Tod and Buz, in Phoenix, Arizona, and looking for work with a crop-dusting company, encounter a combat-scarred, world-weary pilot who is a self-described "Jonah." The pilot hates himself ...
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Tod and Buz, in Phoenix, Arizona, and looking for work with a crop-dusting company, encounter a combat-scarred, world-weary pilot who is a self-described "Jonah." The pilot hates himself for still being alive and causing others' deaths. Buz' interest in the pilot's chanteuse ex-wife is a side story. Written by
As another reviewer has pointed out TV Guide once ranked the top 50 episodes of TV Series ever and Route 66's "Fly Away Home" made that list. I can't rank it that high but it's a good episode, (a two parter). The memorable thing about it is the performance of Michael Rennie as a pilot who has seen so many colleagues die and yet survived himself that he views himself as a jinx. He's working as a crop duster now for a firm that is barely surviving. They have an offer for a very dangerous run- sulfur- from a local farmer, (Ford Rainey). The firm's owner, who is the widow of Rennie's former partner who died in a flaming crash, turns him down even if they might have to go out of business. Rennie finally agrees to do the run and meets the fate he has been longing for.
It probably could have been a one hour show. It's padded by the appearance of Rennie's ex-wife, a lounge singer played by Dorothy Malone, whom Buz also falls for. There's another subplot about the owner, (played by Cathy Lewis, who I'd never heard of), coming to terms with her husband's death. She somehow retains hope that he'll suddenly fly overhead, buzzing the field and land triumphantly for a romantic reunion. Jenny Maxwell, (who had her own sad meeting with fate twenty years later when she and her husband were killed in a robbery), plays still another sexy girl coming of age who flirts with Tod and wants her mother to give up the business so they can have some fun. But in the end, it's all about Rennie's character and his haunted performance.
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