Recap / The Wild Wild West S 1 E 5 Night Of The Casual Killer

West and Gordon are tasked with infiltrating the stronghold of corrupt political boss John Avery and returning him to Washington, D. C. for trial. They pose as a pair of traveling players who "accidentally" wander into Avery's domain; not surprisingly, getting in is much easier than getting out, especially since they have to get a very unwilling Avery out too...

Tropes present in this episode:

  • The Cast Showoff: Ross Martin is given a chance to demonstrate his skill on the violin, including a passage from Chopin's Nocturne in E-flat major.
    Artie: "And beautifully executed, wouldn't you say?"
  • Cheshire Cat Grin:
    Artie: "James, my boy, you're grinning like an undertaker ready to dress a corpse. Mine."
    Jim: "Artemus, have you ever considered returning to the stage?"
    Artie: "Yes, many times, and never more seriously than right now."
  • Large Ham: Artemus Gordon, as played by... Artemus Gordon. Rarely have Hamlet's soliloquies been done more porkulently. Avery is distinctly unimpressed. His men, on the other hand, seem to love it!
  • Losing Horns: Type B. Artie plays it when, for the first timenote  (but not the last), Jim does not end up with the Girl of the Week.
  • Odd Name Out: This is the only episode of the series whose title does not start with "The."
  • Playing Drunk: Artie distracts the man on guard duty with a "drunken" rendition of the "Too, too solid flesh" soliloquy from Hamlet.
  • Remember the New Guy: Jim suddenly acquires a valet named Tennyson. Apparently he was always around, just... hiding. Or something.
  • Suicide Mission: Attempting to bring Avery back alive is regarded as this by the local authorities. Artie doesn't entirely disagree.
    Artie: "I say let's wire Washington and ask for another assignment. Something simple. Like, uh, cutting our throats."
  • Trojan Horse: Jim invokes this trope by name when explaining his plan to get to Avery.
  • Wicked Cultured: In deliberate contrast to his men, Avery is intelligent, suave, well-dressed, well-educated and fond of the finer things in life. He's also a very, very dangerous man.