In which the team deal with a toxic situation.
The episode begins at night, where AJ and his sister Lisa are driving their delivery van down a narrow alleyway. They’re soon penned in on each side by two vehicles heading towards them. AJ barely pulls Lisa out of the way as one truck smashes into theirs, crippling the front of it. A few thugs step into the alley and warn the two to sell their business to Mr Hagan, before beating AJ to the ground.
Driving another van AJ and Lisa mention the wild goose chase they’ve been on trying to find the A-Team. They’ve seen Mr Lee, been to a pizza parlour and are now heading to a garage. Inside, they’re waved into the bodyspray area by a disguised Hannibal while their vehicle is swept for bugs
All clean, the team introduce themselves and we learn AJ flew in Vietnam before becoming a commercial pilot then starting his delivery business. Things are going well and he’s just secured permission to expand into an underground garage. The only problem – Hagan is demanding to by the business and has started getting violent.
In a bid to find our more about Hagan’s plans, the team head out in a van and lure some thugs into following them. When the goons attack, the team turn the tables and shoot up two of Hagan’s trucks. Hannibal sends a message for Hagan to come and talk to him as the new owner of the Speedy Express Delivery business.
Back at the garage, Face tries flirting with the blind Lisa. It’s awkward but well-meaning dialogue and leads to a quick kiss between the two.
Meanwhile, Hagan’s men grab Hannibal and take him back to the office as the team listen in from nearby. As Hannibal refuses Hagan’s offer to buy the business, he slips a bugged dart into the dartboard. Hagan orders the Colonel killed for his stubbornness.
The team follow Hannibal in two cars, squashing his vehicle between them and forcing it to crash through a shopfront. Of course no-one is injured, and the team make their escape.
Listening in through the bugged dart, the team hear Hagan speaking to someone who’s worried about AJ’s plans to excavate his underground garage. A deal is made for a waste delivery that night at a nearby warehouse.
The team get to the location first and Face knocks out the only guard inside the building. It’s stocked full of barrels and Face takes a sample of the liquid for testing. The team also find an envelope full of cash and realise someone is paying Hagan to dump waste in the city. Swapping the waste for water, the team replace the barrels and hide as Hagan’s team arrive to collect the delivery. Amazingly, they don’t notice the change and pump the water into the sewer system.
Tracking down Hagan’s contact to City Hall, the team burst in and confront the corrupt official. He admits the sewer Hagan uses runs under AJ’s building and his planned underground garage would reveal what they’ve been doing. The team demand a signed confession, beginning to pour a barrel of waste over the official’s desk. Terrified, he agrees immediately – only to learn it was maple syrup all along.
Hannibal calls Lisa to warn her that Hagan’s men might attack their office. It’s too late though, Hagan’s found the dart and grabs Lisa and AJ. He offers a swap deal – AJ and Lisa for the confession.
We get a classic montage as the team sort out their attack strategy. Face is not happy he’s given flamethrower duty as Hannibal heads into the office unarmed. Meanwhile, BA and Murdock climb the fence as Face fires up his distraction to draw most of Hagan’s men outside. In a brilliant moment, Murdock sends BA crashing through the office window on a crane to rescue Hannibal.
This starts the final battle, where chaos reigns. Hannibal and Hagan fight, then BA throws everyone out the office window into a dumpster, which Murdock tips over. At the same time Murdock and Face set most of the compound ablaze with a huge fireball.
In the aftermath, we learn that the Hagan and the official are in jail, the city is going to clean out the sewer and Face promises to visit Lisa.
Let’s wrap up with a few key questions.
Does Hannibal wear a disguise?
Yes, he’s a garage owner to meet the clients. We also hear Mr Lee and a pizza parlour mentioned.
Does BA get on a plane?
Should someone be dead?
Yes, the explosion at Hagan’s place in the final battle is enormous and there were plenty of thugs hanging around the area.
Waste ‘Em (S03, E21) is mostly a solid, run-of-the-mill episode of The A-Team with a few moments of extra fun towards the end. It’s another tale of a small business being attacked by a corrupt and bullying competitor – this time in the delivery and waste disposal games.
The team are pretty quiet for the most part, with Hannibal taking the lion’s share of the work. It’s lifted by a mad final five minutes, with BA riding a crane through a window and one of the biggest explosions of the series.