Not only was it a two-part episode for The A-Team this week, it’s also one for Thomas (Tom Selleck) and the gang! All For One Parts 1 & 2 was written by Ruben Leder. Part 1 aired on 31 January, 1985, with part two following on 5 February, 1985.
Magnum, Rick (Larry Manetti), and T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) are all helping Higgins (John Hillerman) reenact a battle, though the trio are less than happy to be on the losing side, and attempt to change the outcome.
Things are interrupted by the arrival of Tyler Peabody McKinney (the always appreciated, and too under-sued Robert Forster). He was in ‘Nam the same time as Thomas and the rest and caused some problems on a couple of missions. Now he’s come to them, asking for their help, but maybe, just maybe, not being completely honest with them.
He tells a story of sneaking into Cambodia with a comrade, to perform a mission, to get a doctor (Clyde Kusatsu) out, something he’s keeping quiet from the boys, and that his partner was captured. He wants Thomas and the gang to help him rescue the man, as well as another American being held in country.
The three of them, soon joined by Higgins, debate whether or not to help, and whether or not they can do it, gearing up, confronting that part of themselves again, and realize that they may not come back…
Tyler gives them a time and location, if they’re there, they can come with him, if they don’t show, no harm no foul.
When dawn rolls around, the four friends are there, and we are plunged into a drama that sees the episode painted with shades of Uncommon Valor, and Missing In Action. They arrive in Cambodia, and it’s like nothing has changed since they left, and all of them begin to wonder if they were destined to die there after all.
This idea comes to the fore as the first episode sees Rick being shot, and Tyler, Higgins and Magnum all captured by Major Tu (Seth Sakai), who was responsible for the execution of Tyler’s comrade, and it looks like the trio may not be far off.
Meanwhile T.C. is trying to sort out a downed helicopter that has been in the jungle for a decade, and seeing if he can make it flight worthy with the help of a local lad, Joe (Dustin Nguyen), who sees the chance for freedom if he can help T.C. get the chopper running.
The episode races to a climax that tests all of them, and leaves them all scarred in ways that will undoubtedly resonate for their characters, even in episodic television.
I do like that it’s not all happy endings in this episode, and while our foursome come out of it, not everything else goes as smoothly as it could…
Such a great series!
Aloha until next week!