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The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Fatal Trap

Colonel Vasquez has his men rob American banks and flee across the American/Mexican border. The local law can't pursue them, so Jim and Artie come to put an end to his operation. Jim goes undercover as wanted outlaw Frank Slade and Artie as his down-on-his-luck friend Mohave Mike. But when Jim arrives at Vasquez' headquarters, he realizes he knows Vasquez' girlfriend Linda Medford from a previous case, and she knows him!


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x15
Production Number: 3224-0104
Airdate: Friday December 24th, 1965



  • Currently 5/10
5/10 (2 Votes cast)
Special Guest Stars
Joanna MooreJoanna Moore
As Linda Medford
Ron RandellRon Randell
As Col. Francesco Vasquez

Guest Stars
Charles Davis (1)Charles Davis (1)
As Tennyson
Recurring

Co-Guest Stars
Joseph RuskinJoseph Ruskin
As Viper Black
Recurring
Walker EdmistonWalker Edmiston
As Charlie
Recurring
Paul BarselouPaul Barselou
As Bank Teller (as Paul Barselow)
Recurring
Don BriggsDon Briggs
As Sheriff Cantrell
Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr.Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr.
As Sgt. Gomez (as Rodolfo Hoyos)

Uncredited
Robert V. BarronRobert V. Barron
As Mark Dawson
Recurring
Alan SuesAlan Sues
As Matt Dawson
Dal JenkinsDal Jenkins
As Luke Dawson
Main Cast
Robert ConradRobert Conrad
As James T. West
Ross Martin (1)Ross Martin (1)
As Artemus Gordon

Recap

A man in a black sombrero smokes outside of the Cane Fork Merchant’s Bank just after 1:10pm. He tosses the butt into the street and loosens the reins of several horses from the hitching post, then mounts his own horse. Several men back out of the bank. They wear bandannas over their faces and point guns through the bank door as they mount up and ride. Once riding, they fire several times into the air...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Corner Slides
Bottom Left: Linda compares a picture of Jim to a poster of Frank Slade.
Upper Right: Linda puts a derringer to Jim's back.
Lower Right: Vasquez changes the plan at gunpoint!
Upper Left: The Wanderer pulls away.

This is Charles Davis' final appearance as Tennyson.



Episode Quotes
Sheriff Cantrell: Washington says once they cross that river border, it’s “oley oley oxen free!”
Charlie: But they can come across t’ here and steal everything that i’nt nailed down!

Sheriff Cantrell: Maybe it’s time I sent a telegram: “Dear Washington, What are you doing about the Vasquez gang? Love, Sheriff Cantrell.”

Jim: I don’t have to look like Slade - Vasquez has never seen him. Slade never operated in this part of the country. We’ll be perfectly safe.
Artie: Um... uh... we?
Jim: You wouldn’t want me to go and face band of desperadoes alone, now, you wouldn’t want that, would you, Artemis?

Artie (as “Mike”): (disguised as an old prospector, he talks up “Frank Slade” as a ruthless outlaw with a big reward for his capture or death) Ten thousand dollars reward, dead or alive. You know what that means? That means if he was to happen to die there’d be a corpse laying round here in Casa Verde worth $10,000 cash on delivery in Laredo.
Sgt. Gomez: You wish me to cause something to happen to your friend...
Artie (as “Mike”): I’m just saying if... if!

Viper Black: Gramps. Vasquez wants to see you.
Artie (as “Mike”): Mohave’s the name, sonny, Mohave Mike. I ever tell you about how I got the...
Viper Black: NOW!
Artie (as “Mike”): As soon as I finish my beer. I ever tell you about how I got that...
(Viper Black pours out Artie’s beer.)
Artie (as “Mike”): I’m finished. We can go now.

Vasquez: Sergeant Gomez was kind enough to call this to my attention. He tells me that you have seen Senor Slade here in our area.
Artie (as “Mike”): Yeah.
Vasquez: How can you be sure?
Artie (as “Mike”): Well, uh, ‘course I didn’t want to mention this to Sheriff Gomez you understand, but, uh, Frank an’ me used to ride together back in Kansas.
Vasquez: Then... he is your friend?
Artie (as “Mike”): That’s right, sonny.
Vasquez: Whom you would betray for a ten thousand dollar reward.
Artie (as “Mike”): Now, wait one minute. He’s a good friend. That’s the least I’ll take for him.

