Recap / The Wild Wild West S 1 E 11 "The Night of the Red-Eyed Madmen"

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A senator's daughter breaking up with her fiancé is the first step in a chain which leads West and Gordon to a militant group planning to overthrow the United States government, led by the insane General Grimm (Martin Landau). West manages to join the group and starts to gain their trust by overcoming various tests which they put him through, but he is in constant danger of being recognized, events are beginning to move quickly, and somehow word has to get to the fort at Goldtown before things explode...


Tropes present in this episode:

  • Beard of Evil: Grimm has a neatly-trimmed goatee.
  • Big Book of War: The Mars Academy has the "blue manual."
  • The Cavalry: Arrives just in time to keep the militants from scattering to the four winds and escaping.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Played for Laughs at the end of the episode when Artie opines that the idea of equality for women is ridiculous and those who believe in it must be insane. However, given how quickly Sgt. Musk (who had given a rather insightful, moving speech about how she'd only wanted to be seen as more than "just a woman") and Jenny revert to Girly Girls once free of Grimm's influencenote , it's debatable whether the show itself agrees with Artie or not.
  • Gladiator Games: As part of Grimm's "intensive training", West has to fight off several other soldiers in an improvised arena—while they're all shirtless.
  • Idiot Ball: General Grimm's army clutches it to a man (and woman) after Jim impales their leader on a knife meant for him in front of an audience - namely said army. To paraphrase the Novelization of the movie of the musical of Annie (with "Jim" and "him" in for "Annie" and "her"), "Now, of course, if they'd all rushed him at once, Jim wouldn't have had a chance. But somehow this never occurred to any of them."
  • Keystone Army: General Grimm has built his followers into a cult based on Asskicking Equals Authority, with his basic premise being that they would be able to defeat larger bodies of conventional soldiers thanks to their superior melee combat training. When West beats him in a one-on-one fight the group realizes the whole thing was BS and surrenders en masse.
  • Last-Name Basis: We never learn Grimm's first name.
  • Laughing Mad: Grimm often laughs mirthlessly, especially at inappropriate moments.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Grimm is planning to take over "the entire United States army in the Southwest" and place the region under strict military rule. Sgt. Musk even says that his reign will last "a thousand years".
  • The Order: The Mars Academy is organized along these lines, recruiting like-minded individuals and subjecting them to a rigorous application process.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain/Politically Correct Villain: Grimm manages to be both. He may be a fascist, but he believes in equality for women, which is how Jenny rose so far under his command and Sgt. Musk became his dragon.
  • Punishment Box: Poor Jack Talbot gets put in a hot box when General Grimm learns about the letter he wrote to Lola. Jim finally rescues him, only for Talbot to denounce him as a traitor and promptly die.
  • Soft Glass: Artie dives straight through a closed window as he makes his escape from the Academy. Doesn't seem to hurt him one bit.
  • Strange Salute: Grimm's army already has one, but Artie comes up with another in his disguise as Col. Cross; it's basically a combination of three different, more common salutes.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/TheWildWildWestS1E11TheNightOfTheRedEyedMadmen