Proof Through The Night was the fourth episode of Season 1. The episode first aired on 2/11/1984. This is still early in the series and a lot of screen time is spent introducing the audience to background details: Airwolf's capabilities, the Wolf's Lair, and the F.I.R.M. headquarters (whose codename "Knightsbridge" is mentioned for the first time). Time is also spent developing the relationship between Archangel and Marella. Archangel's real name is mentioned in full for the first time, by Marella.
Archangel sends Hawke and Santini to extract a F.I.R.M agent from the Soviet Union. The agent has obtained something so urgent and vital that he has deemed it necessary to blow his cover after 22 years: a deadly neurotoxin developed by Russian scientists. The mission is complicated by the fact that Airwolf's must fly without its weapons in order to carry the fuel needed to cover the requisite distance with the "extra weight" of the agent and his family. To make things worse, the agent's wife and daughter refuse to leave.
(spoiler alert - click on expand to read)
The scene opens in a Russian chemical warfare lab where tests are being carried out with a deadly new nerve agent serum. Rostoff, apparently one of the scientists there, steals a bottle of the serum and then releases the contents of another bottle, killing everyone in a staged accident.
Over at Hawke's cabin, Archangel and Marella persuade Hawke to take on a difficult mission. He needs to extract one of their deep cover agents, Rostoff, codenamed Moses. The problem is that he is in Sverdlovsk, so far away that, even with in-flight refuelling, he needs to remove Airwolf's weapons in order to make room for the extra fuel and the space to carry Rostoff and his family. Going without weapons? But Marella tells Hawke that Rostoff is no ordinary agent. On his first mission, he had saved the life of one Michael Coldsmith Briggs III, codenamed Archangel. Hawke agrees to go, although all of them are mindful that this might be a trap. Marella's computer tells her Hawke only has a 50-50 chance.
The ingress is carried out smoothly and Hawke meets up with Rostoff at Sverlovsk. But there's a complication. To protect his family, in case the KGB came after him, Rostoff had sent his wife and daughter to Kirivitz, 200 km to the east. To ensure they won't be left behind, Rostoff has given the bottle of serum to his wife.
So Hawke has on choice. Airwolf heads for Kirivitz. Approaching it, Dominic notices missile silos around the village. Is it a trap? Could Rostoff be lying? Worse, Hawke notices soldiers inside the house with Rostoff's family. They are just militia, Rostoff reassures them. His brother in law, Turgyev is in the local militia.
The other militia men leave and Rostoff shows himself to his family Turgyev greets Rostoff warmly but soon the welcome turns sour. Turgyev is upset that Rostoff is an American spy, and that his own sister and Rostoff's wife Natalya has been lying to him all the while Worse, Rostoff's daughter Tanya refuses to betray Russia and will not come along.
Further argument is cut short by the arrival of a Russian helicopter gunship. It rakes the house with machine gun fire but Hawke notices it is firing high--obviously to pin them down until ground support arrives at dawn.
Over at Knightsbridge, Marella and Archangel reflect on the real possibility that Hawke has failed. Earlier, Marella had reported an increase of KGB traffic at Sverdlovsk. So the Russians now knew that that the accident was no accident. They would shortly be after Rostoff at Kiritvitz. Now day was breaking over the area. Hawke had already missed his rendezvous with a tanker. According to Marella, the odds are now 1000-1 against Hawke succeeding. Archangel agrees but notes there's one thing going for them: Hawke doesn't know these odds.
Over at the house, Rostoff and Dominic see ground troops approaching in trucks. Looks like its all over. But not yet. Hawke has gone to fetch Airwolf. He charges at the Russian gunship and deliberately misses it narrowly, igniting his turbos at the last moment. The near miss and the blast of the turbos throws the gunship off, possibly damaging it. It crashes into the ground and explodes. Hawke then charges at a truck and lights his turbo just over it and pushes it over.
With the opposition disrupted, Dominic, Rostoff, his wife and daughter are able to board Airwolf undisturbed. Rostoff waves at Turgyev but Turgyev, still bitter at the betrayal, does not respond.
At Knightsbridge, Marella delivers the news that Airwolf has just been reporting hooking up with a tanker. She lets out a whoop of delight. Archangel tells her to control herself--she's behaving like a raw recruit. Then he himself lets out a whoop.
Everyone gathers for a celebratory dinner at Hawke's cabin. Marella, in particular, wants to hear stories from Rostoff about Archangel when he was young. Tanya is not enjoying the occasion and excuses herself to go outside.
Hawke follows her with his cello. Tanya tells him she intends to go back to Russia. She cannot leave her own country. Hawke says she will be free to do so. But perhaps she might come to see some things to like about America. There's the music, art, fast food.... but most of all, the freedom to accept or reject its culture, its way of life, its politics as one pleases.
Hawke plays a plaintive Russian song "Polyushko-polye" and Tanya sings along. Over in Russia, we see Turgyev singing the same song with his balalaika.
- Hawke's cabin
- Tanker Rendezvous "Norwegian Sea"
- Sverdlovsk, U.S.S.R.
- Kirivitz, U.S.S.R.
- Bell 206L LongRanger - Marella's and Archangel's transport, callsign "Angel 1".
- Boeing KC-135 - refuels Airwolf over the Baltic Sea
- Hughes 500 - used to depict a Russian gunship
- North American F-100 Super Sabre - stock footage used to depict Russian MiG-23 fighters
- Valmet M71S - Russian militia man and later Dominic.
- M1911A1 - Dominic. Hawke uses a Browning pattern weapon but it is not clear if it is a M1911 or some other variant like a Detonics Combat Master.
- This is still early in the series. A lot of time is spent showcasing the Wolf's Lair, Knightsbridge and describing the capabilities of Airwolf.
- Marella uses the callsign "Angel 1" when flying Archangel's LongRanger helicopter. This callsign is heard again in Season 2 Moffett's Ghost (episode) when Marella is flying a JetRanger.
- The callsign or codename "Jericho" is also heard. This is also used by Hawke in Moffett's Ghost (episode) to summon Archangel on the radio.
- Hawke calls Marella the most beautiful, most intelligent woman in the world.
Guest stars/Recurring cast
- Rick Lenz as Vladimir Rostoff
- Linda Grovenor as Tanya Rostoff
- Deborah Pratt as Marella
- Radu Gavor as Ivan Turgyev
- Maria Korda as Natalya Rostoff
- Chris Capen as KC-135 Pilot Captain Nuzo (as Cris Capen)
- Greg Winfield as KC-135 Co-Pilot
- Rick Garia as Sgt. Tembrusco
- Sam Kwasman as Cpl. Munga
- Scott Turchin as 1st Russian Soldier
- Eric Goldner as Technician