Airwolf (1984) – Daddy’s Gone a Hunt’n & Bite of the Jackal

 

High-flying adventure continues this week as Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Micheal Vincent) confronts some ghosts from his past, and has to rescue his pal Dominic Santini (Ernest Borgnine). There are also a couple of recognizable co-stars as well!

Daddy’s Gone a Hunt’n was written by Burton Armus and aired 28 January, 1984. Hawke, still haunted by his experiences in Vietnam, is given an assignment by Archangel (Alex Cord), with Marella (Deborah Pratt) in tow. It seems someone is going to steal a state-of-the-art jet and deliver to the Russians. While it may sound like a rehash (already) of the pilot, it’s not.

It all ties in and centers around a young Amer-Asian boy, Ho Minh Truong (Chad Allen). Recovered from Vietnam, where he’s been living on his own for years, a Russian agent has grabbed him, and is holding him hostage until the plane is delivered… by his father.

There is some suspicion placed on Hawke as the possible father, though the mother denies it.

Hawke and Dom go undercover at an airbase, and figure out a plan, which includes using Airwolf to fly into Russian territory and rescue the kid, while the plane is still en route.

There are a couple of stock shots being used already, of course. I mean, how many different shots do we need of Airwolf rising out of the desert hole they have her hiding in, and there are shots of hands on levers and throttles being reused, as well as, I’m sure, shots of Hawke in his helmet with his eyes glaring out from the screen at the audience.

Still, while there is a bit of humor (poking fun at Hawke’s for being so quiet and gruff all the time), this show is played straight down the line as a pure action.

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The second episode, Bite of the Jackal, aired 4 February, 1984 and was penned by Nicholas Corea.

Dom is the bait in a ploy meant to draw Hawke and Airwolf out, by a power-hungry operative inside the Firm, Bruck (Scott Hylands).

Dom is flying a vintage chopper to Acapulco, unfortunately, someone has triggered a bomb in the engine, causing him to crash-land but not before discovering he has a stowaway aboard… a young girl named Phoebe Danner (Shannon Doherty).

Marella isn’t tagging along with Archangel this time, instead he has a young woman named Laura (Susanne Reed), whom he confides in about his suspicions about Bruck, which he confirms moments later with a phone tap.

It still isn’t enough to save Dom, so Hawke takes Airwolf into battle, with Archangel as his engineer, and sets out to rescue his friend.

Again, shots of explosions, and the supercopter are being re-used, but, I have to be honest, the pacing and the storytelling of the series actually overshadow it, and can make me forget it in my enjoyment of the episode. I mean, sure, I recognize the same shots being used, but it doesn’t jar me out of the episode, I just recognize it as a cost-cutting procedure in service to the story.

I think I’m going to really enjoy re-watching this series!

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