Thursday, December 10, 2020

Revisiting the Wild Wild West: The Night of the Watery Death

"The Night of the Watery Death"
Written by Michael Edwards
Directed by Irving Moore
Synopsis (from Wikipedia): Jim and Artie investigate a dragon-like creature that is blowing up ships.

Trey: This episode is really quintessential Wild Wild West to me. it's not one of my favorites, maybe, but it's solid and has everything I expect: Weird locations, West knocked out a lot, masterminds with dodgy plans, Artie in disguise and making inventions, technology advanced for the sixties, barely lampshaded for the 1870s, and an attractive guest star. This is the formula, I think.

It's funny that we're this far into Season 2 before getting one like this.  

Jim: I know I said I was hankering for more adventures set in the wild west environs, but man was I glad to see this episode was set in San Francisco! Everything about this episode starts on the right note: the foggy street, the Mermaid Tavern and the beautiful female guest star all set the mood perfectly!

Trey: Dominique is played by Jocelyn Lane, who was fresh off an appearance in the September issue of Playboy this same year. 

Jim: The really give Ms. Lane the most amazing outfits in this episode. 

Trey: Indeed! The costuming and set design overall in this one are good.

Jim: One of the things this episode has that a lot of other lack is a real reason for the villain to keep West alive (the compact.) So many times, the villains just seem to want him to join their evil plan.

Trey: True. This plan (like many a WWW villain plan) seems ill-conceived, but some of the most nonsensical bits (like the games they play with West at the beginning), and why Dominique is on the ship before it sinks, do have a rationale of sorts.

Jim: I like Artie's quick change disguise,  but then he undermines it by tipping off Dominique. That seems weird. I almost wonder if Edwards was asked to include the scene on a rewrite, as it has no purpose other than to give Martin a chance to ham it up a bit.

Trey: I wonder if they just felt like villains were fooled too often by Artie's disguises?

Jim: Are you suggesting they are anything less than flawless?

Trey: I wouldn't dream of it.

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