary gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok - and clashes with the formidable boss of the Gem Saloon, Al Swearengen. For his part, Swearengen must handle the deadly result of a run-in between one of his whores and a trick, while brokering the sale of a gold claim to wealthy New York socialite Brom Garret. When reports come of the massacre of a frontier family by Indians, a suspicious Bullock and Hickok ride out in search of survivors; for Swearengen, the results are bad for business.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Deadwood from 1504 votes.

Deadwood - S1E9

#2 - No Other Sons or Daughters


Season 1 - Episode 9

With annexation looming, Swearengen calls a meeting to set up an informal government. Bullock and Alma compare notes on Ellsworth, and each other; Farnum gets a special-delivery letter from Hickok; Utter offers Jane a job; and Stubbs prepares to make a go on her own, with Tolliver's avowed blessings.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Deadwood from 726 votes.

Deadwood - S3E6

#3 - A Rich Find


Season 3 - Episode 6

While Hearst still lies in jail, Al pays the Sheriff a visit, asking about last night. Sofia is worried about Mr. Ellsworth's absence, which saddens Alma even more. Bullock releases Hearst from prison. Aunt Lou's son, Odell, arrives in camp and Cy Tolliver presents Hearst with a method of setting his hands on Alma's gold claim. Trixie confronts Mrs. Ellsworth in regard to her drug habit, while Odell and Hearst prepare for a meeting to discuss the issue of gold. Al and Seth, worried about Hearst's reply, try to find an answer to their problem.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Deadwood from 548 votes.

Deadwood - S3E8

#4 - Leviathan Smiles


Season 3 - Episode 8

Merrick and Blazanov delivers the day's edition of The Pioneer around camp. A stagecoach arrives accompanied by the sound of gunfire as two strangers (Wyatt and Morgan Earp) come into town, unsettling the Sheriff and Al who wonder if they're Hearst's men. Swearengen talks to Wyatt Earp, evaluating his story, while Fields prepares for his departure. Jack tells his ailing friend, Chesterton, that he will move him to the theater that day. Lastly, Hearst finds an unexpected doctor for his back problems as he awaits an important "package."

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Deadwood from 528 votes.

Deadwood - S2E8

#5 - Childish Things


Season 2 - Episode 8

Wolcott offers on a rich claim operated by two ornery brothers, and reports to Hearst on their progress overall. Nuttall proudly unveils his new "Bone-Shaker" bicycle--but some doubt he can ride it. Swearengen and Bullock discuss alternatives to annexing the Hills to Dakota. Miss Isringhausen strikes a deal with Swearengen; Alma receives proposals from both Martha and Ellsworth. Merrick's new office mate is a Russian telegraph operator, and Stubbs has two unexpected visitors at the Chez Ami.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Deadwood from 608 votes.

Deadwood - S1E3

#6 - Reconnoitering the Rim


Season 1 - Episode 3

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 Star strike a deal with Swearengen on a lot for their store and, with help from Hickok and Utter, set to building; Brom threatens Swearengen with The Pinkertons before he and Dan Dority are dispatched to reconnoiter his claim.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of Deadwood from 959 votes.

Deadwood - S3E3

#7 - True Colors


Season 3 - Episode 3

New arrivals on the stagecoach usher into Deadwood: Jack Langrishe, a stage promoter and friend of Al Swearengen, and Aunt Lou Marchbanks, Hearst's longtime cook. Also returning to town is a newly westernized Wu, with news for "Swegin" about a soon-to-arrive group of imported Hearst workers. Recovered from her ailments, Alma decides to approach Hearst with a claim deal, despite Ellsworth's adamant objections. Bullock uncovers the truth about the Gem killings, and vows to put Hearst on notice. Hearst calls Tolliver's bluff, then offers him a "fresh start."

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of Deadwood from 565 votes.

Deadwood - S1E5

#8 - The Trial of Jack McCall


Season 1 - Episode 5

Swearengen transforms the Gem into a courtroom as Deadwood is forced to make its own laws to try a murderer; with Jane off on a bender, Swearengen employs Trixie to help Alma with the Metz Child; Doc Cochran fears Cramed's illness might threaten the camp; Tolliver sends Cramed to take air in the woods, where he meets Jane; and Bullock decides to take the law into his own hands.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of Deadwood from 876 votes.

Deadwood - S1E6

#9 - Plague


Season 1 - Episode 6

Bullock encounters native resistance in his quest to bring a murderer to justice. Swearengen presses a resentful Farnum to keep tabs on Alma and Trixie; the camp fathers pool their resources to dispatch riders after precious vaccine and build a sick tent; Cochran enlists Jane as a nurse; and Swearengen collaborates on an article appearing in the Deadwood Pioneer.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of Deadwood from 796 votes.

Deadwood - S1E2

#10 - Deep Water


Season 1 - Episode 2

As suspicions arise that "road agents" may have been the true perpetrators of the massacre, Swearengen takes a special interest in the health of its sole survivor, a young girl ministered to by the unlikely team of Doc Cochran and Calamity Jane. Meanwhile, Bullock and Star attempt to buy property from Swearengen, who suspects an alliance between Hickok and these hardware boys. At the Grand Central Hotel, Brom Garret rethinks his recent investment, while his wife Alma medicates her anxieties. And as a confrontation brews over the young survivor, Hickok asks Bullock to cover his back in a tension filled poker game.

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of Deadwood from 1059 votes.

