The Legend of Calamity Jane

Season 1 Episode 8

Troubled Waters

Aired Saturday 10:00 AM Apr 21, 1998 on The WB

Episode Recap

Calamity Jane and Comanche chief Qannah Parker are in the woods hunting a buck using nothing but knives. The chase takes them across a ravine and Qannah goes for the buck first, but it throws him clear and runs off. As the friends pursue it, they come across a bear that chases them into a nearby stream. As they cross, Jane wipes off black goo from her hand and they get out before the bear can catch up to them.

Back in Deadwood, Jane and Qannah relax at the saloon and Qannah reads from a book of poems by Henry Thoreau. Lonely Sue brings over a message for Jane informing them that a government agent is on his way from Washington to move the Comanche off of their designated lands. Jane warns her friend that the government may not abide by the treaty but Qannah is confident that they will follow their own laws, and that he can convince them to follow them. They buy a suit for Qannah from the local undertaker so that the Comanche looks presentable, and Jane suggests she goes with her friend in case things turn rough. Qannah refuses, pointing out that it would impugn his honor if he took a woman with him.

Qannah goes to the train station and boards the train where the government man, Filbert, has set up shop. The Comanche asks what right Filbert has to break the treaty but the agent simply says that as the conquerors they have whatever rights they choose. As the train pulls out of the station, Filbert tells Qannah that the meeting is over. He calls in his two thugs but Qannah easily shrugs them aside. As Filbert summons two soldiers, Qannah goes out the back and jumps... onto his horse, which Jane has brought alone as she rides after the train. She smugly points out that that Qannah should be glad she didn't listen to him about coming along.

Back on the train, Filbert cleans up the mess and his secret business partner comes in. The man warns Filbert that his fellow businessmen back east will be unhappy if they don't get the land. Filbert assures him that the venture will be successful and goes to meet Captain John O'Rourke at the local fort. The agent and his men claim that Qannah went berserk and attacked them, and Filbert demands that O'Rourke arrest him. The captain is reluctant to do so and even more reluctant to move the tribe when Filbert informs him that they're being placed in the badlands. However, O'Rourke has no choice and Filbert tells him to shoot any Indians that resist.

As O'Rourke approaches the tribal camp, the Indians prepare for war. Jane and Qannah are both against war and wonder if they have a choice. When O'Rourke and his men ride in, Jane tries to convince him to drop the matter. Qannah reads from the treaty and points out that his people have abided by it, and that it stays in force as long as the two sides are at peace. He then drops his bow and arrow and tells O'Rourke that he won't be the first to break the treaty. The other Comanche set down their weapons as well except for one young brave. He vows to fight for the land and prepares to shoot, but Qannah disarms him and breaks his bow. O'Rourke realizes that he has enough men to shoot the Comanche but not enough to drag them all away, and returns to the fort for new orders.

When Filbert learns what happened, he tells O'Rourke to arrest Qannah as the ringleader. As O'Rourke rides back, Filbert sends his two thugs with the cavalry to make sure that things go as planned. However, when O'Rourke arrives at the camp, Jane tells him that Qannah has fled into the woods rather than fight back or let himself be captured. As they talk, Filbert's thugs ride off to find Qannah, kill him, and set off the war. Meanwhile, O'Rourke asks Jane for her help tracking her friend, but she says that Qannah is the one who trained her. As she goes off into the woods to look for him on her own, O'Rourke and his soldiers begin their own search.

Jane continues searching until sunset and finally gives up, complaining that Qannah is her better. He steps out of the shadows and says that he's been following her, waiting to hear her admit it. They make camp for the night and later when Jane wakes up, she discovers Qannah meditating in front of a bear. He travels into the spirit world, riding the bear's spirit through the sky. Qannah finally plummets into a stream of black goo which ignites, surrounding him with flames. He wakes up and tells Jane that he knows where they need to go.

Filbert, his silent partner, and their hired surveyor are at the stream creek extracting oil from the bed, The surveyor reminds them that while he kept his report hushed up, they need to obtain the land before the local surveyors run their own tests and find the oil. Jane and Qannah arrive and order them to surrender, and one of Filbert's thugs shoots Qannah in the chest. The Comanche is knocked into the river by the impact and Jane dives in after him. Filbert throws his lantern into the water, igniting the floating oil. Jane and Qannah swim underwater until they get clear, and Jane is surprised to discover that her friend survived. He removes his book of poems from his chest pocket and reveals that the bullet hit it. Meanwhile, O'Rourke sees the flames from a distance and orders his men to approach.

Filbert's partner complains that Filbert has literally sent up a beacon so that anyone can find the oil. He tries to leave before anyone sees him, but Jane arrives and attacks one of the thugs. Qannah disarms the other, shooting an arrow into the barrel of his rifle. O'Rourke and his soldiers arrest Filbert and the others, and the government blames his partner. The partner tells Filbert to shut up, but Jane points out that the man is J.P. Standard, an oil magnate. Standard threatens O'Rourke with his connections but the captain, unimpressed, places him and the others under arrest. When Jane complains that O'Rourke followed his orders even when they meant going against the Comanches, Qannah says that they all have to stand by their principles.

The next day back in Deadwood, Qannah and Jane relax at the saloon again. Jane is disappointed that Standard was released without punishment. However, Qannah is satisfied that the treaty was upheld and the Comanche can stay on their lands. He wonders what the tribe will do with its newfound wealth and Jane suggests that he buy her a glass of milk.

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