Monday, July 19, 2010

The Canon Review of Two Episodes of The A-Team

You know what I'm in the mood for? Some explosives being fired, some heavy artillery being used, and yet I don't want to see anyone worse for the wear. So I'm going to watch some A-Team episodes, where the bad guys can't hit the side of an aircraft carrier and B.A. Baracus complains about Murdock. Let's waste no more time and jump right in, fool!

Episode 1: Knights of the Road (Season 3: Episode 20)

We start in the town of Arriba, New Mexico. Incidentally, I don't think that the town actually exists, but whatever. Arriba is supposedly three miles away from the Mexican border. A tow truck form Corson Towing comes to pick up a wrecked car, but two other tow trucks from a rival company (Tyler Towing, who just happen to drive all black trucks because they're evil) show up, rough up the father and daughter some (mainly the father) and break their windows out with a wrench before taking their car. The two drive back to their junkyards, rueing about the father's lack of success in finding the A-Team, when they spot a black van parked in their garage. Lo and behold, it's the A-Team, Murdock and all. Face tries to saddle up to the daughter, but gets shot down, causing Murdock some concern for whatever reason. Meanwhile, Murdock falls in love with the idea of being a tow-truck driver, or a "Knight of the Road". Well, that's Murdock for you. One thing you notice is that Mr. T reads most of his lines with all the passion of a person buying fungus cream. Luckily, the producers also realize this and give him very few lines. Even though the show is remembered for featuring Mr. T, in actuality, he was really the character with the least lines, and most of the episodes focused on Hannibal and Murdock instead, who were played by more capable actors. Tangent over.

So the A-Team get to work, building a heavily protected tow-truck and when the Tyler company goes to intercept another job, the A-Team respond with force. This angers Tyler and his Mexican business partner, who wants to take over Corson because it will help his drug-trafficking business due to the fact that Corson is somehow granted diplomatic immunity to tow cars out of Mexico and Tyler the buffoon is not. Meanwhile, the A-Team keeps causing trouble for Tyler, even at one point taking a car off of their tow truck while two of their workers are eating lunch. After bugging their trucks, Hannibal learns of a secret pickup by Tyler Towing, so he has Murdock hide under the hood of the car somehow and the A-Team attempts to follow the car. But they run into a snag when the car crosses the Mexican border and the A-Team, due to their fugitive status, cannot go through the border checkpoint due to the likelihood that they would be arrested on the spot. Now Murdock's all alone in Mexico, and for some odd reason, the theme from 2001: A Space Oddysey plays when he exits the car and enters Tyler business partner's, who we learn is named Zuniga, mansion. Meanwhile, the rest of the A-Team catch up to Tyler and his men and stop them from delivering a package of cocaine into the states. To find out Murdock's whereabouts, the three trap them in their own car, have B.A. control the car crusher, and nearly crush the car into a cube with them inside before finally, Tyler gives them the information they wanted to hear. For some reason, Hannibal decides they need a bigger truck, so B.A gets to work and we get a montage of the team fixing up an old 12-ton tow truck. The three break into to Mexico like so many others break out of Mexico, by cutting down a fence with wire cutters and just driving through.

They drive up to Zuniga's house and everyobdy starts shooting their automatic rifles and a lot of bullets hit the ground. You know, for a team of highly trained soilders, the A-Team never seem to actually be able to shoot their enemies. However, the pure force of the A-Team's weaponry proves to be too much for the drug cartel's bodyguards, and Zuniga and Tyler and turned in to the police. But WAITAMINUTE! it turns out that Zuniga's the chief of police, and Face, Hannibal and B.A. are sent to jail. However, here comes Murdock with the 12-ton tow truck, and he uses the truck's hooks to break the prison walls down and free the A-Team. Well, that cheeses off Zuniga and Tyler, so they head to Corson's garage for a final showdown. The A-Team prepares by building up the 12-ton truck into some sort of Optimus Prime looking contraption that can drive through steel and gives the A-Team protection to fire their weapons at their enemies. When Tyler, Zuniga, and his army of armed goons arrive, the A-Team is ready, and we've got a whole bunch of shooting going on. Of course, this is the A-Team, so the worst thing that happens is that cars get flipped by grenades and everyone is knocked out temporarily, but ultimately survive. Afterwords, the criminals are sent to jail, Face gets the girl, and Murdock wants to keep an old grill of a car, so for some reason B.A. uses a giant magnet to pick Murdock up and leave him hanging because that's just what he does. Mindless fun, although the guest actors weren't too bad, the storyline seemed kind of weak, and their were some plot holes. I'll give it a 6.1 out of 10.

Episode 2: Purr-Dee Poison, Season 2, Episode 17

The show starts with a Reverend walking into a bar that sells moonshine. He takes out a shotgun and says "let us pray" before firing a shot into the bar's moonshine supply. That seemed a bit unnecessary. After all, there were a few people at the bar drinking, but they didn't seem too bad off, and all of a sudden this guy comes in and acts like he's some sort of holy avenger. A bit drastic, no? Naturally, this does not make the moonshine still proprietor very happy, so he and his goons pay the reverend a visit and rough him up a bit. Well, Rev. Taylor happened to know Face while both were serving in Vietnam, so he calls up the A-Team to help stop this moonshine, which has killed and blinded a good number of the reverend's parishioners. The A-Team calls in their assistant Tawnia, and they gain access to a speakeasy controlled by the moonshine empire led by a Charles Drew. They take over the place and stop the shipment of moonshine by blowing up one truck, than getting into the van and stopping the other truck with the help of some nitrous oxide Murdoch stole from a local dentist. Once they empty the truck of any people, Face shoots about 195 holes into the side of it, sending moonshine everywhere. 

Back to the Reverend's community center, and B.A. seems to have a thing for the reverend's daughter. Unlike the suave Face, B.A. acts like a young kid around his first crush whenever the two are on screen together. Nice to see that in between yelling at Murdock and bashing doors down, that B.A. has a bit of a sensitive side. Anyway, Drew and his thugs pay a visit to the center, and words are exchanged between Hannibal and Drew. This allows Murdoch to install a camera on Drew's truck, which the team uses to scout out the location of the moonshine still. The team goes on the offensive, avoiding all the traps and cameras, and are unwittingly assisted by the two laziest security guards in the history of television, who refuse to leave their post despite hearing multiple noises and seeing the camera go out. The two constantly looked for excuses not to leave their room. Personally, I was impressed with their lack of motivation. Just as the A-Team is about to take control of the compound, the lead goon comes back with Tawnia and Reverend Taylor's daughter, putting the A-Team in a bit of a bind as they have to release their weapons in order to prevent harm on the two women.

Eventually, the A-Team and the others are locked in a barn, and the goons forget the most important rule when imprisoning the A-Team. Never, under any circumstances, no matter how secure the building, leave them unsupervised. With a bunch of fertilizer, an old tractor, and some pipes, the A-Team get the tractor working and build some homemade rocket launchers. They break out of the barn and unleash fury on their overmatched enemies, blowing up a lot of buildings and the moonshine still, and all the bad guys get sent off to jail. At the end, the reverend thanks Hannibal and the A-Team, while B.A. says his goodbyes to the reverend's daughter. Lots of crazy explosions in this episode, including an intense one at the end that completely obliterates a log cabin. It was awesome. The story wasn't too bad, although I find it hard to believe that the A-Team could build such contraptions in what couldn't have been more than an hour. I'll give it a 6.8 out of 10.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future reviews or thoughts about this review, than let me know about them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

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