A-Team Episode 2×10

A-Team Episode 2×10

Is it a tank? Is it a study in all the Simple Machines at once? Who knows!

“Water, Water Everywhere”

  • Location: Deadman, California
  • Tank: Water Drill, Tank(!) (that is, a Water Gun Tank)
  • Disguises: VA Hospital Attendant
  • Scam: Admittance to Water facility, Water Tank Truck
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: Leprechauns
  • Flips: 0
  • Fee: $0
  • Quote: “When we’re apart, we’re just a bunch of social misfits… but when we’re together, well that’s something very special.” – Face, when asked why they do it (and don’t instead go it alone).
  • Who is that?? Alan Fudge, Frank Gaines. Hint: We’ve seen him, and we’ll see him again “One More Time”

We also get a double-double this week: two tanks and two scams, yeah! Also, our clients this week once again have a Vietnam connection–a trio of disabled veterans. Our bad guys, meanwhile, are a notch worse than usual–even in the 80’s, picking on people in wheelchairs was considered bad.

Which makes watching Hannibal slowly put on his gloves as he chats with our bad guy all the sweeter. Normally after the opening fist fight, the bad guys run off in their car–as if Hannibal knows these are worse than usual, he sends them off with a little bonus assault weapons fire. “Let’s go say goodbye…” Tactically, informing the enemy that you are in possession of assault weapons when you could have instead let them underestimate you is maybe not the best choice. But in terms of 80’s bad guys gettin’ what they have comin’, it was spot on.

Regardless, Amy describes the plan as “They never look like they’re gonna work but they always do–sort of.” I note this description has changed slightly from her analysis last season (perhaps based on experience): “they don’t work right, they just work.” Not a featured quote of the episode, but that slightly less informed opinion was from West Coast Turnaround.

The water truck guy was pretty amusing. “Oh. Ok. I appreciate your explaining it to me.” Either he couldn’t act, or the deadpan delivery was genius, but I loved how it came off almost as if he’s had things explained to him with guns before. Perhaps he’s guested on the show before and I just didn’t remember him. The bad guy pocketing the cue ball after sinking his shot (thereby scratching) made me laugh, too. I don’t know why–I guess I just expect bad guys to know how to shoot pool. Pool is just such a quintessential bad guy game. I just assumed there was a minimum proficiency requirement at bad guy community college before they give you your diploma or something.

These guys look awfully soapy–I’m not sure what Hannibal mixed into his formula, but the Super Soaker tank was not firing just water.

Finally, this is not the first time we’ve seen it, but it’s the first time I’ve highlighted another running theme, where Hannibal will ask the team if they remember the time they did that thing in that place? The others will recall it, smile knowingly, B.A. will say “Yeahhhh!” and then everyone gets to work on the tank. Anyway, the bad guys show up on cue, the tank works, they get soaked, and blackmailed (via arson photos) into leaving town. Not as satisfying an ending as most, but I shouldn’t complain–the real justice was delivered when B.A. shot up the bad guy’s place in recompense for the damage done to his Van earlier.

Special Feature: The Art of the Scam

We can learn a lot from Face’s scams–the art of scamming (which, despite being a perfectly good word, seems to have been replaced more recently with the phrase “social engineering”) really hasn’t changed much at all.

  • Step 1: Scare your mark, make them feel vulnerable, focused only on finding a way out.
  • Step 2: Come to the rescue, be the hero, offering them that way out–they’re lucky to have such a nice guy as yourself there to help them out of this predicament.
  • Step 3: If you’ve done things right, your mark is now thanking you for scamming them! Scam accomplished–and as far as they’re concerned, they’re the one who just won!

Countless Face scams follow this basic pattern, including both of those executed in this episode. Incidentally, the stuff listed off as things Face has scammed? All true (jet planes, penthouses, yachts).

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