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!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Trouble Brewing s3ep24

Co-starring: Suzanne Barnes as Maryann Rogers, Claudia Christian as Cathy Rogers, Louis Giambalvo as Jason Webb, Robert Dryer as henchman, Anthony James as henchman, Jack Hogan as Barrington
Written by Steven L Sears, Burt Pearl
Directed by Michael O’Herlihy

The team are hired by two women who are under pressure to sell their soda business to a local rival.

Although this was the penultimate episode of the season, we’re going out pretty much where we came in with ‘Bullets & Bikinis’ as two attractive young women hire the team to save their business. It’s not quite in the same league as the season opener though, mainly due to a less colorful setting and more ordinary plotting.

It’s an episode which works better when seen in isolation than it does when watched in order as this was at least the seventh time this season we’d seen the “small business attacked by aggressive rival” plot. At this point in the show’s run, it had become the stock A-Team storyline, dating all the way back to ‘West Coast Turnaround’ in season one. As of next season though, there was a very specific move away from this type of story and it wouldn’t appear again until what was also the penultimate episode of that season, ‘A Little Town with an Accent’.

So what we have here is a rather ordinary and predictable episode, though it is an improvement over writers Sears/Pearl’s previous episode, ‘Knights of the Road’. The usual scenes are all here and there’s nothing unexpected but it all moves at a fairly brisk pace, the initial threat to the clients being followed by Murdock hiding in an ATM to make contact with them.

Inspired by the all-natural soda the women make, Murdock goes on a health drive but this doesn’t exactly please everyone (BA: “Hey, where’s the meat? This sandwich is full of weeds!”). The formulaic nature of the whole thing becomes more and more apparent as the episode progresses, moving onto a mid-section in which Face and Murdock break into Webb’s safe to find out why he really wants the soda business. Still, there are highlights along the way, including a clever moment as Murdock uses a Polaroid to fake the view from a security camera and the A-Team van taking the gate with it when they break out of the plant.

Giambalvo doesn’t have time to make much of an impression as the villain but there is a good moment when he breaks into the rival bottling plant to kill Face (who has been posing as a advertising executive). Getting by mainly on the goodwill created by the cast, there are too many reminders of better episodes here to make this anything more than adequate time filler. The use of soda hoses at the finale is too obvious and in the end, the episode manages to fill out its 45 minute running time without being anything special. 6.5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment