A-Team Episode 4×06

A-Team Episode 4×06

Looks like it’s gonna be another one of those 80’s MTV episodes…

“The Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll”

  • Location: L.A., Hollywood, and the Sunset Strip (California)
  • Tank: No
  • Disguises: Nearly blind, crippled German-ish shop owner
  • Scam: Not really, though he’s a real goofball of an electrician
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: Murdock Gator Howler, soul/blues man (aka, Wolfman Murdock)
  • Flips: 0
  • Fee: Unknown, but doesn’t feel like a freebie
  • Quote: “Be who you really are” – B.A. (or be somebody’s fool)
  • Who is that?? It’s Rick James! As Himself! Which meant nothing to me because I had no idea who he is! But I recognized Isaac Hayes, C.J. Mack. Hint: he’s a bad motha–shut your mouth!

We open with a minute montage of L.A. set to Huey Lewis’ The Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll (incidentally the title of this ep). We then move into three more minutes of stock footage of Rick James in concert–whom I admit I actually know nothing about. Except that I’m pretty sure he’s not Huey Lewis. During the concert, Hannibal scores a free guitar thrown off the stage–sweet, free guitar!

“Crazy foo’ ” – They’re probably both thinking it at this point

To the plot: Rick James’ good friend C.J. Mac is just about to finish his prison term but is in some kind of trouble. Making their first appearance in a very long time, let’s have a round of applause for famous big-three bad guys Crooked Cops! Our heroes show up just in time to whisk C.J. to safety. Face reaches out to C.J.’s lawyer (guest stars are like a sort of Shrodinger’s cat: they exist as the simultaneous possiblities of being male or female until Face approaches them–at which point they become an attractive, late 20’s/30-something female), who’s both armed and immediately suspicious of him. Which is pretty great–the best Face scams are the often the ones where the mark doesn’t buy it for a moment. For a while, I even thought she may actually be in on it with the bad guys, but alas, this is the 80’s and TV had not yet invented such plot twists.

It’s not until a good third of the way through the ep before we finally find out what’s actually going on–the mcguffin is a hidden audio cassette with proof of Corrupt Coppery on it. Meanwhile, the boys throw the bad guys a hoe down to the tune of the ol’ machine gun crutches. Bad guys are captured, C.J. is free to go to the warden and report everything, episode over–and we have 20 more minutes left for more Rick James! Or something else! Except the warden’s in on it.

So now it’s time for the the break into prison routine to recover the evidence and Isaac Hayes. And what better way to do that than to throw a concert for the inmates! We don’t have a tank this episode, though we do have a montage to the tune of the actual jailhouse rock done by Elvis–I’m impressed by the amount of licensing they got for the show. I’ve gotten used to other shows using covers of songs to avoid such licensing.

Having worked in the audio/visual world for a bit, that is some atrocious cable coiling.

Some stuff happens–it’s not important how, really–and our heroes end up locked in an cement room with no windows and some surprisingly attentive guards outside the steel door. Nah, I’m just kiddin’, it’s a well-appointed machine shop. Meanwhile, Rick James performs this super-freaky song where he apparently samples M.C. Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This,” and Isaac Hayes follows up with a cover of James Taylor’s Steamroller. The music makes for some rather unique breaking-out-of-the-well-appointed-machine-shop-montage music and even the bad guys get into. I appreciate bad guys who aren’t afraid to groove to some hip tunes before murdering anyone and everyone privy to their nefarious plans.

Mid-concert, our heroes bust out, bust up the bad guys, and it’s curses, foiled again for our crooked cops!

It’s only for a short moment, but being a sax player myself, I just had to capture B.A. air-saxophoning along to the soloist!

I had my doubts about what I expected to be “an MTV episode,” but this has been fun and it’s nice to break from the formula every once in a while. Now that said, let’s get back to tank-buildin, Jeep-flippin, no bullet-hittin’ action, shall we?

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