In which Hannibal attempts a disguise within a disguise (plus one extra disguise).
Late in the Los Angeles night, two young girls wait for a bus sent under the instructions of Mr Lee. Boarding the next coach, they find Hannibal disguised as an old bus driver who waves them on. At the next stop, BA gets on and slowly checks the rows of seats before Hannibal pulls away and drives to the team’s hideout.
The girls explain they want the A-Team to find their missing Professor, who’s disappeared in Las Vegas after claiming to have invented a system to beat the casinos. They suspect a major casino owner, Gianni Christian, has kidnapped the Professor for his knowledge. They come prepared with cash, so the mission is on – as long as they first return the bus for the team.
There’s no scene breaking Murdock out for the first time and he’s soon in the van with the rest of the team. Hannibal’s busy working on his character, a mob boss from Atlantic City with BA and Murdock as his entourage. They three blag their way into the Presidential suite at the one of Christian’s hotel, then set themselves up as undercover government agents to attract attention.
It’s not long before Hannibal is brought before Mr Christian who demands to know what’s going on. As they speak, Face and Amy pose as a couple in a neighbouring hotel, with Face taking a shot at Christian as a warning. Hannibal suggests a trade – Christian’s life for the Professor.
The deal’s on and the Professor, who for some reason looks and acts like Woody Allen, is passed over to the team and bundled into the van for the escape. As they drive away though, Gianni Christian falls to his death from his balcony. After a short chase, the team take refuge in a hotel room, where they learn they’re the main suspects in what’s being seen as a murder. Hannibal’s face is on the news and there’s rumours of a $100,000 bounty on his head.
The next scene is more than a touch awkward, as Hannibal breaks back into the hotel in blackface to confront Christian’s second-in-command Jackie Martell. Martell is looking to take over the reigns as number one, but Hannibal pulls a gun on him with Murdock appearing from inside a room service cart.
Taking Martell with them in a secret lift, the team head to the car park after tricking the mobsters into thinking they’re heading for the helicopter on the roof. Despite taking the stairs all the way up and then down the hotel, the mobsters almost catch the team as they drive away in Christian’s armoured limo.
Thankfully we get a little self-awareness as Hannibal jokes to BA that “black is beautiful” only to be firmly told “not on you it aint”.
There’s a chase with the mobsters pursuing the team, who learnt the limo is packed with guns. Murdock turns up in the helicopter to force the cars off the road while one flips over, as it traditional at this point. It seems like they forgot to film the drivers climbing out of the wreckage as we get an awkward voice over from one literally saying “I’m ok” to put us at ease (despite having seen a man fall to his death earlier).
With the Professor returned, the team learn that Martinelli’s not only been found out as the killer but also snatched back by the mobsters for their own brand of justice. There’s one downside as they’ve lost Murdock. Cut to the airport and the Captain’s busy trying to hitch a ride from a passing plane – cue freeze frame!
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
Two for the price of one. First, he’s an old bus driver to meet the clients and later a mob boss / government agent as he sets up Gianni Christian.
Does BA get on a plane?
Again no, I’m starting to think this doesn’t happen as much as people think.
Should someone be dead?
We get a rare actual death when Christian is killed and should get two more with the car flip.
The Rabbit Who Ate Las Vegas is an odd episode but it’s great to see another more experimental story after the straightforward early instalments. This time, the team seem to seal their mission exactly to plan only to have the villain killed by someone else. It’s a fun twist I didn’t see coming and gives the ending an extra kick with a bounty out on the team’s lives.
The blackface is certainly an uncomfortable moment and a bizarre choice for everyone involved. There’s no previously established character that Hannibal’s impersonating and we know he’s good with disguises so they could have easily sent him to infiltrate the meeting without the change of race.
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