Recap / The Wild Wild West S3E13 "The Night of the Turncoat"

A number of strange things begin happening to West and he flies off the handle, leading to his dismissal from the Secret Service. He is soon recruited by a mysterious gang led by criminal mastermind Elisha Calamander (John McGiver). They engineered the events leading up to West's dismissal in the hope that he would eventually join them and perform a particular, very difficult task. They are unaware that West and Gordon have been playing along the entire time in order to find out what that task is and prevent it from being carried out.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Clear My Name: The basis of the entire plot.
  • The Corrupter: Elisha Calamander. The plan is to discredit Jim in the eyes of the Secret Service, get him fired and then lure him with offers of money and revenge into doing Calamander's bidding.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: Artie poses as a mail carrier in order to get inside the place where the MacGuffin is being hidden.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Calamander wants Jim to help him steal the cylesium from Golem, the Mad Scientist who's hiding it in his Elaborate Underground Base.
  • Fat Bastard: Elisha Calamander, of the greedy, hedonistic, evil variety.
  • Idiot Ball: Elisha Calamander hires Jim to steal a vial of "cylesium" without telling him that's what it is. Calamander obviously knows what it is, but somehow doesn't know that it gives off a deadly gas when it heats up. Artie even warns him not to go after the cylesium, but Calamander doesn't believe him, which he lives to regret (but not for long).
  • Indentured Servitude: Song, Calamander's Chinese servant, is essentialy his slave for life because he bought her from her parents.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam: The efforts to discredit West involve various elaborate cons run by multiple members of Calamander's gang.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Song serves Calamander reluctantly and never participates in his schemes, so she goes free while he and the rest of his gang are either killed or arrested. The last scene has Jim taking her to dinner.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: A variation. Calamander gets the cylesium, but it kills him and several of his henchmen (along with Golem and all his henchmen). Then the government seals up the cave so the gas can't escape.
  • Public Secret Message: Jim passes information on to Artie by doodling on a restaurant menu. The doodles are actually a secret code.
    • Out-Gambitted: One of Calamander's mooks takes the menu. However, Jim anticipates this and hides an ink blotter beneath the tablecloth so Artie can retrieve the message anyway.
  • Super Dickery: Jim's actions include shooting an unarmed man, attacking a preacher, physically and mentally abusing his fiancée and, to top it all off, punching Artie. Apparently.
  • Unobtainium: Cylesium, the deadly chemical that Calamander wants Jim to help steal. There's only one sample in existence, so Calamander can name his price for it.
  • Verbal Tic: Calamander’s habit of saying “one would” instead of “I do.” Naturally, West snarks him for it.
  • We Wait: After Jim is captured by Calamander, Artie and Colonel Richmond have no choice but to wait to hear from him—which Artie admits is the toughest part of the plan.
  • We Were Rehearsing a Play: Jim causes a public disturbance when he's accused of physically assaulting a preacher (one of Calamander's men). Artie passes it off as a scene from "Fabian Raplogel's thrilling new play, Because She's Your Sister, Son!, playing all this week at the Haymarket Theater!"
  • Wicked Cultured: Elisha Calamander, who is extremely fond of the finer things in life and doesn't care how he gets them.