A-Team Episode 4×13

A-Team Episode 4×13

I’ll admit I was curious just how Murdock managed to escape the hospital and appear on the show without being caught. On the other hand, it’s awesome, so I don’t really care.

“Wheel of Fortune”

  • Location: Buraq, South America (yeah, I don’t buy it either)
  • Tank: No
  • Disguises: No
  • Scam: Yes, only it’s run by B.A. and it’s kinda great, with that perfect blend of innocence and intimmidation only he can deliver. He scams, in a roundabout way, the info on where Face is being held.
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: none
  • Flips: 1
  • Fee: N/A
  • Quote: “You guys are in big trouble with the government” – G-man, stating the obvious.
  • Who is that?? Pat Sajak and Vanna White, themselves. No one who lived through 80’s America could possibly be unaware of who these two are.

And here we have a Murdock episode! Hannibal is hanging out at a resort with some floozies, B.A. is house-sitting for Face, drinking through all the milk, and Face is sidelined as Murdock’s coach as he competes on The Wheel of Fortune. Those of us who watched The A-Team during its original airing are old enough to remember how this game show used to work. You’d win your money, but then you’d get to “go shopping” to spend it all on a bunch of stuff. Boy did this bring back the memories! Those 70s-ish colored sunburst things behind the contestants, the cheesey elliptical picture-in-picture as they solved the puzzle… I could write up an entire entry on just old-school Wheel of Fortune, but I won’t.

Speaking of things I won’t do, I definitely won’t gloat that I solved the puzzle with just the L’s and R’s. Anyway, Murdock is on the show–how cool is that? And Face has been training him on the ways of frequency tables, which is also pretty cool. Murdock cleans up, including the last round, and wins, among other things, a… solar powered buffer? Well, also a trip to Hawaii. Which Face promptly blackmails him into forcing him to let come along. It’s kind of unfair because Murdock wants to go with a girl and you’d think if anyone would understand this, Face would.

Being a child of the 80’s, I waxed many a car with Turtle Wax. In fact I can smell it now just thinking about it. Presumably Turtle Wax didn’t want to cough up the cash to get a free ad on the show so we get some silly off-brand instead. And check out that sweet Solar Powered Buffer Vanna is showing off there!

Murdock heads off to Hawaii and is promptly kidnapped by the CIA. They need his help stealing a Russian chopper. Some stuff happens, “Kuraguay” gets another shout-out (hey, we were just there a couple weeks ago, only it was spelled with a C. I suppose changing the spelling was top priority for the revolution), and it turns out they’re not CIA, they’re just bad guys who want to use it to conduct an armored car robbery. So instead of Hawaii, it’s off to Vegas (back when it was still trashy! I mean more trashy!). Murdock is hooked into helping the henchmen heist the heli, after which they tie him up and then leave him in a room because how did you manage to get 4 seasons into this show by asking why they’d leave him alone and unguarded in a room?

An ucharacteristically pretty shot, but I’m glad they kept it in. I assume there happened to be a rainbow when they shot the shot and they decided to go with it. This top secret Russian helicopter looks a whole lot like an American-made Bell UH-1 Huey with a red star painted on the nose (and actually, wasn’t the red star Chinese? Eh, who cares, commies are commies, am I right???)

Most of the rest of the ep is Murdock escaping, meeting a girl, and getting captured again, all while our other heroes try to catch up and mount a rescue. The bad guys grab the armored car (with a big ol’ electro magnet–classic!), land, and crack it open to see what they’ve won. They’ve won the rest of the A-Team, of course, and they’re quickly mopped up. Murdock finishes the end of his championship run on Wheel, despite going with T S L C D, and E. He wins a new truck–I wonder when we’ll get to see the new Murdockmobile in action??

I was really hoping for some cold war/communist plot intrigue, but other than the helicopter being Russian, there’s really none of that here. I love a good cold war drama so this ep left me a bit disappointed. On the other hand, I was able to solve Murdock’s last puzzle, too, so yeah! I’m off to gloat–meanwhile, you can enjoy some boring 80s educational mandate stuff:

Frequency tables are a real thing and a fascinating read. They’re also why “RSTLNE” was eventually given to all contestants–it quickly became common knowledge that these were the most commonly used letters in the english language and so just about everyone chose them in the final round, making the final round rather boring in terms of letter choice.

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