A-Team Episode 3×13

A-Team Episode 3×13

This is not actually the craziest tank we’ve seen, though the sail isn’t big enough and one could argue a lateen rig would be more appropriate. Still, the idea is solid–unlike the balloon chairs.

“Breakout!”

  • Location: Some place orthognal to all three spatial dimensions? (Or more likely Los Angeles)
  • Tank: Sail cart
  • Disguises: Colonel Decker
  • Scam: No (unless you count hanging out with floozies while pretending to be on business)
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: Lucky Rabbit’s foot
  • Flips: 0
  • Fee: NA
  • Quote: “Oh that’s alright, if I don’t get it [his gold] back, I’ll just have to kill you.” – B.A., still in an unusually cheerful mood with Murdock.
  • Who is that?? Steve Sandor, Deke Logan. Hint: He was just as mean the last time we saw him. Also, if you figured that one out, your Quatloos are in the mail.

In typical 80’s show fashion, we seem to have forgotten what happened in the past… Hannibal is once again employed as The Aquamaniac, and The Van has been fished out of the ocean from last week, apparently no worse for wear. I’m also giving up on the idea that Murdock’s cover is blown. It should be, but he was back at the VA hospital as usual a week later, and Decker seems to have no clue this episode that it could be Murdock working with them. I suppose it’s possible the time-traveling Facemobile caused a paradox which undid Murdock’s cover being blown, but that would just be silly. Or would it…

The show has been playing with B.A. and Murdock’s relationship lately. A couple episodes ago, Murdock saw B.A. as the very definition of hero; last episode he was B.A.; and this ep, they’re having some unusually pleasant times together on a road trip–thanks to a lucky rabbit’s foot, according to Murdock. We open with the two of them heading back to L.A. to meet Hannibal there. Face is away on vacation business (it was B.A. last week). When Murdock gets van-jacked by some bad guys, B.A. fixes the bad guys’ original getaway car (it wouldn’t start) in 30 seconds, and takes off after’em.

Everyone is captured, conveniently skipping any form of due process to be immediately put to work at a prison work camp. Meanwhile, Hannibal (and Decker–whom we learn has the first name of Roderick*–heh, that’s a sissy name!) begins to piece together what happened and tries to catch up.

The bad guys shoot an officer (that’s the third person hit with a bullet in the series, if you’re keeping count), and our heroes do the right thing and take him to a hospital.

Uh, Hannibal? Your door is on fire…

Still a step behind things, Hannibal skips directly to helping protect a small family from impending bad guy attack, leaving B.A. and Murdock to their own devices. Hannibal’s usual plan is to prepare ahead of time then overwhelm the enemy with a surprise amount of force and cunning. This time he uses very different tactics in order to stall while the rest of the team (sans Face, who’s still sipping margaritas in Baja) tanks their way to him. After a prolonged shootout (involving and improvised flame thrower), Hannibal stalls a bit more by digging for the treasure. Finally B.A. and Murdock arrive, the odds are evened, and we win.

These non-formula shows are a fun change of pace, though they’re sure quite a bit harder to write up! Now I know why dungeon masters hate it when you split the party.

Special Feature: Geography of The A-Team

When the show opens, it sure looks like Face is partying in Hollywood while Hannibal is out shooting on location somwhere else. Face says he’s “down here,” leading us to believe he’s south of Hannibal, which supports this theory. But then we’re told B.A. and Murdock are on a two-day drive up to Hannibal, and up to L.A. So actually, it’s Hannibal who’s in L.A., and Face is quite a ways south of there (presumably Baja, Mexico). The pieces of the puzzle so far are complex, but fit fine. Presumably those in The Van are traveling up I-5, toward L.A.

But then things get even more complicated. Hannibal makes his way out to the police station and gets there in under 2 hours (everything in L.A. is two hours away), beating Decker by mere minutes. The work camp the boys have been sent to is 10 miles away. While we don’t know how far the Russel farm is from the work camp, judging from the shadows, it’s either mid-morning or mid-afternoon (I’m betting on afternoon, given the heat), and it’s still day at the farm with the shoot-out. Doing the math, the team’s distance from L.A. is, at most, a 2 hour drive on L.A. freeways + 10 miles + a short afternoon’s drive.

All of that is also fine, but for one thing–they’re also apparently 8 miles from a state line on their way home. On their way home to L.A. Now, either they’re taking a very long route purposely out of the state (in the opposite direction) in order to avoid the cops (they do mention this as one reason they’re heading for a state line), or they’re already out of the state, headed back into California. The former seems very unlikely, and the latter makes even less sense given the apparently-coincidental MP turning up.

Special-er Feature: Temporal Meachanics of The A-Team

No, there can be only one conclusion (I’ll preface this by saying this is the most fun I’ve had trying to derive a location for an ep): the Facemobile is very likely equipped with a flux capacitor. Not only does it cleanly and logically explain the inconsistencies, it also explains the vibration Hannibal has mentioned more than once when taking the car over 90 mph.

*Note: if your name is Roderick, I didn’t mean to offend. Also, you’re probably not reading this blog and you have a sissy name.

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