In which we learn that even when surrounded and low on ammo, a good montage can get you out of almost anything.
Holiday in the Hills opens with Hannibal, Face and Murdock mid-mission sitting in a jeep as the sound of an airplane drones overhead. Rightly suspicious, BA asks what the escape plan is, only to be knocked by an injection from Hannibal and passing out on the horn.
As Murdock comes in to land, the rest of the team are chased by the local Guatemalan army and we get some early jeep flips from the pursuers. They pull up next to the airstrip and, in a move that’s always impressed me, Hannibal carries BA onto the plane.
Although the team escape the army, later in the flight the engines begin to fail. Murdock admits that he scammed the plane for Face – from the repair line. The plane begins to descend with Murdock admitting they’re about to “crash… crash and die”. Face offers to use the only parachute to go for help, but Hannibal informs him they’re now too low for a jump.
Of course, everyone survives the crash in what’s the least likely escape from death we’ve seen so far. With BA awake, the team string him along by pretending that Murdock saved their lives and they’re still in Guatemala. The deception doesn’t last long as they stumble across a man about to be burned against a tree by some very American-sounding hillbillies.
They scare the mob away but find themselves low on ammunition, penned in by hills on all sides and the man close to death. The rednecks are out for revenge and begin hunting the A-Team down. Face heads out to scrounge some parts for an ultralight while Hannibal leads the locals on a wild goose chase.
Meanwhile, Amy is introduced to a new reporter at the paper who was impressed with her work covering Children of Jamestown. He tags along to the airport but when the team don’t show up Amy gets worried. Later, as she goes to visit Murdock at the VA hospital, we find out that the new reporter is working for the military police.
Back in the hills, we get some very noticeable hand acting by not-BA and not-Murdock as they build the ultralight frame. The real Murdock bundles the man onto the craft and gets a sweet moment of caring from BA who wishes him to safety. The aircraft takes off successfully and Murdock’s able to drop his cargo off with a policeman to take to the hospital.
After a second montage of trap building, the mob attacks and their cars are immediately defeated when they drive into giant pits the boys have someone had the time to excavate and get knocked over by swinging branches. With just a few bullets left, Hannibal bluffs the remaining locals into locking themselves in the crashed plane and the team escape.
Back in LA, the military police are lying in wait but Amy’s able to alert the team and they escape by hiding on a bus. Face notes that if they’d landed on time, they’d probably have been captured so it’s for the best they crashed. BA doesn’t look so sure in the freeze frame.
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
Possibly. He fools an MP on the bus at the end but has his back to him so it may not be a disguise.
Does BA get on a plane?
Yes. Knocked out by Hannibal in Guatemala. The plan (piloted by Murdock) then crashes, proving BA right.
Should someone be dead?
Yes. We get car flips at the start and end of the episode but most obviously the team survive a plane crash with no injuries.
Holiday in the Hills is more vintage A-Team from season one. It’s a tight story that puts the team in a new situation where they have to come up with a plan on the fly. Everyone gets a chance to shine at their main skillset (other than Amy who almost takes a fake reporter to meet them). It’s also great to see the team reference their experiences in Vietnam as a reminder how deadly serious they can be.
We also get a rare occasion of Hannibal asserting his rank when he stops BA from losing his temper over the crash. As loose as the unit can be at times, Hannibal remains in charge for the most part and when their lives are at risk it’s him the others look to.
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