West and Gordon set up a sting operation to catch a gang which has been robbing stagecoaches, but Averi Trent (Lana Wood), the territorial governor's daughter, gets in the way and is kidnapped. West goes after the gang while Gordon, at the relay station where the stagecoach was originally headed, learns that the outlaws are carrying a highly communicable, deadly disease. West does his best to get an unhelpful Trent away from the outlaws while Gordon tries to locate West, the girl and the gang before it's too late for the medicine he's carrying to save them.
Tropes present in this episode:
- All for Nothing: The money the gang stole becomes infected with the plague and has to be destroyed.
- Disney Villain Death: One of the gang members falls to his doom while fighting Jim.
- Identical Stranger: In The Tag scene, Averi introduces our heroes to her fiancé Donald, who is played by Robert Conrad with a moustache. The upper left-hand corner of the image shows Jim and Artie's reaction.
- The Millstone: Averi has absolutely no common sense, and her ill-considered actions frequently make things worse for Jim. At least she smartens up a little when Jim proves to her that the gang never had any intention of releasing her.
- The Plague: The plague which the title refers to is "Noguri's Syndrome," which, as Artie learns, is a highly communicable and generally fatal disease originating in Asia. It can be cured if an inoculation is received within three to five days after infection...
- Race Against the Clock: ...so that's how long Artie has to find Jim, Averi and the gang before Noguri's Syndrome kills them.
- Rich Bitch: Averi is a haughty, obnoxious young woman from a powerful family.
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare: The villains are Wicked Cultured crooks whose cover is the membership of the Olympic Shakespearean Theatrical Troupe, and Artie infiltrates them by showing off his ability to play the Bard's characters. We see Artie on stage as Falstaff, and quotes from The Merchant of Venice and Hamlet turn up in the dialogue.
- Stock Footage: Like the previous episode, this borrows footage from a season three episode. In this case, the shots of Jim lowering himself down a cliff face as part of his attempt to rescue Averi (which doesn't work) come from "The Night of Jack O'Diamonds".
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: If Averi hadn't stowed away on that second stagecoach, or had had the good sense to stay inside it when she heard a gunshot, the villains wouldn't have been able to take her hostage and escape.
- We Wait: Artie can't go after Jim, Averi or the gang until his colleagues send him information that will give him an idea of where they might be.
- You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Averi tries a variation with a sheriff who won't let her on a stagecoach: "Do you know who my father is?" When that doesn't work, she resorts to a $500 bribe, which doesn't work either.