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Recap / The A Team S 4 E 5 The Road To Hope

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While trying to smoke out a potential army plant, Hannibal gets kidnapped by a group of mysterious men connected to the Moonlight Mission who are drugging and killing homeless men for their identities. To undercut them, the team starts up their own organization, the "Road to Hope Mission." But as Hannibal, Face, and B.A. probe deeper, things get out of control and soon the mission will be caught in a battle for the lives of its owners.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Hannibal is forced to dig his own grave early on in the episode, he spends the whole time cracking jokes in order to irritate the humorless villain. The villain doesn't find it amusing at all, but his mooks can be clearly seen cracking up over them.
  • Bad Samaritan: The Moonlight Mission, and the man at the restaurant who "recruits" people for them. They pose as a rescue mission for the homeless, but their real purpose is the abduct Disposable Vagrants to help terrorists and criminals hide via Dead Person Impersonation.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Hannibal says that their latest "client", who is paying them $300,000 for the oddly easy job of updating her security, is suspicious enough that she should be selling the Brooklyn bridge, Face says that the Brooklyn bridge goes for $400,000 or $500,000.
  • The Con: Hannibal, discussing how suspicious their latest client is, says she should be selling the Brooklyn bridge. Face responds that the Brooklyn bridge goes for more than she's offering, which he knows thanks to pulling that particular con himself (more than once).
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: The Moonlight Mission is a cover for a group of people who want new identities for their own men that do not carry a high risk of someone who knows the victim outing them as frauds. Their scheme goes down the drain when they kidnap Hannibal.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The scheme of the week; the antagonists kidnap and kill homeless men who are roughly similar in appearance to their own men and have them take over their identities. With the victims having been down-and-outers, not many people are likely to spot the difference. Hannibal calls it a "body laundry." He assumes the villains are selling the IDs, but they're actually a terrorist group using the IDs to allow their own people sto sneak into the country.
  • Die Laughing: Hannibal keeps cracking wise as he's being forced to dig his own grave. A humorless antagonist tells him to keep joking; he's just going to "die laughing."
  • Dig Your Own Grave: Hannibal is captured by baddies and forced to dig his own grave, but he escapes. Later in the episode, the same baddies have him, BA and Face digging.
  • Disposable Vagrant: Until the A-Team got involved, seemingly nobody outside the homeless community took interest in (or even noticed) the fact that people were disappearing.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The team captures the restaurant worker who's been kidnapping vagrants for the villain, and threaten him to reveal Hannibal's location by tying him up in the shower and turning on the hot water, which Face says can get up to 200 degrees. He quickly agrees to talk.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Hannibal is skeptical when Murdock says he can make himself invisible, but he does seem to avoid getting seen by a number of people while in invisible mode, including a waitress and Decker's M.P.s.
  • Mistaken Identity: Combined with Rule of Three; Face and Murdock confuse the disguised Hannibal with a real homeless man called Jim Beam. Decker's plant and Decker himself also think Jim Beam is Hannibal, resulting in him nearly getting taken by the military before the other three save him.
  • Mugging the Monster: The people behind the Moonlight Mission think Hannibal is just a homeless man and kidnap him. Of course, this leads to Hannibal breaking himself out and he and the rest of the team ultimately bringing them down.
  • Title Drop: "The Road to Hope" is the name of the fake rescue mission the A-Team sets up in order to lure out the villains at the Moonlight Mission.
  • Too Good to be True:
    • Hannibal suspects from the start that something is up with their latest client, because she's offering them $300,000 to come to her cushy house and her fancy yacht and update her security. Face doesn't want to believe him, but it turns out Hannibal was right.
    • Used again when the team is scamming a building to use for their "Road to Hope Mission". They pretend that they're historians looking to renovate one of the works of a long dead master architect, and that the owners will see a huge financial windfall with no expense of their own. The woman showing them the building outright says "this is too good to be true!" Face responds with a simple "I know."
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Murdock organizes the homeless men who have been gathering at the mission together into an army when Hannibal, B.A., and Face are captured by the antagonists of the week. (It helps that at least some of said men used to be in the army.)