Sunday, September 19, 2010

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

“The Night of the Wolf” takes another of the series’ X-Files turns into what appears to be the supernatural, but turns out not to be. It is also a unusual episode in that the guest characters are often more prominent than Jim and Artie.

Several years ago, a Croatian monarch was deposed by his brother with the elp of a Rasputin-like advisor named Talemantas. The brother died a short time ago, living the deposed monarch and his daughter, who have been living obscurely in the Arizona Territory, to return to his land. Jim and Artie are assigned to ensure the two get on the ship safely. Taemantas has come to Arizona to stop them…or has he?

Tlematas appears to have supernatural control over a pack of wolves that are impervious to pain and nearly impossible to kill. Jim shoots one twice without effect. It takes a large silver bullet from the king’s gun to kill one. Hence, there is the belief for much of the episode Talematas controls werewolves. The truth is, he has developed a serum with which he can control minds. Yes, I know. Just like the previous episode. His real plan is to kidnap the princess and control her mind as she takes over the thrown.

Unbeknownst to anyone, the exiled king is dying. He had his first cardiac episode upon learning of his brother’s death and his second upon the kidnapping of his daughter by Talematas. Artie runs off to gather everyone needed for an immediate coronation before the deposed ing dies so his daughter can tae over while Jim runs off to rescue the princess in the first place.

I recall not buying into the story even as a child. It is not just because the wolves that attack Jim on three separate occasions are clear fakes which do not even move as they “maul” him. It is the other, far greater problems in logic.

Supposedly, the wolves are so jacked up on serum, it takes one large bullet to kill them. For whatever reason, a hail of small bullets have no effect. The fact the large bullet was silver is noted out loud to be irrelevant when the truth about the serum is revealed. A hail of regular bullets should have been more effective than one large.

How did Talemantas get from Croatia to Arizona so fast? The news of the king’s death traveled far faster tan he could have made a transatlantic voyage, particularly if he took the longest possible route an landed in California. Why not just stay in Croatia and take over amid all the chaos of having no leader in place? He was controlling the king by serum anyway, so he was the guy in charge in the first place.

The third problem with logic is more amusing than anything else. Jim meets with a local sheriff who is part of the security team. The sheriff leads the deposed king up to his room and is not seen again until the quickie coronation. That means he is upstairs, but does nothing, while wolves attack, multiple gunshots are fired outside, Talemandas and his men beak in to kidnap the princess, and she is rescued by Jim. I have heard of sound sleeping, but that guy takes the gold medal in the event.

For the sake of being pedantic, I also note Croatia was controlled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire I the 1870’s. No local royalty was allowed to reign over territory, so none of this could have happened anyway. The more you learn, the worse “The Night of the Wolf” gets.

I consider it the worst episode of the second season. Perhaps even the entire series. You can skip it without missing a thing.

Rating: * (out of 5)

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