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Recap / The A Team S 4 E 9 Mind Games

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The Pentagon makes a startling announcement—they're pardoning Face, on testimony that says he wasn't actually part of the robbery. Although Face is delighted, Hannibal is suspicious that the pardon may not have been offered in good faith, and he is soon proven correct when Face is kidnapped amid suspect circumstances. Now it's up to the other three to rescue their kidnapped teammate and slam the door on an infamous character from the past.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Face's ego quickly gets inflated with all the positive attention he's getting from the press and the public at large, to the point where he downplays most of what his teammates accomplished during the war and ignores Hannibal's warnings that something isn't right.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: To make a call to get some information, Murdock asks what could go wrong by letting the "Hunk Man" have a go at it. B.A. flat out tells him he'll mess it up, that's why.
  • Brick Joke: When listening to a radio story that highly exaggerates Face's heroism in the A-Team's war days, Hannibal wonders who will get hired as him in the movie version of the book Face is writing. B.A. jokes that Hannibal might not get mentioned at all the way it's going. Later, when the other three are talking to Face, Hannibal asks him who's going to play him in the movie version. B.A., looking at the movie script, says Hannibal isn't in it.
  • The Casanova: Murdock manages to properly refine the "Hunk Man" personality by the last scene, to the point of scoring a date with E.G. right out from under Face. The real Face is pissed.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Murdock as the "Hunk Man", oh so very much. When Face is released on a government pardon Murdock tries to replace him. It doesn't go well.
    Murdock: You sound like a... groovy chick. I'm a six foot, square-jawed bundle of fun. I've got a 'Vette, it's hot, I like to talk about... whales! I like sushi, and sharing. Perhaps I could squeeze you into my date-filled calendar book, say Friday? ... ...huh, must've got cut off.
  • Cassandra Truth: Hannibal suspects that something isn't right from the start, and as he investigates further, he becomes surer of it. Face, however, is too elated to listen.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Murdock, as the Casanova Wannabe "Hunk Man" offers to charm the information they want from the enemy. Hannibal suggests that this would be equally as torturous as simply letting B.A. beat the crap out of the guy.
  • Distressed Dude: Face gets kidnapped by General Chow in revenge for something he supposedly did to Chow's daughter (Hannibal and Face both deny it), and spends part of the episode tied to a chair. He just barely escapes with his life thanks to his teammates.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • E.G. expresses disappointment over how they're using Face to try to get General Chow, especially once his life is in danger. She agrees to help the team save him.
    • B.A. is openly annoyed by the "Hunk Man" antics, saying he's insulting women.
    • Face denies having ever been with General Chow's daughter, saying she was a friend of his. He stresses that he never took advantage of anyone.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Red Baron says the name of his daughter, Face immediately remembers her. He recalls the old man's murderous reputation and then realizes how much trouble he's in.
  • Gone Horribly Right: A humorous example; Face, irritated at Murdock refusing to give back his role on the team, starts doing a "Howling Mad Murdock" impression. Unfortunately, that's when the V.A. staff arrive, and with Face acting cuckoo and wearing Murdock's clothes, they can't tell that he isn't Murdock and drag him out the door.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Subverted for laughs. Face and B.A. usually have a Good Cop, Bad Cop dynamic when dealing with antagonists, and with Face having been kidnapped, Murdock takes over the "Good Cop" position. However, because his "charming" skills are horrible, Hannibal tells the guy they're interrogating that it's going to be unpleasant no matter which one is trying to get the information out of him.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: In order to intimidate Vaugn into telling them what he knows about Face's situation, Hannibal has B.A. hang him over a balcony until he agrees to talk.
  • Hug and Comment: Murdock makes a quip when he hugs Face as he's about to leave the team.
  • I Have Many Names: While the whole team had a ton of aliases, Face takes the cake for most names, even without counting aliases.
    E.G. Fowler: Actually, your name was originally Alvin Brenner. You had it legally changed to Al Brennan, then to Al Peck. ...then to Holmes Morrison, then Morrison Holmes, and then to Templeton Peck.
  • Mistaken Identity: At the end, Face begins to mimic Murdock — and apparently does it quite well, because the V.A. staff don't recognize that he isn't Murdock and drag him off.
  • Mr. Smith: Mentioned with regards to a CIA agent's obvious alias.
    Hannibal: Nobody's named "John Jones."
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry:
    • After being punched out during the kidnapping, Face gets carried to the helicopter over the shoulder of one of General Chow's men.
    • Later, Murdock, after punching out General Chow, carries him to the A-Team's van over his shoulder.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Hannibal becomes more serious and aggressive than usual after Face is kidnapped. He even explicitly tells Vaugn while interrogating him that one of his grievances is that Vaugn was involved in the abduction of one of his team.
    • General Chow is a villainous example, as he thinks that Face defiled his daughter and intends to settle up as a matter of honor.
  • Red Baron: General Chow was also known as "The Red Death" and "The Red Butcher".
  • Shout-Out: Murdock insists he can do some voices for the phone, such as Sylvester and Bullwinkle.
  • Take Care of the Kids: An odd variation; as B.A. is hugging Face goodbye, Face asks him to look after Hannibal and Murdock after he's gone. The people he's asking B.A. to take care of are grown men and ex-soldiers.
  • A Taste Of His Own Medicine: Face gets sick of Murdock that he tries imitating him in kind, despite Murdock's insistence that he's too complicated and layered for such a thing to work. Hannibal and B.A. are certainly amused by Face's impression, but it backfires when some V.A. workers show up looking for Murdock and grab the wrong guy. As the episode ends, Murdock can be heard quipping that Face actually was convincing as him after all.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: As part of Vaugn's scheme, Face is made to think he's gotten a presidential pardon and can finally resume a normal life. He's crushed to learn the truth.