Airwolf

Season 1 Episode 3

Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n

1
Aired Unknown Jan 28, 1984 on CBS
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
51 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Archangel sends Hawke undercover as an exchange pilot in the US Air Force when the Firm has reason to suspect that a disillusioned pilot is planning to steal a high-tech tactical jet plane and deliver it to Russians. But Hawke discovers the potential traitor to be an old Vietnam comrade, who is prepared to do anything, even commit treason, to buy the freedom of his son, who after living on the streets of Vietnam, is being held as a bargaining piece by the Russians. That fact that the man's wife was once Hawke's lover before they became separated in Saigon does not exactly help matters...

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Archangel sends Hawke undercover in the US Air Force to root out a traitor – a former 'Nam comrade who is planning to deliver a high-tech fighter jet to the Russians in exchange for his long-lost son. Weak first regular ep, my least fave of the season..moreless

    6.5
    I am amazed to see that 'Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n' holds an 8.9 rating on this site at time of writing. Amazed because others seem to love this story, whereas sadly, to me, it is by far the weakest episode of the overall very strong first season of 'Airwolf'.



    After completion of the Pilot, 'Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n' was actually the third regular episode to be filmed (after 'Bite of the Jackal' and 'Proof Through the Night'). I have no idea why 'Daddy...' was picked as the first broadcast episode, but I've always thought that the next one, the aforementioned 'Bite of the Jackal', would have made a far better – and far more engaging – choice to be shown as the first regular story.

    A couple of other first season episodes (maybe 'Proof Through the Night' and 'Fight Like a Dove') felt to be finding their footing, but to me they have redeeming value, whereas I find very little of real interest with 'Daddy…' (and, as such, I hadn't watched it right through for YEARS until last night). Watching it on DVD to review, I can't say I've warmed to it any more than I did when I recorded the episode from ITV in 1995.



    During the climax of the story, Dominic comments that he has trouble making out which of 'Airwolf's controls does what, suggesting that this episode is set not long after they retrieved the chopper from Moffet's clutches in Libya in the Pilot – which would mean that, production order aside, this ep may have been specifically designed to air first. Which makes me feel that this story was unsuitable in this capacity even more.



    Unlike most other first season episodes, Airwolf is largely incidental to most of the plot. Things start off with Hawke and Dom testing out some Airwolf capability or other, as they did in several first season episodes, but after that, Airwolf herself is pushed out of the picture until at the climax of the story. Although Airwolf would often be more incidental to the plot of some later second season and many third season stories, this is quite uncommon for the first season – and maybe another reason that I feel another episode should have been picked to air first.



    Of course, being made in 1983 (broadcast early '84), the Russians were still prime candidates to be used as the bad guys. I love the wordplay between Hawke and Marella when Archangel is trying to recruit him ("How do you tell them from us?" "...We wear white hats"), but sadly after that, most of this story nosedives. (By the way, I found Marella in this episode to be played more sultry, in a manipulative way, than she soon would become).

    Of course, there is the sub-plot that the traitor's wife was once Hawke's lover, and that the long-lost boy, Ho Minh, may actually be Hawke's son, but for me, it did little to perk my interest up any.



    One of my main problems with 'Daddy...' is that I find the plot to be handled extremely clumsily. I never really did fully understand how Hawke rooted out just who the potential traitor was; I found it all handled very awkwardly. I'm not sure if there were scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor for timing reasons in post-production, but all we get is a couple of (pretty boring) of him meeting and getting drunk with the other pilots; until suddenly, he knows who the traitor is. Maybe I missed something here, as I confess around this point my interest and attention was quickly slipping, but I felt this key element of the plot should have been developed more and made clearer.



    The whole idea of Hawke swapping planes (from the jet to Airwolf) mid-rescue-mission was played out as if it was supposed to be something really clever, but I found it to not make much sense; and the climatic rescue of the boy is pretty dud compared to some of the other wonderful aerial sequences seen in the first and much of the second season.



    The only thing of any real note here is the funky, saxophone version of the theme played over the closing credits. Although very similar in style to the version used on the first season opening teasers, this is the only time in the entire show's run that this particular version is used – a real shame, as I love it. ('Bite of the Jackal', uses a very similar piece, but without the bass and pounding pop beat, sounding much "colder").



    Although I might have been slightly more forgiving if this kind of story had been done in the more take-it-or-leave it third season, as both a first season instalment, and particularly as it's the first episode after the Pilot, I find 'Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n' a quite weak episode. Clunky plot and a bit boring in places... why oh why couldn't they have gone with 'Bite of the Jackal' instead? I can only bring myself to give 'Daddy's Gone a Hunt'n' a 6.5.moreless
  • A good episode.

    10
    Airwolf came out during the 80s, at the time, Russia was a major rival of the west. it's also a good villain in tv shows and movies. if you watch airwolf now for the first time, you might find it silly. but if you saw it during the 80s, you'll find the plots very compelling. this show uses the vietnam war theme just like the other shows during the 80s. this episode works well with the standards during that time, but it was really good when i saw, it's a really entertaining episode. i had a good time watching. this is cool.moreless
  • Stringfellow risks a lot to save the child of an old flame.

    9.0
    It's a good episode, where the storyline is good thanks again to the factor that the series is character driven. The story gets strong when String risks his life and Airwolf to save the child of an asian woman that he met in the Vietnam war and they shared some love. Even the chance of that that child could be the biological son of String is too high and the audience have to take their own conclusions on that.moreless
  • An okay episode, that shows it's age now, but still worth watching.

    7.5
    Not alot going on in this episode that drastically important, except character development. We get to see a little more about the character of Stringfellow Hawke and his friendship with Dominic Santini, as well as meeting some of String's past buddies & the possibility of String having a child. But nothing really ever makes the audience suspect that the Amerasian kid is actually String's. Really just not a whole lot going on, but still good enough.moreless
Jan-Michael Vincent

Jan-Michael Vincent

Stringfellow Hawke

Alex Cord

Alex Cord

Michael 'Archangel' Coldsmith-Briggs III

Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine

Dominic Santini

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Hawke's rank in Vietnam was Captain.

    • During both the scene of retrieving Airwolf from the lair, and during the climatic rescue, several stock footage shots of Hawke piloting Airwolf are recycled from the Pilot - notice that his uniform is suddenly different, and he has the 'Gordon' name tag in these shots.

    • In the opening trailer, the sequence where Nhi Huong says to Hawke "What would you do if it were your son?" is from a different take than the one used in the actual episode; in the trailer, she puts much more emphasis on "YOUR".

    • As Airwolf enters Russia, a shot of Dominic, as he sits back with his eyes wide open in amazement, is quite clearly shown reversed back-to-front (the slot for name tag on his uniform is on the wrong side, as are the controls behind him).

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (2)

    • The closing credits of this episode contain a quite rare version of the theme tune – sounding almost identical in style to the theme used on the first season opening credits, it is rather saxophone-y sounding play on the chords behind the regular Airwolf theme, before a burst of the more regular sounding theme kicks in near the end.

      This is the only time in the entire series this version was used; the nearest it was to being used again was on the next episode, 'Bite Of The Jackal', which had a different variation on the same theme.

    • The opening credits of this episode begin with Airwolf rising into shot as usual, but accompanied a single, rather sinister sounding chord (and with a much more distorted, fiercer-than-usual sound of Airwolf's blades), before the familiar first season theme begins as usual. This is the only episode of the series that this was used on.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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