Season 1 Episode 8


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 07, 1992 on USA
out of 10
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7 votes

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Episode Summary

Two bloodthirsty killers shoot an informant friend of Reno's and give Reno himself a savage beating that leaves him hospitalised. Reno goes undercover at the ranch where one of the duo's ex-wife works, to try and get a lead on the pair, determined to get even.

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  • Two bloodthirsty killers shoot an informant friend of Reno's, and give Reno himself a savage beating that leaves him hospitalised. Reno goes undercover at a ranch where one of the duo's ex-wife works, to try and get a lead. Corny in places, but terrific..moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    Wow. What an episode! Once again, I ask myself why I never fully got into 'Renegade' back in the day when it first aired! (Answer: ITV regions here in the UK ran it irregularly, in the middle of the night!).

    This story starts out with Reno meeting with a dwarf informant Little Tom, played by likeable character actor Phil Fondacaro. I try to go into 'Renegade' episodes "cold", avoiding reviews and synopsis, so that the plots come as more of a surprise to me; so with Fondacaro appearing so prominently in the opening sequences of this story, part of me thought we were in for a story kind of like 'Magnum, p.i.'s fourth season episode 'Smaller than Life' (which revolves around a similar dwarf with big personality). So it comes as a shock when, moments later, Tom is gunned down by the two savage killers Reno is after, before Reno himself receives a brutal beating; only to be saved by Bobby at the last minute.

    After the opening credits sequence, Reno emerges from hospital weeks later, determined to track down his brutal assailants. Cue some very corny dialogue (even by 'Renegade's standards) as Reno becomes hell-bent on tracking the duo down and evening the score.

    The bulk of the plot kicks in as Reno goes undercover at the country ranch where one of the pair's ex-wife Jessica (a decent performance by regular 1980s and '90s guest star Nancy Everhard) works. Naturally, Reno soon proves his worth by taming a bucking bronco, and soon strikes up romance with the woman.

    The mid-section of the episode plays out really nicely, with Reno taking on cohorts of the killers who also work at the ranch, and taking sage words of wisdom from the ranch owner. I really enjoyed this setting and it made me warm to the episode even more.

    All these leads to the inevitable showdown with the two killers when they arrive in town, taking Bobby hostage and sending a battered Cheyenne to fetch Reno.

    This is a really enjoyable first season episode of the series, and one of my favourite episodes thus far. I like the setting, find it to have interesting guest characters, felt the bad guys to be a real menace (which isn't always the case), and the whole thing plays out very appealingly. I give "Payback" a solid 10/10.moreless
Todd Bryant

Todd Bryant


Guest Star

Nancy Everhard

Nancy Everhard

Jessica Patterson

Guest Star

Phil Fondacaro

Phil Fondacaro

Little Tom Masion

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


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