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

Harder Than It Looks s2ep19

co-starring: Lori Lethin as Jennifer Teasdale, Kevyn Major Howard as Marcus, Frank Annese as Strickland, Michael Prince as Warren Teasdale, Steven Keats as Ramon, Cherie Michan as Katherine
Written by Frank Lupo
Directed by Ivan Dixon

The team are hired by a rich businessman whose daughter has been kidnapped.

A fast and furious episode from the ever-reliable pen of series co-creator Lupo. There's a fairly convoluted plot here, the story taking many twists and turns along the way and it is this that keeps the episode well above average. There's an emphasis on running gags including BA's fights with the gang's main heavy and the notion that the job is going to be a “piece of cake”.

The action is pretty much constant, though it has to be said that the jeep chase uses familiar stock footage previously used only three episodes earlier in “Say It With Bullets” and in "In Plane Sight" before that. The various fights, chases, cliff jumps and other set-pieces help maintain a strong pace and there's plenty of good dialogue along the way (Lethin: “They'll kill Marcus”, Schultz: “Oh no ........ who's Marcus?”).

Although later seasons would also feature kidnapping plots, it is notable that the kidnap is only a peg on which to hang a much more involved story. There's a particularly effective sequence at the midway point (when weaker episodes often flag) in which the team return to the kidnappers' hideout. They funnily dupe the guard at the gate and their infiltration is then intercut with the kidnappers discussing their plans.

There's certainly no chance of getting bored here, there simply isn't time and too much to get through. Overall, this is a very tidy and entertaining episode, maintaining the high standard that had been in evidence throughout the second season. 9/10.

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