A-Team Episode 1×14

A-Team Episode 1×14

A rare shot of the team in full dress uniforms. Pretty cool. Note Hannibal’s ever-present gloves.

“A Nice Place to Visit”

  • Location: Barlow Creek, unknown state (East of Texas)
  • Tank: No
  • Disguises: No
  • Scam: No
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: The Human Garbage Disposal
  • Flips: 2 (including gasp The A-Team Van!)
  • Fee: NA
  • Quote: “You sure ain’t from around here, are you” – Every 80’s Redneck Bad Guy ever
  • Who is that?? Joanna Kerns, Trish Brenner. Hint: Growing can be Painful

This is another Vietnam-heavy episode and the client (not technically a client) is the recently widowed wife of an old friend the team served with. There’s a lot of flashback footage, and again you have a tremendous sense of respect from our characters (and by extension, the writers) for those who served in the war. There was one shot of a field of downed choppers, narrated my an unusually somber Murdock, that really communicated the cost of this war. On closer look, they may have just been parked there, but the thoughts and emotions evoked were just as real.

“My bird was the only one left in the sky” – Murdock

This week’s villains are basically rednecks, but a particularly ruthless and nasty variety. They run the town and do whatever they want, but more than that, they’re almost communistic in the amount of control they choose to exert over those around them–forbidding people to attend the funeral that brings our heroes to town, for instance.

The team naturally runs afoul of them, and the bad guys flip the Van (yes, the Van–our Van!) and then strip it bare. B.A. is about as irate as we’ve ever seen him, and this is a rare time where I’d say the team actually underestimates their enemy by quite a bit. On the other hand, the girls did a good job defending themselves from another pair of bad guys. I was really hoping Amy would take some action, but instead it was our guest star who finally got a gun loaded and warded them off. Still, Amy did acknowledge that she should be paying more attention when the boys do this stuff. I mean come on, if you’re going to be on the A-Team you should know how to fire a gun. It’s not like you even need to hit anyone with it…

I’m not sure what it was, perhaps the sympathetic widow played by Joanna Kerns, but I was looking extra-forward to seeing the bad guys get their come-uppance. Thankfully the show always delivers on that front (it’s one of the nice things about 80’s action TV). I was fairly curious just how they’d dispatch these guys since they couldn’t kill them (again, 80’s action TV) but running them out of town would likely just bring them right back after a few days. On top of that, the local sheriff was clearly a coward and I found myself judging him just as guilty for his inaction.

One of the lighter moments of the episode. Three of them are hiding crossed fingers behind their backs as they promise Amy they’ll stay out of trouble. Murdock misses the memo. This was one of those classic moments I remember from when I watched it as a kid.

While not a very light-hearted episode, I did find myself smiling at the fact that apparently, when you leave the army, they let you keep your gun–and some grenades. Good thing as, along with the wheels and everything else, the bad guys also managed to liberate our heroes’ guns from the van. The team eventually wins the day, and the sheriff, finding some courage, deputizes several of the townsfolk. Evidence of murder is presented and we can rest assured these guys will not just get a “don’t show your face around here again,” but instead will be going to prison.

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