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Headscratchers / The A-Team

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The Series

  • So in "Sheriffs of Rivertown", the A-Team is hired to become the new sheriffs of a South American town. They don't use any aliases while they are sheriffs! So how are they, known fugitives, able to be hired at all?
    • It was in South America. Handing over fugitives merely accused of robbing a bank in enemy territory during a war was not a high priority for them.
    • The episode occurs in the fictional 'Republic of San Marcos'. As an imaginary nation created by the author it can have whatever legal system the author wants to give it — such as, oh, not having any extradition treaties with the US.
  • So one of the episodes has the A-Team working for some religious commune who frown on using violence and explicitly forbid the team to beat up their enemies. Which is of course a typical Single-Episode Handicap ploy, but considering all of them are combat trained (and one's freaking Mr. T!) they should have had no problem disabling some untrained thugs in the first encounter without even batting an eyelash...
    • Combat training is about VIOLENCE, and is therefore useless if they are limited to peaceful behavior. Same goes for B.A.'s strength. "Non-violent" does not simply mean "no guns."
  • What's the deal with the bad guys always scaping in a Jeep?
  • "Pros and Cons". The A-Team infiltrates a Florida prison where the corrupt warden is forcing inmates to fight in gladiatorial combat to the death. How do they infiltrate the prison? The easy way, of course: they get arrested. One problem: how did Murdock, B.A., and Hannibal get through the process of being arrested, booked, tried in court, and sentenced to prison (under their real names, even!) without even one person figuring out who they were and calling the Military Police? Granted the authorities of Strikersville aren't big on proper procedure but still, you'd think at the very least they would have run the team's fingerprints, and the episode "Black Day At Bad Rock" (two episodes later, mind you) showed that the team's fingerprints are on file.
    • Best guess? They're trying to avoid drawing attention too much attention to their very shitty prison techniques. After all, it did take those three driving into the police station to get arrested.

