The Pinkertons Episode 2: Double Shot

“Tonight the whisky’s free. But the women? They’ll cost you.” That was Annalee, queen bee of the Dubois Hotel and saloon, putting Will in his place at the start of this episode.

The Pinkertons Episode 2

Does anyone think these two will finally get it together by the end of the series, or are you rooting for a Will/Kate union instead?

Anyway, Will and Annalee's little flirtation at the bar then gave way to the single most striking scene of the series so far: a barroom brawl shot in slow motion, with tables and glasses soaring into the air and bodies tumbling gracefully across the floor. It was like a ballet, only with more cowboys hitting each other. Beautiful, cinematic stuff. No wonder a snippet of the sequence is used in the show's title sequence.

The actual plot kicked in after this, and it involved the free whisky Annalee was talking about. The booze was being given away at the bar by Mr Bullington and Mr Clay, owners of a famous distillery who looked to be having a lot of fun with the saloon's prostitutes. Things got considerably less fun when Bullington was later discovered in his room, thoroughly murdered.

Suspicion immediately fell on one of the prostitutes. After all, Bullington was last seen in her company, his money was missing, and the girl was now on the run. In fact, she seemed so massively guilty that we seasoned crime fans at home will have immediately deduced she was bound to be massively innocent.

She seemed so massively guilty that we seasoned crime fans at home will have immediately deduced she was bound to be massively innocent.

Nabbed by Allan and Will, the poor lady was thrown into a jail cell to await questioning, and then promptly assassinated by a gun poking between the bars of the window. You know you're in the Wild West when that sort of thing happens and everyone just tuts and gets back to work.

With Incorrect Suspect #1 out of the way, it was time for Incorrect Suspect #2 to get hauled in: Bullington's business partner Mr Clay. After all, there had been bad blood between them, and Bullington had been accusing Clay of consorting with bootleggers and making money on the side. Before long, Clay was facing a death sentence and would indeed have dangled if the Pinkertons hadn't realized the real killer was a lot closer to home.

Was it... could it really have been Bullington's widow? The grieving woman who had been helping the Pinkertons with their investigation thus far? No - it was Bullington's son. The apparently meek and gentle lad turned out to be a full-blown psychopath who, having offed his own father, was also planning to murder his mother to get his hands on the family fortune. And even in the Wild West, that's frowned upon.

DID YOU SPOT?

  • Annalee was on fine form in this episode, reminding Will that even his roguish charm will only get him so far in the saloon. "Nobody warms a seat in this establishment without showing some coin."
  • Bullington's son was a deliciously odious villain, coming across like a cornered rat when the Pinkertons unmasked him. He made the rogue terrorist soldiers in episode 1 look almost gallant by comparison.
  • Allan Pinkerton continues to have the most eccentric speech patterns of anyone on TV. Slow and lyrical, stretching out words at random, and then going whisper-quiet for reasons known only to himself. It's a marvel.
  • "Harlots by their very nature are never innocent, son!" - motherly advice, 19th Century style.