Crockett goes undercover to take down Mario Fuente (Zappa), a dealer of 'weasel dust'.




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Episode cast overview:
Olivia Brown ...
Reuben Reydolfo
Agent Kevin Cates / 'Lou Carlin'
Roberto Durán ...
Jesus Moroto (as Roberto Duran)
Mario Fuente
Frederick Herrick ...
Agent Earle Hodges (as Fred Herrick)
Margie Beeson ...
Looking Woman


A minor drug conviction, Jesus Moroto, calls Sonny to visit him in prison and then, kills himself in Sonny's presence, which he finds odd. A DEA agent from NOLA offers to assist the Vice team in taking down the elusive Mario Fuente, played by the mean rockin' man, Frank Zappa. Fuente, a drug lord who maintains his residence beyond the 12 mile marker, makes all of his deals through his middleman, Reuben Reydolfo (Dan Hedaya) and never leaves his boat. When IAD gets involved in the case, things take an even stranger twist. It becomes a race against the clock to exact payback. Written by LA-Lawyer

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Release Date:

14 March 1986 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Written and Performed by Chris Isaak
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User Reviews

It's all in the execution
26 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

On paper, this episode is pretty standard Vice, but the strong execution helps lift it above average. Frank Zappa makes for a surprisingly effective and not so surprisingly quirky villain, and guest star Graham Beckel really shines as an undercover DEA agent. This is a Crocket-centric episode, and Johnson proves once again that he's at his best when Crockett is under the gun. Also of note is a nice moment for Edward James Olmos' Lt. Castillo. Olmos is a great actor, but his Castillo rarely shows any humanity. But here he has a strong, but understated ('natch), scene with Johnson where we see him peel back the armor just a tad and show the heart beating underneath.

With a nice sleight of hand twist and good guest performances, "Payback" works as a solid, effective outing for our favorite pastel-clad detectives.

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