Friday, December 3, 2021

Revisiting The Wild Wild West: The Night of Miguelito's Revenge

"The Night of Miguelito's Revenge" 
Written by  Jerry Thomas
Directed by James B. Clark
Synopsis: West and Pike race to solve a mystery based on a nursery rhyme before Dr. Loveless completes a series of kidnapping and completes his revenge.

Jim: Nice to see Dr. Loveless return to the show!

Trey: I had thought we had seen the last of him. Good to have him back, though it's a shame Artemus couldn't be in this one.

Jim: This episode leans heavy into the sixties color a lot more than other episodes recently. The underground lair with all the clowns and carnival décor, the color coded cages Loveless uses to hold his kidnap victims--even West's red satin lined coffin! It reminds me of Batman.

Trey: This episode also gives Jeremy Pike the introduction that the first episode aired with him in it didn't deliver.

Jim: It feels, as did the last one, like it was written with Ross Martin in mind, which makes sense. Aidman seems less sure of himself in the role than in the previous episode.

The poem that is so important to this episode was first recorded in A. E. Bray's Traditions of Devonshire in 1838. There is a lot of variation among older versions. In some, Friday's child is the one with the woe.

Trey: Who's to say what version Loveless heard?

Jim: Overall, this feels less like a Dr. Loveless episode and more like an Agatha Christie mystery or something. The steam powered android is a novel gimmick, but I feel like it should have had more screentime. But this isn't the first lackluster Loveless episode we've seen in the series. At some point in the series, the show turned the amazing scientist Loveless into just an ordinary villain.

And Agatha Christie angle is a bit flat too. The key to this sort of plot is that either the various participants in the story need to reveal sordid secrets or be conspirators in a scandalous crime. Loveless' targets are pretty random. 

Trey: I think this is far from the worst Loveless episode we've seen, though I would agree it isn't the best. The steam-powered robot here is probably one of the best fantastic elements in the show, regarding its execution. As far as Loveless' revenges being really petty, well, that's very much in keeping with how he has been portrayed in previous episodes, so I didn't mind that. 

Jim: So you're saying he's sort of a small man?

Trey: ...

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