Recap / The Wild Wild West S 1 E 15 The Night Of The Fatal Trap

A gang of bandits led by a man named Vasquez is conducting raids on the U. S. side of the border and then escaping by crossing into Mexican territory. West and Gordon are sent by President Grant to put a stop to this. West decides to impersonate a wanted outlaw and, with Gordon's help, infiltrate the gang. All goes well at first; however, Vasquez's girlfriend is one of West's old conquests and threatens to expose him, while Vasquez has secret plans of his own...

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Faking the Dead: Vasquez decides he doesn't trust "Mohave Mike" (Artie) and tells "Frank Slade" (Jim) to get rid of him, which "Slade" very promptly does. Or so it seems. Fortunately Vasquez is talked out of going through with his plan to put a bullet through "Mike"'s head, just to be sure.
  • The Infiltration: Jim disguises himself as a notorious desperado who, unbeknownst to the world at large, was recently captured by the government. His supposed criminal background enables him to more easily gain Vasquez's confidence.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The disguise which turns handsome Jim West into ugly Frank Slade? A mustache. Apparently it works... somehow.
  • Prospector: "Mike," a crusty old desert rat who decides to supplement his meager income from prospecting by conspiring to turn in "Slade" (or, rather, his body) for an advertised reward.
  • Wanted Poster: In order to make his impersonation convincing, Jim prints up a slew of wanted posters with his picture substituted for Slade's. It's when Vasquez spots one of the real posters that Jim's cover is blown.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: "Mike" is (supposedly) a former friend of "Slade"'s, whom he nevertheless betrays in hopes of collecting part of the reward on his head. When "Slade" instead joins forces with the men he was betrayed to, he lets "Mike" keep hanging around... until Vasquez objects.