About this blog

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire ... The A-Team.

This was the introduction to one of the great TV series of the eighties. The purpose of this blog is to build up the definitive episode guide to the show across its five seasons which ran from 1983 to 1987. So this isn't too much of a burden, I'm intending to watch a couple of episodes a week and given that there were around 100 episodes made during its run, this will turn into a year-long project!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Bad Time on the Border s2ep4

co-starring: Jack Ging as Lieutenant Taggart, Dennis Lipscomb as Prince, Joey Aresco as Presley, David Graf as Cooper, Jeffrey Josephson as Henchman, Marla Heasley as Cherise
Written by Richard Christian Matheson, Thomas Szollosi
Directed by Bruce Kessler

The team help a young girl whose ill mother is being held by a gang of people smugglers targeting Mexicans trying to start a new life across the border.

An OK if fairly standard episode, most notable for a series of distractions and an overall feeling of familiarity. One element of familiarity comes in the first reappearance of a guest star, in this case Jack Ging who played the crooked SWAT team leader in season one’s “A Small and Deadly War” and here plays a crooked border patrol guard. The location where the Mexican immigrants are held is also rather familiar, as if the gang have taken over the remnants of the camp left behind by the “Children of Jamestown”.

In terms of distractions, Marla Heasley (who would co-star as reporter Tawnia Baker in episodes 27 to 34) appears as a girl in a bikini during the scenes on in the yacht harbour. Having said that, Heasley is beaten in the glamour stakes by an even more distracting Melinda Culea who gets dressed up in a fetching blue number to entrap one of the bad guys. It is a little jarring to see David Graf (Police Academy's Tackleberry) in a serious role and there’s also a glaring continuity error in which BA's appearance (particularly his hair) is completely different in the first yacht scene than in the rest the show.

The episode seems to have a rather restricted budget in terms of its sets, the rather under-dressed bar being the most noticeable example of cost-cutting. Murdock's companion this time around is his bug “Herman” (named after “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville) but Schultz's best moment is when he talks his way into borrowing a helicopter, managing to get a long speech out in one take. The episode is perhaps most notable for the moment used in the later season credits in which an armor-plated car bursts out of the back of a delivery truck. It's a classic moment that kicks off an excellent and explosive final set-piece which redeems the somewhat patchy nature of what went before it. 8/10.

1 comment:

  1. This episode gives us a few treats. We get to see Melinda and Marla in the same episode, Amy and Murdock each get to run their own scams, and Murdock comes up with the plan!

    We also find out (in a throwaway line from Murdock) that Hannibal used to work for the U.N.

    Hannibal stepping on Taggart's sunglasses at the end is a clear nod to the ending of "Cool Hand Luke," the 1967 classic starring Paul Newman.