(2.5) Payback

(commented on by Kathryn A)


So, they've started recycling plots... the gang unit, the danger of gang warfare, drugs, motorcycles, hits with Uzis, a cop behind it all... Of course, it isn't exactly like The Debt, since there, there were two black gangs being set up to war by a bent cop, whereas here, we have a white biker gang and the Yakuza being set up by a cop bent on revenge. Oh, and not to mention that we have a smoldering BOTW, which there wasn't one of in The Debt (unless you count Earl Gaines' grandmother...)

Of course they don't have any continuity either, no mention of Earl Gaines now, or any previous involvement with the gang unit.

Still, let's forget about the plot, and concentrate on the guys! As in Love and Guns, Blair enthuses about the adrenaline rush -- but this is countered at the end by his comment, "How do you guys ever get used to this?" -- meaning the dark downside of it all, the death. Blair is academically enthusiastic, wanting to know everything about Jim "from the moment your mother got that C-section". Of course, he needs so much data because he doesn't know what will be significant -- because Jim is the only Sentinel he has.

I'm wondering if Akiko reminds Jim of Lila -- they seem to be a similar type. But then, he always seems to kiss them and leave them... I mean, they drop hints of seeing each other again, but of course, they never do -- TPTB would never allow such a thing. And this gets terribly boring after a while... (no, I'm not a great fan of the BOTW phenomenon).

Note that Blair is referred to as being Jim's partner. "The Void" is a pretty cool name for a biker gang, I must admit. Again, the director here knows how to do his stunning slow-mo mayhem scenes -- I do like good action -- just not to the exclusion of other things.

I'm a bit surprised that Blair didn't make some anthropological comment when they were discussing the missing-pinky/Yakuza thing; this is a big contrast with The Debt where Blair is raving on about warrior cultures and the immanence of war. Here everyone takes the immanence of war as a given, and they're explaining cultural traditions to Sandburg? Huh? Actually, I think it's reasonable that they're expecting a war, and I don't just mean that because they learnt something from The Debt -- it's something they would have known already. But I'm kinda bugged about the pinky thing.

I'm also surprised at how easily they set up the meet. Considering the hoops Earl had to go through... I know, I keep on comparing this unfavourably with The Debt. I just liked the, well, the personal relationships that were in that story, the friendships, the trust. In this one, the only friendships and trust were in the regulars. And Earl's grandmother makes a better, um, supporting female character, than Akiko (grin).

Ah, it's the old "communicator beeps at the wrong time" syndrome! Well, in this case it was Jim's cellphone when he was following Akiko, but it's a sure thing, that when you want to be quiet, like when you're following someone, or hiding from someone, then your partner or crewmate desperately needs to contact you about something urgent. (I'm not sure that it happened that often on Trek, but it did happen a few times in Blake's 7 -- maybe because they had a greater need to hide.) So how come Blair can afford a cell phone now?

What a perfect way to be set up -- ride a distinctive bike, and nobody will try to look behind the motorcycle helmet. All the shootings by "Ray Peters" were actually done by Mike Hurley. For a character who never got a speaking part, he sure had a big impact on the plot, did Ray. There sure as heck seems to be a lot of undercover FBI agents wandering around -- not only one, but two! And one of them is the eponymous Ray Peters!

Taggert's assistant doesn't even have a name...

This episode had hardly any senses stuff in it at all!

Y'know, if not for the "I've got to know everything" scene, I could well live without this episode. It didn't have much to add.


  • was into bikes in high school.
  • his parents birthdates are 38 and 40.
  • was apparently delivered by Cesarean. (Well, we don't know if Blair was joking about that)
  • knows Jim's pin number.
  • has a portable tape recorder which he apparently carries around with him.
  • has a cell phone of his own!


  • listens to conversation between Kenji and Akiko.
  • feels the heel print in the concrete.
  • notices that the explosion was from the inside, not the outside, but that could be mere detection.
  • notices the shoeprints outside the volatiles store, but that's probably just detection again.
  • sees someone kickstarting a motorcycle.
  • sees letters IOY in picture -- but maybe that's just detection.

Observed by:

  • Blair, Simon or no-one.

Favourite Bits

The opening hit scene.

The "I've gotta know everything" scene. I love Blair being academically enthusiastic about Sentinels. Not to mention calling Jim an enigma!

Jim following Akiko onto the ferry -- and then the "oops" as he finds himself surrounded by men with guns.