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, 9 April 2011

A Little Town with an Accent s4ep22

Co-starring: Noble Willingham as Zack, Robert Viharo as Sonny Marlini, Mark Lawrence as Sam Marlini, Kathryn Leigh Scott as Sheriff Annie Plummer, Joseph Burke as McMahon, Rex Ryan as Kelvin
Written by Thomas Szollosi, Richard C Matheson
Directed by Michael O’Herlihy

The team help a man who is being pressurised into selling his gas station by the mob.

Almost representing something of a flashback, this penultimate entry in season four is the closest to the traditional A-Team plot than any other episode this season. The ‘rival having ulterior motives for wanting to buy small company’ plot was the staple diet of season three but was completely dropped at the beginning of four to move away from the standard plotline.

There’s a certain tiredness in the writing which means you’re unlikely to remember much that happens during the course of its 45 minutes, even if you’ve seen it before. Gangster episodes had been done before and done better. Murdock inevitably gets to pose as a mobster but these impressions were becoming rather familiar, even if ‘Trouble on Wheels’ was a season ago.

There’s a funny gag involving a villain wrapped in tape if you’re familiar with the James Cagney gangster classic ‘Public Enemy’ but there aren’t enough similarly clever moments to maintain the interest. This is one of the rare episodes to refer to a previous one as it includes the truck Murdock won on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ (and is very protective of).

As much as the A-Team formula contributed to some great episodes, this one demonstrates why the show needed a revamp in season five. The meet-the-client scene, construction montage, car flip are other familiar elements just weren’t enough any more if there was no attempt to try to be original. 5/10

1 comment:

  1. Murdock did a lot of heavy lifting in season four, and he (as well as Schultz the actor) always threw himself into whatever was asked of him. Such antics are one of the only memorable aspects of this episode, even though there's not quite enough of them to carry the whole show.

    Despite adhering to the traditional formula, the team's employer is largely forgotten after the initial meeting. Even good-natured Kelvin is quickly tossed aside, after appearing to be intended for a subplot with B.A.

    What's left is a villain who's almost portrayed as too reasonable to be a worthy foe for the team. The real plot concerning a reclusive mob boss is a bit more interesting, the script just takes a little too long in getting around to it.

    The final battle sequence does have one memorable highlight, though, with Hannibal firing his machine gun while hanging off the side of a vintage auto, gangster-style.