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Recap / The A Team S 3 E 18 Road Games

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When the Sullivan Home for Children is threatened by thugs, the A-Team is called in to help. The home's owner Jim Sullivan has a bit of a gambling problem, and has racked up quite a debt at a local illegal casino. Racketeer Johnny Royce is pressuring him to sell his foster home to cover his debt. The problem with tracking Royce is that no one seems to know where the gambling house is. It turns out Royce moves it between a number of abandoned warehouses. When pressed, he loads it all up into a truck and takes it on the road... to play some road games.

This episode contains examples of the fallowing tropes:

  • Fixing the Game: Royce of course rigs the casino tables so that people will lose. Hannibal and Murdock break in at night and change the fix so that everyone always wins instead, in order to throw the villain off his game.
  • The Gambler: Jim Sullivan is a recovering gambling addict who hasn't gambled in years... but he lost his day job with the nearby mill, and went to the casino thinking he could win the money to pay his mortgage on the orphanage. After the team wins back the deed and pays off their mortgage, he swears off gambling for good.
  • Ironic Name: One of Royce's mooks has the surname Meeks, which doesn't fit a rough guy very well.
  • Just Plane Wrong: Murdock scams a helicopter to track the bad guys - an MD 500 model 369. In one scene, though, it changes into a Bell 206 Jet Ranger.
  • The Mole: Face ingratiates himself with Royce in order to spy on his operation.
  • Saving the Orphanage: Jim Sullivan is being pressured to sell his foster home in order to cover a $30,000 gambling debt. (Roughly $78,000 in 2020 money.) Hannibal takes down the villains, and he uses the money he won from the villain's casino to pay off the rest of Sullivan's mortgage.
  • Shame If Something Happened: When pressuring Sullivan to sign over the deed to the home to cover the debt, the villains' mooks comment that with his bad luck, he could fall off a pier, or his daughter could be hit by a car, or one of the adopted children could suffer some kind of house accident.
  • Spy Speak: Face goes undercover with the villains, and goes to meet with the team under the guise of going to see his tailor. One of the villains doesn't trust him and insists on tagging along, so Face can't just say where the villains' illegal casino is. Instead he uses various euphemisms and corrections to Hannibal's measurements to get it across. Hannibal mentions he's a 15 in the neck and he says he thought he was an inch less. (14) Hannibal measures his waist as a 32, and he says the tape must be reversed. (23) He also says he wants to look like Cary Grant. Put it all together, and the villains are hiding out at 1423 Grant Avenue.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The team figures Royce will guess that Sullivan called them in and go after him for retaliation. Since they can't keep a guard on Sullivan and go after the bad guys, they come up with another option: call Colonel Decker and report themselves as threatening the Sullivans, which will bring Decker and his soldiers down to look for them, and in the meantime provide around-the-clock military security for the Sullivans.