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Recap / The A Team S 2 E 21 Deadly Manuevers

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A group of criminals whose business was hurt by the A-Team hire their own team, a group of ruthless mercenaries, to exterminate the group. One by one, the members of the team are abducted by the villains. It's up to Hannibal, the lone holdout, to get help for his kidnapped comrades and turn the tables on their adversaries.

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Badass Boast: After the mercenaries are beaten and the kidnapped wife and daughter's location is learned.
    Hannibal: Now, next time you think you wanna take somebody out, pal, don't get yourself a good squad; get yourself a team. [explosion goes off, as he lights his cigar]
  • Bound and Gagged: Hannibal ties up Harper (the guy who the mercenaries roped into helping them), so that the other team doesn't think he helped Hannibal willingly and hurt him or his family.
  • The Bus Came Back: Dr. Sullivan from "Black Day at Bad Rock" returns when Hannibal tells Tawnia to track her down for help.
  • Carnival of Killers: A syndicate of crime lords pay Major Douglas Kyle to assemble a team of mercenaries to hunt down the A-Team.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    • When grabbed by a mook that's taller than he is, Murdock tells him, "You've got something up your nose." He proceeds to annoy them with his constant talking.
    • During the big escape, Face attempts a one-liner, although he gets interrupted by one of the mercenaries trying to attack him from behind.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Murdock borrows one of B.A.'s necklaces (a sharp crescent moon) to cut their ropes and free them. In the process he inadvertently implies that B.A. is fat and also accidentally breaks the gold chain to the necklace, both of which B.A. complains about.
  • Continuity Nod: In the scene at the beginning when the crime lords are meeting with Douglas Kyle, the one speaking is implied to the father of Thomas Angel from "Recipe for Heavy Bread" carrying out his son's threat to have the team killed.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: After Face is sent off on his Physical Fitness Punishment, B.A. admits he was actually doing pretty good, despite coming in last. Hannibal retorts that Face will be great once this is done.
  • Description Cut: After Murdock is kidnapped and tied up next to Face, the two are discussing what happened to them and Face remarks, "I don't know how they think they're gonna get B.A. He can't be hurt. The man is indestructible." The next shot shows B.A., obviously in severe pain, having to let Hannibal help him out of the van.
  • Disconnected by Death: Downplayed; Hannibal, knowing he's in bad shape, calls Tawnia and orders her to get Dr. Sullivan from Bad Rock. Midway through the call, he collapses, and Tawnia is left trying to raise him over the phone.
  • Flaw Exploitation: The mercenaries hired to exterminate the A-Team exploit Face's weakness for a pretty girl, Murdock's love of animals, and B.A.'s love of milk to capture them.
  • Godwin's Law: When Murdock is dragged into the barn where the team are being held, Face shoots the remark at their captors, "Give our best to the Third Reich!"
  • Here We Go Again!: Despite the others' insistence that this experience was exercise enough, Hannibal disagrees. He lets the women have their van for a relaxing drive, but he insists the team start running for some more exercise. Face tries to get out of this by getting in the van at the last second, but B.A. soon pulls him right back out.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Exploited; the villains know Murdock well enough to know that he loves dogs, so they have a dog belonging to one of them lie in the bushes whining, apparently injured. Murdock leaves the car to pick it up and is met by two armed men on the way out.
  • Home Field Advantage:
    • The mercenaries take over a ranch as a place to detain the A-Team, having set up assorted boobytraps to ensure no easy escapes. An escape attempt fails as a result of this.
    • In the end, the team does similarly by baiting the mercenaries into going to the training course and using their knowledge of the surroundings to pick them off.
  • Hope Spot:
    • After being forced to leave B.A. behind, Hannibal calls Murdock for help, only to learn he's already been captured.
    • Murdock manages to get the drop on one of the mercenaries, and Face gets the gun to ensure that guy becomes their hostage. The group is about to escape, until Face is tricked into standing on a landmine. Face takes this in stride, though, telling the mercenaries that Hannibal will take it from there in a way they won't expect.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Hannibal tries to struggle back to his feet to go after the villains not long after he's awakened after being dosed with the spiked milk. However, the fact that he's so in pain he can't even stand up and Dr. Sullivan's advice that he's going to have to wait longer before he can be back to normal make him lie down again.
  • I Have Your Wife: The enemy mercenaries kidnap the wife and daughter of the man who owns the building where they're holding the team and threaten their lives if he doesn't cooperate. The man is willing to help Hannibal when he tells him he might be able to rescue them if he can rescue his team first.
  • Imminent Danger Clue: As the doctor is examining B.A., who is in a state of near-collapse from the spiked milk, Hannibal notices a gold watch on his wrist. He immediately forces the doctor to put his hands up, realizing that he saw that same gold watch on the milkman's wrist.
  • Improvised Training: The A-Team naturally doesn't have their old military training courses. Hannibal puts together a number of things (including a tire field and a climbing wall) to compensate.
