Recap / The Wild Wild West S 1 E 1 The Night Of The Inferno

James T. West, Secret Service agent extraordinaire, is recalled to Washington, D. C. by President Grant in order to receive a new assignment: track down General Juan Manolo and put a stop to his nefarious activities. Jim is told to pose as a rich eastern "dude" and given his own luxurious, specially-modified railway car. Upon arrival in Texas he is met by fellow agent Artemus Gordon and together they attempt to prevent Manolo from taking over the region.

However, as will so often be the case, things are not quite what they seem...

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Ancient Tomb/Creepy Cemetery: Finding the entrance to Manolo's hideout requires following wagon tracks through a cemetery (at night, of course), then entering and navigating through a snake-infested crypt. Artie is less than thrilled.
  • Decoy Leader: The Big Bad uses this.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • This being the pilot episode, it establishes a few things which will go by the wayside almost immediately, most prominently the fact that Artie travels around in his own wagon instead of living on the train with Jim.
    • This is the only episode to a) have the Jim West figure in the opening titles replaced come freeze-frame time (the chap in the page image there is Juan Manolo when he catches Jim and Lydia at the end of act three) and b) have a freeze-frame/dissolve which doesn't take place onscreen (the upper left-hand one of the now-late and unmasked Wing Fat). Although the season 1 DVDs includes footage with "The Wild West" onscreen rather than "The Wild Wild West" where that freeze-frame is seen in full.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: Jim is brought into Washington, D. C. under cover as a renegade headed for the gallows. Artie is there (in disguise) to greet him when he arrives, cackling gleefully.
    Artie: "Hey, how 'bout them boots, eh? You ain't gonna' be needin' 'em no more!"
  • Only a Flesh Wound: The mooks manage to shoot Artie in the shoulder. He is barely even inconvenienced.
  • Pilot: An exception to your typical pilot episode in that the main characters have already established a working partnership; this is simply another of their cases together. The only new element introduced is a Cool Train.
  • Sword Cane: Sword pool cue actually.