Recap / The Wild Wild West S 1 E 23 The Night Of The Two Legged Buffalo

West and Gordon are assigned to protect the crown prince of the South Sea Islands, who is in the United States to sign a treaty. He insists on visiting a very expensive spa where, as West discovers, there is good reason to believe that his life will be in danger. Before Gordon and the prince even reach the spa their train is stopped by masked bandits and the prince is kidnapped. In order to prevent panic and a possible massacre of missionaries by the prince's father, Gordon takes the prince's place and the agents try to get to the bottom of the assassination attempts.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Dirty Coward: The prince - as he demonstrates when his henchpeople turn on him.
  • Emergency Impersonation: When the prince is apparently kidnapped, Artie is forced to pose as him.
  • It Amused Me: The prince's motivation for... everything... is his own pleasure and profit. He has no regard for the lives or well-being of others.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: The villainess comes to kidnap Artie and tells him an elaborate story which he sees through almost immediately. He draws her out by leaving his gun in a conspicuous place. When she grabs it and threatens him, he reveals that it's empty. Unfortunately she has a spare.
  • The Mole: The prince. It turns out he hired the assassins who have been supposedly trying to kill him.
  • No Name Given: Even the credits list him as "Prince" (not "The Prince" - and definitely not the Prince).
  • Out-of-Character Moment: This can probably be attributed to Early Installment Weirdness, but Artie - who is otherwise a shining example of the Guile Hero - gets successively buffaloed by just about every other character in the episode, including Jim.
  • Wild Card: The prince, who switches sides with perfect ease depending on what benefits him at the time and makes no bones about it.
  • With Friends Like These...: Jim manipulates Artie into posing as the prince (which involves freezing in little more than a feather cape) after secretly engineering the prince's "kidnapping" (which involves Artie getting a good conk on the head). Artie is subsequently captured by the baddies and nearly killed. When Jim reveals the plot and says he thought Artie would somehow be safer without knowing the truth, Artie is less than thrilled.