The A-Team (1983) – Steel and The White Ballot

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The A-Team gets into all manner of trouble in this week’s double episode…

First up is Steel, written by Frank Lupo, with an original airdate of 29 November, 1983, our boys find themselves hired by Randy Stern (Mary-Margaret Humes), when her uncle, Mickey (Norman Alden) encounters problems in his construction job.

The team agrees to help take on the Stern’s ruthless competitor, Carl Denham (Ray Girardin), who has bombed the Stern’s work trailer, destroyed their payroll, and have tried to intimidate or steal away their work crew.

The boys are less than pleased with that, and dig in, only to find out that the real mastermind behind every thing is gangster Tommy-T (Michael Baseleon), who has a very important reason for not wanting their work to proceed… Have they bitten off more than can chew this time?

There is some great stuff at the episode’s open, when the Sterns are first meeting the Team. They take the Universal Studios tour, and chat with Hannibal (George Peppard) back in his Aqua-Maniac costume, and Face (Dirk Benedict) pauses for a double-take when a Cylon walks by him.

Also, Murdock (Dwight Schultz) claims to be suffering from rabies, possibly passed onto him by his invisible dog Billy, but it just causes him to act like a regular dog, and beg for attention and treats. B.A. (Mr. T) is less than impressed of course.

There’s a nice moment in the episode where Face jokes that things are almost predictable, in reference to what they do, and are doing, week to week.

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In The White Ballot, Face runs for sheriff. Yup. Written by Jeff Ray, with an airdate of 6 December, 1983, the team, ends up in a small town, trying to oust a corrupt sheriff, Dawson (Clifton James, man was this guy typecast).

Posing as a returning prodigal son of the small town, Face arrives with Amy (Melinda Culea) as his wife, and promptly claims to be running for sheriff while the rest of the team helps out with the election.

It seems there is reason to believe that not only is Dawson corrupt, and running booze, he may have murdered a reporter to keep everything secret. Or had his right hand man, played by Andrew Robinson do it.

Unfortunately, with the media coverage, and Dawson not being quite so dumb as they hoped, Decker (Lance LeGault) learns of the team’s location, and is on the way to capture them, hopefully, once and for all.

Can they put a stop to Dawson, and his corrupt team (actually there’s nice shoot-out between the boys and the local police, which has all four of them standing dramatically around a car firing, and yet, no one ever gets hit. – I mean I get it, they really are the good guys, and they certainly don’t want to add murder to their list of supposed crimes, but seriously, not one injury? Are they using rubber bullets?).

It’s sad to see how repetitive things have gotten for the series, and so quickly too, I’m hoping that there are still some winners coming down the pipe though, or the next three seasons are going to be a real tough slog…

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