The Wild Wild West (1969)

Season 1 Episode 6

The Night of a Thousand Eyes

Aired Friday 7:30 PM Oct 22, 1965 on CBS

Episode Recap

A gang of pirates known as the Thousand Eyes are taking over the Mississippi River one boat at a time. They use different landmarks to trick the riverboats into driving into the rocks and becoming stuck. They then kill the crew aboard the ship and steal the cargo that it is carrying.

There have been a total of four investigators lost to the Mississippi, since the attacks on the riverboats started. Each of their deaths have been listed as accidental, but Jim and Artemus think otherwise. Jim takes a roulette chip that had been retrieved from the most recent deceased investigator and goes to the casino where it came from, The Pot of Gold. When Jim arrives at the casino, he becomes engaged in a game of roulette. While playing he begins to question the roulette girl, Crystal, about Hackett, but she is too busy rigging the game to let him win. Jim asks Crystal if she would join him for breakfast once her shift is over, but before she can reply, Jim is attacked by the gang of pirates and Crystal flees. Jim defeats the men and goes after Crystal to find her packing up her things. Jim begins to question her about what she knows about the men who attacked him and Hackett. However, before she can answer she is shot by a gun, hidden in a painting. Her last word to him is "Coffin". Meanwhile, Captain Ansel Coffin, a blind ex-naval captain and leader of the Eyes, is sharing his disappointment about the gang's failure to get rid of Jim West. One man stands up to Coffin, only to be strangled to death by Coffin. Captain Coffin begins to discuss what to do about Jim with his wife, Oriana. He decides to call on Jennifer Wingate to take care of Mr. West.

Back at the hotel, Artemus is telling Jim what he has learned about the disappearance of the riverboats when they hear a woman scream. However, the scream puzzles them because it came from the Men's Bath. When they enter they are amazed to find a woman, Jennifer Wingate, bathing. After Jim shoves Artemus out the door, Jim uses his charms to talk Jennifer into having dinner with him. While Jim is off having dinner with Jennifer, Artemus takes it upon himself to do a little more investigating. Dressed like a Clark Gable look-a-like, he patrols the boardwalk for some answers. He soon bumps into a young woman who is very distraught about the murder of her father. It turns out that the man Captain Coffin killed with his bare hands was her father and she wants to see Coffin punished. She also warns Artemus about Jennifer Wingate and that if he doesn't find Jim soon, he may end up finding him at the bottom of the river. Meanwhile, Jim is having his dinner with Jennifer. She begins moving herself closer and closer to him with each clap of thunder, until she is only a few inches away from him. They finally kiss, but Jennifer has other ideas. She pulls a gun on Jim and shoots him while they are kissing, but unbeknownst to her he is wearing bullet proof vest. Since she failed in killing him she must tell him everything. Jim agrees to go to a certain location with Jennifer to meet Coffin. Upon arrival Coffin's men are there waiting.

Jim and Jennifer are captured by Coffin's men and Jim is stripped away of all his weapons. Coffin explains to Jim his plan of taking over the Mississippi River for his own profit. He plans on charging one cent for every pound of cargo that travels up and down the Mississippi. He believes that owning the Mississippi River is only right, since the government stripped him of his duties when he lost his eyesight. Coffin then locks Jim in a metal cage that has a lightning rod attached to it. Once lightning hits the lightning rod, he will be electrocuted. Artemus, on the other hand, arrives at the house that Jim and Jennifer were supposedly having dinner. The man there tells Artemus that Jennifer left to take care of a sick uncle and Jim just went on his merry way. Artemus heads back to the hotel believing that Jim might have returned there, but he is met by two of Coffin's men. Artemus tricks them into allowing him to take a bath before he leaves. Taken off guard, Artemus defeats the two men quite easily. He gives one of the men 100 dollars to tell him where Jim West is, to which the man replies, "He is where nobody can do him any good. By now he is in the river, dead."

Meanwhile, Jim attempts to escape from the metal cage and is successful. However, when trying to escape Jim triggers a powder flash set up by Coffin and becomes temporary blind. Jim finally makes his way to Coffin and the two battle it out, both unable to see. Oriana calls out to Coffin to watch out, but Coffin accidentally throws his sword at her, killing her. The battle continues, but soon Jim gets an advantage; he gets his sight back. Coffin still fights, but with the storm approaching he can't hear where Jim is, which allows Jim to slip out unnoticed. Coffin follows Jim to the room with the metal cage where Jim is there waiting for him at the controls. Jim lowers the cage on him just when a lightning bolts hits, electrocuting Coffin. Back on the train, Jennifer is trying to persuade Jim into giving her less time in jail. Each time she kisses him, he lowers the amount of jail time. This makes Artemus furious because the whole time Jim was missing he was going out of his mind looking for him. Jennifer stops kissing Jim and instead begins to kiss Artemus. After one or two kisses, Artemus begins to agree with Jim on Jennifer's sentence, commenting "the poor little thing."