Recap / The Wild Wild West S 4 E 4 "The Night of the Sedgewick Curse"

West and Gordon are sent to meet with a government official, but he disappears very mysteriously from his hotel room before they can do so. Gordon checks into the same hotel (in disguise) while West tracks down a desk clerk who appears to be involved; however, the clerk turns up dead and Gordon ends up nearly so. Enter Lavinia Sedgewick (Sharon Acker) in a runaway carriage. West saves her and accompanies her home, earning an invitation to dinner that night. However, a little research turns up some suspicious facts about the Sedgewicks and soon both agents find themselves the unwilling house guests of a very strange family...

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Evil All Along: Lavinia Sedgewick, who plays the damsel in distress right up until the last act in order to keep Jim off-guard.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: When Jim is invited to the Sedgewick house, adding to the spooky atmosphere.
  • Karmic Death: Lavinia, by her own actions, dooms herself to the rapid-aging demise that she wanted to avoid.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Once Lavinia has her Villainous Breakdown, Dr. Maitland immediately surrenders to Jim and Artie.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Lavinia (who has been arranging inhuman experiments that cause Rapid Aging in the unwilling test subjects) ignores Dr. Maitland's advice when she thinks it's worked, tries the serum herself before he or Artie can stop her (Artie substituted distilled water, and the doctor tells her they have to carry out more experiments just to be sure) and becomes a decrepit invalid.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Maitland is amoral and willing to sacrifice innocent people to perfect his serum.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Dr. Maitland (Jay Robinson), the Sedgewick family physician, is set up as the villain of the piece throughout most of the episode, but his "victim," Lavinia Sedgewick, is really behind it all.
  • Old, Dark House: Sedgewick Manor, a very large, dark, creepy place with plenty of hidden passages and terrible secrets.
  • Pet the Dog: Dr. Maitland makes sure that Lavinia will be cared for as the disease takes its toll on her.
  • Rapid Aging: The curse in question causes members of the Sedgewick family to experience this once they reach middle age.
  • Spikes of Doom: Jim is nearly impaled by three spears that skewer his bed.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Artie is kidnapped for use as a guinea pig and ends up this way in preparation for the procedure.
  • Vain Sorceress: Lavinia Sedgewick is determined to retain her youth and beauty, albeit using sci-fi technology instead of magic.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Lavinia has one when she realizes that she's injected herself with the deadly serum.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Dr. Maitland invokes this trope during his speech about longevity. Lavinia later uses the same metaphor.