A-Team Episode 3×24

A-Team Episode 3×24

“Real Estate Developers! Our arch-nemesis–I might have known!”

“Trouble Brewing”

  • Location: Sunset Valley, California
  • Tank: Soda Canon Truck
  • Disguises: No
  • Scam: Soda Delivery
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: Healthy Living
  • Flips: 1
  • Fee: “Plenty of cash” – so let’s assume the going rate.
  • Quote: “Sorry, ladies” – Hannibal, who keeps right on lighting his cigar after being politely asked not to smoke.
  • Bonus Quote: “I don’t inhale” – Hannibal, using a line a decade before Bill Clinton made it famous.
  • Who is that?? Claudia Christian, Kathy. Hint: like many of my Who is that??‘s, you’ll have to wait until the future to meet her.

It’s a pretty standard plot this week: bad guys are strong-arming our clients into selling their business. Right off, the episode opens with a rather worrying scene as our clients are nearly killed when their truck flips. Why worrying? Well, we all know bad guys always emerge unharmed from a flipped vehicle, but it’s not been thoroughly tested yet whether non-bad guys follow this rule.

Fortunately they do, and after a short chat with a rather invasive ATM machine, they’ve hired the A-Team. The ATM wanted a Soc number and a mother’s maiden name–I know we’re happy to hand out this kind of information now just to earn some game currency on a phone, but this was pretty wild for the 80’s. Speaking of the 80’s, one of our clients is apparently a lady football player because we totally had those back then, too (we didn’t, but the Millennials still think we did and it makes us look cool in front of’em).

Anyway, our heroes get the girls back on their feet, I discover that the Internet has never heard of an MAK R-73 carbonated bottling machine (unusual for writers whom I’ve found usually do their homework for such things), and then there’s quite a bit of truck-swapping. It can be hard to follow, but the short version is we gave them one of ours to deliver; and we stole one of theirs and then used to it to ambush their ambush.

Face picks up Murdock in the stolen truck, where Murdock gives him an earful about the dangers of smoking. 80’s Public Service Disclaimer: smoking is bad. But leaving that aside for the moment, the suggestion that Hannibal quit smoking, that’s… well, it’s hard to imagine. It’d be like bad guys not emerging ok from flipped vehicles, or automatic weapons injuring people. It’s just unfathomable is what it is, and I won’t stand for it!

Is this another instance of The A-Team did it first? Absolute classic surveillance camera circumvention.

Murdock and Face arrive and Murdock delivers an excellent lesson in how to blow up trucks real good. Then it’s off to the bad guy office (Murdock is selected for inclusion on this mission no doubt for his well-known safe-cracking skills) where breaking in is easy thanks to the classic “polaroid picture in front of the surveillance camera” routine. It’s in this scene that we get our biggest reveal: the villains are once again none other than… Real Estate Developers! The team makes a quick getaway, dragging a piece of bad guy fence all the way off the screen as they drive off (hey, free fence!).

Either B.A. got a haircut, or this is the most obvious stunt-double we’ve seen since fake-Hannibal.

In the end, our heroes pop the bad guys with a soda canon and their plans fizzle out.

Special Feature: Formula for The A-Team

This may have been our most generic A-Team episode yet. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way, but this is about as formula as they come:

  • Bad Guys are trying to strong-arm a small business into selling out
  • The clients are attractive, available women
  • The A-Team is hired once they verify the clients are legit
  • Our heroes pick a fight, blow something up, and execute a scam
  • Our heroes dig and get to the bottom of what’s really going on
  • …and the villains turn out to be real estate developers
  • The clients get captured (a slight variation: usually it’s the team getting captured)
  • Our heroes build an ad hoc contraption and dispatch the bad guys with it
  • Hannibal loves it when a plan comes together (ok, we didn’t get the line this time, but I think by now it’s implied)

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