Recap / The Wild Wild West S 3 E 23 The Night Of The Simian Terror

West and Gordon are in Kansas to tell Senator Seth Buckley that President Grant is concerned over not hearing from him and to convince the senator to return to Washington, D.C. They find that Buckley, his family and his staff are highly armed and very nervous about something, but can't get anyone to explain why or what. Buckley's foreman is then fatally attacked by a strange, enormous beast. A meeting occurs afterward between the family and their neighbor, Dr. Sigmund Von Liebig, behind closed doors; Gordon's eavesdropping attempt earns him a whack on the head, though the agents do find out that one of Buckley's sons is off to destroy some records at the local church. The son quickly ends up dead, killed, apparently, by a giant ape. The Buckley family remains united in silence, so West and Gordon launch a full-scale investigation in their own inimitable style, hoping to find out what's going on before the Buckley family becomes extinct.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The rich, eminently respectable Buckleys. Between the father going out of his mind with guilt, the three sons desperately trying to push a rather large skeleton back inside its closet, the adopted daughter determined to help keep a secret she's not even in on and the embittered, disowned fourth son trying to kill his way into his inheritance, it's not a happy family.
  • Downer Ending: A rare (in fact, the only real) example on the series. Senator Buckley finally acknowledges Dimas and regrets what he did - but by this time two of his un-disowned sons (plus the foreman), Dimas's pet killer ape, and Dimas himself are all deceased.
  • Genius Bruiser: Dimas. He appears at first to be a dumb brute, but, as it turns out, he's extremely intelligent. In fact, he's the one orchestrating everything.
  • Herr Doktor: Dr. Sigmund von Liebeg, the thickly-accented Mad Scientist who's neighbor to the Buckleys.
  • Old, Dark House: The Buckleys live in one. Old, check; foreboding, check; full of secrets and people marked for death, check.