The BEST Episodes of The Young Riders
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Network: ABC (US)
Set just before the American Civil War, this series presented a highly fictionalized account of the heyday of the Pony Express. Its focus was a group of young Express riders based at the waystation in Sweetwater, Kansas. Running the station was ex-Texas Ranger and all-around eccentric Teaspoon Hunter. The role of cook, housekeeper and mother hen was filled first by Emma and later by Rachel. The riders included the future "Buffalo Bill" Cody and James Butler ("Wild Bill") Hickok, as well as Ike, a mute, Buck, a half-White/half-Kiowa scout and the Kid, a quiet Southerner. Their final member was Lou, a young woman who lived and worked with the riders disguised as a boy. In second season, their group was joined by Noah Dixon.
#1 - The Keepsake
Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 14, 1989
Teaspoon is given claim to a small fortune, but he may lose it to a young woman he thinks is his lost daughter, and to a crooked gambler willing to kill for the cash.
#2 - Gunfighter
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 21, 1989
Hickok projects the demons of his childhood onto a bullying hired gun and decides only a showdown with the gunslinger will exorcise them.
#3 - False Colors
Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 9, 1989
Kid enjoys a reunion with his brother Jed, who seems to have found a niche in the Army, but is really leading a gang that is posing as cavalry to steal gold for the budding Confederacy.
#4 - The End of Innocence
Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 30, 1989
Hickok discovers hidden feelings for Emma on a venture to an Army outpost commanded by a captain with a passion for cruelty.
#6 - Ten-Cent Hero
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 2, 1989
A dime novelist creates the legendary gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok, and Hickok faces the consequences when a gunfighter arrives for a showdown with the fastest gun in the West.
#7 - Black Ulysses
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 26, 1989
The riders stand up for a runaway slave who is pursued by Missouri state militiamen committed to bringing down the fugitive.
#8 - Lady for a Night
Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 18, 1990
Dressed as a lady for a night, Lou meets a vicious brute who develops an obsession for her, while he masterminds a series of heists in the territory.
#9 - Decoy
Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 8, 1990
On a wild ride to deliver a top-secret Government message, Cody helps a mortally wounded mountain man, who asks Cody to care for his pet bear. Meanwhile, back in Sweetwater, the other riders look after an abandoned baby.
#10 - Daddy's Girl
Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 15, 1990
A new girl in town has Buck in her sights, but he is caught in the cross-fire between her, her tyrannical father and her cruel suitor.
#11 - Then There Was One
Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 5, 1990
Teaspoon sets out for Texas with an old comrade in arms to warn three other veterans that someone has been murdering the last men who truly remember the Alamo.
#12 - Blood Moon
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 13, 1990
Fear of a cholera outbreak turns the citizens of Sweetwater into a mob intent on lynching a deaf-mute boy suspected of being the carrier.
#13 - Jesse
Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 5, 1991
The riders befriend a young man named Jesse, who seeks vengeance against a gang of outlaws that kills his guardian.
#14 - The Presence of Mine Enemies
Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 9, 1991
Ike meets and falls hard in love with Emily Metcalfe (Kelly Williams). Emily's father is murdered by a card cheat, Neville. Emily seeks to avenge her father's murder. Ike goes after Emily to save her and takes the bullet meant for her himself. As the riders bid a tearful farewell to their friend, Buck seeks ultimate vengeance against Neville.
#15 - Fall from Grace
Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 4, 1990
Hickok has a falling-out with Teaspoon, and he falls in with a gang of outlaws who are after a store of Army guns and ammunition.
#16 - Initiation
Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 25, 1991
Jimmy captures Jesse's brother Frank James after a bank robbery. Jesse feels that he owes his brother his loyalty and so he breaks him out of jail forcing Teaspoon and Jimmy to track them.
#17 - Between Rock Creek and a Hard Place
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 26, 1991
Noah meets Quinn and his sister Casey, the only other black people in the town. At the same time he fights with an army recruiter. When the recruiter turns up dead, Noah is suspected.
#18 - The Kid
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 20, 1989
This was the pilot episode. We meet Kid first, he gets into a fist fight to get his horse, Katy. Later he joins the Pony Express where we are introduced to Emma Shannon the station mistress, Teaspoon Hunter the shaggy station master, Buck, Jimmy, Ike, Cody, and Lou. Later in the episode we also meet the continuing character Sam Cain, the marshal of Sweetwater.
#19 - The Littlest Cowboy
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 3, 1990
Ike, bitter after being beaten by men who take advantage of his handicap, befriends Arthur, a terminally ill boy.
#20 - Bad Blood
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 12, 1989
Lou returns to the orphanage to retrieve her younger brother and sister, but her estranged father, a gunrunner, gets to them first.
#21 - Home of the Brave
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 28, 1989
When the Kiowa begin to attack white settlements and civilians, Buck must decide between loyalty to his Kiowa brother and to the obligations and friendships he has found with the Pony Express. In the meantime, Lou, Hickok and Cody get into a fight with Tompkins and his men because of the shopkeeper's insults against Buck.
#22 - Matched Pair
Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired Mar 8, 1990
Hickok helps a friendly rival search for their gunfighting mentor's kidnapped daughter, who actually has escaped with evidence of her dad's corruption.
#23 - Star Light, Star Bright
Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 15, 1990
At Chrismastime the riders believe they own half a gold mine as repayment for Hickok's kindness to old prospector Cyrus.
#24 - Hard Time
Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 11, 1990
Kid is sentenced to hard time on a trumped-up charge by a small-town sheriff carrying out the policies of the sadistic man who keeps the town under a cloud of fear.
#25 - A Good Day to Die
Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 16, 1989
Kid finds a young warrior at the scene of a way-station massacre, and although the warrior denies any wrongdoing, Kid hauls him back through Indian territory to face justice in Sweetwater.