The Film of the Series

  • Just how, exactly, did Hannibal think a CIA operative was supposed to get the team's record cleared?
      • Who are not part of the military chain of command or the Joint Chiefs. Short of carrying an order from the President or the Supreme Court, there's nothing keeping the Army from responding to any CIA entreaty with "No. Go away." And even if the CIA had that kind of power over the Armed Forces, why did Hannibal think J. Random Spook there had that kind of pull?
      • SLIGHTLY BIGGER HINT: CIA. Pulling some strings hither and yon, even with a slightly disgraced spook, would work.
      • Yeah, that's not a valid answer. The CIA really isn't even a third as powerful as movies and TV would like you to believe. John Brennan himself (the current head of the CIA) couldn't get the team cleared without a Presidential order.
      • But it is a movie, and clearly the CIA had a large amount of power in the movie (They call in an airstrike in Western europe to kill the team, which isn't very covert.)
      • Flashing clue: CIA is apparently code for, "Do some good, run at the first opportunity, and Clear My Name.
  • For that matter, why wasn't Hannibal suspicious of Lynch from the moment he approached him in prison? If he were really on their side, he would've stepped in during the team's court martial and verified Gen. Morrison's orders.
    • He was probably nearly burned or chewed out for a while.
    • He likely didn't. But he probably relied on that he would be able to come up with something as long as he got out of prison.
    • Lynch's work requires him to unknown and unseen. Stepping into a military tribunal as a key witness is pretty much the exact opposite of this.
  • Why did the CIA bail Lynch out at the end? Was he acting on their orders? Too good an agent to lose? Knew too much to risk him trading secrets for leniency?
    • You answered your own question!
    • From the new Lynch's response of "Who?", this troper got the impression that they weren't bailing him out so much as making him vanish.
  • Why the elaborate frame job for the team? If Gen. Hammond, Lynch, and Pike wanted the plates so badly, why not just let the team hand over the plates and quietly "lose them"?
    • Cleaning up loose ends and possible witnesses.
  • Did Hannibal's plan of rescuing Face at the beginning of the movie count on a car to drive over a dirt road in the general direction of many corrupt cops, or would he have been there on time if he kept jogging...? Maybe BA drove through the Plot Hole and ended up on the dirt track.
    • Hannibal makes it clear that, by this point, he's improvising (at least in regards to saving Face). Face screwed up his plan by trying to save the girl. BA showing up was pure luck.
  • In the end, they "expose" Lynch by having him "execute" Morrison (Murdock in Disguise) inside a container and then lifting up the container, exactly as Face planned. Small Question: Didn't the whole ship explode three minutes ago, with containers spilling all over the peer? How the hell did they set this up? Where did they get the crane, how did they even find the container? What the heck?
    • The container was marked in some way, and they found a crane somewhere while Lynch's little tableau was going on. Remember, their original plan presumably depended on being able to distinguish the container and using a crane.
  • What was with the logic on retrieving the plates at the start of the film? Sosa comes in, adamant that the plates are her responsibility and warning the A-Team not to get involved. Instead, Pike and his team of mercenaries is picked. What. Why are civilian contractors being given a mission to recover highly sensitive government property? Sosa outright acknowledges that the A-Team is the best there is. Unless she's snubbing them because she dated Face, why not just ask them to get the plates for her? They're happy, she's happy, her superiors are happy. It's like she's concerned that the A-Team is going to steal them, which either makes her a fucking psychic (at least partially) or a total bitch.
    • That is assuming that Sosa had any involvement in who was available to send. Just assuming that she could pick anyone in the world to recover the plates is far fetched. Even further, chances are that if you were in a warzone where civilian contractors were operating side by side with the a squad of insanity, they are all there for a reason. It's not like she walked in thinking "Oh gee, it's nice to see Hannibal and Face taking a vacation in the middle of the warzone".
      • If she, personally, was tasked with recovering the plates, then she should have had say in who goes, or even organized it. For the two groups of nutjobs, there was a fully-staffed base of trained soldiers. If she wasn't responsible for the choice, why even send her? That would only make sense if she was there for pickup, in which case she has no real authority to be getting on Face's case about a matter he (at the time) knew nothing about and she had no reason to suspect otherwise. It honestly sits better if you think Lynch purposefully orchestrated Pike being tasked with retrieving the plates, otherwise the whole scenario just reeks of stupidity.
    • The A-Team is an official unit of the US Military and the mercenaries are not. Use of force agreements might have permitted the mercenaries to enter the city while the US Military is on its withdrawal timetable. Hannibal's asking Morrison to pick his poison: a US Military unit illegally in the city (but successfully completing the mission), or a mercenary unit LEGALLY in the city (but that will probably botch the mission and cause "collateral damage"). Sending the A-Team is deciding to ask forgiveness instead of permission.
  • For that matter, why was Sosa demoted after the fiasco? Pike betrayed them and the A-Team violated standing orders. Why is she being punished for the criminal misconduct of others?
    • If the agencies involved needed to pin the fiasco on, it would be easier to pin it on one individual in charge than a dead guy and three guys who are essentially black ops for insane operations. It happens all the time in other jobs.
  • Why didn't Hannibal shoot Pike after getting the plates from him in Germany? It would have saved a good deal of effort.
    • Because Hannibal, who has always been proud of his ability to complete missions with minimal casualties, will not commit an almost gratuitous murder. Because the team are, at this point, wanted fugitives in at least two countries, with a list of crimes about a mile long. and theft, destruction of property, et.c. are, unlike murder the sort of crimes the police will investigate without putting their backs into it, much. Because he didn't really have much chance of doing it and getting away with it.
  • How did B.A. become a part of the unit after Mexico? He introduces himself as having been dishonorably discharged, and you don't get to reenlist after that.
    • Discharged because of some bullshit. The Team is, it's pretty clear, not rank and file soldiers or even commandos, more professional volunteers that could operate outside the chain of command and with relative impunity. Rule of Cool and all that.