A-Team Episode 2×07

A-Team Episode 2×07

“Be cool, stay in school! Dare to Keep Kids Off Drugs! And Knowing is Half the Battle.”

“The Taxicab Wars”

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Tank: Armored Taxicab/Ramp
  • Disguises: Clarence Witcham the 3rd
  • Scam: Access to bad guy HQ (via the same disguise used for the client contact–a first, I believe)
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: Captain Cab and Socky the sock puppet dog
  • Flips: 2
  • Fee: 10% of the Lone Star Taxi Company
  • Quote: “It’s a war. Us against them… but don’t worry, you’re in the winning cab, heh” – B.A., delivered like only he can
  • Bonus Quote: “It’s quiet out here. Too quiet.” – Robert Stack, Airplane! (and countless others… and Face, because he always wanted to say that)
  • Who is that?? Ernie Hudson, Cal Freeman. Hint: He ain’t ‘fraid o’ no ghost
  • Bonus Who is that?? Liz Sheridan, Tina Lavelle. Hint: …and what is the deal with this guy’s mom?

Wow, this episode is just full of Who is that??’s. Brion James, Leon from Bladerunner. Ethelreda Leopold & Ivor Barry (neither of whom I recognized, but they just felt sort of “cameo” to me) were the old couple in B.A.’s cab. Ethelreda has been acting since the 30’s (she was an extra in the Wizard of Oz), and Ivor since the 40’s. Michael Ironside (Crane) seemed familiar, too–he was in Total Recall (been a while since I’ve seen that one). And those are the ones that didn’t make the cut. Liz Sheridan was instantly familiar as Seinfeld’s mom, and Ernie Hudson I knew I recognized but had to look up.

We also meet The Facemobile in this ep–his ’84 Corvette. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the show all the way through, but I believe this car manages to survive the show relatively unscathed. Unlike Amy’s car… The Facemobile is part of a scam to gain entry to the bad guy’s private club, conveniently scraping the radio frequency of his electronic gate in the process (23.6–presumably MHz).

This brings up a problem specific to this episode: encryption. Not only was the gate signal an easy hack, but all the communications over CB radio are also unencrypted. Anyone with their own CB could listen in if they wanted, though I did notice they seemed to be keeping things intentionally vague (“You know where to go and what to do”), so good on the writers for recognizing this.

Hannibal and Face perform a well-executed hit. They’re in the bad guy base, shootin’ up his taxis.

This ep had some great car chases–there was a heist with three team members stealing new enemy taxis (to replace the ones the bad guys busted) right off a car carrier in transit. These are soon used (and trashed) in another chase with some unfortunate passengers onboard. And later in the ep, there’s an excellent quick in, quick out raid made on the bad guy base. They also took care to leave exactly one car completely untouched–a clear invitation to the bad guys to drop by our heroes’ side of town for another round of fun.

A phone booth Murdock’s “Captain Cab” changed in–what caught my eye was the apparent airplane grave yard behind it. On the far right is what’s left of a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk (a plane that saw action in, among other things, Vietnam).

Murdock’s schtick was alright, not one of my favorites, though we kind of got a two for one–his super hero alter ego, and his sock-puppet dog. Despite this, Hannibal reassures us that Murdock is solid, and he’d risk his life with him any day. This was nice–and I think, given his antics, a necessary reminder to us. Of course it also could be further evidence that it’s all an elaborate act.

Act or not, I was in the middle of some unusually difficult suspension of disbelief during Murdock’s ridiculously easy safe-cracking scene when the show surprised me–we learn that Murdock, in fact, has no idea how to crack a safe. Not without plastic explosives, that is, which was a great twist.

The show closes with a cute, 80’s send up of a Public Service Announcement from the sock puppet.

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