Recap / The Wild Wild West S 2 E 20 The Night Of The Vicious Valentine

Rich industrialists are being systematically murdered. President Grant is concerned that their holdings may end up concentrated in the wrong hands, endangering the U. S. economy, so he assigns West and Gordon to investigate. They find a clue which leads them eventually to Miss Emma Valentine (Agnes Moorehead), a hostess and matchmaker who specializes in finding young, beautiful wives for wealthy older men - including the four men who recently ended up dead. She is in town to arrange yet another marriage; West and Gordon work to save the life of her victim and to discover, then foil, her even more grandiose schemes.

Guest star Agnes Moorehead's performance as the week's Big Bad resulted in the show's only Emmy (Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series).

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Arranged Marriage: Valentine specializes in these. Also, her planned first act as Queen of America is to outlaw all marriages that she has not personally arranged.
  • Giggling Villain: There's a redheaded henchman who apparently finds everything hilariously funny.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Valentine plans to kill her last target by dropping West and Gordon on top of him.
  • Straw Feminist: Emma Valentine, who wants to avenge every slight ever made against women by men. Also she wants to be Queen in order to bring about equality for women - her version of equality, anyway.
  • Theme Serial Killer: Valentine decides to eliminate her victims in alphabetical order and on holidays only. She hopes to misdirect the authorities into protecting the wrong men when she comes to her last victim, but it nearly trips her up on her next-to-last victim when the agents arrive almost in the nick of time.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Valentine comes on to Jim. He slaps her down pretty hard.