Recap / The Wild Wild West S 3 E 19 The Night Of The Underground Terror

West and Gordon are in New Orleans (during Mardi Gras, of course), where mysterious women set up meetings with each of them. At Gordon's rendezvous he is ambushed by a group whose leader turns out to be Colonel Tacitus Mosely, former Confederate officer in charge of the notorious Susquehanna prison of war camp; West is also attacked, but escapes to meet a group of crippled ex-Union Army soldiers who are seeking revenge on Mosely. The agents resolve to help bring Mosely to justice and manage to abduct him from his home for that purpose. Then things really get interesting...

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Colonel Mosely has spent years acquiring one to belladonna. He takes advantage of this to incapacitate Jim.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Major Hazard.
  • Dowsing Device: Artie's weapon of choice when he comes to the rescue. He pretends to be an Englishman who can use the device to find gold and proceeds to lead the villains on a series of wild goose chases.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Even in the mid-to-late 1800's. At least the crowds, costumes and festive atmosphere are used for dramatic effect, plus Artie takes advantage of them to slip away unnoticed after disabling his attackers.
  • Masquerade Ball: Jim and Artie infiltrate one (dressed as Don Juan and Hamlet, respectively).
  • Nazi Gold/Nazi Grandpa: Civil War-era analogues to both tropes turn up. Mosely hid one million dollar's worth of the Confederacy's gold somewhere on his old P.O.W. camp's grounds and Hazard is after it. Hazard and his gang pretend to be former Union soldiers when they were actually Mosely's assistants at the camp; Hazard's daughter is completely unaware of their true identities. Mosely himself has acquired a new face and a new name and become a respectable member of the community.
  • No Peripheral Vision: Why Artie apparently doesn't notice the three men - wearing elaborate ancient Roman costumes no less - waiting in what must be plain sight to ambush him.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Major Hazard's entire gang, who initially pose as crippled war veterans in order to play on the agents' sympathies.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Hilariously, the outcome is exactly like that in The Princess Bride, except this time it's the villain who has the Acquired Poison Immunity.
  • Public Secret Message: Jim, in full sight of the villains, begins punching holes in a newspaper with a pencil. Artie picks it up later and figures out that the holes represent a message in Morse Code.
  • Shout Out To Shakespeare: Artie and the villain-of-the-week engage in a brief verbal duel using Shakespearian quotations.