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!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Chopping Spree s2ep18

co-starring: Dennis Franz as Sam Friendly, Joe Colligan as Davey, Lee Patterson as Tony Victor, Liberty Godshall as Cindy, Ken Foree as Dirkson
Written by Stephen Katz
Directed by Michael O'Herlihy

The team help a friend who has fallen victim to a crooked car dealer who steals back the cars he sells to either resell or chop up for spares.

A strong candidate for the title of best ever episode, this is a marvellous example of what The A-Team was all about. Not only is there great comedy and a number of excellent action scenes but this is also one of the rare episodes that gives all four characters a real chance to shine. Hannibal gets to play music producer Johnny B, Face smooth talks as a car salesman and BA worries about the fate of his stolen ride (“Hey man, he's takin' my van!”). Murdock gets some funny scenes around his pet plant (he's getting back to his roots, so to speak), throwing growing powder over BA early on (“Grow, BA, grow”).

The writing is of the highest standard, there being far too many quotable lines and snappy dialogue exchanges to list here. Worth mentioning are BA's intimidation of Tiny Roscoe (BA: “I want my ride back and Murdock wants his plant”, Tiny: “His what?”) and Face trying to put Murdock at ease (“I don't think they're going to chop your plant. What's to be gained? A salad?”). Writer Katz certainly delivers the goods with his first episode, a standard he would maintain with the likes of “Curtain Call”, “Fire” and “Breakout”.

The action is as impressive as the script, the highlights being the theft of the van, a fight at a scrap yard and a final set piece featuring Murdock emerging out of a coffin which has risen up from a hearse. The pacing is electric throughout and Franz is perfect casting as corrupt dealership owner Sam Friendly. It all adds up to superb entertainment, topped off by a memorable final scene in which the team (BA included) say their goodbyes to Murdock's plant. Brilliant. 10/10.

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