A-Team Episode 3×18

A-Team Episode 3×18

I have a bad feeling that the Facemobile doesn’t have the same dramatic protection that The Van has and, sooner or later, something bad will happen to it. I wanted to use it for the feature pic before that. Anyway, paraphrasing:
“What’s a bum like you doing driving a car like this?”
“I’m Face. Duh.”

“Road Games”

  • Location: Los Angeles, California (I really did my homework this time–this is the actual location on Ventura Blvd. where the scene in the feature pic was shot)
  • Tank: No
  • Disguises: Old pool player, Tux Shop guy
  • Scam: A small casino’s worth of gambling machines/furniture
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: Positive Reinforcement
  • Flips: 1
  • Fee: Free (though they probably came out ahead)
  • Quote: “What’re you lookin’ at?…” – Face, henchman fresh from Jersey (a classic line, and he delivers it well)
  • Who is that?? Daphne Ashbrook, Patty Sullivan. Hint: by now you’ve probably recognized my leanings toward Star Trek when possible. She’ll visit a space station near a wormhole in a few hundred years…

The very first scene opens with kids playing. We can immediately assume several things from this: the kids will be put under threat, B.A. will have a special stake in things, and if the clients have no money, B.A. will volunteer the team to do the job for free. Hannibal meets the client, another woman who can shoot–but this time, it’s pool (see what I did there?). Her father was a famous pool player and she’s not bad herself.

Daddy also liked to gamble and got himself in debt pretty bad with some shady characters, losing the house they’ve been living in while caring for foster kids. And here’s where I have a problem with this episode. The clients… aren’t exactly in the right, here. While it’s true the gambling operation we’ll be breaking up isn’t legal, losing your house by gambling it away is no one’s fault but your own. Anyway, while I can’t say our clients are innocent, the bad guys are definitely badder, so we’ll just roll with it. All that stuff I mentioned about doing the job for free happens, and away we go!

File the Casino-on-Wheels firmly under “Seemed like a good idea at the time”

After our boys shoot up the bad guy equipment (and Face scams up some replacements they can rig), the bad guys step things up by actually running the casino out of the trailer of an 18-wheeler. According to bad guy logic, this is an excellent plan that can’t go wrong. Meanwhile, Face has gotten into the organization under cover and keeps our heroes a step ahead the entire time. He was also doling out quite a bit more abuse than usual on his fellow henchman and I had to wonder why–but it becomes clear later that he’s positioning himself to move up the ranks. Face was pretty on his game throughout the ep: there was a point where his cover was about to be blown and, ordinarily, he’d have made a sloppy run for it or tried to talk his way out. This time, he smoothly KO’d his counterpart without even drawing attention to himself. It was very James Bond (as was the subsequent one-liner).

“Say, Vince?” “Yeah, Jimmy?” “I think we’re bein’ followed…”
This chopper work was fantastic–the thing scrapes a skid along the ground, flies under the power lines, barely misses the bad guy car…

The ep finishes in fine form–for the first time since it feels like Season 2, we’ve got a bunch of great helicopter stunt-work. It’s also revealed, once again, that Real Estate Developers are our true villain here! That’s right, our bad guys want the house so they can knock it down and put up an office building and I’m hereby revising the Big Three 80’s Villains: Biker Gangs, I love ya, but we haven’t seen you since Season 1, it’s time to make way for the real enemy!

How not to execute the flying-leap attack: this was a brilliant gag. B.A. dispatches his bad guy in his usual idiom. Murdock doesn’t really have an idiom, so here, he opens the door to the truck and casually swings aside as the bad guy attempts to leap on him and instead face-plants into the ground.

Our heroes on the outside run’em off the road, while our heroes on the inside clean-up with the rigged equipment. They earn back the house, pay off their expenses, and I’m certain make a tidy sum. That seems like some rather ill-gotten gains, but I guess the bad guys won’t be using that money anymore, and I’m sure the A-Team will put it to better use. So sure, why not. It’s the 80’s, we don’t have to ask questions like that!

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