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, 19 January 2011

Bounty s3ep22

Co-starring: Gene Evans as Darrow, Wendy Fulton as Kelly Stevens, Bill McKinney as Royko, Paul Koslo as Tanen, Lance LeGault as Colonel Decker, Carl Franklin as Captain Crane
Written by Stephen Katz
Directed by Michael O’Herlihy

Murdock is captured by a group of bounty hunters who use him as bait in an effort to capture the other members of the team.

After a few patchy episodes, season three got back on track with this highly entertaining episode that, like writer Katz’s season two closer ‘Curtain Call”, works well by putting Murdock centre stage. Matters get off to an electric start with Murdock's abduction being quickly followed by the sudden appearance of Decker while Face investigates. The multi-layered story is a real asset to the episode and although there are moments when another rewrite could have tightened things up a little, the pace is generally strong and the unfolding plot always holds the attention.

Not only do we have the bounty hunters chasing Murdock, we also have the team trying to find Murdock, the bounty hunters trying to capture the team, Decker trying to capture them as well and a blossoming relationship between Murdock and vet Kelly Stevens. Schultz and Fulton have a great chemistry in their scenes together, hardly surprising given that they are husband and wife in real life.

It is an inevitably strong episode for Murdock who at times shows a serious side that, being mainly comic relief, he rarely got to play. Perhaps the best example of this is his memorable threat when Kelly is kidnapped (“You listen to me. You touch one hair on that girl’s head and I won’t sleep, I won’t eat, I will find you and when I do I will feed your head to flies”).

Away from the two lovebirds, the scenes involving the rest of the team also have a real spark. There's a great moment when Face has to talk BA into being his assistant in a scam. He tells BA, "All you do is enter on cue and say what I tell you, just like being an actor" (cue hilarious look of indignation from Hannibal). The episode is always on the move, meaning there's a lot of action built into the plot rather than just appearing at seemingly random intervals as in some episodes.

The strong sense of urgency even carries through to the construction montage which turns out to be a somewhat cryptic build, the purpose of which isn't revealed until the final fight begins. The various flaws (including some clumsy doubling during the action finale and the repetition of the 'jump the bridge' scene from Labor Pains) mean the episode isn't quite up with the very best but it remains consistently entertaining. The final scene in which Kelly visits Murdock in the VA hospital is genuinely touching and finishes a very strong episode on a very positive note. 8.5/10

1 comment:

  1. I agree. One of my favorites. And B.A. seems genuinely concerned for Murdock, once again. Great show.