Airwolf (1984) – Fallen Angel and HX-1

 

Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent) and Dominic Santini (Ernest Borgnine) fly into more adventure this week.

First up is Fallen Angel, written by Deborah Pratt, which aired 3 November, 1984. String and Dom are laid up in a hospital by the end of the opening titles because of a stunt they did crashing a biplane into a barn for a movie.

While they are laid up in hospital, Marella (Pratt) comes to see the, and informs them that Michael ‘Archangel’ (Alex Cord) has been captured, and that The Firm aren’t going to do anything to rescue him. Despite the two of them being injured, they agree readily to help, though with Dom’s injuries, they have to bring in Caitlin (Jean Bruce Scott), and she of course is delighted to finally be proven right about the existence of Airwolf.

As the mission unfolds, something doesn’t ring true with Hawke, and as pieces are moved around the board, we learn that in his time as a prisoner, held by rival agents that he knows, Michael has been brainwashed.

After a rescue that Hawke deems far to easy, and Archangel is returned to friendly territory, we learn that he is going to be used to assassinate the head of The Firm, code-named Zeus (John Brandon).

The attack sequences in this episode are a lot of fun, as the supercopter attacks a fortified battlement, not unlike a castle, filled with enemy troops.

This was Deborah Pratt’s first produced story, and there are hints of the writer she will become, when she goes on to write some of my favorite episodes of Quantum Leap.

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The second episode HX-1 was written by Steven Hayes and aired 10 November, 1984.

An experimental helicopter, the HX-1, is stolen from its developing company, and some of the evidence left behind resonates familiarly with Hawke. There are clues to suggest that only three people would have been able to do it – and two of them are Hawke and his brother St. John.

Convinced his big brother is no longer M.I.A. in Vietnam, but is back on American soil, Hawke is angry with The Firm and determined to find his brother. As he begins the hunt for the chopper and St. John, he pushes friends aside in his blind and stubborn belief that it can only be his brother.

Even when confronted with the improbable – his brother becoming an arms dealer, he still believes St. John is behind it all. Never taking into account the other members of his old battalion who may know the same tricks he does.

Finally, still clinging to the belief that one of the thieves knows where his brother is, Hawke tracks down the HX-1, as it’s being put through its passes for a black market buyer. Confrontation ensues as supercopter takes on supercopter, and Hawke has to decide whether to stop the HX-1 once and for all, or hope he doesn’t get blown out of the sky before he can learn where his brother is.

Not a bad episode, it showed the obsessive singular focus that String has for his brother which hasn’t surfaced in a while, and it was cool to see another wicked looking chopper for Airwolf to sink its teeth into!

More next time.

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