A-Team Episode 2×22

A-Team Episode 2×22

Who needs a circular saw when you have B.A.’s head?

“Semi-friendly Persuasion”

  • Location: Kellysburg, California
  • Tank: No. I want to give it to the meeting house built under montage, but I’m not feelin’ it.
  • Disguises: Beach Bum
  • Scam: Tank House Buildin’ supplies (which were owed them anyway)
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: Nuts (specifically, Pecans)
  • Flips: 1
  • Fee: Unknown, but not free. Reduced to $0 (contract canceled)
  • Quote: I give up, there are too many. See below.
  • Who is that?? Tim O’Connor, Karl Peerson; Franc Luz, Reverend Traynor. Hint: You’ll see them again, but not for a few hundred years.

This time around we’ve got some badder-than-usual bad guys. We’re never even given a reason for their badness, it’s just bad for the sake of being bad. By the last act, we have them on arson, kidnapping, and attempted murder. Suffice to say I particularly enjoyed seeing these guys get what they had coming to them.

Which never actually happens*, as you see the client is a passivist and would only hire the A-Team on the contingency that they solve the problem without violence. The A-Team solving problems without violence is a bit like an episode of Gilligan’s Island taking place in New York City. It’s a novel concept and difficult to imagine, which made this ep a lot of fun. While I was pretty sure they could do it, (and indeed, enjoyed playing out in my head how they might), I wasn’t sure exactly how. Could they scare off the bad guys? Could they blow up their trucks? (Does violence against a vehicle count as violence?) Could Amy catch’em doing something bad and report it to her paper? (Obviously Amy’s no longer with the show, but as it turns out, Tawnia wasn’t in this episode, either.)

So we’re left with a conundrum–I happen to like seeing the bad guys of this show violenced into submission, and more so bad guys who are extra bad like these. But I’m also fascinated by the idea of the team taking up the challenge to accomplish a mission without violence. I watched this episode eagerly. Hannibal opens by promising to keep the guns locked in The Van. Alright, a good start… Non-violence: check.

*By which I mean, it totally happens–but you have to wait for it. Yes, I lied, but at least I lied non-violently.

I don’t know, Murdock sure looks to be fixin’ for some violence to me…

Face heads to town to scam the materials for the meeting house (this is technically not dishonest as our client has already paid for them). Simple enough. Non-violence: check!

On the way back to the settlement, they meet a road block. Murdock whips out a non-violent grenade launcher and moments later, no more road block. Ah, but it turns out it was not a grenade but a harmless smoke bomb. Non-violence: check!

Next, it’s the threat of violence, which is where our feature image of B.A. busting a 2×4 with his head (and one of our quotes) came from. Busting a 2×4 over someone’s head? Well so long as it’s your own head… Non-violence: check!

Special Feature: Quote-a-rama!

  • “We can do anything we want. We’re government.” – Face, who, being a wanted criminal on the run, may be slightly biased. And also not necessarily wrong.
  • “When you tell it, you got to tell it all.” – B.A., giving us today’s PSA
  • “I never equated the word ‘passivist’ with the word ‘coward'” – Hannibal, classy as all get-out. I love that Hannibal, basically head of a team who solves all their problems with violence, can at least respect a passivist.
  • “Some people would complain if you hanged’em with a brand-new rope” – Hannibal, again. Though could just as easily be Descartes, or maybe Gandhi or someone, I’m not sure.
  • “We didn’t do a thing.” “But you would have.” “But we didn’t.” – Hannibal, with a wink, discussing more philosophy with Peerson.

Finally, after the bad guys literally kidnap a kid, B.A.’s had enough. 33 minutes and 26 seconds in, he tackles a pair of bad guys. The bad guys, using the kid as a hostage, quickly turn the tables and take Murdock and B.A. captive. Then they knock them out in the half-complete meeting house, and proceed to burn it (and our heroes) down, while forcing the kid to watch. Honestly, this is probably one of the most evil things we’ve seen on the show (even worse than those balloon chairs last season). Thankfully this is 80’s TV, which means 1) the good guys are going to win, and 2) we’re about to cram 44 minutes’ worth of violence into the remaining 12 minutes of the episode ’cause we got a quota to meet!

The team cancels their contract with the client. This means they’re no longer beholden to any promises of non-violence. It also means they are now just four, random guys who happen to be in town. Four, random guys who have a tendency toward using automatic weapons whenever they come across injustice. And there happens to be some injustice in range.

Violence doesn’t blow up cars; bullets do.

The guns come out, there are several of those cool “bullets going into the engine block/car explodes” shots, as well as a good flip. Violence: check. And check. And check, oh man check… check again…

This turned out to be one of my favorite eps. There were so many great one-liners in this one–some inspirational, and some a hearty laugh. Just an all-around fun ep, and also a rare one that gives us something to think about and has messages that even apply today. It was wonderful seeing Hannibal’s respect for the client and seeing all involved wrestle with the ultimate question: are there times when the only solution is violence? Of course the best part of this episode is the grand irony that if they had used the guns, no one would have gotten hit by them anyway.

This is still The A-Team, after all.

One Reply to “A-Team Episode 2×22”

  1. Incredible episode. Karl is so frustrating. Amazing job by the little boy to save Murdock and BA from sure death. An underrated moment is when the head good tries to walk into the meeting house and the plank breaks and he falls in the puddle. Haha.

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