Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wild Wild West--"The Night of the Assassin"

Just to prove there is symmetry, even in international relations, Jim and Artie find themselves attempting to prevent a coup in Mexico seemingly perpetrated by Americans. This time te plan is a bit more well thought out than stealing a wagon load of war materiel and heading off to British Columbia.

Jim interrupts an assassination attempt in Mexico of Pres. Benito Juarez. While chasing after the would be assassin, he is ambushed by his accomplice. The accomplice turns out to be An American Relations between the two countries sour as marshal law is declared and Americans become prime targets for trigger happy Mexican soldiers.

Jim seeks out the escaped assassin at great risk to himself out of fear there is an American backed conspiracy to throw Mexico into chaos. The assassin, a young Texan named Halwosen, is captured by the brutal Mexican Col. Barbosa, who hides him from everyone in order to torture out a confession.

Jim arranges for Halwosen for his ‘father”--Artie in disguise--to meet in order to get the whole story straight from the horse’s mouth. He refuses to talk as log as he is a prisoner, so Jim and Artie devise a plan to break him out of prison before Barbosa can go to work on him.

Our heroes’ job is complicated by a pretty senorita who seems to show up at just the wrong time to thwart their investigation. The final straw is when she kidnaps the rescued Halwosen right out from under him after he as been rescued from prison.

It turns out she is working directly for Juarez to uncover the whole assassination plot. Working together, they all discover Barbosa is behind it all. He hired Halwosen ad his accomplice from the shadows to kill Juarez, then had Halwosen arrested to torture out a confession Americans were behind the plot. Then Barbosa would be free to take over the country.

Robert Loggia takes his second turn as a villain in the series. He is very menacing here, but not a particularly convincing Mexican. Nevertheless, the episode is good, if for no other reason than it well separates itself from the similarly plotted previous episode. The story has more of a covert caper feel to it than yesterday’s blow ’em all up and that will fix it plot. Good fun regardless.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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