The A-Team: A Nice Place To Visit

episode number: season 1, episode 13 (1983)
viewing setting: home DVD, 6/23/04

episode synopsis: The team heads to a small town for the funeral of a comrade from Vietnam, and runs afoul of a murderous family who controls the place.

impressions: This episode had some high points and low points for me. I liked the Vietnam references (complete with stock footage) and the way the guys made the funeral a genuine military funeral. The angle about them not fighting back because they need to lie low was interesting, as was the point where they drew the line. However...the bad guys in this one were the rare sort that really NEEDED to be killed. I mean executed, with extreme prejudice. In addition to the little stuff (running the van off the road, stealing parts from it, terrorizing the townspeople) these guys were up to some pretty bad stuff here. Though it's quickly revealed that they killed the team's war buddy (as well as the previous town sheriff) the team doesn't take this seriously. Next thing you know, they get run off the road, which wouldn't have happened if they put the clues together and stayed sharp. Then they treat the nasty brothers like misbehaving kids, instead of murderers...and end up getting thrown out of town (and they're lucky the goons didn't just shoot them.) And because of this, Amy comes close to being overpowered and raped...and the team STILL doesn't take the bad guys very seriously. No, this is one of those situations where lethal retaliation was called for - easily the strongest such case in all 13 episodes of season 1. I understand that the writer was trying to give the viewers some nasty bad guys, but in a semi-comedy show like this where no bad guys ever get killed or even shot, a script like this leaves certain viewers feeling cheated.

notable guest star: one of the insane brothers is played by Don Stroud, a notable character actor and heavy from TV and film

what the team builds in this episode: nothing, but B.A. takes a bulldozer and demolishes a gas station

Hannibal wisecrack highlight: as part of standing up to the bad guys, he spits the end of his cigar on the head guy's boot, lights up despite the no smoking sign, then tosses the lit cigar at the gas pump

B.A. toughness highlight: whips some @ss as payback for his van being damaged

Murdock insanity highlight: thanks an old couple as the team steals their car

Face scam highlight: doesn't back down from a fight in a diner

Amy usefulness highlight: stabs a goon's hand with a fork, later defends the house when the bad guys try to break in

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