Recap / The Wild Wild West S 2 E 11 The Night Of The Ready Made Corpse

West and Gordon are assigned to protect a foreign potentate named Col. Pellargo; unfortunately, they fail - he is assassinated. A man who appears to be the killer, Claudio Antille, turns up dead not long afterwards. West is suspicious and the agents begin investigating the recent disappearance of a man named Toby Murphy, as reported by his daughter, Rose. This eventually puts them on the trail of mortician Fabian Lavendor. He has started up a sideline which involves helping wanted criminals escape from justice by faking their deaths.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Blackmail: Lavendor's customers get their money's worth as far as disappearing goes, but they then find themselves being blackmailed by him.
  • Body Double: Pellargo employs one as protection against his enemies. He does manage to fool Jim, but is forced to reveal the deception in order to have his picture taken - and is promptly killed.
  • Death Faked for You: Lavendor has managed to create a very tidy little business for himself carrying out this trope. His last customer Antille returns the favour - only he ignores the "faked" part, due to Jim telling him about Lavendor's blackmail sideline.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Despite getting every other detail right, Lavendor somehow missed the fact that the body he was substituting for Antille's didn't have all of its toes. Or maybe he thought no one would check. Oops.
  • Large Ham: Karen Sharpe as the Irish Girl of the Week Rose Murphy, especially in her "Terrible! TERRIBLE!" scene. (In fairness to the actress, if her performance in "The Night of the Flaming Ghost" is any indication this isn't her default setting a la Patsy Kelly.)
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Artie goes undercover as a potential customer of Lavendor's. At first he's not surprised to find himself on an operating table, since the procedure involves plastic surgery, but it soon becomes obvious that his cover has been blown. He ends up on the table again later - with his hands manacled - as the newest candidate for becoming a replacement corpse for a criminal.
  • Surgical Impersonation: Lavendor gives his customers new faces and finds unwilling victims to give the customers' old faces to.