8/10 It is with mixed feelings that I review the last season of a show which was not meant to be its final season. Critiquing this show on its own and not in the larger scale of the entirety of the show overall, this is the best season of “Deadwood” and it is a shame that there was supposed to be a fourth season but was instead unceremoniously cancelled and therefore, not properly wrapped up. You could tell the show runners were saving more of the plot points for the fourth season, but then it never came, making the ending of season three slightly underwhelming through no fault of its own. Each season of this show got better though. The writing really came into its own as our main characters were tried and tested and never went through a dull moment. This season has Mr. Hearst as the antagonist and the battle between him and the rest of the camp, as well as elections and the usual violence that takes place in Deadwood, provided the most entertaining and exciting episodes of the show. The production value continued to…strike gold. The set pieces, costume design, production design, stunt work, props, etc. couldn’t have been more well orchestrated. Since episodes have different directors, there are slight variations between episodes in terms of cinematography and the like, but the penultimate episode stuck out to me for its fantastic cinematography. The emotional stakes are raised this season while the phenomenal ensemble cast is firing on all cylinders. The only negative aspects I wasn’t a huge fan of were minor plot points. A strange sort of romantic subplot between Joanie and Jane felt awkward and out of the blue. Cy is one of the only characters with not as much to do this season and felt somewhat sidelined for being such a major player. There is build up with some of the minor characters like Wu for example, but they were not able to be followed through with once the show abruptly ended. When all is said and done, “Deadwood” is a show worth checking out for its incredible acting and fantastic production design. The first season starts a little slow but then each season gets better after that. Despite the show’s run being cut short, I am grateful that I can go check out the follow up film to review it and not have to wait 13 years like people who watched the show back when it was live on TV had to. If you like vulgar Shakespeareian westerns with memorable characters and fantastic writing, take a carriage ride over to “Deadwood”.
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