Monday, March 20, 2017

Renegade: "Renegade" (Pilot)

He was a cop, and good at his job. But he committed the ultimate sin and testified against other cops gone bad. Cops that tried to kill him, but got the woman he loved instead. Framed for murder, now he prowls the outlaw hunting outlaws...a bounty hunter...a RENEGADE.

Cue a contender for the most amazing and obnoxious TV show ear worm, which follows something like 37 minutes of Reno Raines (played by Lorenzo Lamas) and his fiance frolicking on a beach. In the cold opening, Raines also goes into a police department to share his undercover investigation into a crooked cop. The head detective is Dutch Dixon, played by show creator Stephen J. Cannell, perhaps the greatest TV show mind of all time (if for no other reason than giving us the A-Team). Dixon and Lamas have an oddly hostile and nonsensical interaction, which is only partly explained by the fact that Dixon is also crooked. He arranges for Reno to be killed. We then cut to the aforementioned credits, which gives away the fact that Reno survives but loses the woman he loves. It cuts the drama a bit, although we do get to see a slovenly biker gang member miss shooting Reno from 5 feet away, despite the fact each Lamas pectoral muscle is like a beautiful target to aim at.

Dixon frames Reno and then goes to Bobby Sixkiller (Branscombe Richmond) and his sister Cheyenne (Kathleen Kinmont), the best bounty hunter in California or whatever. For whatever reason, law enforcement is unable to track people across state lines (this is pre-9/11, so back then all you had to do was travel to the next state and you would never be apprehended). Dixon is also strangely hostile towards Bobby, which leads Bobby into this great quote:

Only in America, Lieutenant, where every day could be the Wheel of Fortune. George Foreman, a black man raised in the ghetto, eats hamburgers and wins millions. Donald Trump, a white man, raised in a mansion, eats caviar, and loses millions. Ah, what a great country we live in, Lieutenant, where everybody gets a spin at that wheel.

Haha, Donald Trump, what a fuckin' loser. Whatever happened to that bozo?

Bobby and Cheyenne travel around in their high tech Winnebago tracking Raines. Reno goes after the biker prisoner dude who killed his fiance, but captures him only long enough to be captured by Bobby. "Sad!" - Donnie T

While Reno is in custody, Bobby tries to head off racist jokes by telling a lot of weird Native American jokes, even though no one was intending to crackwise about injuns. It's fine, though, because Bobby has a beautiful mullet and a million dollar smile and the best earrings I've seen outside of QVC, so we can do whatever he wants. I'll skip past some of the plot points to just say there is a fight scene with a biker gang, Cheyenne gets kidnapped, and blah blah blah Reno saves the day and he and Bobby become best friends.

The episode was directed by Ralph Hemecker, who helmed a number of Cannell series episodes before reducing output for about a decade until coming back strong with shows such as Numb3rs, Once Upon a Time, the Flash and Blue Bloods. Truly, he would not be where he is today without honing his skills on Lorenzo Lamas' lush, flowing hair and rock hard abs.

Lamas and Kinmont were married in real life, until they weren't. Kinmont was on the show for 4 seasons until the relationship ended, and we got a new woman for season 5. However, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.


Gorilla Bananas said...

Ah, they don't make 'em like that any more. Thankfully.

ChrisV82 said...

@Gorilla Bananas - Surely Renegade stands shoulder to shoulder with such American television series as Baywatch and Hercules, which is probably an indictment.