In which we enjoy the return of John Saxon.
The episode begins with… wait never mind, it has special guest star John Saxon so who cares? Last seen in season one’s Children of Jamestown, JS is back to face off against The A-Team as a new villain, rebel military leader Kalem (which looks badass but seems to be pronounced more like Callum).
Once we’re over that excited, we follow Hannibal as he infiltrates a military compound by jumping from a wall and taking out a guard. Inside a woman is being held prisoner by a commander, who locks her in a room. Outside, Hannibal send two guards flying into the pool then jumps through the prisoner’s window. He’s almost captured by the commander, but back up arrives with BA, Murdock and Face bursting through the door.
The furious commander is soon calmed by the arrival of his boss and the woman’s father, Sheik Fahd. The Shiek rules his country and was testing his security team ahead of his daughter’s wedding to the Prince of a neighbouring country. The marriage is hoped to unite the two warring nations and bring peace to the region.
Disappointed in his commander, the Sheik places the A-Team in charge. Outside, as Fahd reunites with his daughter, he’s approached by his very suspicious girlfriend who’s annoyed that he has been away for so long.
Hannibal discusses security with the commander, who’s reluctant to follow his plan to disguise the Princess as one of his men. When pressed why he’s against the plan, the commander backs down.
At a nearby camp, we finally meet John Saxon’s Kalem, who’s leading the rebels in a plan to kidnap the Princess. They have an insider as they already know about the plan to switch the Princess with a guard.
On their way to the airport to fly to the wedding destination, Face drops some racist comments about the locals which come completely out of the blue. I think it’s meant to come off as funny as he moans about not being in America, but it’s plain wrong.
At the airport, the pilot boards the plane as Kalem and his men watch on, waiting to ambush the party. The A-Team arrive in a jeep with the Princess and begin to board the plane. Kalem springs his trap and surrounds the airfield. In a shock move, BA detonates the jeep which only has a dummy of the Princess in the passenger seat and the team start shooting at the rebels. Hannibal knocks BA out to get him aboard and we find out the Princess has been on the plane all along – disguised as the pilot.
As the plane taxis to take off, the army arrive and begin to drive back the rebels. A few bullets hit the plane and a limo on the runway explodes in a fireball. Murdock’s able to get up to speed and airborne, leaving Kalem to retreat.
The victory is short-lived though as the plane’s engines fail, just as BA wakes up. Murdock suspects the fuel line was hit, but the gauges show a full tank. The plane descends fast, with Murdock able to land in the jungle with no causalities.
BA is rightly furious with the team, so Hannibal promises him that in exchange for finish the mission first he can get even with all of them later. This deal puts a smile on BA’s face and he heads off happily to fix the radio.
As the team head out on foot, Murdock confirms that the fuel lines weren’t shot out – the plane was sabotaged.
After hours of walking with full backpacks, the Princess can go no farther so the team make camp for the night. Face takes pity on her, offering a foot rub and a shoulder to cry on. Later that night, as Face is on duty he checks on the Princess, who leans in to kiss him.
As he does so, one of Kamal’s men sneaks in behind and knocks him out. It turns out the Princess was the insider, though she’s not happy Face got hurt. Kalem promises her no-one else will be touched, then leaves one man behind to kill Face and the rest of the team.
Thankfully, BA spots the man and knocks him out before he can harm Face. The team strong the soldier upside down and he quickly spills all the beans – the Princess is in league with Kalem and they’re heading for the docks to escape to Turkey.
The team pursue Kalem and his men, arriving at the docks before the tanker ship they’re using has left. Face approaches the ship with a box as a distraction, with Murdock leaping out at the right moment to take out the first guards.
Onboard the ship, the Princess hugs Kalem, clearly in love with him. There’s no time for pleasantries though as the two are held at gunpoint by the team. Trying to make a sharp exit, the team force Kalem and the Princess up through the ship, shooting at any guards who try to stop them.
As they reach the top deck, Kalem pulls a knife on the Princess and threatens to kill her unless the A-Team drop their weapons. They comply and Kalem takes them all to a cell in the bowels of the ship, the Princess included – revealing he doesn’t care about her, he just wants the wars to continue. Once the ship leaves the dock, they’ll all be dropped to the bottom of the sea.
Left alone, the team use the cell’s bunks and some chains to prise open the bars wide enough to escape. But, rather than head through the ship, Hannibal gets on the jazz and decides to bring Kalem to them. After a montage of trap building, using gas canisters and pipework, the Colonel calls Kalem over the intercom and invites him to come and play.
Arriving with his men, Kalem falls into the ambush as steam bursts and canisters swing towards them. One-by-one they’re taken out, some falling pretty far off catwalks after getting steamed in the face.
Hannibal lures Kalem up through the decks and back outside, where more rebels begin a gun and grenade fight with the team. Face and Murdock through grenades around, sending the rebels flying into the water – with all limbs intact.
Kalem pulls his knife on Hannibal, but he’s no match for the Colonel’s gloved fist and he’s knocked over and out.
With the mission over, it’s time for BA to get even with the team. Though he first enjoys telling them the punishments he had invented (no hats or invisible dogs for Murdock, no cons for Face and no cigars for Hannibal), he has a better idea. The team are taking a tanker ship back to America and will be working for their passage. With BA in charge for once, he’ll supervise while the others scrub the decks and paint the whole ship.
Freeze frame on a very happy BA Baracus.
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
No, we begin this episode in the middle of a mission.
Does BA get on a plane?
Yes. He’s knocked out by Hannibal and once again the plane crashes.
Should someone be dead?
Yes. The final battle has far too many grenades exploding in a small space for all of the rebels to survive.
Moving Targets (S03, E19) has one of the best twists of any episode of the A-Team and a thoroughly enjoyable mission. Hired by a Sheik (a client who can pay for a change) to protect his daughter, the team need to battle both a rebel force and someone leaking information from the inside.
We get the return of John Saxon as rebel leader Kalem, but sadly he’s not used as well as in his iconic episode from season one. Kalem’s a touch one-dimensional, though he has a cold streak running through him, for Saxon to excel this time. That’s a shame, as with such a great actor this could have been one of the best episodes of the series.