A-Team Episode 4×18

A-Team Episode 4×18

My wife and I were both utterly busting up at this delivery. Bad guys: “Whatcha been whittling?” Hannibal: “Whittled me a gun!” And just like that, look who’s back–it’s Baby!

“The Duke of Whispering Pines”

  • Location: Whispering Pines, California
  • Tank: Rebuilt armored car
  • Disguises: Bigshot Lawyer; Old Prospector guy.
  • Scam: Computer Salesman. And Face’s scam was that, too.
  • Flight: No
  • Fixation: Mood Ring
  • Flips: 1. Flips have been getting a bit non-traditional lately (in this instance, the truck was stationary), but a flip is a flip so I’ll count it.
  • Montages: 2. What do you mean, of course there’s always been a montage category. How else could I highlight an ep with two montages in it?
  • Fee: Free
  • Quote: “That’s the one I gave you last Christmas!” – Murdock, regarding B.A.’s gold. There are many theories about where B.A.’s gold came from, but I never considered the “Christmas presents from the team” theory.
  • Bonus Quote: “She ain’t that smart, she married a guy who wears ties” – B.A. As my pastor would say, “I happen to believe ties are a direct consequence of the fall of man” so I’m with B.A. on this one.
  • Who is that?? I was going to go with “I got nothin'” but I now realize I’ve called out B.A.’s Gold Hardhat once before as a Who is that?? so I’m going with that again.

Right off, there are lots of fun things to open this episode. Firstly, Bride of Aquamaniac II sounds like the kind of quality flick I’d love to take my girl to. Then there’s Face’s sprawling empire of scams and sub-scams, one of which is running an overpriced catering truck. It makes me wonder how many are being quietly maintained in the background just in case this whole A-Team thing can’t quite cover his bills (which, given Face, are probably pretty big).

“Scooter” (a nice nod to some continuity for B.A.) receives a telegram from an old flame requesting urgent help. Fortunately, Face manages to scam Doc Brown into lending them the time machine (don’t worry, B.A., it’s pre-Back to the Future 2 Delorean, so no flying). Next stop: some time back when telegrams are actually still used. It turns out his old flame is married to The Duke (who was captain of everything in high school) who is now missing. Poor B.A., never gets the girl (except the one time). It’s a shame, too, because right off she pours him a glass of milk–clearly these two were meant to be together.

To find the Duke, Murdock starts with “What would Faceman do?” and one fairly-well run scam later (Educational Mandate Time: CRT monitors like the one used in the scam actually can emit low-level X-rays, as Murdock implies) and we have our first piece of the puzzle. I really enjoyed his comedic delivery when selling the plan to B.A., with the slightest hint of the kind of mannerism I’d associate with Hardy explaining to Laurel how well a plan is going to work out before it inevitably doesn’t (specifically, that little open-handed flick to the B.A.’s chest).

Next we meet the episode’s Big Three Bad Guy quota as a crooked cop tosses the pair in jail. They’re soon broken out by rednecks for–oh wow, ok then, they’re just going to lynch our heroes… Now a pattern I’ve been noticing for some time now is the pairing up of team members for the first act. I suspect this was to give the actors a break. Anyway, it’s nearly 15 mins into the ep before we see the other half of the team arrive–just in time to save Murdock’s neck.

Next scene, Face runs the very same scam, landing himself in the very same jail, but Hannibal lawyers him out and soon we find the bad guys are holding The Duke hostage and also running a gold mine. After a bike chase (gee, and it feels like we just had a golf cart chase) complete with an authentic Howlin’ Mad howl, some of poor B.A.’s gold is sacrificed toward unraveling the rest of the plot. Melting down B.A.’s heart of gold I’m certain must have some symbolic meaning, but eh, this is the A-Team. Just bring on the next explosions, no time for that silly stuff!

Murdock: “What’s this piece for?” B.A.: “Save it for the next truck!” Love it–and I fully expect to see that piece in the next ep, assuming there’s a tank in the next ep.

The boys stake the claim next door, dig through to the bad guy mine, and the last piece falls into place–it’s not a mine but an armored car full of gold bars that they’re pretending to mine. Now the last time we were in a mine, it turned into a siege. I expect something at least as fun this time.

Our heroes, to a montage, build an anti-tank. That is, they pull the classic gag of dismantling a car in order to move it, only there’s a slight variation this time as they simply bury the pieces (and the gold) in place. I have to wonder if dismantling a truck and digging several small holes is easier than digging one, very large hole. But 2 minutes of digging would have made for a boring montage, so I suppose I get it.

From here things go about right–the bridge collapses, the fake gold floats, everyone has a laugh (you might say it’s… comedy gold??) and then everyone gets captured, where, to a second montage, they put the truck back together and we tank our way to the end. To my knowledge, this is the first and only time we’ve ever actually named the tank: B.A.’s Mistake.

Special Feature: The Mysterious Gold of B.A. Baraccus

As the show progresses, we get little hints as to the story and significance of B.A.’s gold. This episode was peppered with a couple. One is that his gold has “special meaning” to him, and the next, more telling, is when Duke reveals B.A. “didn’t own squat” when they knew eachother in high school. It seems B.A. initially came from a poor beginning. It’s possible they’re implying his story is similar to Mr. T’s out of universe story.

We’ve also learned in past episodes that the team was framed for knocking over the bank of Hanoi (the “crime they didn’t commit”), but I have a hard time believing that’s where he got it from. Finally, there’s my own theory that I’m sticking with, that B.A.’s gold is actually invisible in-universe unless specifically needed.

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