  • I Shall Taunt You: After breaking the others out, Hannibal calls Kyle and mockingly asks him for a rematch now that they know he's after them. One of the rival team points out that Hannibal's phone call is obviously baiting them into a trap on more friendly territory. Kyle, however, refuses to back down.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Face expresses surprise over B.A. putting away more milk, after his experience this time.
  • Literal Metaphor: Played with. When discussing how they got captured, Face says he got tricked by a pretty woman, whereas Murdock says his was a dog. Face assumes he means a dog as in "unattractive woman" instead of a literal dog.
    Face: At least mine was pretty.
    Murdock: No, I fell for a dog!
  • Makeup Is Evil: When "Koochie" refuses to tell him the truth, Hannibal tells her she seems like a partially good girl beneath the avarice and makeup, and advises her that lying isn't nice.
  • Master of Disguise: One member of the rival team is said to be very good at disguising himself. However, he fails to take off a gold watch from one disguise to another, which lets Hannibal realize who he is.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The mercenaries succeed in capturing three members of the team in short order. Hannibal (weakened from the tampered milk) only barely manages to evade them and contact help.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Murdock hears a dog whining in the bushes and leaves the car to pick it up, thinking that a driver hit it and then drove away. It's a trap on the part of the bad guys, who meet him with guns as he comes out of the bushes.
    • The whole episode is a large-scale example, given that the trouble the team has could have been avoided had they not ruined the bad guys' businesses (presumably in the process of rescuing some of the past victims of the week.)
  • Noodle Incident: The reason Hannibal starts out pushing so hard on exercise is because a couple recent missions were a bit sloppier than he feels they should've been.
  • One Dose Fits All: Averted. B.A. and Hannibal both drink the spiked milk. However, B.A. (who loves milk) drinks five glasses. He feels the effects very soon and doubles over on a number of occasions, eventually being barely able to move. Hannibal, presumably having drunk less, feels the effects but is able to stay on his feet long enough to get away from the bad guys, find a safe area, and call Tawnia to tell her to fetch a doctor.
  • Papa Wolf: Hannibal becomes much more serious than usual as the team is picked off one by one. When confronting the woman who helped the bad guys nab Face, his voice lowers to a growl and he grabs her wrist as he warns her not to lie to him. Later, when he realizes that the doctor he got for B.A. is the same guy who delivered the spiked milk, he snaps, "Get your hands off him, Doctor, unless you want to start healing thyself."
  • Physical Fitness Punishment: According to Hannibal, the A-Team training rules state whoever comes in last on their obstacle course has to run extra. Face comes in behind the other three, meaning he has to jog to the town and back (which inadvertently sets him up to be kidnapped).
  • Properly Paranoid: When Face doesn't check in after 30 minutes (one of the team's strictest rules), Hannibal immediately suspects foul play and tells the others to act like they're under attack. He is absolutely right.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Not having the option of calling in the police, Hannibal goes after the mercenaries who kidnapped his team himself. He ties the stick of a jeep so that it will drive over the explosives as a distraction, cuts through the roof, and kicks in the door to the room where the others are being held.
  • Series Continuity Error: During the episode, Hannibal twice calls Dr. Sullivan "Maggie", but during her last appearance in "Black Day at Bad Rock", her name was given as "Mo."
  • Ship Tease: As during her last appearance, Dr. Sullivan has some flirty interactions with Hannibal. When he begins waking up, she touches his face, and he calls her "Maggie". She also says that she's coming along (which she doesn't end up doing) to "take care of you."
  • Slipping a Mickey: One of the villains delivers milk to the A-Team. However, the milk is spiked with "a powerful sedative" that is meant to incapacitate them. (However, from the pain it causes the afflicted Hannibal and B.A., it seems more like poison than sedative.)
  • Standard Female Grab Area: When the woman with whom Face was seen last is not too forthcoming with information on what happened, Hannibal grabs her wrist as he presses the interrogation.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Dr. Sullivan suggests calling the police and letting them go after the people who kidnapped the rest of the team, rather than Hannibal pulling a rescue mission on his own. Hannibal points out that Face, B.A., Murdock, and himself are all wanted by the police, so they can't bring them into this.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Outnumbered, outgunned, and suffering from the tampered milk, Hannibal has to settle for getting to the van and peeling out.
  • Victorious Loser: Face's own attempt to lead an escape fails, but when questioned about Hannibal's whereabouts, he takes the opportunity to mock his captors by saying Hannibal will arrive in a way they will never expect and take them down.
  • Unflinching Walk: A truly epic variation. An explosion is timed to the flick of Hannibal placidly lighting his cigar. Hannibal isn't doing a determined walk away from it (he's already satisfied with the distance), but it has the "no reaction" part down pat.
  • Worf Had the Flu: As Face says, B.A. is a true powerhouse that'd be a match for anyone on the rival team, which is why they gave him tampered milk. By the time it's B.A.'s turn to be captured, he's too weak to stand on his own.