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Recap / The A Team S 3 E 25 Incident At Crystal Lake

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After nearly getting nabbed by Decker thanks to Face getting distracted by a pretty girl, the team decides to hole up in a cabin in the woods while waiting for the heat to cool off. Unfortunately, their country vacation quickly goes awry as Face gives away their presence to a female park ranger, who calls in the military. But the team and the ranger will have to join together to take out a group of aggressive criminals.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Bookends: The episode begins with Face falling for Decker's bait of a pretty girl whose car broke down by the roadside. The end has him almost falling for it and being pulled back into the van by one of the other members.
  • Busman's Holiday: After Colonel Decker has been getting a bit too close, the team goes to the titular Crystal Lake national park for a relaxing vacation, but instead runs into a crew of crooks fresh off an armored car robbery. At the end the team agrees that busting bad guys is more fun than any vacation could ever be anyway.
  • Epic Fail: Murdock comes up with a plan to go fishing alongside a crash test dummy which he names Basscatcher Bob, based on the idea that whenever two people go fishing together, only one of them catches anything, so fishing alongside someone who literally can't catch anything will shift the odds in your favor. When Face tries it later, he turns out to be so hilariously bad at fishing that Basscatcher Bob hooks a fish.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Face comes across a woman stranded on the side of the road whose car battery supposedly died hours ago... except she's blasting her car radio when he shows up. Face completely fails to pick up on this and nearly falls into Colonel Decker's trap as a result. Even better, the song she's listening to on the radio is Blondie's "One Way Or Another." ("One way or another, I'm gonna find ya! I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha!")
  • The Gadfly: Hannibal tricks the bad guys into leaving the van (which they grabbed as a getaway vehicle) and running away by claiming that he put explosives on it. When they're gone, he still looks like he'll blow it up for a moment, causing B.A. to yell loudly in protest about destroying "his van". Hannibal grins — and reveals that the explosives were road flares and the explosive remote was a TV remote.
  • Gender-Blender Name: One of the (all male) team of armored car robbers is named Candy.
  • Leave No Witnesses: In the beginning of the episode, the armored car robbers note that the staff of the car "saw us" and are just barely kept from shooting them point blank by the arrival of a police car. Later, they intend to kill the A-Team after stealing their van (although they think they're just a bunch of campers).
  • Left the Background Music On: The music that plays over the opening sequence ends up being played by a woman's car radio, which Face turns off.
  • Mugging the Monster: Invoked. Jenny, a park ranger who knows that the A-Team are national criminals, tells the villains about their van when they want a getaway vehicle, hoping that they would be able to handle them. Given that she said the van's owners were a group up here for a relaxing weekend (leaving out the information that they weren't just civilians), the villains had no idea what they were getting into.
  • Near-Villain Victory: During his second attempt at capturing the A-Team for the episode, Decker handcuffs Face, Hannibal, and B.A. (the only people he knew were there) and warns his men so thoroughly that they aim their guns at Hannibal when he tries to take a cigar out of his pocket. The team would have been caught if it weren't for Murdock hiding under the baggage on the roof.
  • Psycho Party Member: Candy, one of the armored car robbers, has a particularly itchy trigger finger. He tries to shoot the armored car guards in order to Leave No Witnesses and is only stopped by the arrival of a police car. When Colonel Decker arrives at the campground to arrest the team and the robbers steal his helicopter, Candy wants to shoot Decker and Crane, and is stopped when his boss reminds him that the sound will carry to the rest of the soldiers. He also threatens to shoot Jenny Sherman in order to get the rangers to tell them where they can find a vehicle, and when she promises to get him one he initially tells her "too late" and tries to shoot her anyway, which prompts even his boss to ask him what the Hell his problem is. When he finally is allowed to shoot Hannibal and Roy Sherman (who, unknown to him, are wearing bulletproof vests, and so survive) he does so with gusto, and shows up afterward with a huge smile on his face.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: During the final fight, one of the villains hits B.A., who doesn't even flinch. Then B.A. takes him out.
  • Shout-Out: During one of the fights, Murdock briefly does the crane pose from The Karate Kid (1984).
  • Silent Antagonist: One of the armored car robbers is a mute.
  • Stupid Crooks: The armored car robbers knew exactly where the armored car with the union payroll was going to be, but somehow failed to realize that there was no payroll because the union went on strike, despite the armored car drivers stating it was "all over the news."
  • Tap on the Head: The team needs to get into a helicopter to catch the villains of the week. B.A., as usual, refuses to go. Hannibal therefore walks up behind him with a canoe paddle and whacks him over the head.