The A-Team: Quarterback Sneak

episode number: season 5, episode 4 (1986)
viewing setting: home DVD, 11/13/13

episode synopsis: The team's first mission for Stockwell involves going to East Germany to bring back a defecting scientist and his wife.

impressions: Sounds great, right? Well, it wasn't, because that basic plot was just an excuse to put together a ludicrous plan wrapped around an exhibition football game, which itself was just an excuse to get a bunch of ex-NFL players into the episode. In my opinion, it was lame. This is like the Superfriend episode where the Legion of Doom expends ten times the effort to get the Superfriends out of the way than it would have taken to achieve their goal in the first place. This was not the serious start to the new season that I hoped for, not in 1986 and not now, almost three decades later. Frankie hasn't yet found a niche; last episode, he just copied Murdock's crazy routine, and this time, he just tries to be a ladies' man like Face, and also coach some football. One funny thing: Murdock gets to say the line "I am Number Six!" which is a reference to The Prisoner TV show from the 1960s. Another funny thing: Face and Frankie pick up some women and bring them home, but they turn out to be agents working for Stockwell.

notable guest stars: Numerous football players, including Jim Brown, Joe Namath, and John Matsuzak; there's also a brief uncredited appearance by hulking movie tough guy Sven-Ole Thorsen as a German guard (he was the hammer-wielding evildoer in the original Conan movie.)

what the team builds in this episode: Nothing.

Hannibal wisecrack highlight: Goads the German bad guy into accepting the challenge.

B.A. toughness highlight: Plays some football.

Murdock insanity highlight: Thinks he's a clothing inspector (near the end, he even offers General Stockwell a free sample.)

Face scam highlight: Procures football uniforms for the team.

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