A-Team Episode 4×03

A-Team Episode 4×03

A movie within a TV show. The concept is downright Shakespearean.

“Where’s the Monster When You Need Him?”

  • Location: Podetera de la Ria, Argentina
  • Tank: No
  • Disguises: Old Veteran Theater Operator
  • Scam: Plane
  • Flight: Yes
  • Fixation: Tommy Danger, Stuntman to the Stars
  • Flips: 0
  • Fee: NA
  • Quote: “I lie, I cheat, I steal, I get no respect” – Face, pleading the plight of the scam man.
  • Who is that?? Walter Gotel, Ramon DeJarro. Hint: been a while since we’ve had one of those Bond-villain types…

An odd little episode, this one–at times it doesn’t feel like the A-Team at all, and at other times, it feels so much like the A-Team, and so intentionally so, that it’s a sort of meta-A-Team.

This is a movie-making episode, and Face has scammed up another DC-3 (Tail number N408D–let’s hope this one fares better than last episode’s…) to travel to an on-location shoot. Meanwhile, Hannibal makes a fast escape from Decker–normally I’m beyond calling out a car chase where there isn’t even a flip, but this ep has some good ol’ fashioned car-chase music accompanying it. It’s also familiar music–the song “Trouble on Wheels” was used in the episode of the same name.

The team and the film crew head down to South America where they’re greeted by not-so-friendly law enforcement and asked to leave. Stranded with no gas, and in the middle of a production (or is it a scam? It’s really hard to tell where Face hitting on the dumb blond ends and any actual production begins), they decide to stay and begin shooting.

Soon enough, some muscle shows up to run them off, giving them one hour to beat it. Now an hour is a very specific amount of time. An amount of time begging to be a montage! While the traps are set, the bar is also set–Hannibal and Face discover more bad guys driving Jeeps. Three Jeeps. We can now be reasonably assured of at least three flips!

Face fires fake bullets. Well, fake fake bullets. Not to be confused with real fake bullets, or fake real bullets. He doesn’t hit anyone, but of course that’s by design. Unlike every other time… did I mention how meta this episode is?

Back at the film shoot now, ammusingly, Face can’t act–even his ditsy co-star is showing him up. I have to point out the missed opportunity here to have Murdock back in the director’s chair. Anyway, the bad guys show up right on schedule, and our heroes put on an excellent show with their prop guns, scaring them into a quick surrender. Hannibal, being Hannibal, immediately takes the opportunity to gloat, while the bad guy is unusually magnanimous in defeat, even smirking when Hannibal gives him the old “there’s no business like show business” line.

The team steals the Jeeps (so I guess they won’t be flipping after all–boo!), they make an assault on the main bad guy, and promptly get captured and locked in a poorly-appointed machine shop (aka a regular old basement). Still, there’s enough to pull off a little more movie magic, so it’s time for another montage as we hatch a scheme…

No, Mr. Smith. I expect you to die. Or at least flip over in a vehicle and then climb out the windows in order to assure our audience that you’re ok.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a badder than usual bad guy. Our head bad guy this time around is a war criminal who’s been hiding out in this village, avoiding trial for his crimes. Fearing word of him being here will get out, he orders the extermination of an entire village to protect his whereabouts. Even our henchman (the same one who fell for Hannibal’s film prop weapons earlier) is starting to show some hesitation at this particular order.

Hannibal, as a diversion, “shoots” Murdock with a prop improvised pen gun, Murdock’s prop bullet wound works (marking what’s only… what, the third time someone’s actually been “hit” with a gun on the show?), and it’s enough of a distraction to capture the bad guy and make a getaway in a stolen Jeep (once again, Face barely making it onto the back of the Jeep as it speeds away). It’s left implied, but I believe our bad guy is handed over to the local villagers. It’s justice enough for the 80’s, anyway.

The ep closes with Hannibal attending a showing of his movie, but first he tricks Decker and company into getting locked in a storage room in the theater. This one seemed a little unfair, as he plays an old war veteran–it seems subtly wrong to take advantage of Decker’s respect for veterans (a respect the show itself also tends to hold). Finally, I have to point out a wrong note the trumpet hit at exactly 22:32 during the montage. It was odd to notice it slip through in what’s normally an excellent soundtrack and I really only point it out as the exception to the rule.

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