Waste ‘Em


Intro Teaser

[In an alleyway two huge trucks crush a small van between them]
Bad Guy 1: Big bad flyboy and his blind little sister…
A.J.: He’s going to have to kill me first before I sell out to scum like him.
[A.J. gets beaten up]
[Cut to team]
B.A.: Dude seems to be pretty tough.  [waves fist]  Think I’d like to meet him.
[The team shoot up a van]
Hannibal: I’m the new owner.  If he’s got a problem with that you tell him to talk to me.
[Cut to boss bad guy, Hagen]
Hagen: What does he think I am?  A piece of sludge?
[Cut to the team in the van]
Face: No no no, he’s got a point.
[Cut to chemical plant, outside at night]
Hannibal: So this is the chemical company that’s paying Hagen to dump its waste.
Face: And all highly illegal.
B.A.: Hagen’s dumping his stuff somewhere he’s not supposed to.
[Cut to Murdock shooting up a car and Face with a flamethrower.]
Face: Me?  Crash through the gate?
[Cut to van crashing through a fence]
Hannibal: It’ll be great!

Lots of action but not much in the way of clues about the episode’s plot.  Something to do with chemical dumping.  Mind you, I finished the episode itself with a similar sort of ‘what was going on?’ impression, so I guess it’s a fair summing up.

Love this ep's creative cutting between lines from Hagen’s “What does he think I am” to Face’s “He’s got a point”.



A delivery van drives down an alley, its occupants A.J. and his blind sister Lisa, are a bit jumpy and the reason soon becomes apparently as two huge trucks show up and crush the van between them.  Two henchmen from the van approach them and threaten them, saying they should have sold out.  A.J. refuses and gets beaten up.  After the henchmen leave, Lisa comforts her brother and wishes aloud that there was someone who can help them… (guess who it’s going to be)

Looking for the A-Team A.J. and Lisa find themselves at a car spray-painters where they’re met by a very garishly dressed and be-wigged Hannibal.  He tells them to drive their car on into the painter machine which turns out to be a scanner which Face and B.A. use to check out the van.  They find nothing suspicious so Hannibal loses the disguise and introduces himself.

A.J. explains that he used to be a huey pilot and started up the transport company when he needed a job after returning from Vietnam.  He got an offer from Hagen to buys his company but when he refused he started getting threats and being attacked.

Hannibal agrees they’ll take the job and sends Face to spring Murdock from the hospital which he does by means of some fake paperwork, a very worried nurse and a hysterical Murdock (whose right hand has developed a personality of it’s own, named Lefty which spends most of the episode annoying B.A.)

Meanwhile Hagen is playing darts and discussing his plans.  He believes A.J. is shut down but is soon proved wrong when the team take over the delivery trucks.  The henchmen run the team’s delivery van off the road but get a nasty shock when they open the back, in the form of Face and B.A. armed and shooting.

Hannibal tells them he owns the delivery company now and they should tell Hagen to talk to him.

Hagen’s idea of talking to Hannibal is to have his henchmen grab him and haul him in.  Hannibal, of course, is utterly unmoved by Hagen’s threats and when the henchmen take him away to shoot him they are intercepted by the rest of the team and the second car chase of the ep.

Hagen is not impressed but says that the Oxem deal will still go ahead.  Overhearing this on the bug Hannibal planted while he was in Hagen’s office, the team head off to Oxem to investigate.

At the chemical plant they knock out the guard and investigate the barrels waiting to be collected.  They discover it’s chemical waste which Hagen is illegally dumping in return for a large payoff, which Murdock discovers in the guards pocket.  They replace the contents of the barrels with water and plant a tracer so they can determine where it’s being dumped.

Hagen’s people turn up and load the contents of the barrels into their tanker.  The team follow and find the waste is being dumped into a sewer that runs directly under A.J. business.

The team burst into the Oxem offices to confront the boss, Priscell with their evidence and force him to sign a confession, implicating Hagen.  They then head to pick up Hagen but find he’s discovered the dart and grabbed A.J. and Lisa.  He wants to ransom them for the confession and tells Hannibal to bring it to him.

Of course the team can’t have this, and prepare for an assault on Hagen’s HQ.  Cue the episode’s dose of welding, weapons and (on special this week) benzine.  Face ends up (rather nervously) with a flamethrower and instructions to crash the van through the gate to cause a distraction. 

Hannibal takes the confession to Hagen.

When the team arrive at Hagen’s yard they realise Hannibal is actually on the second floor with Hagen, which they hadn’t allowed for.  Luckily they spot a cherry-picker and with B.A. perched on top and Murdock driving they are able to crash through the upstairs window while Face causes havoc below with the flamethrower.  The episode brawl ends with most of the bad guys being chucked out the window into a skip.

A.J. wishes he could keep the team on the payroll but Hannibal says they can’t stay in one place too long.  Lisa and Face have a slushy goodbye and Face promises to visit.

And finally, B.A. has had enough of Lefty and brings out a massive black glove of his own to subdue him.


Bad Guys

It wasn’t really very clear what the bad guys goal actually was or who was in charge.  They were dumping waste illegally but that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with why they wanted A.J. and Lisa out, although they used the toxic waste to try and sabotage them. 

No military types in this ep.


Good Guys

The Perrys, running Speedy Delivery.


Pretty average hard-done-by good guy.  Huey chopper pilot in Vietnam--wasn’t that the same job Murdock did?  That could have made things a bit more interesting if it had been worked in to the character more.


Oh dear me, could she have had a taller soapbox?  Yes, it’s nice to see blind people on TV being normal people but it wasn’t exactly subtle.  And of course her and Face find time for some flirting even in the middle of the latest crisis.


Hardware, Action, and Scams

Springing Murdock

Usefully confusing paperwork tricks the nurse into thinking Murdock has been given the wrong medication and is losing the plot (more than usual).  Face wheels him out of there strapped to a gurney.  Not a bad scam although you’d think something like that would be recorded and raise some sort of concern later.

Bugged dart

Nice use of the existing stray detail that the bad guy was playing darts.  Wonder how the guy found it out?

Car chases

And plenty of them, as you’d expected from an episode revolving about a delivery company.  Murdock is clearly as loopy a driver as he is pilot.  Interesting, because to me he always looks vaguely queasy when he’s sat in the back of the van.  Maybe he just doesn't like B.A's driving.

Kicking in the bad guys

Face gets to drive like a maniac too--though B.A. warns him not to hurt the van.  Murdock gets to play with a cherry picker, Face gets to play with a flamethrower and B.A. gets to lob bad guys out of windows.  What more could you want?


Random Remarks

Not one of my favourite episodes, the plot is a bit wobbly and the guest characters are a bit wet.

It does have its moments though.  Hannibal’s usual total unconcern at Murdock’s latest weirdness, B.A’s utter infuriation with it, Face with a massive grin as he wields the flamethrower.

I like Murdock’s idea of decorating--t-shirts all over the walls.

Oh and it has one of my favourite lines from Murdock:  “Since when does something have to make sense to be logical?”


End Frames

Face kissing Lisa.
B.A. lobbing henchperson through the window.
Hannibal shaking A.J’s hand at the beginning.
Face wheeling Murdock into the lift at the hospital.
B.A. with ‘Big Lefty’.
Henchperson running from explosion.
Face driving the van through the fence.
Murdock struggling with the nurse and Face in the hospital.
Hannibal throwing the bugged dart--bullseye.


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