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Recap / The A Team S 2 E 16 Say It With Bullets

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An army official, Corporal Charlotte Brown, comes to the A-Team for help when her brother is murdered for backing out of an illegal arms trading operation. Unfortunately, the team quickly finds their attentions divided as it turns out that while Brown was telling the truth about her brother's murder, she also cut a deal with Col. Decker for him to find the killer in exchange for another shot at capturing the A-Team.

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The episode is perhaps best known for a war game Hannibal devises with Col. Decker. In order to stay on the trail of the arms traders but also escape from Decker, the team sets up an escape by tricking Decker's team of National Guardsmen into heavily damaging a guest house on an army base by — through use of a sound-effects record — making them think they're being fired upon. The Guardsmen are too busy taking cover that they fail to realize there is no threat, and that only the triumphant marching band musical cue tips them off they were the victims of an elaborate hoax.

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This episode involves examples of the following tropes:

  • Dynamic Entry: Harnett has discovered that Tawnia slipped a mini-microphone onto him and has her up against a wall staring at a drawn gun. Luckily, Murdock had heard the mic fizzle when Harnett dropped it into his drink. He suddenly appears in the nearest doorway and tackles the villain to the ground.
  • Expospeak Gag: At the beginning, Hannibal is posing as a German artist and he attempts to wave Corporal Brown aside because she's "obscuring the configuration." When she expresses confusion, he explains that he means she's "blocking the bones" that he's trying to draw.
  • Gratuitous German: Hannibal, in disguise as a German artist, uses the word "fraulein".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Early in the episode, Murdock shows a remote which he uses to "change the channel" on what program he's imitating at the moment. At the end, B.A. grabs it away from him, and notices that it has a volume control.
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  • Idiot Ball: The Guardsmen failing to notice during the gunfight that they are not being fired upon ... that they are merely hearing a sound effects record being amplified through stereo speakers. They in turn cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage (likely, irreparable) to the army base guest house.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: Decker assures Corporal Brown that they'll nail Harnett for her brother's murder as soon as they've got the A-Team behind bars. In other words, it's a higher priority to catch a group of vigilantes who are attempting to catch a murderer than to catch the murderer himself.
  • Multiple Gunshot Death and There Is No Kill Like Overkill: What the Guardsmen and Decker merely think happened to Hannibal, B.A. and Face after the "gunfight" ... they expect to see their bodies blown to mere bits when they search the house, only to not only find nobody inside, but they hear a nasty surprise over the stereo system's speakers. (In real life, Hannibal, B.A. and Face would be court martialed and forced to pay restitution and heavy fines.)
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: During one of their run-ins with Decker, Hannibal instructs the others not to shoot the soldiers, as "it's not their fault that they're here."
  • Offhand Backhand: During the raid on Shaw's hideout, one of the bad guys tries to sneak up on B.A., only to get clocked without B.A. turning much more than his head.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the beginning, Murdock does an imitation of the Beaver.
    • At one point, Murdock does a bit in an accent about how "you are not coming to the club to meet Caesar Romero, and that's final."
    • While Tawnia is attempting to put the bug on Harnett, Murdock runs on about how they've followed home a soldier who's taken a pretty girl back to the house, who doesn't know he's on "Murdock Camera".
    • When he's shooting at Decker, Hannibal quips, "How To Win Friends And Influence People", the name of a bestselling book.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Despite being a corporal in the U.S. army, Brown still complies when grabbed by the arm. On the other hand, it was B.A. doing it.
  • Super Window Jump: During the raid on Shaw's hideout, Hannibal and B.A. jump through the window to go after the bad guys. As usual for television, shards of glass fly everywhere, but they're not hurt at all.
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