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Recap / The A Team S 2 E 8 Labor Pains

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While on the run from Decker, the team visit a local grocery for supplies and encounter a pair of poor farmers being bullied and refused the chance to buy food. The team steps in and discovers that all the migrant pickers working under local landowner Ted Jarrett are being treated as slaves. The pickers finally got tired of it and tried to stand up for themselves by refusing to pick their boss's crops. Jarrett is pushing back by refusing to let them buy food. The team works to organize a grower's union in the county, in order to force Jarrett and the other local growers to treat their employees properly, and of course they have to fight Jarrett and his thugs to do it.


This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Comically Missing the Point: Hannibal asks Murdock what he wants from the grocery store.
    Hannibal: How does bologna and whole wheat sound?
    Murdock: Actually, Colonel, it makes almost no sound at all.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Villain of the week Jarrett is the agricultural version of this, combined with Corrupt Hick. He owns all the farms in the area and most of the other businesses too, and uses it to keep people under his thumb. He lures in migrant workers with promises of good pay, housing, and schools. Then he forces them to live in tents, pays them almost nothing, and has his cronies at the local stores price gouge them to take away what little money he does pay them. Naturally, the team can't help but take him down, even having nothing in it for themselves.
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  • Friend to All Children: The team is already upset to hear about the pickers getting bullied, then they mention that there are kids starving too, which really gets B.A. angry.
  • I Have Your Wife: The villains threaten to kidnap one of the workers' children in order to find out the location of the Union's meeting hall.
  • Malaproper: Face, attempting to con a local farmer out of his tractor for their build of the week runs into a snag when the farmer, being a bit more savvy than Face gave him credit for, demands compensation for it. The farmer demands Face's fancy leather shoes, but doesn't actually know how to pronounce the brand name Gucci, and instead calls them "hoochies."
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: For most of the episode, it seems Murdock's Ouija Board antics are just his usual brand of silliness. On the other hand, at the end of the episode the board does manage to successfully predict Decker showing up in town.
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  • Ouija Board: Playing with one of these is Murdock's quirk of the week. Naturally, it drives B.A. nuts, and he insists that it isn't real.
  • Produce Pelting:
    • When Murdock upsets B.A. in the fields, B.A. gets back at him by throwing a cabbage at him. Face tells Murdock he should be glad it wasn't a tomato.
    • Comes back again in the climax. Jarrett and his goons invade the Union's meeting hall, and are driven off by a piece of farming equipment modified into an air cannon that fires heads of lettuce.
  • Ramp Jump: The team uses this to escape Decker at the beginning of the episode, jumping over a missing bridge to get away.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Hannibal's plan to stay away from Decker, and the reason the team decide to stay in town to begin with. Amy points out how foolish it is, but gets overruled.
    Amy:Come on. The last couple of times Decker got really close, you pulled the same trick. Hiding right under his nose, making him think we're halfway out of state. He's gonna figure that game out.
    Hannibal: Yeah, but he'll figure I figured that, so he'll figure that I figured the other way, which is why we're staying right here.
    Amy: That makes no sense.
    Hannibal: Decker will understand it.
  • Slow Doors: The team steal a bunch of food from Ted Jarrett's fancy barbecue to feed the starving workers. Jarrett tries to stop their escape by closing the gate to his estate, and it closes slowly in front of them. Hannibal makes it open again by shooting the control panel.