Recap: The Wild Wild West S 2 E 4 The Night Of The Big Blast
Dr. Faustina tells an apparently amnesic West that she has saved his life and asks him to deliver a message to the officials at a top-secret government meeting. He does. Immediately afterwards, an explosion occurs, killing everyone in the room... West included. Meanwhile, Gordon is enjoying a well-earned vacation and a reunion with an old flame - at least until he's summoned to New Orleans to help the authorities figure out why West suddenly turned traitor and murderer. Gordon sets out to clear his friend's name, no matter what it takes.
Tropes present in this episode:
- A Day in the Limelight: For Artie. Jim gets significantly less screen time here than in any other episode in the series.
- The Cast Showoff: Ross Martin (Artemus Gordon) was given fencing lessons while making The Great Race and continued them afterwards. This trope is why the episode's big action set piece is a sword fight rather than the much more typical two-fisted brawl.
- Clear Their Name: Artie's motivation in the second half of the episode.Peters: "You knew him. Tell us why."
Artie: "There is. no. why, Mr. Peters, he didn't do it! And I'll prove he didn't do it! Even if it kills me."
- Emotionally Tongue Tied: Artie practically makes his living at never being lost for words. However, when it comes to asking a girl he loves to marry him, he just can't get it out.
- Face-Heel Turn: This is what Peters believes Jim has done and tells Artie so. He gets a Death Glare in return.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Mrs. Fortune and Peters meet for the first time when the former arrives in New Orleans with Lily, who has landed a lead role in a play. On the play's opening night, the two elope.
- High School Sweethearts: Artie and his New Old Flame Lily Fortune dated in high scool.
- It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: True even in the late 1800s. Jim disappears at a Mardi Gras party and Artie goes looking for him there a few days or so afterwards.
- Large Ham: Patsy Kelly, as Mrs. Fortune, chews the scenery like the pro she was.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: The refurbished basement of an Old Dark House, complete with operating table, big levers, control panels, colorful chemicals, retractable roof, gigantic lightning rod, blinking lights everywhere, and, of course, one Mad Scientist and her Igor.
- Masquerade Ball: Artie's search for Jim takes him to one. He and Lily both wear elaborate costumes.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Reportedly, Robert Conrad (James West) wanted a few days off to go to the races. He asked for an episode in which his part was greatly reduced so that he could film all of his scenes in a day or so and then be on his way. This was the result.
- Reality Subtext: Lily Fortune is played by Mala Powers, who had dated Ross Martin for some years. This was also a reunion of sorts for the two actors as well as their characters - the first time they'd appeared together on-screen since making The Colossus of New York (in which they played a married couple) eight years earlier.
- Stealth Insult: Artie directs two at Mrs. Fortune in the space of about five seconds.Lily Fortune: "Artemus, you remember mother."
Artie: "Vividly. Mrs. Fortune! You don't know what seeing your face does to me."
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Dr. Faustina detains Artie this way while she takes a cast of his face.
- Stunt Double: While Ross Martin does a lot of his own sword work during the fight, in some cases it's clearly not him.
- Surgical Impersonation: Dr. Faustina surgically alters the faces of dead men to resemble our heroes, fills them with explosives and then brings them back to life.
- Sword Fight: Between Artie and three mooks at a Mardi Gras party.
- They Called Me Mad!: Dr. Faustina is called mad by the president of the United States. She decides to blow him up.