My Year With The A-Team: Season 2, Episode 3 – The Only Church in Town

In My Year With the A-Team by Brady Carlson1 Comment

Murdock is a nun

“My dreams of seeing a chicken rescue Markie Post remain unrealized.”

I have a tendency to get stuck on a particular word or phrase, one that echoes in my head for a few days to even a few weeks. Usually these are the most annoying phrases I hear – any quote from the movie “Grease,” for example, will bounce around my head forever – but right now the word I’m stuck on is “badass,” and that’s OK with me. For while I’m primarily spending this year following the A-Team, I’m also stepping up toward a pretty serious workout regimen (another way to build up some self-discipline) and rather than set a goal of doing a 5K or a triathlon or whatever, I’ll simply say I want to be badass.

That said, tomorrow I will be fitted with a large orthopedic boot, which I will need to wear for most of the next month. And while there’s no point in complaining- it’s got to be done so I can stop re-injuring my ankle, it’s not going to be a terribly badass period. To compensate, I’m thinking about renting a big black and red GMC van and driving around town just to look touch. Start scouring Craigslist! Find an A-Team van for me and you’ll get the first drive around the block, with the first dude to look badass while wearing an orthopedic boot.


The Only Church in Town

Wild Guess Preview: Throughout this series we’ve seen B.A. befriend and mentor hundreds, maybe thousands of underprivileged kids. One of them, Joey (the kid who learned to make ashtrays), has a vision that B.A. is not simply a tough guy with a heart of gold but the savior of all humanity, and he founds a new religion in B.A.’s honor! Soon millions are making ashtrays and preaching the Gospel Of The Jazz, but a group of jealous Quakers plans to stop them by burying the entire state of Oregon in quick oats, and the A-Team must find a way to stop the breakfast-fueled barrage of oaty oblivion.

Sister Markie Post
Couldn’t John Larroquette handle this mission? Or Richard Moll?

The Recap: We start out at Santa Maria’s Orphanage in Ecuador, which houses some unusually grown-up, bearded and drunk orphans. This upsets a Markie Post-esque lady named Leslie and a Jane Goodall-type lady, but warning shots are fired and liquor bottles are smashed and it appears the drunk guys are taking control of the orphanage ’til their boss’s leg heals. Oh god, Leslie actually is Markie Post! She prays a little pray, cries a little cry and then looks at a piece of jewelry, which cheers her up.

We cut to a penthouse suite, where Face is wearing a maroon smoking jacket and putting the moves on Elvira, I think. Just at things are heating up, a priest drops off Leslie’s jewelry, which Face correctly interprets as a cry for help. He calls the team and explains that his ex-girlfriend from 15 years before is in trouble and needs help. They only agree to help once Face agrees to pay them. Lesson of the day: don’t call Hannibal if you need to move a couch. They need a plan to get to Ecuador, so Hannibal, showing his usual restraint, uses a pay phone to call Colonel Lynch and reveal his location. This brings the usual phalanx of MP cars chasing the van around, but they do end up at an airfield, where Hannibal lets off a smoke grenade and they get airborne pretty easily, though I don’t quite understand why they couldn’t just drive to an airfield and steal the plane without calling Lynch.

Face opens up to Triple A about Leslie, about how they were serious until she stood him up, and he gave her his fraternity pin anyway and blah blah blah. Serious Faceman is not very fun. Murdock is, though; once they land he worries about how the unconscious B.A. is not coming to very quickly: “It’s been a full day and we haven’t insulted each other!” They drive off in a snazzy but broken-down vintage car, trying to avoid the “Federales” as they go. Murdock has somehow smuggled a chicken into the car, but the now-conscious B.A. barks “get it out!” and my dreams of seeing a chicken rescue Markie Post remain unrealized.

Murdock and Triple A head back to town to look for room and board, while B.A., Hannibal and Face visit the orphanage, which insists that there is no Leslie and that everything is fine, even though there’s a large man resembling the Iron Sheik making mean faces at them from inside the walls! Just then a little boy breaks the nun/bandito blockade; Face grabs him and bumps into Leslie, who’s a nun. “You shouldn’t have come!” she says to Face. THEN WHY SEND HIM A LETTER BEGGING FOR HELP?!? Murdock drives up yelling “FEDERALES!” – the authorities are giving chase. Everyone piles into the jalopy and they drive away… only for Face and Murdock to return dressed as nuns!

