In which we deal with a dog and a bounty hunter.
The episode begins with two men arriving at the VA hospital looking for HM Murdock. Shown to his room without any checks as we’ve come to expect, they pull out guns and kidnap him.
Face heads over to investigate disguised in a white coat, flirting information out of a nurse who was on duty at the time. As he goes to leave, the lift door opens and he finds Colonel Decker staring back at home. Face makes a run for it, mixing in with the doctors then hiding in a laundry trolling and knocking out an MP.
Over on a film set, Hannibal, BA and Face realise the only number Murdock knows to contact is the van’s mobile phone so they head off – leaving the movie without its monster!
Murdock is busy annoying the kidnappers, who take him to their father. He knows all about the Captain and the A-Team, and wants to collect the bounty on the lot by holding Murdock hostage.
The make Murdock call the van and give Hannibal directions to a public phone in a bar – but he has to get their quick or it’s curtains for the Captain. Arriving at the location, we see Hannibal more worried than usual, looking ruffled and for once out of control. He answers the phone and gets directions to the next location. One of the sons watches him leave, then call the father to report in.
It’s the bounty hunter’s first mistake, as BA has tapped the phone line and gets their number. To track down the address, they’ll need to go to the local phone operator and find a way to access the computer. Without Murdock available, BA will have to be part of Face’s scam this time. Face and Hannibal share a funny meta moment where they worry about BA’s acting skills.
In the office, Face pretends he’s been sent in to do construction work and BA takes the operator away to get a hard hat (he’s still got his now traditional gold one). Left alone, face types the phone number into a mega 1980s computer and finds the bounty hunter’s address.
Over at the house, the men tool up and prepare to ambush the A-Team, leaving Murdock tied to a chair. Realising the danger, Murdock smashes the chair and breaks free – leaping through a glass window to get the attention of the men and causing them to turn back around. Murdock escapes into the woods as the bounty hunters shoot at him and give chase.
Back at the empty house, the team sneak inside from the back and find the broken chair. As they realise what’s happened, Decker arrives with a convey of MPs in tow. The team jump into the and BA floors it while the others shoot up the military cars leaving them stranded. Decker lets off a few shots, one hitting the van’s aerial and knocking out the phone line.
Meanwhile, a vet (of the animal doctor rather than ex-army variety) is filling up at a gas station, giving Murdock chance to sneak into the back of her van after trying to call the team and finding the phone line dead. Suspecting he might be inside, the bounty hunters drive alongside the van and force it off the road. Opening the back door, they’re barked at by the vet’s dog Homer which convinces them there’s no-one inside.
The vet drives off but soon pulls over, grabbing a gun from the glove compartment. Opening the backdoor she finds an apologetic Murdock playing with Homer. The Captain soon spots the gun is a fake and asks the vet for help, charming her with his offbeat manner and mission to find his friends. He asks to hide out at her office and listen to the AM radio station – where Hannibal will send him a message now the phone’s out.
Colonel Decker is bust setting up roadblocks across the area and warning yet another Sheriff not to underestimate the A-Team. As they drive through, the bounty hunters hear a tip that a man was seen climbing in the back of a van. Realising their mistake, one of the sons remembers the sign on the van and they head towards the vet’s office.
At the local radio station, Face drugs the DJ and takes over his slot – sending coded messages out to Murdock with a number to call. To buy some time, Hannibal and BA get Decker’s attention by blowing up one of his cars and lead him on a chase away from the station. As usual, there’s a half-built bridge on the road which BA manages to jump over and leave Decker stranded on the other side.
Murdock catches Face’s message and calls the station. BA grabs the phone the second it rings, showing true affection for his best friend once again. Decker hears Face on the radio too and speeds to the station – only to find them long gone and a recording playing.
Murdock gets a kiss from the vet, who’s growing pretty find of him, and regroups with the rest of the team. Once they’re a safe distance away from the bounty hunters and Decker, BA parks up and Murdock calls his new flame to tell her he’s safe.
Sadly, the same can’t be said for her – the bounty hunters have caught up with her and want to exchange her for the team. Murdock’s furious and threatens violence in a truly disconcerting way, before handing the phone to Hannibal. The team have one hour to turn up unarmed and surrender before the vet gets hurt.
Thankfully, an hour’s a long time for the A-Teams so they get to work at a nearby garage and we get a montage of guns and car parts.
Mechanical fun over, the team drive to the vet’s office and get out of the van with their hands up. The bounty hunters are true to their word and release the vet, feeling very pleased with themselves. It’s misplaced pleasure though. With the girl safe, Hannibal presses a button on a remote control to reveal guns hidden behind the van’s grille that start firing at the bounty hunting family.
With chaos going on, a fight breaks out which the team win in record time, with Hannibal taking out the main bounty hunter and Murdock chasing down his sons. Victorious, Murdock gets another kiss as Decker’s sirens start closing in on the scene.
Sometime later, Murdock gets a visit from the vet at the hospital. She tells him off for not calling and telling her where he was. No matter though, she’s happy to see him and the two tuck into a pizza she’s brought for a date.
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
No – with Murdock kidnapped, there’s no time for acting.
Does BA get on a plane?
Should someone be dead?
Yes. There are a few big explosions, but this episode is more about threats and deals until the very end. The remote control guns in the van spray bullets everywhere and would have caught at least one of the bounty hunters stood right in front of them.
Bounty (S03, E22) is one of the best episodes of The A-Team, among many contenders as the best of season three. Starting with Murdock being captured, it sets the scene for a new type of story. I always enjoy the ones where one of the team is in trouble.
We’ve seen BA desperate to save Murdock before, but it also seems like this one rattles Hannibal too. He’s almost flapping at the bar when he’s under pressure to reach the phone on time. On top of that, we get the remote control machine guns in the van – possibly the best invention in any episode and a lot more deadly than the cabbage cannon.