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Recap / The A Team S 1 E 8 The Out Of Towners

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The team gets called out to handle something rotten in the Big Apple. Upper-class criminal "East Side Charlie" (Yaphet Kotto) and some of his mooks are making trouble for the local shopkeepers, demanding "protection" money to protect the shopkeepers from their marauding. They've scared the shopkeepers so badly that some are no longer sure about hiring help. However, the team sets up shop and prepares to turn the tables.

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: At one point, Murdock climbs onto a garbage truck and points forward, shouting "garbage ho!" If the viewer looks closely, they can see B.A. trying not to smile.
  • Continuity Nod: The team’s shop is called “Triple-A TV Repair,” a nod to their rarely-mentioned nickname for Amy.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: When Hannibal is complaining that the garbage truck Face scammed is clean, he says, "I need garbage. Dirty garbage." Amy responds that most garbage is dirty, hence the name.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A shoeshine boy gets his attention drawn by one of the villains beating up Mr. Laskey, a shopkeeper who he's friendly with, and gets polish on another bad guy's sock. The guy hits him and destroys his shoe-shining kit.
  • Fingore: One of the shopkeepers got his fingers broken in revenge for saying he "wasn't going to take it anymore."
  • Ironic Echo: When the villains come by Hannibal's shop to sell him "insurance", they say that they're going to "mark [his] calendar" to make sure he doesn't forget the next installment, which turns out to be a euphemism for punching him in the chest. Later, when Hannibal comes to the club to demand the money the villain owes the shopkeepers, he says he'll "mark [his] calendar" so he doesn't forget. Cue B.A. driving a garbage truck through the wall and dumping trash all over the floor.
  • Kick the Dog: A neighbourhood besieged by gangsters suffers a mass attack complete with one gangster viciously beating a shoeshine boy for a simple mistake at that very moment. The A-Team considers this was an act so despicable that the few bucks, all the shoeshine boy had to offer for their services, was considered sufficient. Furthermore, at the end, B. A. Baracus found the goon who beat the kid up, and gave the scum the punch he deserved.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Played with. Hannibal, posing as a mild-mannered shopkeeper, gets punched by one of Charlie's men, who is "reminding" him about the next payment, and he groans and bends over. After they're gone, one of the locals examines Hannibal and finds that the punch broke one or two of his ribs. Hannibal doesn't even want to stop to call a doctor and simply says, "I love it when a plan comes together" in a less jovial tone than usual.
  • The Nose Knows: Murdock can scent good, dirty garbage from some distance away. (Well, it is garbage). He even drops the trope name.
  • Not in the Face!: When one of Charlie's underlings ends up stuck in the backseat of a cab Face is using just as he has to go back to the street to prepare for the showdown, he threatens to punch him. Face responds, "Not in the face." However, as he's already employed safety equipment to keep the guy away from him, he says it very in a very blase style, unlike the usual versions of the trope.
  • Papa Wolf: B.A., who previously was unhappy about having flown out when the shopkeepers had begun wondering if they wanted to hire the team anymore, changes his tune quickly when he meets a shoeshine boy who got socked for getting polish on one of the villains' socks. When he encounters the guy, he pulls him over to a wall and gives him a punch in return.
    B.A.: Next time, pick on someone your own size!
  • Refuge in Audacity: The A-Team are trying to send a message to the head villain. Their approach? Drive a garbage truck through the wall of his club and dump the garbage on the floor.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At the finish of the break-in at the club, Murdock drops Porky Pig's Catchphrase, "That's all folks!"
    • Near the end of the episode, Murdock says Tracy is going to show him the sights of New York, including the building connected with "the big ape."