Season 1 Episode 9

Mad Over Miami

Aired Unknown Mar 24, 1984 on CBS
out of 10
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43 votes

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Episode Summary

Mad Over Miami

Dominic is delivering $2m to buy the freedom of some prisoners that have been held for 20 years by a corrupt Cuban Colonel, with money raised by some Cuban exiles who now live in Florida, but just as he is delivering the money, it is grabbed by some mercenaries who appear out of nowhere and promptly vanish again. With Dominic's damaged helicopter forced to set down, one of the Firm's listening posts picks up Dominic's distress call, and after Archangel alerts him, Hawke sets off to help his friend. The exiles blame Dominic for the loss of the money, and as Hawke helps him prove his innocence, they find themselves discovering a mercenary group funded by none other than the Firm, who are in league with the corrupt Colonel...


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  • Dominic is delivering $2m to a corrupt Cuban Colonel to free some prisoners, but the money is snatched by mercenaries. As Hawke goes to help his friend, they find that Archangel is tied up in the whole matter. Good ep, if a bit hard to follow in places...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    'Mad Over Miami' is a pretty decent first season episode of the series, and one that I enjoy watching.

    When I was younger, and recorded my off-air copy of this episode (along with the rest of the series) from my local ITV region in the mid-1990s, I enjoyed the story, though for some reason found it a bit hard to follow in places. I don't know why, as it is not *that* complex; I think it might have much been due to the fact that the corrupt Colonel Fernandez (William Marquez) and mercenary leader Sanchez (Ismael Carlo) look so similar that they can be confused. But I dunno, maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention!

    As with several early stories (in particular, see the previous episode, 'Fight Like a Dove'), Archangel is at the centre of much of the trouble, here behind the mercenary army that is operating from one of the tropical islands. Again, I always found this twist a little difficult to fully grasp (I found it hard to work out Archangel's connection with this mercenary group), and it is only watching the episode again all these years later tonight on DVD, at the ripe old age of 33, that I've finally worked out these elements of the plot.

    The episode is directed by David Hemmings, who plays Airwolf's twisted creator Dr. Moffet in the Pilot and the classic second season episode 'Moffett's Ghost'. Although this is Hemmings's sole 'Airwolf' directing stint, he also directed other 1980s favourites, including several 'Magnum, p.i.'s, and a number of episodes of 'The A-Team'.

    Speaking of the Pilot, a number of sequences from this episode were re-edited to be included into the VHS version of the Pilot that was sold in the U.K. and some other countries.

    Be the plot hard to fathom or not, the episode has feel of being lovingly shot, and it is about this point that the full potential of the series feels to be kicking in.

    One thing I certainly must mention, is that haunting in-episode theme. Watch the episode, and you'll know exactly what I mean. After the iconic main theme tune, I would rank this in-episode theme as the best ever musical composition for the series; it is so hauntingly catchy, and would be re-worked into several future episodes (most notably the second season's 'Prisoner of Yesterday').

    I also love the religious overtones that are prominent in many Bellisario shows, and are particularly strong in many first season 'Airwolf' episodes. Marella's line "Only God can create a hurricane" is one of my favourites from the season.

    All-in-all, while I feel that the odd element of the plot could have been made slightly easier to follow, I've always liked 'Mad Over Miami'. It probably wouldn't make my all-time Top 10 favourite episode list, but that's due to the high quality of some of the other entries in the series. I still rank it highly enough to give a strong 9/10.moreless
Jan-Michael Vincent

Jan-Michael Vincent

Stringfellow Hawke

Alex Cord

Alex Cord

Michael 'Archangel' Coldsmith-Briggs III

Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine

Dominic Santini

William Marquez

William Marquez

Colonel Fernandez

Guest Star

Ismael 'East' Carlo

Ismael 'East' Carlo


Guest Star

Titos Vandis

Titos Vandis

Ivan Rivera

Guest Star

Deborah Pratt

Deborah Pratt


Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • At the climax, seeing as Hawke fires a rocket at Sanchez's helicopter, which causes it to explode (model work), there is absolutely no wreckage on the ground in any of the following shots!

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Archangel and Marella are meeting in the bar to collect the three million dollars to be used as ransom)
      Stella: Stringfellow, who are these people? Why are they being so generous?
      Archangel: Good question
      Hawke: They, uh, represent a firm that... makes covers, keep things under wraps
      Archangel(dryly): You're enjoying this, aren't you

    • Archangel: Set down immediately, that's an order, do you hear?
      Hawke: You gotta be kiddin'
      Archangel: Alright it's not a order it's a request. Make it a plea for sanity
      Hawke: No, to all three
      Archangel: Hawke, the storm will be over in a couple of hours
      Hawke: Don't let that angel title go to your head... only God can make the weather

    • Archangel: What the hell is Santini doing in Cuba?
      Hawke: Why don't you ask him?!
      Archangel: I will. He's a man who knows the location of Airwolf and when he starts junketing off to the land of rum and fine cigars, I get a little concerned about him.
      Hawke: Well I'm going after him – I'll tell him how you care
      Archangel: Do that
      Marella: There's another serious factor which might shorten your time.
      Hawke: Who created this 'serious factor'?
      Marella: Only God can create a hurricane

  • NOTES (2)

    • Much of the arial footage from this episode was reused in the video version of the Pilot episode.

    • This episode is directed by David Hemmings – better recognised as Airwolf's sadistic creator, Dr. George Henry Moffet(t) as seen in the Pilot and the second season episode 'Moffett's Ghost'. Hemmings' numerous other directional works include a number of third, fourth, and fifth season episodes of 'The A-Team', and episodes of Donald P. Bellisario's later hit, 'Quantum Leap'.


    • Episode Title: "Mad Over Miami"
      This is a spoof of a 1941 musical/romance movie titled "Moon Over Miami" starring Don Ameche and Betty Grable.