The Friendly Skies

Original Air Date: 11/06/99 on CBS
Starring: Sammo Hung, Arsenio Hall, Kelly Hu, Gretchen Egolf
Guest Stars:
Bret Michaels, Tom Everett, Dave Navarro, David Silvera, Clifton Collins, Jr., John Doe, and Rick Springfield
Director: Bruce Seth Green
Rick's Character name:
Special Agent Stockwell, FBI 

Synopsis: Grace and Tyrell take a flight escorting some of the worst criminals known to a maximum-security prison. One of the guards pulls a gun on the pilot and forces him to fly below radar level and then releases the convicts. The leader is a man Grace helped put away for murder and he wants to get revenge on her almost as much as he wants to complete his plan for a major crime. The MCU start to discover what he is up to and find that his plan is more audacious then they could have imagined. (tvtome.com)


Since I was not a viewer of Martial Law at the time this show used to air, I don't have a feel for any of the characters or what they are about. So I'm going a bit blindly into this review as far as that goes. 

A plane hauling prisoners has been hijacked by the prison guard and the prisoners. Interesting to see Brett Michaels (Darrell) as one of the inmates! Also, Dave Navarro played another of the prisoners. I thought I recognized Brett, but wasn't sure because of the facial hair. I had to look at the credits to be sure it was in fact him. Detectives Jade and (?) Arsenio Hall are on the plane. Darrell comes over to them and kind of bullies Jade. It appears that Darrell and Jade "know" each other and have a past of some kind. It turns out it was a pretty painful memory on Jade's part. 

Rick is playing a guest role as Stockwell, an FBI special agent. He is under the notion that the plane may have crashed because of the view from their radar. He has commanded a search for the "missing" plane. I gotta say, Rick was looking especially handsome and "refreshed" for this show. His hair was a bit short here, with highlights, he's clean-shaven, wearing a suit and tie and looking like a man of authority. WOW. Ok, now that that is out of the way….

Stockwell, who's a rather stubborn, strong-willed character, argues with the detectives at headquarters. He feels sure it has crashed and has a team searching for the plane, he tells them. He says he is doing all he can to find it. The detectives are highly upset because their people are on the plane. They disagree with Stockwell because there is no "crash" evidence anywhere (path of destruction, topped trees, etc.) They are right. The plane was landed in an "unknown" area, off the radar. 

Meanwhile, the two detectives who were on the plane, Jade and "Arsenio," are out in the woods kicking butt (using Martial arts) on some of the prisoners. They two get away. Later they see the prisoners setting up something at the edge of the woods, and it looks like a possible ambush. Then Jade and "Arsenio", who are chained together at the wrist, slide off an embankment, tumbling down a long way and land in a heap at the bottom. 

Back to where Rick is at! The detectives back at headquarters are losing their patience with the FBI men because they are feeling SURE the plane has secretly landed, not crashed. Tempers flare and all hell breaks loose in the office. The male cop/detective/martial arts man attacks the man who won't do as he says and get to that plane. Stockwell intervenes and breaks them up. He commands them to step outside with him. I love the furious door slam and angry acting on Rick's part! He's a pro at that emotion on screen, just as he is with so many other roles. Anyway…during a private discussion outside, the cops learn from Stockwell that he had ordered a convoy of tanks to haul some chemicals to be disposed of. So the three realize that the prisoners could be planning to snag the army men who are transporting the said chemicals across the region, and mix those chemicals with other chemicals to create a deadly nerve gas. Pretty scientific dialouge at this point! I have no clue what they mixed, going off of memory. If the gas is created and turned loose over a city, it could kill "every living creature" it comes in contact with, Stockwell says. He says he will stop the army convoy from going ahead with their transport. Now they begin working together to 'throw off' the prisoners from their "plan of action." 
So the three go to the area, expecting to find `back-up' in the woods. When suddenly--- what a surprise…(it really DID surprise me!) nothing was as planned. Stockwell pulls a gun on the two and now we see that he is involved in the crime. We learn that Stockwell is going to get Darrell to have the city of LA to pay them a very large amount of money NOT to spread the deadly chemical. Kind of cool seeing Rick play a "mean guy!" He is about to shoot the two, when the male cop presents the bullets. The gun is empty! He suspected what was about to happen and somehow got them out of the gun. So as a last attempt, Stockwell pulls a switchblade and tries to stab them. But the cop uses his martial arts and pins Stockwell to the tree. They cuff him around the trunk and leave him there. 

Back to the convoy…the army tanks are attacked by "Darrell's men" as they're making their way across the track and here the fights break out. Jade and her partner (Arsenio) look on from the bushes. They sneak over and catch a ride, so they can get to the flight. 

From the air the "prison guard" guy learns from Darrell that Darrell intends to do more than just threaten a chemical attack. He plans to do it! Jade, Arsenio and the other two cops end up on the plane where they proceed to sneak attack the bad guys, whipping up on them and taking over the plane themselves. Sidenote: I have to say, I like the music during this part of the show. I thought it added to the martial arts moves and the whole fight scene. There were some pretty heavy tunes in a few parts of the show. Arsenio and Jade take up in the pilot seats and he flies the plane in for a safe landing. The team of 4 have saved the day. The city of Los Angeles is now safe from the killers and their deadly nerve gas. 

The show ends happily, but my crazy mind is still going….ok, Rick (I mean Stockwell), is left tied to a tree in the middle of nowhere! Don't leave the man there to die. But Rick in handcuffs? Hmmm…..*sneaky grin*

The bloopers at the end were a nice surprise. Very cute! I like how you can see Rick about to bust out in a smile seconds before he actually does. This was a pretty good little part. (I say little, since he did `disappear' from the story around mid-way through) But what an outstanding job from Rick, I think. Now I'm wondering if I missed a pretty good series by not watching Martial Law when it originally aired. Thumbs up! -
Kelley Pearson
I really liked this show! Rick actually showed his face a little more that he usually does in anything that he guest stars in. Overall, the show itself was very good, well written and interesting. A great combination of action/comedy and that is just what I like in a show....variety! Not only were the parts that Rick appeared in good, but the whole show kept my attention...which is saying a lot! LOL! I was really surprised to see Bret Michaels from "Poison"....that was one of my favorite 80's hair bands back then.

I love the highlights in Ricks hair for this episode, but not too keen on the way in which it is styled. Oh, and wow! The suit he is wearing looks awesome on him. 

There was just one instance in the show, when Rick is handcuffed to the tree and the woman says something to him and he turns his face toward her. Does he mimic a kiss or was that supposed to be him spitting at her?? LMAO!! I backed it up and watched again, but I couldn't make it out. I thought it was funny. I have to give this one many kudos, it was great! - Amy L.