The Wild Wild West (1969)

Season 3 Episode 24

The Night of the Death-Maker

Aired Friday 7:30 PM Feb 23, 1968 on CBS

Episode Recap

In San Joaquin, California, Jim comes out of a hotel and talks to another agent, Charles, about making sure President Grant gets into the hotel safely. Jim then walks across the street to check things out as an organ grinder goes by. Grant gets out of the carriage and an actress, Marcia Dennison, asks to talk to him briefly. He says he'll come to her performance and she leaves. The organ grinder opens up his cart to reveal a Gatling gun. Jim uses a wagon to distract the man long enough to shoot him while Grant disposes of man's accomplice. Both assassins are dead and "Grant" reveals that he is Artie in disguise.

Jim and Artie meet with the real Grant at the Presidential Suite and try to warn him off. Grant talks about how four Army weapon depots have been raided and a number of weapons, including Gatling guns, have been stolen. Grant refuses to back down and says he will be making an unannounced trip to Denver to address the territorial governors. He does agree to stay in the hotel for 36 hours before he leaves.

At the Wanderer, Artie determines the gun mounted in the organ grinder was one of the stolen weapons. Raisins on the gun are from a vineyard in California that must be near a railroad. There are two towns, Scottsville and Jubilee, that fit the bill but they don't' have enough time to search them in 36 hours.

Jim goes to Jubilee and checks in at a hotel where he notices a monk who talks about a delivery of wine casks. After the man leaves, a manager Gillespie recognizes the actress from earlier, Marcia Dennison. He is insistent she work for him and Jim discourages him before chatting with Marcia. Artie arrives from Scottsville as a Monsieur Renard, a wine taster, and secretly report to Jim that he found nothing. They go into the bar and notice a sign for the Santa Paulo Monastery. They have a sample and Artie notices that the quality is much poorer then usual. Jim also remembers that the monk from earlier was wearing a ring, which no monk would do. In the lobby they see the monk go upstairs and Jim follows him up to a room where after a minute he emerges with another robed monk. Jim gets ahead of them and has Artie stage a distraction while Jim hides in the wagon.

At the monastery the monk offers to take his hooded companion to the "general" and the monk reveals that he is a she--Marcia Dennison. After she leaves, Jim takes her robe and moves through the monastery to find a Sergeant training Army men who were given dishonorable discharges. Dennison reports to a man in military uniform, General Cullen Dane. Dane has the perfect place for an ambush picked out on the route to Denver, and talks about Grant defeated him. Dane plans to seize control of the territory and must kill Grant to throw all the military garrisons into confusion.

Jim makes his way through the monastery to a locked cell door and two other "monks" spot him. Jim quickly knocks them out and takes the key to go through the locked door, where he finds the monks locked up. One of them is ill and they need medicine. The head monk, Angelo, mentions Dane who Jim recognizes. Dane's men took control of the monastery and Angelo admits they made bad wine as a SOS. The ailing man, Brother Thomas, has an attack and they need the medicine in the dispensary.

Jim goes to get the medicine and is forced to duck into another room to avoid fake monks. He finds himself in a well-appointed bedroom where Marcia confronts him at gunpoint. She says she plans to marry Dane and she wants greatness, and by tomorrow morning Grant will be dead and Dane will control California. She forces Jim to toss his gun out the window. He manages to seduce her enough to get in a kiss and realizes she's signaled Dane's men. He applies a nerve pinch then ambushes the men as they come in, knocking them out. He gets the medicine to Brother Angelo but Dane and a squad of men are waiting for him. Dane tells Jim that he has a military execution ready for him but they're interrupted when someone arrives to see Brother Angelo.

As Jim is tossed into the pit with the real monks, Dane dons robes and goes to meet with Artie still disguised as Renard. Once Artie claims he has never met Angelo, Dane passes himself off as the head monk and Artie says he was called in to help with the wine production. Dane tries to get the meeting to the hotel without success and Artie goes on about wine techniques.

Brother Thomas recovers but Jim admits he doesn't have any gadgets on him. But he does have an idea and suggests that Brother Thomas should "die" and the other monks should sing a hymn. The head Sergeant comes to investigate and tell them to shut up. They agree if he'll bring them a coffin, which he says he'll do.

Artie sneaks out of his room at the monastery while the sergeant gives them their coffin, and Jim hides in it. Artie gets to Dane's office and finds his map of California and steals an important paper. The Sergeant his men take the coffin out, but instead of burying it where Brother Angelo asks, they prepare to toss it into the furnace. However, the Sergeant calls one of them off to an assignment and Jim starts to get out.

Artie spots Dane's men loading up explosives while the man called away comes back to the furnace and helps his friend toss the coffin into the furnace. But his friend is Jim, who knocks him out. Artie starts a diversion with a handheld incendiary device and checks out a room where Jim grabs him. Artie reveals the paper he took earlier with Grant's route. It's morning and Dane and his men are moving out with all of their artillery. They use the remaining gunpowder, the wine, and some of Brother Thomas' medicine to rig up a bomb and Jim goes to free the real monks.

Marcia spots Artie and pulls a gun on him, but Artie points out that he's holding the explosive and if she shoots him they'll go up. She doesn't buy his supposed bluff but Jim returns and disarms her and tosses her into the pit where the monks were kept.

That night Grant is traveling by train while Jim and Artie ride up to look for Dane's gun emplacements. They find them as the train approaches and prepare to toss out Artie's explosives. They get in position and start tossing the exploding wine bottles. Dane prepares to fire and Jim gets to his emplacement and attacks his men. He manages to knock out Dane as he goes for his cannon.

Later on the train, Jim and Artie celebrate with two women and a bottle of the monastery wine.