West and Gordon are assigned by the governor to collect large sums of money which will help shore up the California state treasury. Things get complicated when it becomes evident that the three rich donors - a stingy old moneylender, an eccentric train lover and a beautiful casino owner - have been targeted, via exploding toys, by Dr. Loveless. This time he has involved a lovely Angel of Charity worker named Priscilla Barnes in his schemes.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Christmas Episode: As close as the series ever got.
- Death Faked for You: Ratch and Crane are presumed dead in the explosions engineered by Loveless. They're actually being held captive.
- Everybody Lives: One of the few episodes to apply this trope.
- Non-Fatal Explosions: Dr. Loveless sends exploding toys after his victims and Jim is caught in two of the explosions. He's unconscious for a bit, but that's all. Ratch and Crane also survive (though they're not quite as unscathed.)
- Nouveau Riche: According to Bessie, this is how the ladies who make up the local elite view her. It is also, as she confides to Artie, how she's come to view herself. She hopes that her donation will somehow prove her worthy of joining high society.
- Pretty in Mink: Bessie Bowen and some of her entourage are dressed in luxurious furs as a demonstration of her wealth.
- Rail Enthusiast: Crane, who has an extensive model train set-up, dresses his servants as engineers and donates the money only on condition that he get a railroad franchise in return.
- The Scrooge: Ratch - a greedy, stingy, nasty and very, very rich old man. Even though he's already promised to give up five million dollars of his money, he resists Artie and Jim's attempt to collect it every inch of the way.