A-Team Episode 2×05 & 2×06

A-Team Episode 2×05 & 2×06

The Magnificent, er.. Four

“When You Comin’ Back, Range Rider?”

  • Location: Chequoi Reservation, Arizona
  • Tank: Rail Siege Tower
  • Disguises: Hot Dog Vendor, Waiter
  • Scam: Getting a kid to do his work (thwarted by B.A.)
  • Flight: Yes
  • Fixation: Range Rider
  • Flips: 2
  • Fee: $Peanuts
  • Quote: “Nighty-night” – Hannibal, handing Face a 2×4 as they prepare to administer B.A.’s pre-flight knock-out the old-fashioned way
  • Who is that?? Early-1980’s Pontiac Trans-am, itself. Hint: Imagine it all black. And talking.

What a fun episode–a two-parter Western! Everything about this episode feels scaled up, almost as if it weren’t just a two-parter but more an actual made for TV movie. The pacing is a bit slower, with lots of sweeping landscape shots of wild mustangs, and there’s a musical interlude with a country song and everything. The fight choreography seems to have been bumped up a notch, and the camera work, too. I noticed a dolly shot or two where there’d normally be a simpler panning shot. And then of course there was the music. Lots of music was specially composed for this ep.

We also meet Colonel Decker, a much more formidable character than the bumbling Colonel Lynch, as he demonstrates by all the stuff he casually blows up while discussing things with his commander (In Lynch’s defense, he did manage to capture the team once). More to the point, we learn from Hannibal that Decker had no issue attacking enemy hospitals as part of his campaigns during the war. Also, I’ll note that the opening monologue says 1972 was “10 years ago,” placing season one in 1982 but Decker tells us those events took place 1977. CONTINUITY BROKEN SHOW IS TOTALLY RUINED!!!

This is the second time we’ve seen Hannibal pull off the vanishing act after making final contact with a potential client (he also did it as a carnival game operator in 2×01). Does he just pay the real guy to hide behind a tree or something and then cue him afterward to take up his job as if he’d been there all along?

I looked it up and sure enough this is a real show, from 1950 as the copyright date suggests.

The team is split up through much of the episode. Face has happily scammed his way into being a Hollywood producer, which Hannibal has a particularly hard time pulling him out of (I wonder if we’ll ever see him try to actually quit the team and just live the scammer’s life? #ScamLife). Murdock becomes obsessed with an old western serial, The Range Rider, and he’ll stick with it through the whole ep. As they begin to coordinate for the mission, they slowly discover their new nemesis and are forced to ditch the van in the bay in order to make an escape (soon enough, they’ll be on horses!).

The Van takes a swim. Don’t worry, I’m sure it emerges unharmed. I was close to counting this as a flip–there was a ramp involved–but alas, it never actually ended up on its roof.

Everyone cowboys up and it’s soon time for the requisite picking of a fight with the bad guys. Face then leaves the girl (our main bad guy’s niece) a bullet which he says “should be gold”–I’m assuming this is a movie reference but the Google wasn’t much help. Maybe one of you many readers can fill me in. Eventually the MPs catch up, Face growls at a dog while making a getaway (that was pretty amusing), and the team builds a Tank in preparation to rob a train (again–they actually robbed it once on horseback earlier). Speaking of the train, it was a genuine steam engine, rather old even for the 1980’s.

This is the look of someone who meant to punch Murdock but instead punched B.A. It’s also likely the last look he’ll be making for a while.

We’re treated to a montage, where, among other things, Face attempts (and fails) to scam a kid into doing his work for him. The music for the montage is a cool, western variation of the main A-Team theme. It reminded me quite a bit of the music from Back to the Future, Pt. III–which of course was much later, but I suspect both that film and this episode took How the West was Won for their inspiration. Later on, we’ll hear Murdock ride off on his trusty steed to the familiar William Tell overture (the Lone Ranger’s theme).

Dynamite Arrows? Heck yeah! Dynamite and Arrows go together like Montages and Tank Buildin’!

The final battle opens with the team assaulting the train from their siege tower on rails while Amy and our guest star provide ranged support via dynamite arrows (which are as awesome as they sound). Everything’s going great–until they lose and get captured. The real final battle is more an escape sequence, with Murdock rescuing Hannibal, Hannibal rescuing Face and B.A., and then everyone getting away on a chopper Murdock swipes from the bad guys. The show never disappoints with helicopter stunts, and they always seem to be one-upping themselves. This time, a low-flying chopper actually trims the trees with its main rotor–I love it! The show comes to a satisfying close with Murdock “The Range Rider” hanging up his guns, surrendering his hat to one of the local kids, and we lead into an extended, 5-minute long cinematic version of the credits.

One Reply to “A-Team Episode 2×05 & 2×06”

  1. This is the best two parter in the entire series and it’s not really close. The pilot is really good too but it’s of course ruined by the fake face. I love this episode (s) though.

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