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Recap / The A Team S 3 E 23 Beverly Hills Assault

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Penny, the girlfriend of a fellow painter, "Speed", hires the A-Team after he's beaten into the hospital following a mysterious assignment. To find out what's going on, the team passes off Murdock as a talented but obscure artist and discover that the whole things was part of an art forgery ring that switches out real paintings for fakes.


This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: The episode doesn't draw a lot of attention to it, but the villain of the week is named Steffan Shawn.
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  • Angry Guard Dog: Face gets cornered by two German Shepherds after sneaking in to find the stolen "Renoir" painting.
  • Artistic License – History: According to the episode, the painting "Young Girl Arranging Her Earrings" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir was long lost and thought destroyed after World War II. It wasn't. Its most recent public display at the time of the broadcast was at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1955. Most recently to today, it was displayed at the Seoul Museum of Art in South Korea, in 2009.
  • Blatant Lies: Mr. Shawn, being introduced to his "new painter."
    Steffan Shawn: Murdock, yes, I believe I've heard of his work!
    Face: Really?
  • Dead Artists Are Better: Murdock notes when B.A. criticizes one of his pictures that many great artists were not well-considered until after their deaths and insinuates that it will be the same with him. Face tells Murdock to be careful as B.A. might plan to speed up the dying part.
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  • Disproportionate Retribution: Apparently the last time B.A. visited Beverly Hills, he ended up getting angry and throwing a waiter into a dessert tray, after the restaurant tried to charge him $12 (roughly $30 in today's money) when all B.A. had was a single bowl of potato soup.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: Averted. One of the friends of the Victim of the Week works as a mime; he's a good person and nobody seems to dislike him in spite of his profession.
  • Exact Words: Mr. Shawn ordered his henchmen to put pressure on Speed to paint more paintings, but they end up putting him into a coma. The lackeys point out that they followed his order not to harm Speed's hands. Mr. Shawn is unimpressed, pointing out that even if his hands are fine, he still can't paint if he's in a coma.
    Mr. Shawn: You both deserve a bullet in your empty heads. I tell you to put a little pressure on the kid, you wind up putting him in a coma. You realize what that's gonna do? It's gonna put this whole operation in jeopardy!
    Tepper: Check his hands, Mr. Shawn. You'll see I never went near them.
    Mr. Shawn: So what do you want, a raise? What good do his hands do me now?
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  • First-Name Basis: Face meets one of Mr. Shawn's employees and by the next scene, he's calling her by her first name and she's calling him by the first name of his alias.
  • Forced into Their Sunday Best: Hannibal comes up with a scheme of passing off B.A. as a rich sports star to bring down the art forging operation they've discovered. However, this involves getting B.A. a suit, which he isn't happy about.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Murdock remarks that in 100 years he wants his name to be remembered alongside the greatest painters of the world: Rembrandt van Rijn, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Willie Mays.
    Murdock: Do you deny that Willie Mays was a great artist in center field?
  • Mistaken for Junkie: A verbal example; when Penny tells the team her boyfriend's nickname, Face asks if he's into drugs. She quickly explains that they gave him the nickname "Speed" because of his rapidity as a painter.
  • Moving the Goalposts: In the opening scene, Mr. Shawn's men are trying to intimidate Speed into working on another painting after he'd already done the two he was ordered to paint. Speed refuses, saying that if he gives in to this one, Mr. Shawn will keep forcing him to do just one more forever.
  • Overt Operative: The entire team goes by their names while on the mission, despite the fact that they're on the run.
  • Product Placement: The episode shows a lot of establishing shots of Beverly Hill, many of which are well known name brand outlets like Gucci and Ralph Lauren. There's also a close-up of a Cadillac logo.
  • Rich Bitch: Early in the episode, Murdock poses as a bathroom attendant at a fancy restaurant in order to copy a key to break into the villain's art gallery. All of the rich guests of the restaurant seem to be this. Murdock complains that none of them have deigned to speak with him, and the only one we see give him a tip gave him a whopping... 25 cents. Another man, when asked for a tip, just slaps his hand instead.
  • Staircase Tumble: The team punches one of Shawn's security guards and tumbles him down the stairs during a fight. They then hop over him to get to the exit.
  • Terrible Artist: Murdock is shown to be actually terrible while undercover as a painter. The best he can do for himself is stick figure sketches.
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