Airwolf (1985) – Eruption and Short Walk to Freedom

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Season 2 of Airwolf wraps up with this post. First up is Eruption written by T.S. Cook and Kevin Hartigan, this one originally aired on 6 April, 1985.

String (Jan-Michael Vincent) and Dom (Ernest Borgnine) are using Airwolf to take readings around what was thought to be a dormant volcano, everything seems to be going fairly well until the chopper’s intakes can’t take the dust clouds caused by a pending eruption. They set the Lady down and find themselves in trouble with the local leadership of the mining town, more or less ruled by John Cove (Mills Watson).

It seems Cove is keeping the entire town under his thumb by controlling all the resources and goods in the little hamlet, keeping the people hungry and cold, giving them the bare minimum provided in their contracts.

String and Dom end up allying themselves with the town’s oppressed workers and the company’s figurehead Mrs. Davenport (Laraine Day) and square off against the greedy company men who are intent on exploiting the entire town.

I personally loved the fact that Dom references Dante’s Inferno when he sees the volcano, as his character Harry Booth did in the Disney sci-fi film, and one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies, The Black Hole.

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The season’s final episode, Short Walk to Freedom aired 13 April, 1985 and was penned by Robert Blees and Dorothy Robinson. String is in trouble when he ends up a hostage by guerrillas after he tries to rescue Caitlin (Jean Bruce Scott) and some students who are touring some South American ruins. But for the most part, the story follows Caitlin and the students following their escape.

Caitlin and the students alongside their less than honourable professor were planning on a two-week dig but end up captured by Alzar (John Aniston). And I have to say for the most part the students are all pretty annoying, suffering from the 80s version of first world problems and Caitlin has her hands full before Airwolf arrives to break them out. That leads me to a bit of a problem I had with the pacing… at some point during the rescue/attack, String lands, Dom takes over as pilot and they hang a rescue basket under the chopper which String rides and loads the students and Caitlin in. When? There’s gunfire, explosions, gunfire, explosions, and then boom, there’s Airwolf with its basket, all before Alzar gets back to the compound.

Oh well.

There are some cool shots late in the episode as the students, Dom and Caitlin have to pull the damaged Airwolf across a heat-baked plain, struggling in the heat, with lines connecting them to the helicopter as they pull, and heave. Despite that it still doesn’t stop one of the students from hitting on Caitlin, and hinting that if he’s going to die out here, he doesn’t want to die a virgin.

And Marella (Deborah Pratt) makes a welcome appearance in the last moments, piloting a rescue plane to pick up the kids, before our united heroes use Airwolf to lay a season finale smack down, and some mutual back-patting.

Next week, we begin the third and final season!

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