The Hunted was the 16th episode of Airwolf, the 5th episode of Season 2. It first aired on 10/20/1984.
At this point, Caitlin starts flying important missions with Hawke and Dominic but they still deny that some "big black helicopter" exists.
A rich corporate industrialist, Carter Anderson III, who is aware of Airwolf, hires Dominic and Hawke to fly him to an important meeting when he suspects he might be targeted for a hit. Anderson is aware of the existence of Airwolf. Caitlin is assigned to fly Anderson while Hawke and Dominic fly high cover. But Caitlin's new boyfriend might just be in on the assassination plot.
(spoiler alert - click on expand to read)
Caitlin is busy preparing for a date when a large convoy of cars pulls up at Santini Air. It's Rosalind Gregory, the aide to billionaire industrialist Carter Anderson III, and she wants to hire the exclusive services of Santini Air for 30 days. Dominic is delighted--because they get paid for just waiting. But Hawke is not pleased because he doesn't know what's going on. He feels bought "like a couple of hunks of meat in a freezer."
There is something sinister going on: some hitman (Robert Villers) is keeping Santini Air under surveillance, snapping photos of everyone and bugging their conversations. Villers is as ruthless as they come. He romances Edna Mosconi, who runs a photo business, in order to use her darkroom. He also engages a metalworker named Coogan to make some metal tubes for him. Villers, having got what he needs, kills both to remove the evidence.
Meanwhile Caitlin is angling for a part in the Carter Anderson contract--she calls Hawke five times. Hawke promises to put in a word for her, but she has a catch: she has a date and can't start until Monday.
Returning from a test flight with Airwolf, Hawke and Dominic find Rosalind's men doing a security sweep of their hangar. Hawke is upset and storms off to Carter Anderson's fortress like residence. Rosalind tries to stall him at the gate but Anderson decides to see him. Anderson tells Hawke he has invested heavily to revive many American corporations, making them competitive and put 50,000 workers back to work. He needs safe transport to a meeting to sign a big deal with government, labor and local business. However some people who oppose it. There have been three attempts on his life already. Hawke asks, "Why us?" Anderson replies, "Or why Airwolf ... or Archangel?" He has friends in high places too. He is well protected on the ground but is vulnerable in the air, that's why he needs Airwolf. Hawke says it must be done with a plan only he knows about. He will decide "when, where and if, and any special equipment that's to be used." Rosalind thinks this is ridiculous but Anderson likes it and accepts.
Hawke is worried that the whole Anderson deal might be a ploy to steal Airwolf. So during a reconn flight, while Caitlin can't stop talking about her weekend date, Hawke comes up with his plan: Caitlin will fly Anderson in a Beechcraft King Air. He and Dominic will provide backup.
A few days before the flight, Hawke discusses the plan with Rosalind, her assistant, Tony Spandel, and Dominic at a bar. Then Hawke asks Rosalind if she feels like dancing. She hasn't danced for years, neither has Hawke, so Dominic encourages them. They catch sight of Caitlin dancing with her new boyfriend, and it turns out to be Robert Villers! She indiscreetly tells him she has to take off on Wednesday at two o'clock but will be back by the end of the week.
The big day arrives and they execute Hawke's plan. Three helicopters all carrying people who look like Carter Anderson take off from his residence, like in an aerial shell game. They make their way to an airstrip where Caitlin takes the controls of a Beechcraft King Air. Moments before take off, we see Carter Anderson stepping out of a fuel truck dressed in workman's overalls. Decoy within a decoy and it has worked so far.
But we see Robert Villers loading missiles into tubes fitted on to a Corsair, and preparing for take off at two, just as Caitlin has revealed. There is trouble ahead. Dominic and Hawke lift off to provide cover--if they make it in time.
In the air, the Corsair closes in on the King Air and Caitlin sends out a "mayday" to Hawke. The Corsair fires a missile at the King Air but Caitlin successfully evades it. "Once is lucky," she tells Rosalind. Fortunately, Airwolf intervenes and in a long dogfight sequence, shoots the Corsair out of the sky. Just before the plane explodes, Villers calls Caitlin to say goodbye. and tells Dominic and Hawke, "It was a good show, fellas."
The mission is over. Dominic and Hawke take Caitlin to the cabin for some downtime. She is distraught about being deceived and endangering the mission. She's "through with people, with life, with everything." That is, until the conversation gets around to Hawke rescuing her. Hawke says it wasn't him. This gets her going again. "You mean you are just going to sit there and tell me ... that I didn't see ... that there's no big black helicopter?" "I think she's feeling better!" says Hawke.
- Beechcraft B200 Super King Air - Registration N84B. Caitlin flies this to transport Anderson to the meeting.
- Chance Vought F4U Corsair - Used by the assassin.
- Bell 206L LongRanger - 3 of them are used in the aerial "shell game" in transit from Anderson's residence to the strip where the King Air is parked.
- Bell 206 Jetranger - belonging to Santini Air.
- Airwolf's guns run out of ammunition rather fast. He only manages to damage the Corsair. He could easily have blown it out of the sky with a missile--but then Robert wouldn't have had a chance to say some last words to Caitlin.
- This episode probably has the only sequence in the whole series showing Caitlin's apartment.
Guest stars/Recurring cast
- Gregg Henry as Robert Villers
- Maggie Cooper as Rosalind Gregory
- Joseph Chapman as Carter Anderson III
- Anne Helm as Edna Mosconi (as Annie Helm)
- Penny Santon as Market owner
- Chris Capen as Tony Spandel as (Cris Capen)
- Javier Grajeda as Coogan
- Anthony Tyler Quinn as Everett (as Tony Quinn)
- Guy Sartee as Man
- Most of the credited parts are easy to identify. The scriptwriters helpfully inserted lots of names into the dialogue. There is a bit of uncertainty about Guy Sartee's character "Man".