Thursday, January 20, 2022

Revisiting The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Janus

"The Night of the Janus"
Written by  Leonard Katzman and Paul Playdon
Directed by Irving J Moore
Synopsis: The murder of a secret service agent points to a traitor in the organization. Jim West and Jeremy Pike must uncover the traitor's identity at the service academy. A sheet of music left by the dead agent is their only clue.

Trey: Jeremy Pike is back for one last go! And there's traitor in the service is an idea you and I had talked about, so it's interesting to see they did that. 

Jim: The real star of this episode was the secret service training school. I almost wish this idea had been introduced earlier in the series as sort of a western version of MI6. Combined with the plan to rob the mint, this made for one of the more enjoyable episodes this season.

Trey: It's solid, but I'm not quite as sold on the setting. The training academy seems a bit advanced to me, based on what we've seen of the secret service in previous episodes. I guess it makes sense if you think about they also have to have a place to make and distribute those gadgets--which we get to see here, too! Setting it all in Denver is a bit of a surprise, but I guess if most of the threats are in the West, you need to be there, and maybe San Francisco is too far West.

Jim: Oh, you're fretting too much over realism in a show about a guy in a bright blue cowboy outfit! Didn't you like the musical mystery? The song lyrics and music box clue is one of those mystery gimmicks I always enjoy. 

Trey: It was a nice too, for sure.

Jim: It was fun to see Jack Carter as Alan Thorpe. Carter doesn't bring much to the role other than his own personality, but he rings the appropriate nostalgia bells. 

Trey: I had him pegged as the traitor fairly early on (I recognized his voice when West was trapped in the training room), but I think the episode does a pretty good with not being too obvious and keeping you guessing about the resolution. I like that we get to see West use some smarts and skills here!

Jim: I definitely agree! The booby trapped room was the perfect way to show us how West stacks up in the field of secret service work. 

Trey: As tough as they obstacle course is, I wonder how many agents die in training?

Jim: They are wearing matching red shirts. That can be bad in 60s TV!

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