In which Decker learns the art of catch and release.
The episode opens on a father, son and daughter feeling pleased that they’ve caught a rogue fisherman, Garber, on-camera trapping lobsters outside of a restricted area. It’s a short-lived joy though as he soon turns up to smash up their boat and beat up the two men, sending the father to the hospital.
At that same hospital, the team have just arrived after BA stepped on a rusty nail and needs a Tetanus shot. They cross paths after hearing the local Sheriff let the daughter down and end up offering their services. She explains that Garber is running a protection racket and taking half of people’s profits, causing them to catch twice as many lobsters which will cause irreparable damage.
Before they can help though, Decker arrives and surrounds the hospital. The team quickly disguise themselves as surgeons and fight their way out the back to the van. There’s a short chase but Hannibal wisely shoots out the MPs car’s tires to disable them, oddly not causing the vehicle to flip onto its roof.
Regrouping at the damaged boat, the team set off to get some parts to fix it up. The local boatyard refuses to sell to them but Murdock pulls a gun and the owner has a change of heart. Face warns Hannibal that he’ll go inside to call Garber, a fact Hannibal is counting on.
Garber and crew arrive, Hannibal tells them to back off and Face reads out the traditional bill for damages. A fight breaks out which the team at first seem to be losing, not helping by BA being injured and less able to bail them out of trouble. The A-Team end up winning, but it’s a close-run thing this time – Garber won’t be easy to defeat.
At the family’s house, Decker arrives and searches the place, just missing the team. Hannibal decides to speed the plan up as Decker is circling closer and closer to them. After Face scams some air tanks for diving, we get a montage of the team fixing up the boat so the family can get back to business.
Out at sea, Murdock and Face plant charges around Garber’s boat and take pictures of his illegal activities for Amy to take to her paper. Exploding the charges, the team boards Garber’s boat and hold his gang at gunpoint. Hannibal begins his speech but is interrupted by an ambush from Decker who is onboard with his MPs. He’s captured with BA and Face, taken to shore and locked inside a shed awaiting transport.
Decker tells Garber that although he never agrees with Hannibal, he’s a scumbag and needs to get out of town before he brings the police an FBI down on him. Garber has no choice but to agree, although makes it clear he’ll be visiting the family on his way out.
Nearby, Murdock and Amy stop the incoming army transport and take charge of it, with Murdock taking the MP’s uniform as a disguise. They arrive at Decker’s base and free the team, before heading to try and catch up with Garber.
Over at the boat, Gerber and crew advance on the brother and sister, planning to destroy their boat then start on them. Somehow though, the A-Team are already onboard and spring their own ambush. There’s a gunfight which devolves into a fistfight, with the team winning in the end and tying up the villainous fishermen and leaving them for Decker.
In the wrap-up, we learn the father is making a full recovery. BA is on the mend too and lets off some steam by throwing Murdock into the sea with the classic line, “vibe on that sucker”.
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
Yes. He dresses as a surgeon in gown and facemask to evade Decker early on.
Does BA get on a plane?
No. He does manage a boat without being seasick though.
Should someone be dead?
No. The worst injuries are those of the father who gets beaten up and hospitalised in the opening. He’s close to death on admission but recovers over a few days.
There’s Always a Catch is a solid if not quite amazing episode of The A-Team. Taking on another hopeless case without payment shows their continuing softer side after their work in Labor Pains. The setup is classic, with a protection racket amongst lobster fishers and just one brave family refusing to pay up.
Garber is a decent villain, but it’s Decker’s rare success in ambushing the team that elevates this adventure. It’s always exciting to see the team captured by the army and have to escape while still defeating the villain of the episode. Decker’s reactions are priceless, especially his begrudging agreement with Hannibal that Garber needs to leave town.
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