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Gunslinger Recap

In the Old West tourist town of Pontiac, Nevada, owner Ian McClintock is playing poker with Abel Russell. Ian chats with Abel about what he does for a living, Abel says that he's in insurance, and Ian tells him that he left his "insurance license" laying around and Ian's henchman Slade found it. The owner knows that it was forged, and hands his revolver to Slade. Slade takes it and orders Abel out on the street, drawing his gun. He claims that Abel is drunk, and the patrons applaud assuming it's part of the act.

Out on the street, Abel figures that it's a joke but Slade and his lieutenant, Carter, shove him down the back stairs. Slade tosses Abel a gun and says that he likes to give a man a fighting chance. Abel realizes that he has no choice and takes it, but says that he's a government agent. The government agent finally goes for his gun and Slade guns him down.

Jim picks up his briefing from a photographer at a skateboard park. He's informed that Pontiac is a recreation of 1880s Gold Rush town, owned by former U.S. Congressman Ian. Abel was an undercover operative for the FBI and disappeared after reporting that he was following a lead. There's no evidence of his whereabouts, and the IMF thinks that Ian is selling weapons to European terrorists. The team must confirm the IMF's suspicions and bring Ian to justice if he's guilty.

At the apartment, Jim tells the others that Ian imagines himself as a cowboy and is obsessed with the Hollywood image. His other passion is gambling, and Grant has studied the surveillance footage and determined that he's bottom-dealing, and the team will take advantage of that.

Later in Pontiac, Grant, Max, and Nicholas show up at Ian's ranch posing as cowboys. They say that they brought some trucks down and ask if there are any jobs at the ranch. Carter makes a joke about insurance and Slade glares him into silence. He tells the agents that there's a rodeo in a few days and they can help out until then. Once the agents leave, Slade tells Carter to shut up about Abel and figures that the agents don't have any calluses. He figures that they might end up the same way as Abel.

IN the town, Shannon works as a saloon girl and hits on Max. He whispers to her about what Carter said. Meanwhile, Jim is playing poker against Ian and losing. Slade comes in and calls out a man at the bar. They go for their guns and Slade "wins". The "dead" man stands up and everyone applauds, and Jim complains that Pontiac is a circus and he's tired of the kid's stuff. Ian insists that they honor American's heritage, and Jim dismisses the famous gunfighters as psychopaths and killers.

Later at the ranch, Slade orders Grant to ride a bronco. They have him ride a wild bronco, Bolero, and Grant has no choice but to agree. Grant mounts the horse in the chute, and he gets thrown off on h is first ride. He tells Slade that he rode him, and when Carter mocks Grant, Carter tosses him down and Slade reluctantly gives Grant the job.

At the saloon, Carter talks to a driver, Mel. Mel says that it's his last night in the mine. Shannon is working the bar and secretly listens in as Mel says that the material is dangerous and it "creeps up on you". Jim keeps losing, and shares a drink with Ian. Shannon goes upstairs to the room where Grant, Max, and Nicholas are staying. Grant has apparently blank playing cards and explains that they're each covered with a liquid-crystal display screen. Using his computer, he can change the faces to anything that he wants.

Ian tells Jim that the world is rotten and they need to get rid of the do-gooders, leaving only the strong to survive. He figures that Jim is there for something other than poker, and Jim goes up sitars and tells the others that Ian cleaned him out. Shannon tells them what Mel said.

The next day at the mine, Ian goes through a secret door to where Slade is overseeing workers. He says that they've pinpointed the bearer wall and are digging to it, but assures Ian that the men are more scared of him. Ian tells Slade that he's taking Jim out to the ranch to find out what he's after.

At the ranch, Ian and Jim ride around and Jim talks about how cowboys were self-dependent. Jim says that Ian is nothing like them because they took risks, and Ian is rich and playing it safe. Ian suggests that they play poker and raise the limit as high as Jim likes, and Jim agrees and warns that there'll be no limit.

Grant and Nicholas slip into the mine's pumping station and Grant figures that if he can get a sample of the water, he can analyze it to see what they're mining. Nicholas dips his handkerchief in the water and the two agents go back to the saloon room. Grant analyzes the residue and discovers that it's sodium chloride. Jim tells Nicholas and Grant to go back to the mine and fine out more, while Max and Shannon get close to Carter and find out what he knows.

