Recap / The Wild Wild West S 1 E 9 The Night Of The Double Edged Knife

Indians are killing railroad workers, five each day, and demanding $500,000 from the railroad before they'll stop. West and Gordon are given one week to resolve the situation. The Indian chief is an educated man named American Knife whom the local authorities have been unable to bring in; after some undercover work and help from the daughter of one of the murdered men, the agents finally meet up with American Knife, but from there things only become more complicated...

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Bluff the Eavesdropper: At one point, Jim manages to get close enough to the bad guys to listen in on their conversation. They're aware of this and attempt to take advantage of it.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Played very straight both by the actual Native Americans and the... not-so-actual ones. Braids, beads and all.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: American Knife takes out General Ball with just such a trope - and a knife - before he can finish Jim off.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: A brief but unusual use of the trope. Artie disguises himself as a dead raider and plays possum in order to lure the others into a trap.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Artie provokes a fight and subsequently allows himself to get rather brutally beaten, all with the object of ending up on the ground at his opponent's feet so he can steal said opponent's boot knife.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Artie's second disguise, complete with accusing Jim of being a "young whippersnapper" who has no respect for women or old men.
  • The Mole: Jim's old friend General Ball, who turns out to be the brains behind the whole operation.
  • Race Against the Clock: Jim and Artie have one week to resolve the situation to the government's satisfaction. Why only a week and what will happen if they don't meet the deadline? Uh... reasons and things.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Artie does this in the course of picking a fight with Farrell.
    Artie: "Sir, I consider that a personal affront. Tennyson?" (gives his hat to Tennyson, then slaps Farrell on the cheek)
    Farrell: "Now why did you do that?"
    Artie: (putting up his fists) "Prepare to defend yourself, sir!"
  • You No Take Candle: Artie speaks this way while disguised as a Native American. The Dartmouth-educated American Knife does not.