Recap / The Wild Wild West S 3 E 7 "The Night of the Hangman"

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During a short stopover in Kirby Gap, Kansas, West and Gordon decide to take part in a town-wide celebration sponsored by Amos and Eugenia Rawlins, local ranchers. In the midst of the festivities a shot rings out and, though the culprit seemed to be aiming for local banker Roger Creed, it's Mr. Rawlins who falls dead. The agents pursue the killer and lay hands upon Lucius Brand (Dean Stanton), a farmer whose land was foreclosed by Creed; he insists he's not guilty, but all the evidence points toward him, so he's convicted of the crime and sentenced to hang. However, Brand's pregnant wife is so convinced of her husband's innocence that Jim and Artie find themselves uncertain of the truth and decide to do a little investigating of their own.


Tropes present in this episode:

  • Alone with the Psycho: Artie finally gets the evidence he needs to clear Brand's name and takes it to the local prosecutor, Franklin Poore. Unfortunately for him, the prosecutor is one of the conspirators against Brand.
  • Amoral Attorney: Franklin Poore. He helps frame Brand in exchange for money and political favors.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: When Jim and Artie are lured into a hotel room that gets set on fire.
    Jim: Don't look now, Artie, but I think we're on fire.
    Artie: You know something? I think you're right.
    Jim: I suggest we make a hurried exit.
    Artie: I like your thinking.
  • Chess Motifs: Artie uses a chessboard to map out the crime scene and takes some trouble to choose an appropriately symbolic chess piece for each participant.
  • Clear Their Name: Jim and Artie have to do this after becoming unwitting accomplices to a Frameup.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Mrs. Peacock, who forces Artie to suffer through two courses of inedible glop before she'll answer his questions.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Jim is unsure of Lucius Brand's guilt and Artie tries to explain to him why it's an open and shut case... only to end up convincing himself that Jim is right.
  • Gold Digger: Eugenia Rawlins. She's from a rich Boston family which went bankrupt, and she married Rawlins solely for his money. She makes it clear that she always hated both her husband and Kirby Gap, and she planned to leave as soon as she could.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Mrs. Brand decides to kill Jim and Artie for testifying against him at his trial. Luckily, Artie talks her out of it by telling her that he and Jim are going to save her husband's life.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: Roger Creed. Not only did he foreclose Brand's farm, but he was part of the conspiracy to kill Rawlins and frame Brand for the murder. (For bonus points, he's played by Charles Lane, who was Mr. Potter's sidekick in It's a Wonderful Life.)

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/TheWildWildWestS3E7TheNightOfTheHangman