Last week on Raiders of Ghost City! Steve is captured by some raider henchmen and pretends to have amnesia. While they get all chin-scratchy about whether he’s really not right in the noggin or not, Carl Lawton, real name Count Manfried von Rinkton, arrives. Lawton is the head of the Oro Grande branch of the Prussians-disguised-as-Americans-stealing-gold gang, and briefs the no good stinkin’ Prussians on their objective: Steal gold, buy Alaska. He wanders into the henchmens’ underground lair in Ghost City just in time to see Steve about to make his getaway. Rinkton puts Steve in a makeshift 1864 version of a Whirlpool Wash-O-Matic trying to torture information out of him, but just as Steve is about to either drown or be clean for the first time in this decade, Idaho Jones arrives and distracts the henchmen. Will anyone survive? If Regis Toomey is listed in the credits, does that mean he’s returned or did he find a new and better life as a featured player in an Ann Sheridan flick? Stay tuned to find out!
As always, feel free to follow along on the YouTubes here.
The intro writers clearly weren’t forced to watch the show they’re summarizing on a weekly basis:
Steve is not on Carl Lawton’s trail. He doesn’t know who Lawton is; hell, he doesn’t even know the raiders are Prussians. Nobody does, not even the chinbeards in D.C. The last Steve knew, he was riding off to get Toomey’s killer, the man who shot the Toomster before he could reveal what was really going on with the gang. Steve was captured and is still with the henchmen as this chapter begins. While Lawton (real name: Count Manfried von Rinkton) did wander into the lair and ramp up the torture, Steve probably doesn’t know the guy’s name, let alone that he’s really a Prussian in disguise. As far as he knows, the raiders were a Confederate gang… and they should all be assuming that the gold robberies will stop, because with no Confederate Army in need of gold, there’s no reason to keep robbing Union trains.
Best case scenario is this stupid intro was trying to prevent the audience from expecting logic. Worst case scenario: they just made shit up. You be the judge.
Back at the Wells Fargo, Rawhide is sleeping off the shenanigans from last episode, while those two gossipy guys, the Statler and Waldorf of the Wells Fargo office, keep an eye on him. The coot on the left is the stage driver, while the coot on the right is a telegraph operator, but their true purpose in this serial is to provide exposition when things need to be explained. They’re generally pretty irritating, though today they’re being used to recap the single craziest thing that has happened thus far in Raiders: Cathy, Idaho and the doc shoving guns into Rawhide’s face, faking an injection of poison and letting him take an entire bottle of sleeping pills, thinking they were the antidote. Fortunately, these were Looney Tunes Brand sleeping pills (“As prescribed by Dr. Sigmund Fraud!”) which put people to a gentle sleep, complete with goofy Elmer Fudd grins on their faces.
Idaho, still caught between two groups of henchmen in the cave, fakes being shot so he can fall and roll to the other side of the passage…
…where he shoots Count Manfriend von Rinkton dead. That’s right, this guy, who is credited at the beginning of every single episode of this serial and who is touted as the damn ringleader of the bad guys, got all of six lines before being killed off. Idaho also kills the other henchman standing near Rinkton, played by Robert Barron, who happened to play the role of “Prindle” in the most recent “Don Winslow of the Navy” my BBFF Ivan recapped for his Serial Saturdays.
These two blurry cowards are Buck and Braddock, running away, the latter declaring “I ain’t no hero!” The myriad problems caused by low-quality henchman are never not hilarious to me.
Cathy and the doc arrive just in time to see Idaho fishing his friend out of the walk-in shower tub, and also in time to hear Idaho say Steve was just pretendin’ to be a whale. Yeeaaahhh… see, they hadn’t invented humor yet in 1864…
Steve gets out of the death tub and immediately starts rifling through the pockets of corpses, because he is our hero.
He finds a 1752 coin (the exact same one the good guys already had in their possession last episode; three cheers for the continuity guys again) and a business card for The Rackerby Company in San Francisco. A clew!
Buck and Braddock, after changing out of their scaredy pants and into clean duds, approach Alex and ask what they should do about Rawhide. Usually, the gang kills captured members before they can talk — that’s how we lost Jeff-Jim and Regis — but this time, Alex knows Rawhide is beloved and decides to rescue him instead. Besides, he has a bigger problem: Rickton’s luggage is still on the stage, and he’s afraid the luggage has paperwork that will reveal their plans. Trina is given orders to pack to get out of there in case the jig is up, while Alex tries to maneuver a way out of this mess.
Meanwhile, Braddock seems to have figured out there is something fishy going on with Alex. Here, he tells Slim (veteran Western supporting player Budd Buster) that he’s considering distributing the gold and disbanding the raiders because of his distrust of Alex.
Suspecting that the culprits will show up to rescue Rawhide, Steve and Idaho concoct a little trap. When Trina arrives for the first stage outta there, Idaho gets suspicious, but because he is a dink who needs to size up on his hat so his brain can get blood every now and then, he gives Trina a coin when asking her if she’s ever seen one before. Just then, henchmen arrive to bust Rawhide out of his sleepytime prison, and Trina pockets the coin during the chaos.
The henchmen, including their newly-freed friend, are sent to intercept the stage with Rinkton’s luggage. Idaho and Steve get there first, but only barely. They fake the henchmen out by taking the wrong suitcase, letting the stage go through with the right one and instructions to deposit the case with Cathy at the Wells Fargo. The henchmen chase after Steve and Idaho, eventually cornering them in an area that I assume is the Corriganville Movie Ranch.
It’s a showdown between these two:
And these two:
Yeah. We’ll be waitin’ on the edge of our seat to find out who prevails. But first, check out this final shot from the episode:
Letters made out of bones! Family entertainment, everybody!