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, 15 June 2011

Without Reservations s5ep13

Co-starring: Marc Alaimo as Angelo, Edward Bell as Lou, Lonny Chapman as Henderson, Alfred Dennis as Sal, Bobby DiCenzo as Joey
Written by Bill Nuss
Directed by John Peter Kousakis

Frankie and Face dine at a restaurant where Murdock is a waiter but are caught in the middle of a mafia hit.

Although this was the final episode of The A-Team to air, it was not intended as such when it was filmed. Murdock’s T-shirt gives away the fact that this should have been “almost fini”, as distinct from the “fini” T-shirt he wore in ‘The Grey Team’. The episode was not broadcast when the final season originally aired in the US and in subsequent airings and the dvd releases of the show, it is listed as the last episode.

If the opening action scene looks a little familiar and the cast look a little young, it is because it is lifted in its entirety from the start of ‘Holiday in the Hills’ (hence no Frankie). The reason for this addition isn’t entirely clear and could be either because the episode ran short as shot or than it is otherwise driven by drama rather than action.

The story takes place almost entirely in a restaurant set but the stakes are raised when, for one of the few occasions in the show’s entire run, a main character is shot. It is quite a shocking scene (as long as you don’t know its coming!) and it is this subplot that gives the episode its impetus.

It is well-acted and Schultz (who became the show’s key asset in season five) gives a particularly strong performance. The overall progression of the story is interesting story but it is also very low-key and could have basically been written for any television show of the day. Time is spent, often unnecessarily, on the supporting characters but given that there are 45 minutes to fill you would expect some degree of padding.

Overall, it’s perfectly watchable and a pleasant enough conclusion to the show but it is hardly representative of what the A-Team was all about. A different episode is good as a change but it is a shame the show didn’t get the proper sign-off episode it deserved. 6/10

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