Season 3, Episode 22
by Bill Nuss
First broadcast in America on 8/5/1995
Reno links up with Michael St John, a professional assassin. St John is dying of a terminal illness, and is leaving behind his assassin empire, and his twelve-year-old daughter, Lisa, disabled from a car crash, who has lost the use of her legs. St John wants to leave his business to Reno on the condition that he will also look after Lisa after his death. As a test of his worth, Reno must kill Dixon - a task that he would be trained for by St John. St John promises that once Dixon is dead, he has ways of exposing his criminal activities, clearing Reno's name.
While Reno grapples with this huge decision, Bobby is less trusting. He stakes out St John and sees him meeting with Dixon, discovering that Dixon has taken a contract out with St John to kill Reno. Shocked, Bobby tells all to Reno who confronts St John. Reno, in the meantime, has befriended Lisa, posing as her uncle.
When he confronts St John, Reno learns that it is in fact Dixon who is being set up. St John wants Dixon dead, because he doesn't want Reno in danger if he is running the business and looking after Lisa. Reno decides to accept St John's offer, and the two go Dixon's gym to kill him.
When there, Reno's conscience will not allow him to kill Dixon. Furious, St John stuns Reno, and rushes into the gym to do the job himself. Gaining consciousness, Reno, desperate to avoid loss of life, telephones Dixon in the gym, advising him to flee. Dixon does not, but instead, kills St John. Reno goes back to life as usual.
"Good news Doc - I quit smoking 45 minutes ago" - The Doctor tells St John he has only six weeks to live.
"You've got about 10 seconds to disappear, or your gonna be in extreme pain!" - Morgan Brooks to Reno - what a scary man!
"You've got 10 seconds to tell me who you are" - Brooks' method obviously made an impression on Reno, as he trys it on St John within minutes!
"This guy's from the far end of the darkside!" ("So's the script, mate! - Rev. Robert Marsden)
"I only kill people who deserve to die." - enough said.
"There really are women hitmen?" ("Only if they're transexuals! - Rev. Robert Marsden)
"Even his name sounds phoney." Is a bit rich coming from Bobby Sixkiller.
Reno - "I'd bet my life on it." Bobby - "You already have, bro."
Between the beach and Michael St John's house, things get dark very quickly!"
Dixon seems very pleased that St John manages to find Reno. Unusual, given that Dixon could have told him where he was all along. Still, we could go on about this point forever...
St John lectures Reno on the subject of professional assassination in a crowded restaurant. Not very subtle.
St John's choice of location for assassination practice is flawed at best - on a low roof in view of the street and all the other (taller) office blocks.
Reno conveniently has the phone number of the gym phone NEXT to Dixon on his person and is able to contact Dixon within seconds of being knocked unconcious.
Michael St John's reputation as the best hitman in the world is thrown into serious doubt when Dixon shoots him without a fight.
Dixon then shoots St John and walks away - an unarmed man who hadn't even attacked - Dixon himself had no evidence that St John was going to attack. Of course, he gets away scot free.
What happens to Lisa? As the story ends, Reno is taking her for a walk (push) along a promenade. He finishes by picking her up off her wheelchair and driving her away on his bike. What happens to her then? Come to think of it, what happens to the wheelchair he just abandons?
The scriptwriters clearly want us to feel empathy for the murderer that is St John, as he is given a dead wife, a disabled daughter and a terminal disease. Does this is excuse the fact that his riches (he owns a mansion and a BMW convertible) were made by killing people?
The backing music (the Moonlight Sonata) over the bike ride with Lisa and her physical therapy is presumably meant to remind us of her own piano playing. In fact, it doesn't at all go with the scenes, and just sounds embarrassingly inappropriate. Oh well.
OSCAR WINNING MOMENT
This has to be the point where Lisa confronts Michael with her knowledge of his imminent death. Cue much wailing and mushy music, and a complete non reaction from a bystanding Reno.
"A good episode. A lot of mistakes and a lack of Cheyenne are what ruin what could have been so great." 4/5
"A classic, as it was the first time we saw it. The plot is laughably week, but we converted a new fan on the evidence of this alone!"
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