Season 1 Episode 11

Mind of the Machine

Aired Unknown Apr 07, 1984 on CBS

Episode Recap

This briefing is from file A56-7W…
Classified Top Secret.  Subject is Airwolf.


A Mach-1 plus attack helicopter with the most advance weapons system in the air today.  It has been hidden somewhere in the western United States by its test pilot, Stringfellow Hawke.  Hawke has promised to return Airwolf only if we can find his brother St. John, an MIA in Vietnam.  We suspect that Archangel, Deputy Director of the agency that built Airwolf, is secretly helping Hawke in return for Hawke's flying Airwolf on missions of national concern.  Stringfellow Hawke is 34, a brilliant combat pilot, and a recluse since his brother's disappearance.  His only friend is Dominic Santini, whose air service is the cover for their government work.  With Hawke and Santini flying as a team, at speeds rivaling the fastest jets, backed by unmatched firepower, Airwolf is too dangerous to be left in unenlightened hands.  Finding it is your first priority.




Hawke and Dominic are flying Airwolf through a canyon shooting targets, until Hawke loses control of Airwolf and crashes into a canyon wall.  Turns out it's just a simulation, developed by Dr. Robert Winchester, a former Airwolf pilot candidate.  While Dominic is impressed with the simulation's realism, Hawke maintains that it's not even close to the real Airwolf, and coldly walks out.


At the cabin, Archangel explains to Hawke that since he's so unique in how he flies Airwolf, he's needed for the next phase of the program in order to develop training techniques for other potential Airwolf pilots.  He's asked to fly Airwolf back to the test site, but Hawke is hesitant for fear of the FIRM trying to take it back.  Archangel offers to let him fly Airwolf to any hiding place he wants after tests are completed.


Hawke and Dom are in the lair getting Airwolf, while at the test hangar, Winchester is flying the same simulation Hawke flew, only he doesn't crash.  Hawke and Dom arrive at the lab hangar and a telemetry pod is installed under the nose of Airwolf to record stats during flight.  Hawke and Airwolf are put through some tests, measuring accuracy with fine movements and engaging targets.  Winchester and his assistant Diana bring the end-of-day score, which is less than perfect, leaving Hawke unsettled and Winchester self-satisfied.  That night, Dom talks things over with Hawke, telling him not to take the tests so personally, then they imitate coyote howls.


The next day, Winchester and Diana are on a date at a country western bar, where Diana feeds his ego, entices him to goad Hawke into a simulated dogfight, and reveals she lied about the scores to purposely anger Hawke.  She spills mustard on Winchester to get him to leave so she can talk to her partner, Alexi Provoff, who's sitting at the table behind her.  They're Russian agents trying to steal Airwolf, and Diana, whose real name is Gloriana, is feeding Alexi inside info.


Later during another test, Winchester lies to Hawke about missing another target, succeeding in angering him again.  He goads Hawke into a challenge, simulating two Airwolves.  That night, Hawke flies Airwolf to the lab hangar, where Gloriana relays to Alexi by radio to come steal it.  Winchester converts Airwolf to a simulator, then he and Hawke have a showdown to settle who the best Airwolf pilot is.  Hawke overmatches Winchester, doing a 360 loop and firing a missile, but whether it hits its target is unknown, as the security alarm sounds, due to Alexi and his men breaching the perimeter.


Winchester immediately reacts and helps to get Airwolf out of the hangar.  Hawke and Dom fly to the perimeter, where they run off Alexi and his men.  The next morning, Archangel is upset that Airwolf could've been stolen, due to Hawke and Winchester's pettiness, and shuts down the project.  They, Dom and Gloriana are confined to the lab.  Hawke compliments Winchester on the way he reacted during the security breach, as well as on his simulator.  He promises Winchester a ride in Airwolf and they become friends, which Gloriana doesn't like.


After Hawke and Dom leave, Gloriana shows Winchester Airwolf's memory, which holds a record of every fight the chopper has been in whenever combat mode is activated.  Winchester interfaces with Airwolf's computer and sees all the recorded battles in the database.  He then remembers a past conversation he had with Moffet and calls up records of Airwolf's design.  Gloriana coaxes him into transferring the information to give to Alexi, so another Airwolf can be built.


The next morning, Gloriana is relaying to Alexi when to steal the tapes of Airwolf's design, while outside the compound, Hawke and Dom meet with Archangel to identify the men involved in the previous security breach.  Alexi enters the compound in a souped-up black Hughes chopper, setting off the security alarm.  Inside, Winchester thinks Gloriana is helping him hide the Airwolf design tapes, until she tells him she's taking them.  She invites him to return to Russia with her.  When Winchester realizes she's an agent, he tries to take back the tapes, until Alexi walks in and shoots him.  This bothers Gloriana, as she'd developed some feelings for Winchester.


The FIRM limo arrives as Gloriana and Alexi escape in the chopper, and a seriously injured Winchester tells them what happened.  Archangel notifies Hawke and they U-turn from the Valley of the Gods to go help.  They intercept Alexi's chopper and he gets behind Airwolf, then Gloriana uses her computer to disable Airwolf's scope and computer, as well as predict Hawke's flying pattern to aid in shooting Airwolf down.  Now being virtually invisible to Airwolf, Alexi starts firing relentlessly.  Dom tries to activate combat mode after Airwolf is almost hit by a rocket, but it's inoperable.


Winchester suggests flying "cold," prompting Hawke and Dom to shut down all electronics.  Now Gloriana can no longer control Airwolf from her computer.  Dom removes the weapons control panel and manually deploys the ADF pod, allowing Hawke to fire a missile to take out Alexi's chopper.


They get back to the lab to pick up Winchester and fly him to a hospital.  On the way, Winchester takes the controls and looks to Hawke for approval.  Fulfilling his promise to his new friend, Hawke lets him fly Airwolf, giving him a smile and satisfying his longing to pilot the chopper, before dying at the controls.  Hawke takes back the controls and is speechless, as he suffers another loss.

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