Air date: 8/27/2006

Like the titular boomtown, the world of Deadwood couldn't help but expand. If the show had ended after season two, viewers could have swallowed the unanswered questions, provided they had enough whiskey to wash them down. Though we wouldn't have seen Hearst's (Gerald McRaney) machinations, his arrival foretold that civilization would win out, that the West was shortly be tamed.

The end of season three leaves viewers in a far more complicated place. As the dust settles, civilization has already crept into Deadwood, political machinations have slowly overtaken gunplay, and several mysteries remain unsolved. In season three, we watch Hearst begin the crusade of cruel, civilized capitalism, but we never really get to see the full extent of the collateral damage this his bid to absorb Deadwood into civilization would exact on both sides. It's a damn shame.