Recap / The Wild Wild West S 4 E 13 "The Night of the Pelican"

West and Pike are on the trail of a stolen a supply of fulminate of mercury from a military arsenal. Their trail leads to the prison at Alcatraz, which has been taken over by the evil Din Chang. The agents must stop Chang's plan to attack the US Navy with rockets, then take control of San Francisco. (In case you're wondering, and as Pike tells Jim, "'Alcatraz' is Spanish for 'pelican'!")

Tropes present in this episode:

  • The Alcatraz: The actual Alcatraz shows up in this episode, but its reputation turns out to be greatly exaggerated.
  • Anachronism Stew: At the end of the episode Pike plays Jim "one of those talking records" that Artie sent (but doesn't actually talk on—we hear a giggling woman instead) from Washington, D.C.... several years before such a thing existed. Of course, then-futuristic technology was commonplace on this series.
  • Arms Dealer: Jean Paul.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • When Din Chang is about to kill Dr. Gibson, Jim bursts through the false wall of his office and attacks him.
    • Corporal Simon is about to execute Jim and Dr. Gibson by Firing Squad when Jeremy, disguised as a junior guard, shows up and tells him that Chang has decided to let them live. Simon tries to go through with it anyway, but Jeremy stops him with a small, concealed bomb he brought along just in case.
  • Dying Clue: In The Cold Open, puppeteer Jasmine Blood says she can take Jim and Jeremy to Din Chang, but he gets to her first. She manages to say the word "pelican" just before she expires.
  • Get into Jail Free: Jim poses as a cashiered soldier with a Rebellious Spirit to infiltrate Alcatraz.
  • Knockout Gas: Jeremy uses it on Corporal Simon when the guard discovers him smuggling himself into Alcatraz.
  • Prison Episode: As noted, most of the story takes place inside Alcatraz.
  • She Knows Too Much: When Dr. Sara Gibson, the prison medic, hears a delirious Jim babbling about Din Chang, she talks to the acting warden—who removes his disguise, revealing to both her and the audience that he is Din Chang.
  • Shirtless Scene: Jim spends about half the episode shirtless.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: This exchange between Jim and Corporal Simon, a sadistic prison guard who assigns him hard labor.
    Jim: You realize, of course, that this may ruin our friendship.
    Simon: I'll take that chance.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Jeremy Pike and Dr. Gibson pull this off.
  • Yellowface: Jeremy Pike makes himself up to look Chinese to investigate Jasmine Blood's murder. Inverted by Din Chang, who disguises himself as a Caucasian.