Season 4 Episode 14

Ground Zero

Aired Unknown May 01, 1987 on CBS

Episode Recap

Takeshi Yahara studies old war footage in his office, when his friend Hayashi walks in and hands him photos of the crew.  Yahara figures out which one is St. John, and starts the ball rolling on his plan of revenge.  Later, Yahara holds a meeting with his men, where they discuss the arrival of a souped up war plane and bombing a nuclear power plant.  Yahara asks his men to swear their lives in honor of the plan.  When one doesn't, Yahara has him killed.


St. John returns to the hangar on his motorcycle and picks up Mike to go on a mission.  Jo later has to explain to an upset Yahara that St. John isn't available to fly for him.  Although not part of his plan, Yahara lets Jo fly him instead.  Hayashi leaves a business card behind.  Some distance away, St. John and Mike fly Airwolf through a test site to help the Pentagon assess their defense system.


As Jo flies Yahara, he directs her to fly towards the nuclear plant.  When she refuses, Yahara insists, at gunpoint.  Breaking the plant's restricted airspace, she's warned to leave by officials.  Once he gets the estimated airspeed and distance he needs from the run, Yahara orders Jo to change direction.  St. John and Mike return to the hangar to find Jo gone, and St. John searches the area in Airwolf.  He finds the JetRanger on the coast nearby.


Yahara holds and questions Jo in an empty room in his home office.  At the hangar, Mike and St. John figure out that Jo's flight with Yahara coincides with the restricted area violation, and St. John pays Yahara a visit.  In their conversation, Yahara mentions St. John's father and admits that he's holding Jo captive.  St. John pulls a gun on him, but it's no use, since Yahara doesn't fear death.  Hayashi trains a gun on him and he's held captive with Jo.


Mike later comes looking for Yahara, but his office is cleared out.  He collaborates with Jason at the Company and they're stumped when they discover that as a kamikaze pilot, he became a P.O.W.  Yahara walks in on Jo and St. John as they try to pick their handcuffs loose, and he toys with St. John using a katana.


Jason brings an expert in Asian history and culture to the hangar, and with Mike, they figure out that Yahara is out to restore his honor for being shot down by St. John's father by personally killing St. John, and many others by bombing the nuclear plant.  At a private hangar, Yahara's plane has arrived, and he's ready to go forward with his plan.


Yahara shows up at Santini Air with his plane.  Jason and Mike confront him and Jason pulls a gun on him, but it does no good against Yahara's fearlessness.  His men show up with guns drawn and take Mike and Jason to the others.  There, Yahara threatens to use his katana on Jo unless Jason cancels a security screen of jet fighters that he assigned to guard the nuclear plant.  Jason concedes.  St. John works his cuffs loose before Yahara returns to bid his last farewell.  He takes St. John outside to be executed by his men.  As soon as Yahara walks away, St. John fights and defeats all three men, then takes off on his motorcycle.


With a camera mounted on his plane, the remaining crew are able to watch Yahara's insane scheme unfold from the empty room.  To the shock of his friends, St. John rises from behind the hills in Airwolf.  Yahara comes at him, firing his two only missiles.  St. John decoys them both with sunbursts.  Out of missiles, Yahara begins a kamikaze run, certain that any missile hits from St. John will take both of them down.  St. John lowers his visor and fires three missiles.  One misses, but the other two hit dead on.  Airwolf survives the close-range impact.


At the hangar, St. John's trying to do tricks on Mike and Jo with the handcuffs, but Jason shows him up.  He then cuffs St. John to a chair and leaves him to fend for himself, until St. John offers to buy a round of drinks for everyone.  Then Jason immediately returns the key.