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Recap / The A Team S 4 E 3 Where Is The Monster When You Need Him

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While working on Hannibal's latest monster movie, Gatorella, the team flies to Mexico. However, upon arrival, they receive a strangely heavily armed welcome. The reason behind the natives' sudden unfriendliness is revealed to be Ramon DeJarro, an Argentinian war criminal wanted in numerous places, who is hiding out in the area.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: Jenny, the leading lady of Gatorella, mentions her previous acting experience as having been an extra on The Love Boat. The actress who played Jenny was Judy Landers, who actually played quite a few bit parts on that show over the years.
  • The Alleged Car: An aerial variant; the plane Face got for Murdock to fly is quite run-down. Murdock cannot get the wheels to fold in after takeoff and Face mentions something about a previous pilot having refused to fly it because it stalled on him three times.
    Murdock: Pilot's prayer. Oh God, your sky is so big and my plane is so crummy, please don't let me eat it!
  • Answer Cut: Right after Hannibal's description of Face to Jerry, in which he calls Face "an absolutely stupendous liar" it immediately cuts to Face flattering the lead actress for the movie, playing it up like he thinks she's a brilliant actress because she said "Good morning, Mr. Faskin" once on an episode of The Love Boat.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": When the A-Team has to help Hannibal make a monster movie on location, the plot starts to happen, and Face winds up playing the male lead. Normally, he was the slickest con man around, convincingly pretending to be all sorts of different occupations, but when they put him in front of a camera, he's wooden. Face, being Face, immediately makes excuses for it, saying that he's getting the feel for the character, etc.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: In addition to having to deal with the team's normal quirks and activities, Face has to deal with Charles Lake, the extremely demanding male lead.
  • Brandishment Bluff:
    • The A-Team left all their real weapons behind when they went to South America, thinking they were only going for a peaceful film shoot, so when they start getting threatened by guerillas they have no way to fight back. Hannibal comes up with the plan to use the prop weapons and squibs they'd intended to use in the movie to convince the villains that they are a heavily armed force. Once the villains surrender, the team quickly trades out their fake weapons for the villains' real guns.
    • Murdock comes up with another plan along the same lines later on, using a zip gun made from a pen and a blank cartridge, and a squib that Murdock smuggled in his mouth, to create a Staged Shooting. The villains figure out it's a trick pretty quickly, but it buys just enough time for Hannibal to grab a real gun in the confusion and take DeJarro hostage.
  • Dirty Coward: The original male lead for Gatorella, Charles Lake. Even given the situation, being held captive by a foreign war criminal, he's still takes it a bit far.
    Charles: Maybe if we tell him we'll do anything he wants, promise not to tell on him. Maybe then he'd let us go. He seems like a reasonable man, if we beg him maybe. Jenny can go to him, convince him!
  • Drives Like Crazy: Hannibal pulls some extremely wild moves with the car while trying to get away from Colonel Decker.
  • Godwin's Law: Murdock insultingly refers to the Argentinian war criminal Ramon DeJarro as "Jerry the German".
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Face speaks in English with a few Spanish words and phrases thrown in when trying to calm down the locals, who have just arrived with guns and told the party to fly back to the USA.
  • Leave No Witnesses: War criminal Ramon DeJarro intends to disappear and retire to a private island, and wants no one left behind who could have any information that he was ever in the area or where he went. That includes the film crew, the A-Team, and the townspeople that he bullied into helping him. His Punch-Clock Villain henchman balks at the idea, but is forced to go along with it anyway.
    Ramon: Tomorrow morning, at dawn, you will take these men to the ranch where the women are being held. Kill them all. And then go on to the town and kill the men there. Set a fire. Nobody must be left to tell of my existence!
    Dunnigan: There's no reason to kill 30 people. It'll bring the police. It'll cause... it'll cause an international incident!
    Ramon: If they know that I was here, they will find a way to trace me to the island. Somebody will remember the tail number of the helicopter that brought me here, or will remember that I made several calls to Geneva. Or... your description. You were seen on the island. A composite drawing, perhaps, that will be circulated. Bits, pieces, little facts, remembered moments. They must all be eliminated! (Ramon pulls out a gun.) And if that is not reason enough, consider this.
  • Loophole Abuse: After lead actor Charles Lake walks out on the movie, the crew plans to have Face play the lead instead. The only snag is that the studio contract says "Lake, Charles T." has to play the lead in order for them to get their funding. Face's plan? Perform the role, under the name Lake Charles.
    Face: No, no, no. Jerry. Charles Lake just left. Lake Charles is standing here looking at you.
  • The Prima Donna: Charles Lake. He insults his fellow actors, in particular the leading lady who doesn't have a lot of experience. He's an Ungrateful Bastard who also constantly insults director Jerry who, as Face reminds him, got Charles his first job in acting. He insults the movie, saying "after It Came From Nowhere I swore I was through with this slime genre." He insults B.A. He insults the plane (though that one is deserved). And at the end he shows himself to be a Dirty Coward who wants to pimp out the Girl of the Week to a war criminal to save himself. He also Hates Being Nicknamed, and yells at Face that he must never be called Chuck or Charlie or anything other than Charles.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Dunnigan, Ramon's henchman. He doesn't seem to like the idea of actually killing people, trying to run the A-Team and the film crew off instead of just killing them all. In particular balks at the idea of being asked to slaughter an entire town to protect the secret of Ramon's disappearance. He still goes along with it, because it's his job and backing out now means he'll be killed too.
  • Self-Deprecation: When Hannibal is posing as the movie theater owner, he tells Decker that the only reason someone would want to see Gatorella is if they were on the run.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The film poster for Gatorella is a near-exact copy of the posters for Alligator.
    • The leading lady mentions her previous acting experience as being an extra on The Love Boat.
  • Staged Shooting: Murdock comes up with this idea as part of the escape scheme. The team cobbles together a makeshift squib and finds a pen to pop it with. Murdock "panics" under the threat of execution and betrays the others' plans to their captors. The enraged Hannibal shoots him — and in the commotion is able to grab the captor's actual gun.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Hannibal goes into another long string of complex character motivations while explaining how he's planning to play alligator mutation Gatorella.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Hannibal throws in a bit of Yiddish when he's explaining Face's nickname to his agent.
    Hannibal: The way he got [his name] is with that punim of his, it seems that everybody believes whatever he says. It's a gift. I mean, he's an absolutely stupendous liar!