AIRWOLF Episode Guide Season 1 — Episode 03 – BITE OF THE JACKAL
EPISODE DESCRIPTION & OVERVIEW
An ambitious executive at the Firm makes a subversive play for Archangel's job. A bomb is planted aboard a vintage helicopter owned by Dominic Santini and he's forced to crash land. When Hawke and Archangel go hunting for Dom, Airwolf is ambushed and shot down. The two must convince a group of locals to help them repair their damaged tail rotor. Complicating matters on Dom's end, he must contend with a stowaway aboard his chopper -- a young girl searching for her dad.
MJC EPISODE REVIEW:
One of the best Espionage & Intrigue-filled plots of the entire Airwolf series, as well as some of the best lines, with Alex Cord having the best of them with... "maudling musings on the inevitability of decline. Laura, the champagne please!" [veteran Airwolf Forum member Tris Barratt's favourite dialogue from the entire series], it's the brilliant espionage and political intrigue that make this Nick Corea-penned script so awesome.
BEVERLY HILLS 90210 / CHARMED's actress, Shannen Doherty puts in one of her first teen performances as Phoebe Danner, (gaining a "Youth in Film" Best Young Actress: Guest in a Series' Nomination in December 1984" for the role) and plays well off Ernie Borgnine. But it's the depth of this episode that I like, from Airwolf getting seriously pulverised for the first time, to the inter-office politics in the Firm, this is just the series at some of its best.
There were a few glitches fixed in the stock special FX as the production team got into their groove for the weekly grind, but it is the acting performances that make it worthwhile with Ernie and Alex Cord being on fine form. There's a real depth to the friendship showing as well between Hawke and Dom, and when Santini autorotes the S55 hard into the ground on his way to Acapulco, Hawke somehow senses something (through ESP) is wrong (and Tet too) hundreds of miles away. Either that or Archangel's comment about Hawke "having better ear's than a snooper mike" was more heightened than he thought.
Archangel gets the first of two major back-seat rides in Airwolf in this episode too and he shows his prowess within the Engineering section. Meanwhile this is the first script where somebody else wants to steal Airwolf back from Hawke for their own nefarious reasons, and the Mitchell Bruck character does a good job of establishing the story arc for the next few seasons, probably only surpassed by late actor, Lance LeGault's fantastic performance as D.G. Bogard in the season 1 finalé.
“He flies, but what do you do?”
“I pay... and pray!”
‘BITE OF THE JACKAL’ EPISODE’s AIRWOLF THEME MUSIC REVIEWED
Lots of synth and the big Airwolf Main Theme Orchestral gets another outing in this episode during the final aerial, but it is the synth variant of the beautiful Eagle's Cello Theme during the tail rotor re-attachment scene that would be the stand-out episodic theme for me here, and shows the genius of Levay in using the subtley of an alternative version to his iconic "Hawke's Theme" (as Don Bellisario and he called it during production) this time concentrating on the hope shown for the task ahead during that beautiful sunrise, plus the added bonus of the little twinkle in Hawke's eye in noticing Miriam Santos, and her mutually-returned admiration. They didn't take that relationship anywhere though, but the synth theme itself was just sublime, so I made sure it was part of my new, complete 'Eagle's Cello Theme' below for Airwolf Extended Themes.
MUSIC TRACKS AVAILABLE FROM THE AIRWOLF ‘BITE OF THE JACKAL’ episode:
‘PILOT’, Season 1 – Synth Theme (extended)
‘PILOT’, Season 1 + 2 – Minimalist (extended)
‘PILOT’ – Orchestral Suite
‘PILOT’ / ‘BITE OF THE JACKAL’ – Eagle’s Cello Theme + Synth Theme