(Artie has disguised Jim as Frank Slade, an outlaw.)
Jim: I don’t think I’m ugly enough.
Artie: Oh, well, you’ve got to feel the part, you know. When you’re walking around think to yourself, “I’m ugly. Boy, am I ugly!”

(Jim has suggested that Artie’s character “Mohave Mike” would be more likely to sleep in a livery stable than a hotel.)
Artie: A livery stable?!? What about the smell?
Jim: The horses will just...
Jim and Artie: (in unison) ...have to get used to it.

Vasquez: My men are the best in this territory.
Jim (as “Frank”): Then I’ll have to settle for second best.
Vasquez: Second best? To appropriate a million dollar shipment of Federal bullion?
Jim (as “Frank”): You’ve got no business knowing my business!
Vasquez: On the contrary, Señor. It is my business to know everything.

Jim (as “Frank”): I ride shotgun, you and your men inside the van. Mohave Mike drives.
Vasquez: Mohave Mike?
Jim (as “Frank”): Any objections?
Vasquez: You are the commander, Señor, but before you assign your friend Mohave Mike to this delicate post, I must tell you that recently he attempted unsuccessfully with Hefe Gomez to have you converted... into a corpse/
Jim (as “Frank”): Are you sure of that?
Vasquez: My word, as an officer and gentleman. Would you like me to arrange his death?
Jim (as “Frank”): I don’t arrange deaths. I’ll take care of it myself.

Jim: You haven’t changed your scent.
Linda Medford: Neither have you, you polecat.

Jim: You don’t need money. I thought you found your pot of gold at the end of Vasquez’ rainbow?
Linda: Things are never really what they seem with you, are they?
Jim: What about Vasquez?
Linda: Well, he was a king in Mexico City, but... this is not Mexico City.

Linda Medford: I just couldn’t sleep so I went for a ride.
Vasquez: Possibly to Señor Slade’s hotel? Answer me! Were you with Slade?
Linda Medford: (sarcastically) Yes, that’s exactly what happened! I got totally bored, and a rode over and I just flung myself into his arms!
Vasquez: It would not be the first time, would it? But if you are lying, it is certainly the last!
Linda Medford: Don’t threaten me, Francisco!

Artie: You alright?
Jim: Never better.
Artie: Vasquez?
Jim: (pointing to wreckage at the bottom of a ravine) He only bought a one way ticket.

Jim: I’m making you a present of Viper.
Artie: Gift wrapped.
Linda: Exactly what am I supposed to do with him?
Jim: Well, it’s just a thought, but Sheriff Cantrell is offering a two thousand dollar reward for Viper. A girl could start a while new life with that kind of money.
Linda Medford: That is the loveliest gift I can think of to give a girl!



Episode Goofs
When Jim prints out wanted posters, the second poster he prints clearly has no printing on it. He picks up a blank piece of paper, regards it, and sets down a printed poster. Clearly a swap occurred as the poster passed behind the printer where the viewer cannot see it.



Cultural References
Artie tells Jim to think of himself as ugly so that he will act ugly and others will see him that way. This is essentially a description of method acting, roughly fifty years before its generally acknowledged debut in the 1940s and 1950s, and easily ten years before the underpinning concepts that appeared in Constantin Stanislavski’s ideas that appeared at the beginning of the 20th century.

The three Dawson brothers are Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Presumably, if they had a brother, he’d be John, for these are the four gospels of the Bible. Perhaps their parents were religious folk, which is someone ironic considering the brothers' eventual line of work.



Analysis
Jim offers Linda Medford the reward for Viper Black. The $2000 is enough for her to start a new life, but will she go straight? Probably not. Throughout the episode, she’s depicted as a woman who loves the finer things in life and has little regard for the rules men create to frame a stable society. More than likely, that money will seed her next confidence game...



Other Episode Crew

CreatorMichael Garrison
ProducerCollier Young
Associate ProducerBruce Fowler, Jr.
CastingJames Lister (2)
Unit Production ManagerCy Brooskin
MusicRichard Markowitz
Set DecoratorRaymond Molyneaux
Director of PhotographyTed Voigtlander
Story EditorMark Weingart
Art DirectorAlbert Heschong
Film EditorAlan Jaggs
Assistant DirectorLeonard Katzman
 
Warning: The Wild Wild West season 1 episode 15 guide may contain spoilers
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