A-Team Episode 4×11

A-Team Episode 4×11

This could be Chekhov’s Chopper. This could also be Chekhov’s Chopper on drugs. Any questions?

“The Doctor is Out”

  • Location: Curaguay, South America
  • Tank: Bamboo-rocket modded Chopper
  • Disguises: Air Force Colonel (admittedly not a stretch)
  • Scam: Yes, but sorry Face, Sarah/Betty/whoever out-scams you all up and down this ep.
  • Flight: Yup!
  • Fixation: Getting his Shrink back
  • Flips: 1 (it was recently jumped out of after having come to a complete stop, but one need only redefine a rocket as a ramp and the math works out)
  • Fee: NA
  • Quote: “Bite me, please!” – Floozy. You see, Face was auditioning her for a role opposite a vampire and… oh nevermind.
  • Bonus Quote: “Doc, who is she?” “From time to time… everybody” – Hannibal and the Doc, perhaps giving us our best clue to who the girl really is.
  • Who is that?? Geoffrey Lewis, Colonel Stoddard. Hint: I could be semi-friendly persuaded to just tell you the answer…

I almost thought we’d be getting an all-Murdock episode this week and it’s not until 10 minutes in that we even see another member of the team. We open with a bit of psychological cat and mouse being played between Murdock and his psychiatrist. His doctor firmly suspects he’s a fraud, and also believes he’s actively working with the A-Team, so he proposes a deal, leveling with him: he’s also a fraud. He’s not an actual psychiatrist–never got his degree. Now who’s bluffing whom here we don’t get the chance to discover as bad guys burst in, kidnap the doctor, drug Murdock, and escape in a chopper, leaving the chart for one Colonel Stoddard burning on the floor. An intriguing intro, for sure.

Despite being drugged, Murdock has the wits to pull off a rather clever escape: phoning a sort of reverse-911 call from the hospital but giving the address as Face’s beach house (because of course Face is living in a beach house these days), and then hopping into the back of the ambulance for a free ride there.

You gotta figure this Hannibal dart board wasn’t just tossed into storage. No, somewhere, someone has this hanging in their home office right now. Whoever you are… I salute you.

It goes on, but I’m going to take a different tack with this episode. So much happens, and everything is so convoluted. We’ll start with the bad guys, who give us a bit of foreshadowing referring to the girl as a “regular Sally Field.” I didn’t get this reference at first, but in hindsight, I recall famous multiple-personality patient Sybil (as played by Sally Field). What follows is twist after surprising turn, all at the hands of our girl, who is constantly and convincingly changing up her story. She is not our typical “the girl,” though that’s the only name I have for her since she uses at least six different personas througout the ep–but I’m getting ahead of myself.

B.A. picked the perfect ep to wear his pilot-episode camo. He’s hard to make out, but if you look closely he’s right there in the center of your screen.

The fun of this ep is in the plot twists, but it’s far too much to explain–go watch this one. The short version is Colonel Stoddard is a little on the crazy side, living it up in the thick of a civil war in South America. He wants all record of his insanity erased–as well as those who are aware of such records (including his–and Murdock’s–psychiatrist). Eventually we win, and aside from that, I can only highlight some of my favorite details along the way. Face’s constant shame at his continued buying of and then duping by our girl’s playing all sides; Murdock’s obsessive competition with his psychiatrist’s other patients to be the special favorite; a promise to B.A. of blood brotherhood (which, if you’ll recall, they already are); the old-school jungle traps; and all those Jeeps. Those sweet, delicate, roll-bar equipped Jeeps…

Once the mad Colonel is taken down, Murdock and his psychiatrist reach a mutually beneficial arrangement between their frauds. As for the girl… she’s left a mystery, an unusually open end to a fascinating episode.

Very Apocalypse Now. At least I think it is. I’ve never actually seen that movie, but I know this ep is a nod to it.

This was a very cool episode. The girl was tough, quick-thinking, well-researched, immune to Face, and seemingly a step ahead of everyone–heroes, bad guys, the works. Was she a con artist? A spy? A ghost?–who can say? We actually have no idea who she is, but we do know she’s outwitted Face and, if we’re being honest, everyone else, and multiple times at that. Even Hannibal is confounded by her, and determines his best play is to simply tie her up since he knows she’s up to something but can’t figure out what. Even then, she quickly takes back the upper hand. The cinematography is also a step above normal for this ep, with the trippy effects of Murdock early in the ep and some other nicely framed shots throughout.

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