A-Team Episode 3×14

A-Team Episode 3×14

He finds your lack of automatic weapons… disturbing.

“Cup A’ Joe”

  • Location: Palmdale, California (Never mentioned, but it’s on the restaraunt sign. Readable thanks to HD!)
  • Tank: Skillet-nosed Semi
  • Disguises: Construction Worker
  • Scam: Explosive Sniffing Dog
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: Cooking
  • Flips: 0
  • Fee: $10,000, revised down to $3650 (actually should have been $2850)
  • Quote: “Gimme a double-delight, hold the mayo; gimme two eyes over and a stock o’nuts; I need a moose, so swing me a match with that, ok?; two dogs, burn’em, and one moo-cow, hold the straw; I need a side of skins, too” – Murdock, short-order Chef extraordinaire
  • Bonus Quotes: “It’s been fun” – Hannibal; “More importantly, it’s been educational” – Murdock. I couldn’t have described proper 80’s TV any better than that.
  • Who is that?? Bill Clinton, Truck Driver. Hint: Fine, it’s Jim Boeke–who totally looks like Bill Clinton! Ok, fine, you want a real one: James Earl Jones, Bomb Disposal Specialist. Hint: Fine, it’s Dwight Schultz, but what matters is it’s awesome.
B.A.’s face was adorable when mom slapped his hand for trying to grab a donut.

It’s a familiar plot this week: bad guys are trying to strong arm a mom-and-pop shop into selling their shop for reasons. Now I know this is The A-Team and that comes with a certain suspension of disbelief, etc, but this ep definitely had some writing problems… Anyway, the bad guys stroll into our little diner, make some threats at gunpoint, head bad guy gets coffee spilled on him straight from the pot and doesn’t flinch, and then pop comes out with a shotgun–clearly this isn’t his first run-in with these slimeballs. Maybe I’ve watched too much 24, but at this point, I really thought pop was within his rights to fire that shotgun instead of threaten with it. He gets too close to the bad guys and then gets it taken away (this happens all the time on TV).

I’m telling you, before he was president, Bill Clinton was a truck driver.

The plan opens with a heist, but first we have to stop a truck. Face uses a trick he’s actually quite familiar with thanks to being on the receiving end of it–recruiting one of our clients for the ol’ “pretty girl with car trouble” routine. It works like a charm (I mean really, when does that trick ever fail?). Meanwhile, the boys swipe some supplies from the bad guys, who try to stop their truck with a fence that never had a chance. From the “it’s the little things” department, I appreciated that B.A. intentionally swerved to make sure he took out the guard station, too.

Then comes another scene I had an issue with–Face goes right back in as a supposedly confused insurance adjuster. Even a below average bad guy should have figured out that it’s no coincidence that he’s 1) in the middle of an op; 2) his supplies just got raided; and now 3) there’s some goofball insurance guy rummaging through his sensitive documents. Anyway, the bad guys are ready to just plain blow up the shop now, so our heroes scam up a bomb-sniffing dog during an awesome scene where Murdock does his best James Earl Jones for an impression of a certain, famous bad guy from a galaxy far, far away.

Pup finds the explosives in the truck, which blows up real good–then, this time having brought a well-appointed machine shop with them in the back of The Van, the team re-uses the same truck, turning it into a tank. Another issue with this ep is the signing of the documents–it’s been a while since I’ve had this complaint, but pieces of paper do not end fights. Our clients are giving up as if it’s all over simply because someone signed a document. Fortunately the team tanks through the walls of the bad guy place, every one gets punched out, and we win, with our clients taking away an important lesson my reader has known for weeks now–fists end fights, not papers!

Speaking of fists, that brings me to the last problem with this ep. The bad guys refer to our heroes as “guys with machine guns.” As it turns out, the only guns we’ve seen this ep are the gun pop had, the guns the bad guys had, and Hannibal’s pistol. As far as they know, there were no machine guns. Not only that, but Face also charged the clients quite clearly for the machine guns–guns we used or even even saw. He charged them for ammo, too, which means despite the math below, Face still managed to overcharge them by $800.

Now this last one I can perhaps forgive–lovable Face, scoundrel that he is, I don’t think can resist the temptation of scamming an extra $800 out of the clients while making it look like a discount. Especially if it makes him look good for the girl.

Special Feature: A-Team Pricing

We got some terrific data this episode that lets us actually calculate what it costs to hire the A-Team! It’s been a while since we’ve had a lesson in Face Does Accounting, but here are the numbers he gave us:

  • Two day job, paying $3650 total
  • Cookbook: (estimated $20)
  • Four Ruger Mini-14 guns @ $100/day each (totaling $800)
  • Miscelaneous Ammo (let’s assume 100 rounds @ $0.30/each totalling $30)

The team’s going rate can be estimated as $1400/day. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $3348/day in today’s (2019) money. That’s a bit under one month’s income for an average American ($3922). You could further say it’s about $40/hr for each man, but it’s unrealistic to assume an 8 hour work day.

Spend a month’s wages to hire the A-Team for a day? I’d do that, even if just to take’em to lunch and hang out! Of course we’d probably want at least one gun, so call it an even $3500. B.A., I’ll even make sure there’s plenty of milk on hand for you!

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