Recap / The Wild Wild West S 4 E 17 "The Night of the Sabatini Death"

A fateful meeting with Johnny Sabatini (Ted de Corsia) the dying crime czar of St. Louis, sends Jim and fellow agent Ned Brown (Alan Hale Jr.) to Calliope, Missouri, where Army finance officer Captain Aylmer Nolan died after stealing $500,000. There, they must protect Sylvia Nolan (Jill Townsend), a young blind woman who's connected to both Sabatini and the missing fortune.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Creepy Cemetery: Ned has to search one to find the missing $500,000, which turns out to be hidden in a mausoleum.
  • Dirty Cop: Sheriff Chayne (Tom Geas) is Obviously Evil even before we learn that he's part of the conspiracy.
  • Disney Villain Death: Clarence (Ben Wright), one of the corrupt townspeople, goes flying off a balcony after he impulsively attacks Jim.
  • Dramatic Irony: When local funeral director Fabian Swanson (Jim Backus) tries to help Jim, he winds up stuffed in one of his own coffins.
  • Dying Clue: Sabatini's mission for Jim is a variation. While the crime boss knows he's on his way out, he's not aware that someone has poisoned him with (as Ned puts it) "enough curare to kill a horse", and he keels over just as he's about to tell Jim where the money is.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Sabatini has it bad.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Ned instantly bonds with a stray cat he finds wandering the graveyard.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Sylvia has forgotten the first seven years of her life to suppress the traumatic memories of the night Harry Boorman murdered her mother and set their house on fire. Since those memories include the location of the money, the villains have a vested interest in making her remember, which they eventually do.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam: The entire population of Calliope, except for Sylvia and Swanson, is conspiring to find the missing money.
  • Old, Dark House: The Nolan mansion, which has been deserted since Harry Boorman tried to burn it down.
  • The Reveal: Several.
    • Johnny Sabatini was also Captain Aylmer Nolan, and Sylvia is his daughter.
    • Sylvia's kindly Aunt Melanie (Bethel Leslie) is actually disguised Con Artist Laura Staples, a member of the conspiracy.
    • Local businessman Farnsworth (Don "Red" Barry) is actually Harry Boorman—Sabatini's old rival, murderer of Sabatini's wife and Sylvia's mother, and head of the conspiracy.
    • Sabatini/Captain Nolan used the stolen money to buy property in and around Calliope and put it in Sylvia's name, making the whole conspiracy All for Nothing.
  • Super Wheelchair: Sabatini's is fancy enough to be lit by its own lantern.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Calliope. The only reason anyone besides Sylvia or Swanson lives there is to find the stolen money.