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Inn at the End of the Road was the 25th episode of Airwolf and the 14th episode of Season 2. The episode first aired on 1/26/1985.

Caitlin doesn't appear in this episode. Archangel gets a lot of screen time--this is the first official F.I.R.M. mission for a long time, after all. Surprisingly Marella doesn't appear, although she could have. Archangel briefs the mission and technical details himself. Normally he would leave such things to Marella.

Plot synopsis

A group of terrorists have stolen "Loki", a computer which is capable of flying an aircraft by itself. It can maneuver an aircraft beyond human limits, allowing even obsolete aircraft to beat the most modern fighters. Archangel wants Hawke and Dominic to recover "Loki" from the terrorists who were last seen heading into the 10,000 square mile Halonan National Forest.[1]

Episode summary

(spoiler alert - click on expand to read)


Jarrett, whom Archangel would later call an "idiot" and a "showboat" is showing off "Loki", an advanced flight computer to the board of directors of a technology company. "Loki" can determine the flight envelope of an aircraft and can then maneuver it beyond its design and its human limits. It can therefore get the best out of any aircraft. Jarrett shows footage of an F-86 equipped with "Loki" taking down two more modern F-4 Phantoms.

Outside, a gang of terrorists, Steele, Elena and Roper are in a window cleaner's gondola. They blast their way in, throw tear gas and make off with "Loki". However the getaway is botched by fellow gang-member Lucas and Roper is injured. He is the engineer who knows how to rig up "Loki". According to Steele, he is vital to the mission.

The gang make their way into the Halonan National Forest but soon their car breaks down. They find the Golden Otter Lodge where Steele asks for medical assistance. At the lodge are "Doc" Gifford and his friends, Maxine, Sally, the local sheriff Frank Dudley and Badger. Since "Doc" has been trained as a medic, he offers to take a look. When he realizes that Roper has a gunshot wound, Steele pulls a weapon and holds the lodge party up. Finding out that "Doc" is also a pilot and owns a Jetranger, the gang now forces him to fly them to their destination. The rest of the lodge party are locked in a meat locker, but not before the sheriff is shot during a scuffle.

"Doc" and the gang lift off but are soon intercepted by Airwolf. Archangel has sent Hawke and Dominic after "Loki" and Airwolf's sensors have picked up the Jetranger. Steele instructs "Doc" to lose Airwolf and so "Doc" drops down into a narrow gulley and leads in a high speed chase. Hawke wants to force the Jetranger down instead of shooting it but is not too happy about the tail chase--this is the bush chopper's briar patch and he probably knows the terrain better. This is proven true when "Doc" takes the Jetranger through a narrow road tunnel. Hawke pulls up abruptly, knowing the tunnel is too small for Airwolf but the violent maneuver causes a scrape against the side of a rock face, resulting in some damage to the aircraft. Hawke must now give up the chase and put Airwolf down for repairs.

Meanwhile the terrorists arrive at the destination, an abandoned radar station where there is a Hughes gunship waiting. Roper fits "Loki" to the gunship successfully and so, with no further use for "Doc", Steele instructs Lucas to take him away and finish him off. But the clumsy Lucas, who has made so many mistakes so far, makes yet another one, and allows "Doc" to escape.

"Doc" comes across Hawke and Dominic and pleads with them to save his friends at the lodge. At first Hawke and Dominic are suspicious as they recognise him as the pilot of the Jetranger but they relent and agree to help.

Over at the lodge, Hawke grabs a crowbar and forces open the meat locker. He breaks the lock but falls back and injures his right shoulder. Maxine, Sally and Badger are all right, but the sheriff has died of his wounds. Hawke is treated for his injury and his right arm is put into a sling. Meanwhile, "Doc" is upset about the sheriff's death, and wants justice. Maxine asks, "What can we do?" "Plenty," Hawke replies, and heads out to Airwolf with Dominic and "Doc".

Hawke lifts off, a bit unsteadily and Dominic tells him he can't fly but Hawke throws off his sling and tries again. Once airborne, they contact Archangel who tells them there is worse news. The terrorists aren't just trying to escape. They have a contract on Lord Killebrew, a peace negotiator who is vital to the Middle-east peace process. He is out on an unscheduled fishing trip nearby and he is worth $10 million dead to some people. Hawke calls for turbos but the damage Airwolf sustained earlier on means they can't use them!

Time is running out. "Loki" has been fitted on the Hughes and it lifts off. Even though "Loki" can fly the chopper by itself, Steele has put a pilot on board, just in case. The Hughes soon catches up with Lord Killebrew who is flying a Cessna 195 escorted by a UH-1H. The UH-1H escort ship is shot down by the Hughes which then turns its sights on the Cessna. Nearby, Steele and the rest of the terrorist gang are watching in "Doc's" Jetranger, filming the kill for the benefit of their employers.

It might have been a good show but now Airwolf intervenes. "Loki" detects Airwolf's approach and the Hughes breaks off its attack on the Cessna and goes after Airwolf instead. Hawke manages to evade the Hughes' first salvo of missiles but then he passes out! Dominic yells to "Doc" to take the controls. In the meantime he shocks "Doc" by cutting the engines, just as the Hughes fires again. The missile overshoots Airwolf and goes on to hit the Jetranger with Steele and all the other terrorists on board! The Hughes pursues Airwolf aggressively but the violent maneuvers it is doing makes the pilot on board pass out. His hand hits "Loki", shutting it off. The Hughes spirals down out of control and "Doc" shoots a rocket and blows it up.

Back at the lodge, the friends watch a news story about Lord Killebrew successfully concluding another round of Middle-eastern peace talks. Dominic offers "Doc" a job at Santini Air, since he has lost his Jetranger but "Doc" tells them he has everything he wants in the woods ... that is, unless the pay is fantastic. "Top dollar!" says Hawke, "Except Dom still thinks it is 1932!"

Story locations

  • F.I.R.M. headquarters, Langley
  • Halonan National Forest
    • Crystal Lake, Golden Otter Lodge

Aircraft seen

  • Airwolf
  • Bell 206 JetRanger - N2757M, float version, belonging to "Doc" Gifford
  • Hughes 369D - N9276F. Used by the terrorists[2]
  • Cessna 195 - "Union Jack 1", flown by Lord Killebrew
  • Bell UH-1H - N630V "Escort 1", escort aircraft for Lord Killebrew[3]
  • F-86 Sabre - seen in demo footage of "Loki"
  • F-4 Phantom II - seen in demo footage of "Loki"

Firearms seen

Research Notes

Guest stars/Recurring cast


Gallery

  • A large cast with a few which are difficult to identify:
    • Craig Littler has front billing and is probably Jarrett. He is better known, for example, as "Jason of Star Command".
    • But if he is Jarrett, then who is "Board Member" as played by David Schroeder? There is a one-liner, off-screen, of someone asking Jarrett whether a pilot could withstand the punishment of "Loki's" maneuvers. That could be him. But we don't know what he looks like.
    • The identifications of Jerome Blackwell and Hany Ghorra (pilot and co-pilot) are tentative.
  • IMDB entry for this episode lists "Mary Heck" in an uncredited role as "Woman on helicopter". What woman? On which helicopter? There doesn't seem to be any other woman on a helicopter except Elena.
  • Lord Killebrew's bodyguards on the UH-1H are not credited.

References

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20141122113822/http://series.airwolf.tv/episodes/ep25.html
  2. Registration details N9276F
  3. Registration details N630V

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