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Recap / The A Team S 2 E 11 Steel

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The A-Team enters into the construction business when Mickey and Randy Stern hire them to stop unscrupulous competitor Carl Denham from driving them out of business. The team proceed to knock Denham down a peg, but they quickly discover that they're in deeper than they thought. Denham is under the thumb of mob boss "Crazy Tommy T", who doesn't want anybody to find the body entombed in the building's foundation. To save the company and see that justice is done, they'll have to bring down Tommy once and for all.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: The Cylon walking past a bemused Face at Universal Studios, complete with the canon sound-effect.
  • A-Team Montage: Of course but notably different in this case as, instead of showing the team building the week's obligatory armored vehicle, the montage is mostly scenes of the team prepping their weapons for use, disassembling and oiling a rifle, and inserting fuses into dynamite sticks.
  • Berserk Button: Mickey Stern apparently hates being called "old man."
  • Constructive Body Disposal: Denham pressures an owner of a demolition company to turn a contract for the demolition of an old office building over to him. Turns out he had buried one of Crazy Tommy T's business partners inside its foundations and they don't want it dug up by anyone they can't keep reliably silent.
  • Delusions of Doghood: Face breaks Murdock out of the V.A. by posing as a person from a government animal control facility and claiming Murdock has rabies. Murdock helps him along by barking, whining, and biting one of the V.A. staff.
  • The Dreaded: "Crazy Tommy T" apparently has quite the reputation in-universe, given that Face tries to tell Hannibal he thinks they should pull out when he discovers Tommy is involved. Given that we see he's willing to casually murder people in this episode alone, the reputation seems accurate.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: Hannibal tells the villain that they can do this "the easy way or the hard way"...then makes it clear with his explanation that no way is going to be very easy for the villain.
    Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith: There are two ways we can do this: the easy way and the hard way. In a few minutes my friends and I are going to come down on you like your worst nightmare. You're gonna wish the Earth opened up underneath your feet and swallowed you whole.
    Crazy Tommy T: What's the easy way?
    Hannibal: That was the easy way.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mob boss Crazy Tommy Tillis - whose list of crimes shown in the episode includes murder, tax evasion, and destruction of property - has this reaction upon discovering Face's propensity for cons. Face even lampshades it.
    Tillis: (After discovering a bunch of fake business cards in Face's wallet.) Either you have a real problem holding down a job, or you're some kind of con artist. And let me tell you, I hate con artists, always trying to turn people off of their life savings.
    Face: Yeah, I guess it's not an honest crime like gambling or drug dealing.
  • Glad I Thought of It: Mickey Stern keeps telling his niece he can speak for himself...and then repeating whatever she just said to the team virtually word for word.
  • I Like Those Odds: Hannibal is quite confident that he and his team can beat "Crazy Tommy T" and his "Army."
    Randy: But he has an army.
    Hannibal: Yes, the poor suckers don't stand a chance.
  • Implied Death Threat:
    • Tommy Tillis tells Carl Denham that if he can't make any progress soon, he'll have to get someone to handle "a different kind of contract" (that is, a hitman).
    • Later on, Denham tells Tommy that he's just as interested in stopping the heroes as Tommy is, because if the body of Tommy's ex-partner is found then people will guess Denham put it there. Tommy tells Denham he doesn't need to worry about that because no one will ever find Denham to prosecute him.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Murdock and Face arrive at a construction scene, where Hannibal and B.A. are duking it out with some goons, Face casually takes off his coat, rolls his eyes, and remarks that this should be predictable by now.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The A-Team enters the job thinking that Denham is all they have to worry about. Then they find out that Denham is harassing Stern's construction company because he is himself under the thumb of Tommy Tillis, a mob boss.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: As stated in the episode summary above, the team originally think they're only involved in a contract dispute against a cutthroat businessman trying to edge out the competition. They later discover the real reason why Denham is so interested in getting the contract: Denham works for a local mob boss, and the building they've been hired to to demolish has the body of said mob boss' ex-partner buried beneath it.
  • Tempting Fate: B.A., who is annoyed by Murdock's radio while they're posing as window washers, says that if Murdock turns it up again, he'll drop it. Murdock answers, "You wouldn't" — and B.A. does.