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A-Team episode
“The Only Church in Town”
Season 2, Episode # 3
Number (#17) in series (98 episodes)
Guest star(s) Markie Post
*Ismael "East" Carlo
Beau Starr
Deborah Shelton
Don Knight
Elizabeth Hoffman
Judd Omen
Patrick O'Moore
Caesar Cordova
Larry Duran
Tony Brubaker
Network: NBC-TV
Production code: 2.03
Writer(s) Babs Greyhosky
Director(s) Christian I. Nyby II
Original airdate October 11, 1983
IMDB The Only Church in Town
Episode chronology
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Recipe for Heavy Bread Bad Time on the Border

List of A-Team episodes


SynopsisEdit

The onetime love of Face's life, now a nun in an orphanage in Ecuador by the name of Sister Theresa, is in trouble, so he hires the A-Team to help her out.

Full episode summaryEdit

Santa Maria’s Orphanage in Ecuador houses some unusually grown-up, bearded and drunk orphans. This upsets people who work at the orphanage, namely Sister Theresa, who was a former college girlfriend of Face, who used to go by the name of Leslie Becktall. Warning shots are fired and liquor bottles are smashed and it appears that some very bad guys have taken control of the orphanage ’til their boss’s leg heals. Sister Theresa prays a little pray, cries a little cry and then looks at a piece of jewelry, which cheers her up.

Back in L.A. at the penthouse suite where Face lives, he's wearing a maroon smoking jacket; 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.

The A-Team needs 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 Amy 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!

Murdock and Amy 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 now a nun who now goes by the name of Sister Theresa. You shouldn’t have come! She then 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! 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. 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 (probably not talking about the orphans here) and that their plan should be like the Trojan Horse. 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 truk -- 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. One of the nuns starts 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.   

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. 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. 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.


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.

EnemiesEdit

Salvador

ClientsEdit

Templeton Peck

AliasesEdit

Hannibal - Colonel Stratton

Notable LocationsEdit

Equador

Guest starringEdit

Memorable QuotesEdit

Amy: I hate asking this. What is going on?

Amy: I don't think I've ever seen this side of you before. Well, I mean, Face, ever since I've known you you've had a different bombshell on your arm. I mean, I never really thought any one woman could have this effect on you. I guess, uh, Leslie Becktall's maybe the reason why.
Face: She was the only woman I ever loved.

CommentsEdit

Amy once again had something to do; since Face was the client, she handled the money. On the other hand, Hannibal refused to let her go undercover as a nun (forcing Murdock to do it), because, in his words, "we've got enough women and children in jeopardy; we're not adding you to the list."

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