Recap / The Wild Wild West S 2 E 26 The Night Of The Cadre

The warden of a territorial prison apparently goes mad after hearing a whistle, first setting free a murderer who's about to be hanged, then attacking West and finally dying of unknown causes. An autopsy reveals that a crystal had been implanted in the warden's brain - one which resonates at the frequency produced by the whistle. Since this is the latest in a string of escapes by dangerous prisoners who have made threats against President Grant, West and Gordon set out to track down the escapees and figure out who is behind the mind-control scheme.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Bling of War: "General" Trask and his men wear some doozies. Apparently being mind-controlled destroys your fashion sense.
    Artie: (upon seeing the cadre members) "Great jumping balls of St. Elmo's fire. You didn't tell me this was going to be a costume ball."
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The warden, who's forced to let one of his prisoners go and to attack Jim. Trask's troops aren't exactly sane either, and they're definitely murderous, but unlike the warden they agreed to the operation that gave Trask control over them.
  • HA HA HA No: Artie's response to Jim's oh-so-punny quip about knockout gas.
    Jim: "If you'll excuse the expression, it did a knockout job on the cadre."
    Artie: "Ha ha ha ha, no, it didn't."
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Artie hums along with his own theme music.
  • Mind Control: The theme of the episode. Trask mentally enslaves his troops with the Franconium crystals and the whistles, and he eventually decides to do the same to President Grant instead of assassinating him.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: This is why Grant tossed Trask out of the army. It seems Trask took his men on a long march after ensuring that their canteens were filled with water. Salt water. Some of them died. In his view, of course, those men were weak and soft and shouldn't have been in his unit in the first place. He continues the same sort of Training from Hell with his current recruits.
  • Sweet Tooth: Josephine turns down fancy clothes, perfume and jewelry, but becomes quite friendly after being offered a box of candy. She's also shown downing sweets at every opportunity.
  • Traveling Salesman: Artie's disguise of the week, complete with Cockney accent.