In which BA’s radio is stolen and a vigilante team turn to the Sheriff for help.
As seems to be the new tradition, we’re treated to some poorly dubbed shots of the A-Team van driving around to open this final episode of the first season. The team and Amy are on their way to attend the funeral of an old Vietnam buddy, Ray. They pick up a tail from the local cops, but some handy driving from BA causes the police to flip upside down (with no casualties).
On arriving at the small town and asking where the cemetery is, the team learn that a local family called the Watkins is stopping anyone showing up at the funeral. While Hannibal and BA get gas for the van, Face, Murdock and Amy are harassed by two of the family in a diner. The brothers are frightened away but the team are shocked to hear the diner owner tell them to get out and that he won’t be at the funeral despite being a friend of Ray.
The team conduct the funeral in uniform and give Ray his military honours, with only Amy and the widow Trish with them. Each member narrates their memories of serving with Ray over some grainy Vietnam stock footage. They agree to stand up to the Watkins as Ray would have.
On the drive back, two of the brothers ram the van off the road with their pickup truck, resulting in some brilliant stunt driving and a van flip. Amy comes to the rescue with Trish and drives the team back to town, where she makes them agree to stay out of trouble while she fetches the Sheriff. The boys promise but are all crossing their fingers!
They confront the Watkins family at their auto shop until two more arrive with the van in tow – missing two wheels and the radio. As the Sheriff arrives, he orders the team to cool off while the Watkins repair the van.
Waiting back at Trish’s house, the team learn that Deke Watkins grabbed Trish one day and Ray warned the family off. The next day he was found dead after a hit and run. Though Trish tells them to leave, the team acknowledge Ray stood by them during their trial and they owe him – and now Trish – that loyalty in return.
Face and Murdock head back to the diner and pick a fight with two of the brothers, throwing them outside and bunding them into the pickup truck with the rest of the town cheering them on. The victory is short-lived as the rest of the family have stolen the team’s guns from the van and turn the tables. They drive them out of town and dump them at the roadside, gloating they’re going to pay Amy a visit.
Amy and Trish manage to barricade themselves in the house and find a few bullets for a rifle that was displayed on the wall to hold the Watkins off. It’s long enough for the team to commandeer a car and drive over to help, chasing the brothers off.
Hannibal’s on the warpath and Trish (rather late in the day) points him to a stash of Ray’s guns and grenades in a closet. The team face off against the Watkins and BA drives through their shop in a tractor to start a battle. Both sides shoot at each other and Murdock flips another car by throwing a grenade at it. Of course, the A-Team gets the upper hand and capture the whole family.
They’re marched into town and presented to the Sheriff, along with some dried blood from the pickup truck’s bumper that should see the Watkins arrested for murder. For some reason, Hannibal also spray-painted their faces orange but this is barely mentioned.
Neither is the surprise revelation that Trish is pregnant, something that would have raised the stakes earlier but is dripped in at the end without much fanfare. Rather than the usual comedy freeze-frame, the season ends with the camera slowing zooming in on Ray’s gravestone.
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
No, we start on the way to the funeral and the action kicks in straight away.
Does BA get on a plane?
No, the episode all takes place within a small town.
Should someone be dead?
Yes. All three of the vehicle flips should be fatal to at least one passenger, especially the A-Team van flipping over twice and into a ditch. There are also a lot of bullets flying around at the end and a live grenade explodes.
A Nice Place to Visit is the perfect send off to the first season of The A-Team. It manages to find a new situation to put the team into, ties into their backstory and proves that they’re motivated by morality and loyalty. By using Ray, the writers also establish that not everyone condemned the team at their trial (which makes sense if they were honourable in the war, they should have those who don’t believe the charges against them).
As with all the best episode, everyone gets a chance to shine in this one. While there’s no great plan for Hannibal to concoct, he leads his unit into battle effectively and refuses to leave Trish until she’s safe. The rest of the team support him and drive the fight onwards, with Face and Murdock leading the fighting for once, showing the serious nature of this mission. There’s very little fooling around for Murdock who seems to be back in service for the duration. BA gets angry about his van but takes orders well as he trusts the Colonel to run the mission and honour Ray’s memory.
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