In which we meet the man with the iron fist.
We open on a boat arriving at a tropical beach, bringing an injured fisherman home and calling for the village doctor. At the same moment, a gang of thugs show up by boat and launch two jeeps onto the island. Their leader, sporting a metal hand and a slick back mullet, shoots around enough to get the locals’ attention.
The doctor, working from an army hospital shack, grabs a gun to defend himself but is shot in the arm by the bad guys. Metal Hand Man announces that he’s taking over the island, which happens to be a sovereign nation. Hearing this, the doctor helps a young boy escape with instructions to find the A-Team.
Not knowing how to find the team, the kid places an advert in the local paper. The arouses Hannibal’s suspicions that it’s a trap, but BA insists they check it out as the doctor once saved his life in Vietnam.
Decker (returning after briefly being replaced by Charles Napier), spots the ad too and bursts into the kid’s rented apartment. This attracts the landlord to the scene, who Decker immediately believes it’s Hannibal in disguise and pulls at his beard. The man screams in pain though and we see that the kid and landlord have been telling the truth.
Defeated, Decker takes the kid outside but is instantly surrounded by the A-Team and forced to lay on the ground at gunpoint. The team grab the kid and make their escape in the van. As they drive away, Decker and his MPs fire at the van, despite knowing an innocent child is inside.
After hearing the situation, and the reason why no-one else can help, the team agree to take the mission – with BA insisting they go by boat not by plane.
We cut to a seaplane landing and the team dragging an unconscious BA onto the beach. He wakes up quickly and attacks Hannibal but soon calms down as the adventure begins. Face is forced to swallow a tracking device to infiltrate Metal Hand Man’s base, as Hannibal guesses the guards will search him.
The Colonel’s right, Face is searched when he pretends to be a drunk millionaire who’s washed ashore. Metal Hand Man suspects a trap and decides to imprison him rather than kill him, in case the gang need leverage later. As planned, this leads Face to the doctor and a young woman from the village who is looking after him. The doctor is in a bad way due to his gunshot wound and desperately needs antibiotics to survive.
Using the tracker, the rest of the team locate Face and blow a hole in the prison wall. They shoot and grenade their way to a truck, which they steal and use to drive out of the front gates.
The gang aren’t able to mobile fast enough to chase the truck but BA drives over a landmine down the road which puts it out of action. Thankfully, they crash next to a 40-year-old tank which is rusting in the undergrowth and gives them a good idea for a montage. Before they can start though, Murdock finds a baby crocodile in the turret which terrifies BA who is afraid of reptiles.
Back at the village, Metal Hand Man searches for the A-Team, knocking in a door with his iron fist while his gang terrorise the locals. Thanks to their Bravery, the team remain hidden with BA and Face under the floorboards of the house the villain was inside.
Next up, Hannibal disguises himself as a field labourer where he learns Metal Hand Man has the locals growing crops for his drug lab – giving him full control over production, manufacture and sale of his product. He sneaks off to knock out a guard and slips from one disguise to another to infiltrate the base.
Overhearing Metal Hand Man talking to his henchmen, Hannibal pulls a gun on them and warns that he’ll be back to take the drug lord down. The Colonel then shoots the lab up and makes his escape.
At the village, Hannibal explains his plan of attack to Face – tipping off the bad guys being a core part of said plan. As they rest, the girl who had been looking after the doctor earlier sneaks off and bargains with Metal Hand Man – she’ll tell him Hannibal’s plan if he promises to leave the villagers alone. He agrees but tells his henchman to take care of her as soon as the attack is over.
With the doctor dropped off at a hospital by Murdock and the tank fixed up, the team are ready. Hannibal reveals he knew the girl would squeal on them so that plan she heard was a ruse. They attack from the opposite direction, taking the bad buys by surprise. The tank proves effective, smashing through the walls of the base and throwing jeeps high into the air. Metal Hand Man has one last charge but surrenders when he comes face to face with the tank’s loaded turret.
In the aftermath, the doctor returns to the island fully recovered and advises Hannibal to settle down there once he retires. Meanwhile, Murdock prepares to release his pet crocodile into the wild only to find out its full-grown mother has arrived looking for it. Freeze frame on BA’s terrified face.
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
Yes. First, he’s a village worker in the fields, then immediately changes into a guards uniform to get inside the base.
Does BA get on a plane?
Yes. We don’t see it but he was likely drugged again.
Should someone be dead?
Yes. The team drive a tank through a base and fire plenty of rounds from the turret.
The Island is an entertaining and action-packed episode of The A-Team. The isolated location sets up a different kind of mission for the team on unfamiliar territory. The mission plays out like a James Bond adventure, with an unusual metal-handed villain and drug-smuggling plot that could have been lifted from Live and Let Die.
The main villain is a real highlight, smashing down doors with a single punch with his iron fist that is never explained or commented on. He’s pure pantomime, terrorising old labourers and bullying women and children to get his way. It’s all the more satisfying when he meets gets his inevitable comeuppance.