Recap / The Wild Wild West S 2 E 13 The Night Of The Skulls

During a violent argument after a foxhunt, West shoots and kills an unarmed Gordon, then flees the scene. At Gordon's funeral it is revealed that notorious murderers have recently been disappearing; accusations are made that the Secret Service is shielding West, said to be suffering from a nervous breakdown, accusations which Senator Stephen Fenlow strenuously protests. Of course it all turns out to be a ruse - the agents hope that West will end up with the other killers so work can begin on breaking up whatever dastardly scheme is afoot. And their plan works very well... in fact, almost too well...

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Artie takes it one step further and officiates at his own funeral.
  • Chewing the Scenery: The prisoner who's taken away to be hanged after he's found not guilty goes somewhat over the top.
  • Explosion Propulsion: Jim and Artie find themselves trapped at the bottom of a well. Fortunately they have a bucket and some explosives, which are all Jim needs to get out again.
  • Faking the Dead/Staged Shooting: Artie's death at the beginning of the episode - argument, fake blood, the whole works.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Artie ponders inventing the sport of basketball, only to be shot down by Jim.
  • Super Dickery: Jim's apparent murder of Artie in the cold open.
  • Vigilante Execution: Subverted. West is put on trial by a secret society for the murder of Artie and thinks this awaits him, but it turns out the "trial" is actually an audition for him to join the society's Legion of Doom. It was only if he'd been found "not guilty" that he would have been hanged.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The villain, who had sought to launch a coup d'état against the Grant Administration, starts babbling that he is the President and threatening to have the Secret Service agents arresting him shot for violating a presidential directive.