A-Team Episode 4×09

A-Team Episode 4×09

Here we have Murdock, about half way through his transformation into Hunkman. He’s definitely got the hair, but Face would never use an Uzi. Tacky bad guys use Uzis. Classy good guys pack a revolver. Be like Face. Carry a revolver, not an Uzi.

“Mind Games”

  • Location: Redondo Beach, CA (or Fullerton, CA according to Fulbright’s pointy stick)
  • Tank: No
  • Disguises: Hugh Howland, Real Estate Developer
  • Scam: Breakfast (failed); Henry Kissinger–success!
  • Flight: Yes
  • Fixation: The Hunk Man (the new Face)!
  • Flips: 0
  • Fee: NA
  • Quote: “He’s overloaded on helium” – E.G., describing Face’s state of mind (it doesn’t take much)
  • Who is that?? James Hong, General Chow. Hint: he and his voice are unmistakable, I really thought there was going to be some continuity, but nope.

Face is off the hook! Recently cleared of charges, the team is reduced in number as Face is finally free to live his dream of a life of fame and philandering (because both were so lacking until now…). Murdock, meanwhile, takes up the mantle of Master of the Scam and Chief Lady’s Man.

No clients this episode, but there’s a menagerie of villains this time around. General Fullbright makes an entrance, ready to take full advantage of the situation and sweep up the remaining members in the wake of Face’s leaving; so too does a mysterious man who’s definitely not the head of the ninja mafia from a couple seasons ago. Fulbright makes our third official “MP in charge of failing to capture our heroes,” inheriting the role from Decker. I liked Decker, but while he never exactly came off as bumbling, by this point he had become a de facto bumbler given how often he’d actually caught our heroes only to lose them within minutes. My own theory is he just over-twirled his mustache and needed time to unwind. Hopefully Decker passed the giant phone on.

Face rides the fame train all the way to the station. (He’s the one on the right.)

Soon, there’s a potential third bad actor in the form of (what else) a young woman attempting to be Face’s new publicist. She’s not overtly bad guy, but she seemed suspicious to me… As Face gets a book deal, Murdock gets a ‘vette and some hair–and soon enough, a fourth bad actor comes into play. Now the Feds have joined the fray, capturing Hannibal and B.A. for their own reasons (possibly with the help of big fighter guy, though having no lines he goes uncredited so it’s hard to be sure). Murdock busts them out because anyone privy to A-Team math knows if you capture less than four, you’ve essentially captured none. Finally the pieces fall into place: the Feds want Face as bait to draw out an old Vietnam war criminal, General Chow, who has a special grudge against Face, whom he believes treated his daughter in an ungentlemanly manner.

Chow’s chopper fetches Face and our heroes hurry to pick up the pace to make chase and put’em in their place. (I spent a lot of time on that one, I hope you appreciated it.) The girl, sure enough, is in on it with the Feds, but now it’s in everyone’s best interest to cooperate.

From here, it’s your pretty standard final act: the Feds lend our heroes a jetpack, beat up everyone so we don’t have to, we grab the war criminal, and everyone hops into the chekhov’s chopper (you know, Hannibal, Face, not-Face… B.A…) And fly off into the sunset. And Murdock gets the girl.

The stinger of this ep was especially good: fed up with Murdock’s swiping of his schtick, Face decides to become Murdock–and promptly gets hauled back to the nut house. Murdock getting the girl was a nice twist, too, and actually, Murdock’s progression through the ep was one of the more subtle touches (a testament to Dwight Schultz’s abilities, really). His Face was pretty bad to begin with, but with hard work and perseverence, he managed to grow into his own, genuine, fake persona. A worthy rival to our loveable Face.

Fun ep, but I’m going to have to ding it a point for not even trying to explain why B.A. just jumped into a flying machine with Murdock at the helm perfectly willingly and without a hint of a complaint.

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