Face is upset
Face’s ennui is not pretty.

They make contact with Leslie, or Sister Teresa as she’s now called; she explains how the thugs have taken control of the orphanage, and how they’re angry because they’ve drunk all the orphanage’s liquor – which begs the question, why does an orphanage consisting of twenty young children and two nuns have a large stockpile of booze in barrels?!? Murdock sneaks out a secret passage to warn the others, though when he says they need a plan and points toward his habit, B.A. is reluctant: “I ain’t dressing up like no nun!” Hannibal says they need only to get inside and “clobber ’em” (probably not talking about the orphans here) – and that their plan should be like the Trojan Horse.

Hannibal is Neil Young
Hello, Colonel in the sand, was this A-Team at your command?

So Murdock goes looking for a horse – or a metaphorical one, anyway. He and Triple A trade out their bumpy broken-down jalopy for a big-ass truck – only the truck doesn’t start. Oh, but a B.A. maintenance montage will take care of that problem! They come to the door with Hannibal dressed as Neil Young, I think; he says his whiskey truck is broken, and the thugs are totally willing to help push it into the orphanage. Very clever! “The Trojan Horse has arrived,” Murdock says in his fake-Brit voice. Hannibal gets everybody falling-down drunk and then B.A. and Murdock beat them up and toss them into the truck. The Jane Goodall nun keeps yelling “Who are you people? What are you doing?” which is annoying. Hannibal explains they’re just “taking out the trash.” They even drag out the head bad guy and lock him up too. They drive away, and Hannibal instructs the bad guys to strip to their shorts – are they going to do a calendar photo session before they leave Ecuador?

Thugs in their underwear
They enjoy pillow fights, dancing all night, and taking nuns hostage…

The team drives back to the orphanage and now Sister Whiny is complaining that the bad guys aren’t really gone, they’re just going to come back and take revenge on the place. Should someone this negative really be allowed to watch over orphans? She also mentions they’ve been talking about reinforcements – say what? We do, in fact, see the bad guys in their underwear get guns from their bepantsed compadres in a jeep.

So the montage from before was just a tease; this is the actual preparation montage. They move logs into place, B.A. is welding, and they roll up packets of dynamite? Booze, explosives… what kind of orphanage is this? Also, the orphans are just wandering around while the team sets up machine gun nests and bombs. Great work there, sisters! So everything appears to be ready, and THIS is the moment Sister Irritating comes up and says shooting the bad guys is too risky and they shouldn’t do any of it. Hannibal basically ignores her, and when Murdock discovers they’re using tar to repair their broken roof, Hannibal has a plan.

The thugs come back, and somehow they all got clothes. The head bad guy says give us what we want (which is the A-Team, apparently) and “maybe we go away.” I thought they wanted to hide out there; why would they go away after getting that? This is where the loving stops and the shooting begins, and it’s a good-sized battle even for this show. Murdock is lobbing liquor bottles with a slingshot, Hannibal is firing TWO machine guns at once, and B.A.’s rigged up this cool catapult so that when the thugs think they’ve breached the orphanage walls they get dumped right back out. He giggles over how cool this is. All of a sudden there’s a moat around the orphanage, which comes in handy as the thugs hit the ground. Face is on hand to punch them. The thugs regroup and try to breach the front gate, but the front gate is where Hannibal buried those packs of dynamite… and the truck that goes through the gate hits the old trick of the big hole in the ground! The thugs are finished. The team’s reward is that Sister Cranky says “thank you” FINALLY and expects them to go to church the next day.

Thugs being catapulted
While the thugs may have been bested by the A-Team, they now qualify as catapult operators at the Dade County Renaissance Faire

Hannibal and the sister chat amiably when B.A. pulls up in another jalopy – he decided to get the jump on everybody and arrange the transportation – boat – himself. Face says goodbye to sister Markie Post and gives her his fraternity pin AGAIN. “Faceman, God bless you,” she says. He winks. Awwww.

And that’s all. I was really hoping I’d like this one more than I did, but Serious Face brooding about Markie Post isn’t working for me, no matter what depth it adds to his character. And all the bad guys in their underwear, I guess we needed to see that? I did like the fight scene, though, with the booze bombs and B.A.’s catapult – that was badass. Unlike me. For now.

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