In which Face learns that fashion can be murder.
We open at an extremely 80’s photoshoot, where Face is watching his girlfriend Rina try on a range of delightful fashions. The two seem to be getting serious as they put off talking about Face needing to leave soon and he gives her a beautiful necklace.
Out of nowhere, two heavies show up and tell Face to beat it. He punches one of them, but they get the drop on him and drag Rina to a waiting limo, where an older man pulls her inside. Face gives chase through the city in his Corvette, but one henchman leans out of the limo’s window and manages to shoot the tyres out.
Face meets up with Hannibal and Murdock, who’s driving the van with BA away somewhere for the whole episode to explain and ask for their help. He recognised the old man as mobster Johnny Turian and wants to save Rina – in an unusually emotional plea.
The team accept the mission and use the limo’s license plate to track down the registered address – the warehouse of a fashion business. Murdock drives the van through the warehouse door and the team hold up Turian and his men, grabbing Rina back and bundling her into the van before they escape. Turian isn’t happy and orders his men to find the girl.
The men don’t need to try too hard though, as Rina demands the A-Team let her go. Confused, they follow her home where she calls Turian and gets picked up. Turian’s goons deliver her to his yacht, where Face feels cheated that Rina hid her mobster connections from him. Hannibal and Murdock point out that he was lying to her too, even mentioning the famous Hanoi bank mission for the first time in many episodes and the death of their Commanding Officer.
The A-Team doesn’t give up that easily though. Turian is holding a party on his yacht, so Face dresses up as a valet and swipes an invitation, before changing into eveningwear and slipping aboard.
The party is full of fashion designers, including the famously secretive Jason Burnette who Rina is going to be modelling for. We learn that Turian is working for a bigger boss, fashion tycoon Mr Dubio, and the two are using Rina for something.
Below decks, Face catches up with Rina and asks her what’s going on. She hugs him, telling him how scared she is and that she only ran away from the team to protect him. She won’t tell Face why she can’t leave Turian but explains that she used to be married to his brother until he went to jail for murder. She changed her named and moved away by Johnny found her and is using her to steal designs from Burnette.
As Turian and his bodyguards approach, Face slips into another cabin, which turns out to be the mobsters. He begins going through Turian’s belongings and I’m not sure if he’s looking for evidence or the necklace he gave Rina, as Face pockets a lot of jewellery. He’s caught sneaking out with the gold in his pockets and looks set to be captured until Hannibal arrives dressed as a waiter to help out. The two run up on deck and leap onto a passing boat, leaving Turian furious with his security team.
Now knowing the full scheme, Hannibal devises a plan to swap the roll of film that Rina gives to Turian for a dummy. For some reason, I guess in case he checks the negatives, the team set up a fake photoshoot with Murdock designing the outfits, Hannibal roping in some seniors from a care home to sew and Face providing the models from a local strip club.
The next day, Burnette picks up Rina in his limo. Murdock plants a tracker on the car, which the team then follow from the van. Burnette’s go some top security on the case though, as he gets a call from a control centre who’ve scanned the car and found the bug. He removes the tracker, forcing the A-Team to switch to plan B.
Hannibal axes his way through the door of the security company, in full fireman costume with smoke pluming up behind him. The security team evacuate, only for Face and Murdock to arrive with a smoke machine and tape deck. Face uses the very 1980s supercomputer to find out where Burnette was heading, and the mission is back on track.
With the photoshoot complete, Rina gets back in Burnette’s limo and finds Face in the driver’s seat. He convinces her to swap the film rolls and, in a bold move, drive her up to Turian’s yacht. While Face turns his head away from Turian, Rina double-crosses him and tells Turian what’s going on.
Locked inside the yacht, Face and Rina are joined by Rina’s son – the leverage that Turian’s been holding over her. Face forgives her and tells her that Hannibal and Murdock will come to rescue them.
A victorious Turian throws the fake film into the sea and orders his henchmen to throw the prisoners overboard when they’re far enough from shore. It’s a hell of an escalation for the mobster, who was stealing fashion designs and minute ago and is now quite happy to drown a mother and child. The henchmen don’t flinch at the order, so perhaps it’s not the first time.
Learning that Turian is cleared to leave the harbour at 4 pm, Hannibal ad Murdock set about cleaning up an all boat and disguising it as the Harbour Patrol. Just in time, they intercept Turian’s boat and, now dressed in patrol costumes, ask to board it to check their papers.
No-one recognises the two before it’s too late and Hannibal pulls a gun on Turian. He takes them to free Face, Rina and her son but a short fight breaks out which the team easily win. Turian’s not too bothered as he already sent the film to Mr Dubio, but face reveals he suspected Rina was too scared to go along with the plan and never switched the film – meaning Turian threw the real film into the sea.
As a parting gift, Hannibal wonders how Mr Dubio will react when he learns the film is worthless, before throwing a grenade and advising Turian to abandon ship. While the bad guys scramble to a lifeboat, the team look back from the Harbour Patrol and Hannibal reminds us that he loves it when a plan comes together.
A while later, Face and Rina say goodbye, realising that they can’t be together as long as Face is a fugitive. Murdock picks up BA, who’s pleased the van is ok before the Captain loses concentration and (in reused footage from Season Two) drives the van off a pier and into the sea.
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
Yes. He is first a waiter onboard Turian’s yacht to help Face escape, then a fireman to break into the security firm’s command centre and finally a Harbour Patrol agent to get back on the yacht.
Does BA get on a plane?
No. In fact, he is only in this episode for the final scene. His van does fly into the sea though.
Should someone be dead?
No. There’s not as much shooting in this adventure and most of that is intentionally non-lethal. As long as BA and Murdock can escape the sinking van, everything should survive.
Hot Styles is a packed episode of The A-Team, with Hannibal, Face and Murdock (no BA this time) investigating the world of high fashion. When Face’s girlfriend Rina is kidnapped and forced to work for a mobster, the trio set out to find out why she’s so scared to escape and keeps running back.
As we often see this season, there are two main villains, but it’s the menacing Johnny Turian that steals the show. The mission’s all the more enjoyable as the team don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle until very late on. As more and more is revealed, we learn how deep Rina’s connection to Turian runs.
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