Carter is down in the bar and Max and Shannon stage a fake flirting scene where Shannon rejects Max. When he grabs her, Carter comes over and pulls Max says. Max backs down, tips Shannon, and leaves. Shannon then flirts with Carter.

Grant and Nicholas slip into the mine after dark and secretly watch as Slade tells Mel that he's not leaving. Mel says that they've already broken through, and they don't need him. Slade He offers Slade half of his money if Slade will let him go, but Slade drags him away into a dead-end corridor. The agents figure that there's a secret door but it will take time to find it and prepare to head for the mine office. They hear a gunshot and figure that Mel is dead.

At the saloon, Max complains to Carter that he wants a better job. Carter says that he's in charge of the mine, not Slade. Shannon tells Carter that she gets off work in an hour, and secretly drugs Carter's drink.

Grant and Nicholas break into the mine office and Grant finds the blueprints and leaves with them.

When Carter starts to pass out, Shannon leads him out. Ian notices and asks who Shannon is, and Shannon says that she's going to put Carter to bed. The owner tells Carter to watch his mouth, and tells Slade to keep an eye on Carter.

In the upstairs room, Grant, Nicholas, and Jim go over the blueprint but find nothing. Jim suggests that they're tunneling, not mining, and spot a restricted government area on the map in the direction the mine is heading. Grant brings up the IMF files but can't get through the restriction so they figure there's something sensitive there... or under it.

The next day, Carter wakes up in a stable as Shannon and Max look on. Max leaves before Carter can spot him, and Shannon pretends that they had sex and she had a good time. She advises Carter not to tell anyone, and claims that Carter told her about Abel and the mine. Carter panics and says that he was drunk, and tells Shannon that there were no rods or burial vaults.

Grant loads knockout darts into a revolver, and Jim says that he used to be good with it. He demonstrates his quick-draw as Shannon and Max come in, and Shannon tells them what Carter said. Grant realizes that Ian is digging into a salt bed used to store radioactive waste. The uranium rods are recyclable for nuclear weapons, and they figure Ian is going to sell the rods to the terrorists.

Grant puts a miniature radio mike on Jim so he can listen in on his game with Ian. At the bar, Shannon slips in Grant's rigged deck of cards and swaps Slade's gun with the one that Grant doctored. Jim challenges Ian to a game and has Shannon bring over the rigged deck. In the saloon room, Grant changes the card faces and the two men play.

Max and Nicholas enter the bar and use on of Grant's devices to open the hidden door, and then put on the miner's protective suits to disguise themselves.

Jim keeps winning and insults the watching Slade. When Slade takes offense, Ian tells him to sit down.

The miners are loading up the uranium rods from the burial rods, and Nicholas and Max approach them.

Slade goes to the bar for a drink, and Shannon gives him a drugged rink. He walks back over to the table and sits down, and Grant prepares to change Ian's hole card when he isn't looking.

Nicholas fakes radioactive contamination and his hands glow. The miners run out and the agents set their explosives on a five-minute timer.

Jim calls Ian, who is surprised when his hole card isn't what he thought thanks to Grant's manipulations. Ian accuses Jim of cheating, and Jim shows him how Ian bottom-dealt. He then has Grant demonstrate how he cheated.

Max and Nicholas run out.

Ian calls Jim out and tells everyone to get off the street.

The explosives go off, destroying the mine and shaking the saloon. Jim tells Ian that it's his tunnel to the burial vault blowing up. Slade gets the gun under the bar from Shannon, and Jim puts it on. They go out on the street and Ian tells Slade to kill Jim. Slade is wobbly from the drug, and Jim easily outdraws him and shoots him with a knockout dart. Assuming that Slade is dead, Ian panics when Jim calls him out next and says that Ian had Abel killed. Ian offers Jim whatever he wants, but Jim says that he has his confession in front of all of the tourists. Jim draws and shoots Ian, and Jim tells the onlookers that it's all part of the show. Shannon says that she's called the FBI, and the rest of the team join Jim and ride out of Pontiac.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 7, 2018

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