Deadwood - S1E7
#11 - Bullock Returns to the Camp
Season 1 - Episode 7

After tracking down a murderer, Bullock returns to Deadwood a changed man--and a marked one--while Utter must pay final respects to a fallen friend. Dority and Stubbs both take special interest when teenagers Miles and Flora Anderson arrive in camp in search of their father, each finding work at a rival saloon; Calamity Jane earns her moniker in the Pest Tent; Swearengen sees through Trixie's latest subterfuge; and Alma remains cold on Farnum's inappropriately advanced bid on her claim.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Deadwood from 789 votes.

Deadwood - S3E7
#12 - Unauthorized Cinnamon
Season 3 - Episode 7

Bullock's proposal carries the day during a meeting held at the Gem to discuss the Hearst conundrum; Aunt Lou fears for Odell's well-being after his latest gambit; Fields is skeptical of Steve's offer to remain in camp; Cochran finds other uses for a tailor's swatches; Chesterton's illness postpones Langrishe's theater plans.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Deadwood from 523 votes.

Deadwood - S3E9
#13 - Amateur Night
Season 3 - Episode 9

As Deadwood is overrun by Hearst's men, Bullock issues contingency plans to Martha. Wu is caught in a Pinkerton stampede and delivers a cryptic message to Swearengen that is solved by the unlikeliest person. Barrett makes Merrick pay for embarrassing Hearst in The Pioneer while Morgan Earp calls out one of the "Pistoleros." As night falls, Langrishe mines Deadwood's talent pool with an amateur-night performance in front of his future theater, financed in part by a "loan" from Alma's bank.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Deadwood from 534 votes.

Deadwood - S2E3
#14 - New Money
Season 2 - Episode 3

A scout for a powerful mining operation arrives; an ailing Swearengen refuses visitors and medical attention; Farnum finds someone to buy the Hickok letter.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Deadwood from 656 votes.

Deadwood - S1E8
#15 - Suffer the Little Children
Season 1 - Episode 8

Deadwood breathes easier when riders arrive with precious vaccine--and word of a possible treaty with the Sioux. Awaiting Trixie's return, a pragmatic Swearengen resists counsel from a bloody-minded Farnum; results of Bullock's assay of her gold claim moves Alma to reassess her plans and sets up a confrontation between Bullock and Swearengen; and Tolliver teaches Stubbs a deadly lesson at the expense of a couple of con artists.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Deadwood from 773 votes.

Deadwood - S3E4
#16 - Full Faith and Credit
Season 3 - Episode 4

While Alma officially opens the bank of Deadwood, Langrishe asks Joanie whether she is willing to sell the Chez Ami, so he could make it into a theatre. Stapleton sets his eye on one of the new actresses in town and Jane receives a telegram from Fields. Hostetler and the latter arrive in camp and engage Steve with regard to the ownership of the livery, forcing Bullock to intervene. Meanwhile, Al delegates Adams to represent him in his affairs with Hearst and Tolliver.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of Deadwood from 546 votes.

Deadwood - S3E1
#17 - Tell Your God to Ready for Blood
Season 3 - Episode 1

Deadwood's first true elections are nearly here, with the offices of sheriff and mayor to be decided. Tonight, the candidates will state their cases to the townspeople. One of Hearst's Cornish workers is killed at the Gem, leading Swearengen to suspect that the incident was a staged Hearst power play. Ellsworth and Doc Cochran are alarmed by complications involving Alma's pregnancy. Star gains a new home from Adams' orchestrated foreclosure. Jane prepares to tell the camp's children about her experiences scouting for General Custer. Shocked by her inability to make a clean break from the gut-stabbed Tolliver, Joanie considers taking the easy way out. Hearst will give Bullock his political backing if Bullock promises to exert influence over certain areas of the camp.

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of Deadwood from 593 votes.

Deadwood - S2E6
#18 - Something Very Expensive
Season 2 - Episode 6

Alma proposes forming a bank, and looks to familiar faces to run it. To test himself, Swearengen grants audience to a long line of supplicants; talks with Farnum and Miss Isringhausen prove most illuminating. The arrival of low-priced Chinese whores begins the next phase in Tolliver and Wolcott's arrangement. Humiliated by Bullock, an angry claim owner looks to "square the scales." An enchanted Merrick tours a new schoolteacher about the camp. Wolcott's inner demons test his alliance with Tolliver, and prompt Stubbs and Utter to covert action.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of Deadwood from 625 votes.

Deadwood - S2E11
#19 - The Whores Can Come
Season 2 - Episode 11

Bullock's corroboration of the Montana offers complicates Commissioner Jarry's counter-efforts - and sends Blazanov's telegram lines to Yankton to overdrive. Swearengen uses a Deadwood tragedy to delay an altercation between Wu and Lee, while buying time to improve his own standing with the Hearst delegation.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of Deadwood from 584 votes.

Deadwood - S2E5
#20 - Complications
Season 2 - Episode 5

As a convalescing Swearengen bridles, Cochran schools Burns and Dority how best to assist his recovery. Alma is also feeling unwell, mornings. Unexpected profits at the Chez Ami lead Tolliver to an unexpected discovery about Wolcott. Merrick posts a provocative statement from Yankton on title to the claims; Bullock protects Commissioner Jarry from an angry mob, which redirects its ire. After returning a horse to Hostetler at the livery, professional go-between Samuel Fields finds a kindred spirit in Jane.

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of Deadwood from 632 votes.

Last updated: feb 28, 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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