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Recap / The A Team S 4 E 4 Lease With An Option To Die

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A group of men harass the inhabitants of a Chicago apartment building. Unfortunately for them, one of the tenants is B.A. Baracus' mother. The furious B.A. insists that the team go to Chicago.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Almighty Mom: B.A.'s mom is a very formidable, feisty woman. She tries to stand up to the men harassing her and her neighbors before they break her arm by throwing her down the steps and she is able to keep B.A. in line.
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  • Brake Angrily: B.A. is driving when he gets a call from his mother. He slams on the brakes after talking to her and finding out she was attacked and injured by thugs.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Murdock carries a camera around for much of the episode. The footage he got comes in handy to show Mr. Chadwell's potential customers what exactly he did to get the buildings he bought out to get building space.
  • Disguised in Drag: Hannibal disguises himself as Murdock's mother as part of the plan to deal with the gang bothering the tenants. He resumes it to talk to Plout, The Dragon...and while shooting up his office.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: B.A.'s mom still calls him "Scooter" because of his fondness for scooting a toy truck across the carpet when he was little. Murdock keeps bringing it up throughout the episode.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: A downplayed version; B.A. may be rough around the edges, but he is very respectful and affectionate towards his mother.
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  • Glad You Thought of It: B.A.'s mother thinks he's the head of the A-Team, so the others play along. When the subject of a plan comes up, Hannibal thinks of one while saying that B.A. had told them about it on the way. B.A. goes along with it.
  • Irish Priest: Faceman is disguised as Father Sean O'Herlihy when he comes in to make amends for having hit Plout's car (and to give him a bugged book).
  • Like a Son to Me: Mrs. Baracus loves Murdock and announces she wants to adopt him, much to Murdock's utter delight and B.A.'s (apparent) horror.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Twice Plout's men try to destroy the building and kill the tenants in a way that looks accidental; the first time they overload the electrical circuits with too many plugs, setting the building alight and the second time, they set a bomb to blow up the boiler.
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  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The team is originally called in to deal with some rowdy neighbors who assaulted B.A.'s mother, but in the process they turn up a crooked land deal and take down one of the richest people in Chicago.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When B.A. gets the call from his mother about the incident, he is furious and adamant about getting to Chicago as fast as possible, even though he knows that means flying.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: After the thugs beat up Mrs. Baracus, they smash the radio she was listening to and tell her "game called on account of darkness", almost certainly a jab at her color.
  • Real Estate Scam: The reason behind the harassment is that Mr. Chadwell wants to build a new hotel and has been harassing the tenants of every apartment building located where he wants to build so he can buy up the land.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When mocking Mrs. Baracus' threat to tell her son, one of them asks if her son is King Kong.
    • Later on, Murdock makes a joking reference to how the villain is about to go down courtesy of The Untouchables, led by "Elliot 'Scooter' Baracus."
  • Tempting Fate: B.A.'s mother tells the guys bothering her and the other tenants that she'll call her son, for which they mock her. Of course, given who her son is, they should have been far more worried.
  • Time Bomb: The villains place a classic time bomb - dynamite with a ticking timer - in the building. Strangely enough, the ticking timer is a digital clock.
  • True Companions: While the others are out doing things related to the plan, Hannibal and Mrs. Baracus have a talk about B.A. being forced to be on the run with the rest of them. Mrs. Baracus says she's no longer as worried about B.A. being without his family because she knows the team is his family.
  • Villainous Gentrification: The villains want to buy out the block in order to put up a new high-rise hotel. In order to keep down the costs of doing so, they're buying up buildings under fake names, stealing the identities of old people living in a retirement home owned by the villain. They then hire thugs to bully the existing tenants into leaving, since they can't legally evict the people due to not having their own names on the deeds. This tactic totally worked for getting the entire block for the villain, right up until he tried to take B.A.'s mother's apartment and she called in the team to help.
  • Wire Dilemma: Near the end, Plout's men attach a bomb to the apartment building's boiler. The team arrives before it goes off, but B.A. can't check for sure which wire is the right one to cut, so he has to pick one and hope it's the right one.
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