Wednesday, October 6, 2010

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

“The Night of the Arrow” return to the theme we had running earlier this season that Mexicans and Indians are nothing but trouble. Do not call me bigoted, now. The writers came up wit this stuff. Not me.

Ulysses S. Grant personally order Jim and Artie to a remote fort commanded by Gen. Titus Baldwin. Baldwin is a hero in a past Indian war and very popular among the people. He is an ambitious sort who ha designs on the White House. He thinks he can get there on a river of Indian blood. Towards that end, several of his subordinates dress up like Indians and attack targets in order to stir up conflict.

Our heroes are definitely in the way as they unravel the charade. The plan gets changed to murdering the local Indian chief, Strong Bear, and pinning it on Jim. This does effectively stir the Indians up until Arty, posing as the resurrected Strong Bear advises them from the Happy Hunting Ground war is a bad idea.

Indians come across as a savage, dumb, and superstitious lot in ’The Night of the Arrow.” Baldwin is painted as a racist for his views on Indians, no doubt, I suppose it is evenhanded, since everyone on the frontier is made out to be a stereotype. “The Night of the Arrow” is Blazing Saddles without a laugh lines.

It is also a ru of the mill episode. We have seen these stereotypical characters before in previous episodes. Baldwin turns out to be an oblivious cream puff controlled by his XO and daughter, who wants to be the belle of the White House enough to help spark off a war to get there. The episode ends in a big fistfight with it mentioned in passing that everyone was arrested and Baldwin resigned because of his subordinates’ actions under his nose.

One bright spot is Artie’s disguise. He poses as a former Confederate wo is now in the US Cavalry, but still pines for the Glorious South. It is one of his more humorous characters.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment