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Recap / The A Team S 2 E 13 The Maltese Cow

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The A-Team arrive in Chinatown to help out a Chinese friend of theirs who owns a restaurant there. He has been targeted by the Lung Chin, a tong that extorts money from the local business owners. Things ratchet up another notch when it turns out that the Lung Chin are smuggling gangster Chris Thomas back into the US and giving him a new identity.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Answer Cut: In the opening, the Lung Chin break into the Golden Pagoda and shoot up the place. Mr. Yeng remarks to his daughter that "our partners won't like this at all." The next shot shows Face's Corvette driving down the street, indicating that the A-Team are the partner he meant.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Murdock spends the episode doing a bad Philip Marlow impression, in character as Mack Murdock, rambling nonsensically about the titular bovine. Halfway through the episode, the team encounters a mobster who happens to be carrying the week's MacGuffin - a statuette of a cow-like monster, containing microfilm. Even Murdock is surprised, and later admits that it was terrifying to see the thing he'd made up actually appear for real.
  • Instant Expert: Murdock claims that he got the ability to speak Chinese after having "a gonzo headache" one morning.
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  • Locked Up and Left Behind: The A-Team punch out one of the guards in the process of invading the Lung Chin headquarters. They then stuff him in a locker Face found.
  • Mugged for Disguise: The A-Team beat up the Lung Chin who were sent to collect the money from Mr. Yeng and steal their uniforms to get into the headquarters. Face objects that the Lung Chin won't fall for it, but Hannibal points out it doesn't have to work for long to be effective.
  • I Owe You My Life: During the war, Sam Yeng and his family allowed the A-Team to shelter in their basement during a Viet Cong rocket attack. The team was so grateful that years later they helped the Yeng family enter America and open up a restaurant. When the Lung Chin try to extort money from Yeng and trash his restaurant, the team comes in to help. Yeng, knowing what the team will be up against, tries to back out of it, saying that the debt they owed him is already paid and he shouldn't have called them, but they won't hear it.
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  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: B.A. for once ends up on the receiving end of this trope; he encounters a large Lung Chin who can take his punches without flinching.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Hannibal disguises his voice as a police officer and orders a uniform up to the office and then shuts the blinds, changes into it, and marches the other members outside disguised as a cop transporting prisoners.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: The episode dealt with a Chinese restaurant being threatened by a Chinese tong. Hannibal mentions that he thought tongs were just glorified social clubs these days, but Yeng insists that the Lung Chin are different, and behave more like the old tongs.
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: The team, having been caught by the cops in the middle of a fight with the Lung Chin, offer to deliver gangster Chris Thomas if they're let go. The police officer walks out of the room and shuts the door, which Hannibal interprets as "no."