Recap / The Wild Wild West S 2 E 16 The Night Of The Tottering Tontine

West and Gordon are assigned to protect Dr. Raven, inventor of an important new weapon. They soon discover that Raven is a member of a tontine - an investment group operating on the law of survival. A meeting of the tontine's members is imminent and several attempts are made on Raven's life as they travel to it; additionally, the agents learn that three other members of the group are already dead. They arrive at the meeting with the body count still rising and find themselves trapped in their host's house with a mysterious killer.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Backwards-Firing Gun: Used in one of the murders. It's substituted for the member's own weapon - a particularly trigger-happy member, by no coincidence.
  • Closed Circle: The only door out of the Old, Dark House is jammed shut, trapping Jim, Artie, and the victims-to-be within.
  • Complexity Addiction: The murderer suffers from it; his schemes for murder keep getting more and more elaborate.
  • Large Ham: This week's award for scenery-chewing goes to Lisa Pera as Amelia, who goes way over the top in the seance scene.
  • Nasty Party: The shareholder's retreat. A bunch of not especially nice people who don't much care for each other trapped in a large house on a stormy night - and slowly being killed off one by one.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: The murderer tries to get rid of Jim by tying him to a sled (which for some reason gets left off the drawing come freeze-frame time - see above, lower left corner), using rockets to propel it over a cliff, and arranging to have it explode just after it begins its flight.
  • Old, Dark House: Martin Grevely, one of the tontine's members, hosts the group at his very large, not particularly pleasant mansion.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The tontine only has one female member. And she's The Mole.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: The remaining members of the tontine at Grevely's house. In this case there's not only a mole but an identical twin involved.
  • Tontine: West and Gordon are assigned to protect a government scientist invested in a tontine whose members are being killed off.