Saturday, September 18, 2010

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

“The Night of the Cadre” is a marriage of two popular concepts for the series--a sciece fiction plot to take over the world and a standard militia to…well, take over the world. Do they go together like peanut butter and chocolate? Not really. More like peanut butter ad bananas. It will do, but it is not the best combination of which one could conceive.

Jim is sent to a prison in order to observe the execution of a would be presidential assassin. Several others like him who have expressed a desire to kill Ulysses S. Grant have been inexplicably released by prison wardens in the last few weeks. Sure enough, the condemned is released ere after a whistle is blown I the vicinity o the warden.

An autopsy reveals the warden had a crystal implanted in is brain which increases the power of suggestion when in contact with the frequency of the whistle. Whoever ha been implanting these crystals has been freeing a small army of potential assassins for something big. Jim poses as an infamous assassin in order to become a part of the plan.

He is kidnapped from his wagon transport to a fort run by Gen. Titus Trask, a former United States Army officer booted out by grant. He now wants revenge, or so it seems for most of the episode. He really wants to implant a crystal in Grant’s brain in order to control him. When he discovers who Jim really is, he decides Jim, a trusted Secret Service agent, is jut the ticket.

Wait--how did a professional soldier learn about crystals that can control minds? I do not know. Since the episode never worries about such a frivolous point, neither should we, right?

The rest of the story goes exactly as you would expect. Artie, in disguise, rescues Jim before his brain urery can begin. Jim pretends he had the surgery anyway so he can infiltrate Trask’s army. There is a big hoot and fistfight at the end which resolves the plot. Trask fall off a cliff to his death as one of the most laughably obvious dummies in television history. Even for a low budget show, it was bad. They could not have just had a guy fall on a airbag? Geez.

“The Night of the Cadre” is also notorious for featuring the same plot hole that plagued "The Night of the Red-Eyed Madmen.” You may recall in that episode Jim infiltrated another militia, but his cover was blown because he had encountered another member before joining up. Since meeting the guy was the catalyst for investigating the militia to begin with, Jim should have known this would happen. Not only does this not occur to him then, but he did not learn anything. The same scenario happens again here. The condemned would be assassin from the opening teaser has been recruited by the militia and can identify Jim which he does the first chance he gets. Not only is this problem a huge illogical flaw once, it happens in two different episodes!

“The Night of the Cadre” is not the best. It is not the worst, either, in spite of its logical flaws. The episode is just sort of…there. The dumb bits are more amusig than annoying.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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